On Nov. 26, No. 3 Arizona defeated San Diego State 61-59, a two point game. The Aztecs' trip into Seattle wasn't as pleasant as their trip to the Maui Invitational. Washington took a 3-2 lead on an Andrew Andrews free throw and never again did the Huskies trail, nor was the game ever tied.
It was clear from early on that the Aztecs were not going to challenge the Huskies tonight, who had their best performance of the year, with contributions coming from the entire team. A combination of a 2-3 zone defense anchored by Robert Upshaw and in-your-face Lorenzo Romar-brand man-to-man defense shut down SDSU's offense. It was the best defensive performance (in terms of points scored) by a Romar-coached team.
Upshaw and Nigel Williams-Goss led the way for the Huskies, with Williams-Goss leading the Huskies in scoring and assists with 15 and three (he also was tied with Upshaw with six rebounds when he checked out for a final time). Upshaw grabbed seven rebounds, had, four blocked shots and scored seven points of his own.
The scoring was balance for Washington across the board, with Andrews joining NWG in double-digits at 13, and Shawn Kemp Jr. had eight. When a team scores only 49 points. The two point guards provided all of the outside punch for the Huskies, combining to go 5-11 from deep, while Quevyn Winters, Donaven Dorsey, Darin Johnson and Mike Anderson combined to miss seven treys.
- I have given Andrew Andrews a lot of grief over the past several season, some of it was deserving, but I definitely went overboard. This season his improvement in shooting beyond the arc combined with shifty dribble moves has provided an important component of scoring for the Huskies. He still isn't necessarily efficient from the field, but his on-ball defense (much less ball-watching this year too), skill from the outside and point guard abilities make him a valuable contributor, especially when he serves as the point guard while NWG rests.
- Robert Upshaw is the most likely Husky to go pro after this season. NWG is the best player on the Huskies, but his rim protection, hands and not-cluelessness on offense have been coveted by NBA scouts for a long time. Coming into the game he was second in the country and first in the Pac-12 at block %, a percentage of opposing two-point field goal attempts he blocks. He blocked over TWENTY PERCENT of twos. That's really, really good.
- Husky basketball is back. Romar-coached teams of lore have good offenses and really good defenses masked by fast pace of play. Andrews has the quickness to defend point guards, Anderson has the length and quickness to defend scoring wings, and the best rim-protector in the conference takes his place in the middle of the defense. Anderson and Upshaw's outlet ability will give the Huskies a chance to run when the game lends itself to it (not today).
- Bonus takeway: Huskies gon' be ranked.
What are your takeaways?