The Huskies won a conference game on the road! Reading that sentence probably had your heart beating faster than watching the game tonight. UW played its most mundane game of the season en route to a disappointing 60-54 win against the host Sun Devils. The Dawgs were able to pull away by opening the second half on a 13-1 run that gave them a 10-point lead. As boring as the game was, there are multiple things that can be taken away from tonight’s victory that moved the Dawgs into a first place tie in Pac-12 play.
Tony Wroten is the most important player on the Huskies. There is no longer any debate. Wroten led the way for the Dawgs tonight with 22 points on 9-12 shooting. All of the freshman phenom’s buckets came in the paint, including a posterizing dunk that will surely land him on SportsCenter.
UW was aided by an Arizona State team that truly has no offense without Trent Lockett. ASU was consistently unable to create any offense against the Dawgs’ pressure defense and showed why they rank third-to-last in the conference in scoring.
WOOFS and WIMPERS after the jump!
Road Win!!!!: The Huskies were able to gain a crucial road win as well as tying Cal and Oregon for tops in the Pac-12. This is huge for the Huskies. Ultimately, a win is a win. There were certainly some problems on the floor tonight but UW fans should know it’s huge whenever the Dawgs are able to pick up a win on the road.
Tony Wroten: MVP. Terrence Ross has given the Huskies glances of his potential to take over games, but Wroten is clearly the rock on this team. He consistently has a large impact on the court and tonight was no exception. Wroten’s 22 points went alongside 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 steals. I was very impressed by his defense, staying in the passing lane and using his length to shut down his man. Without him, the Huskies lose tonight. Fans saying UW would be better without Wroten must recognize the energy he brings to floor night in and night out.
Austin Sefarian-Jenkins: I love ASJ. ASJ’s teammates clearly love ASJ. He was able to step in and close out the game for UW after Aziz N’Diaye fouled out, played an effective 16 minutes and scored his first 4 points as a Husky on the hardwood.
C.J. Wilcox: The amazing feeling of “Hooray! CJ is back!” quickly was replaced by the humbling thought of “Oh boy. He’s totally hurt”. Wilcox was very ineffective tonight and clearly was slowed by his hip. His 4 points came from free throws late and his three-ball was not as pure as usual. That said, I am very glad that he was able to get some meaningful playing time before the game against Arizona.
Terrence Ross: His slow starts are beginning to be routine. Ross finished the night with 12 points on just 4-14 shooting, including 0-4 from three. His inconsistencies this season have become even more infuriating because fans have seen what he can do when he performs up to his potential.
Zone Offense: The Huskies were thrown completely out of whack by the Sun Devil zone tonight. Their ball movement was the traditional Husky “throw it around the zone and make minimal progress”. UW was most effective when Wroten took control and went against multiple players in the lane. There has to be a more thought out way of going about this. Romar needs to employ more flashing into the zone and the Huskies must be more aggressive in penetrating between the seams.
The Huskies played uninspired basketball on the road tonight and quite frankly, this should surprise nobody. UW was able to win because of Tony Wroten’s play, as he put the team on his back and carried them to the win. The bottom line is this: UW was able to win because they played a vastly inferior opponent tonight. This will not be the case on Saturday against Arizona, as UW cannot expect to win while playing sluggish basketball.