An Embarrassment of Riches with this team! Unlike the Seattle Mariners, who are An Embarrassment of Bitches, but that’s neither here nor there.
22 points, 10 assists, 6 rebounds for Isaiah Thomas.
22 points, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block for Justin Holiday.
18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks for Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
62 of our 85 points came from these three guys for 73% of our scoring. Compare that to the 78% scoring they had in the Cal game on Sunday, and you’ve got three guys – IN their primes – who couldn’t be more ready for tournament basketball right now. Things look lethargic, maybe a couple careless turnovers in a row: IT takes it upon himself to drive the lane, find an opening, and muscle up a shot on the run while getting fouled. Offense starts to look sluggish, people start missing shots: MBA demands the ball in the post and hooks up a gross looking shot that somehow finds a way to get in. Things are starting to get tight, everyone is clamping down on IT and MBA: Holiday spots up for a wide-open three and drains it. These guys are picking each other up, taking the slack from an offense that was stepping on its own toes earlier this year, and finding a way to not only win, but win convincingly against some pretty good teams in the Pac-10.
Last night’s game was amazing. Huge plays aplenty! Alley-oop to MBA! Alley-oop to freakin’ Venoy Overton! Overton’s crazy drive in the lane, scoop-shot-runner that SOMEHOW found its way through the rim! IT’s 50-foot dive to save a loose ball that ended up resulting in a Gant 3-pointer! I know I’m leaving a lot out – including some made by the Wildcats – but that was a Husky gem right there.
And at the center of it all is IT, who’s everywhere at all times. I jumped out of my chair at the end when Holiday hit that 3 to give him his 10th assist; he’s been doing that all month!
It was a little shakey early though. That first half could’ve gone much better, but that’s what happens when you don’t hit you free throws and you get out-rebounded. We absolutely took over in the second half though, grabbed that rebounding advantage and brought up our free throws to a nearly-respectable 65%. In years past we’ve been kind of a second half team, but at least with this year we’re not digging a huge hole in the first half that we have to dig our way out of.
Can’t say enough about the overall team play. Thought the defense was outstanding, if maybe a little TOO reliant at times on the zone. Yes, the zone is a nice change of pace, and it forces teams who aren’t necessarily good shooting teams to make some outside shots; but it also leaves you vulnerable for weak-side offensive rebounds, what with everyone shifting around to cover the open man. That got kinda old. Still, thought the man defense was more than adequate. Particularly thought Gant was in a groove with some manly-man rebounds in traffic. That’s exactly what we need from him: get the ball betwixt the trees, and make the occasional wide-open three pointer.
Yep, great all-around team game. But last night belonged to the Big Three. It’s good to know we have them to lean on going forward.