Thursday, February 17, 2011

HUSKIES: Arizona road trip keys to the game

This week, the Huskies head down to the desert to face off with The University of Arizona and Arizona State University. While Arizona State is a cellar dweller in the PAC-10, Arizona is leading the conference, currently two games ahead of the Huskies in the standings. The Wildcats are leaded by future NBA draft pick Derrick Williams, who is in contention with UW’s own Isaiah Thomas and WSU’s Klay Thompson for the PAC-10 player of the year award. Here’s my 3 keys to the games.
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Matthew Bryan–Amaning can’t disappear If the Huskies have no post presence, they shoot 3 point shots. If they don’t make those 3’s, they lose. Simple as that. MBA has been known to score 20 points one night, and then practically vanish the next. Matthew is currently being taken in the late second round on NBA draft boards, and for his draft stock’s sake, he can’t afford two bad nights in a row. UW can get by if MBA has a bad night vs. ASU, but will have a hard time beating Arizona without MBA producing.

Washington must close out 3-point shots Arizona is currently shooting 40% (first in PAC-10) from three point land, just above the Huskies’ 39% (Second in PAC-10). On the switch side, Arizona is leading the PAC-10 is defending the three, just letting 27% drop in, compared to UW’s 31% (2nd). The Huskies must not let open shots from beyond the arc happen, and a lot of that is by communicating well.

Get the ball in the high post to Bryan-Amaning or Darnell Gant often Lorenzo Romar’s teams have always struggled with the 2-3 zone, and that’s not any different this year. When the Huskies can't shoot the three on a given night, as I said before, they're toast. Teams have figured that out about the Dawgs, and almost every opponent has used the 2-3 zone at some point against them. One of the goals of the 2-3 is to take away the inside drive, the Huskies strength, and make you shoot jumpers. One way the Huskies can beat that is have MBA or Darnell Gant flash to the top of the key, then look for Aziz N'Diaye or each other down low, or dish it out to the wing for a possible open 3 point shot. If the Huskies can't figure out the 2-3 early, winning will be tough.

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