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February 18, 2013

Plenty of good from recent win

After losing seven of their last eight games the Huskies came into Saturday's matchup against the Oregon State Beavers needing a win as a confidence boost.

The Huskies got the win and, they hope, that boost. However, not all was smooth as the Huskies committed 19 turnovers, two away from their season-high. The Dawgs overcame these mistakes and pulled away in the last three minutes after a back and forth game with the Beavers for most of the first and second halves.

Lorenzo Romar had many observations and takeaways from the game. Despite all the turnovers for the Huskies, their two point guards, Abdul Gaddy and Andrew Andrews, had an assist to turnover ratio of 15:4. This exceptional ratio goes to show the improved play at the position over the last couple of games and even though Gaddy didn't make most of his shots, he still found a way to contribute.

Romar expects every player to find ways to contribute and if you're having an off night in one part of your game, you should be trying to excel in another part of your game. The players realized this a little too late in the season, but it is always good to start later than never.

In Washington's five previous conference wins, C.J. Wilcox averaged 19.8 points per game. In Washington's seven previous conference losses, C.J. Wilcox averaged 13.4 points per game. Romar made it a point to get Wilcox started early and he did just that.

Wilcox drove to the basket early and often against the Beavers and scored the first two points of the game on a nice pull-up in the paint. Overall, Wilcox scored 24 in the game so the Huskies had a good chance of winning just based off of that statistic.

Even though Wilcox poured in 24 points and shot 50-percent, he stated that he could have and should have made some more of his open looks. Still, it was a better effort than some recent performances.

Romar was smart to make a conscientious effort to get Wilcox started early and we all can see how that paid off in the end. In the second half of the USC game, Romar made this same kind of effort with Wilcox and it paid off for the Huskies as they crept within five points of the Trojans.

The coaching staff and the entire team should make this effort at the start of every game as it is clear Wilcox is the Huskies best scoring option. If he's having an off-night, well, it's good you found out at the beginning of the game.

It is a win-win situation when the team makes an effort to get Wilcox started early and the Dawgs haven't done this in nearly as many games as they should have this year. If they would have, they could possibly be contending for the Pac-12 title. Sure, Wilcox got his shots throughout the game, but when you get a player started early, only good things can happen.

The big men had a solid game and Jernard Jarreau came off the bench and scored a season high eight points. Jarreau hadn't played the last couple of games and Gaddy said he kept telling Jarreau to keep his head up because the Huskies would need him eventually. They did on Saturday night and Jarreau thrived against the lengthy big men of Oregon State, whose bodies are similar to the physique of Jarreau's.

Not only did Jarreau chip in eight points, he also recorded seven rebounds, which led the team.

One of the main reasons why the Huskies won is because they got some sort of contribution from each of the eight players that played in the game. This needs to happen in every game and whether it be scoring points, dishing out assists or making plays that don't appear on the stat sheet, each and every one of the players needs to get after it.

The Huskies face a tough Arizona team on Wednesday and their progress will be tested. It will be interesting to see if the Oregon State win did anything in accounts to the Huskies progress as a team because if they are not on their 'A' game or have not progressed at all, they will be embarrassed in the desert.

A win against Arizona could do tremendous things for the Dawgs, but a huge loss could just set them back further in their development as a team. This team doesn't have very many games left together and the season is slowly, but surely coming to an end. Will the Huskies make the most of the situation that they are in?

Only time will tell.


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