Washington 2010 NCAA Tournament Preview
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Washington Huskies - Pacific-10 Conference (24-9, 11-7)
Seed: #11 - East Region
Big Wins: 12/22 Texas A&M (73-64), 1/16 California (84-69), 3/13 vs California (79-75)
Bad Losses: 1/21 at UCLA (61-62), 1/23 at USC (61-87), 2/18 USC (64-67)
Last NCAA Appearance: 2009, Second Round loss to Purdue
Coach: Lorenzo Romar (5-5 in 5 NCAA appearances)
Probable Washington Starters:
Isaiah Thomas, Sophomore, Guard, 17.1 ppg, 2.9 apg, 4.1 rpg
Abdul Gaddy, Freshman, Guard, 4.1 ppg, 2.2 apg
Quincy Pondexter, Senior, Forward, 19.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg
Justin Holiday, Junior, Forward, 5.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg
Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Junior, Forward, 8.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg, 1.3 bpg
Key Washington Roleplayers:
Tyreese Breshers, Freshman, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 2.8 rpg
Darnell Gant, Sophomore, Forward, 2.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
Venoy Overton, Junior, Guard, 8.5 ppg, 3.2 apg
Scott Suggs, Sophomore, Guard, 4.9 ppg, 1.3 rpg
Elston Tuner, Sophomore, Guard, 5.1 ppg, 1.9 rpg
Why The Huskies Can Surprise:
Washington may lack Jon Brockman, but there is still plenty of scoring potential in the frontcourt with Quincy Pondexter and Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Pondexter is easily leading the team with 19.8 points and 7.5 rebounds. Pondexter will use his 6-6 frame to attack the basket and that is where most of his points come from. However, he is a consistent enough long range shooter that the defense has to guard him or he will make them pay with his outside shooting. Bryan-Amaning is the true post player. At 6-9 and 240 pounds, he is a decent defender and is the team’s best shot blocking threat.
The backcourt has plenty of scorers too, most notably Isaiah Thomas who is averaging 17.1 points per game. Thomas has had an up and down season and his turnover numbers are high, and freshman Abdul Gaddy has failed to live up to his lofty expectations. Thomas does a superb job attacking the basket and is always a threat to score. Add Venoy Overton to the mix and the Huskies have quite a few quality scorers that they can usually rely on for consistent scoring.
Why The Huskies Can Disappoint:
The problem is the lack of shooting. Thomas takes over five three-pointers per game, but only connects on 31.0 percent of those attempts. Gaddy has solidified himself as a non-scorer at this point in his career and that leaves sophomores Scott Suggs and Elston Turner to try and be the outside shooters on the team. Thus far they have tried, but the results have not been very promising. Suggs has had some double-digit scoring outputs, but certainly cannot be counted on to consistently be a scorer. Turner is also capable of getting hot, like when he connected on four of his six attempts from long range against Seattle, but outputs like that are not the norm.
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Who To Watch for Washington:
Bryan-Amaning is certainly the scorer among the frontcourt players, but there is a trio of forwards who all add something extra to the team. Justin Holiday is undersized at 6-6, but he is a superb athlete who has the hops to get on the glass. Tyreese Breshers is 6-7, but he is a wide-bodied player who can use his size to box out opponents and grab his fair share of rebounds. He is just a freshman and his best days are yet to come, but for now he is not much of an offensive threat besides some easy putbacks off of offensive rebounds. Darnell Gant is yet another player on this team that can easily go ten deep who has some size and potential and can at least help out on the glass.
Washington By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 80.5 (9th in nation, 1st in conference)
Scoring Defense: 70.6 (230, 9)
Field-Goal Percentage: 45.1 (88, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.4 (138, 3)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.2 (263, 8)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 32.5 (224, 7)
Free-Throw Percentage: 72.0 (71, 3)
Rebound Margin: 4.6 (42, 1)
Assists Per Game: 14.3 (73, 3)
Turnovers Per Game: 13.0 (107, 5)
Joel’s Bracket Says: First Round loss to Marquette