UW Basketball: Huskies Concerned About Rebounding After Exhibition Win

Preseason news and notes for the 2010 Washington Husky men's basketball team. Can Isaiah Thomas and the Huskies live up to the high expectations this season?

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UW Basketball: Huskies Concerned About Rebounding After 97-76 Exhibition Win

Scott M. Johnson of the Everett Herald noted in a preview of the University of Washington’s exhibition game yesterday that St. Martin’s doesn’t have a player standing taller than 6-foot-7.

So there was really no reason to expect the Huskies to lose the battle in the paint yesterday. Yet it ended up being a major problem, as described by Todd Dybas of the Seattle PI as follows:

Huskies hoops: Thoughts, notes, quotes from exhibition win
Rebounding was a problem. The Huskies were mashed on the boards, 42-32, by their Div. II opponent. That led co-captain Justin Holiday to sum up the game as “horrible defensively” for Washington. The Saints had 16 offensive boards and 20 second-chance points.

While the Huskies did win the game 97-76 and exhibition games are no reason for panic, the rebounding differential is undoubtedly a concern against a smaller team. From Rich Myhre of the Kitsap Sun:

Romar: ‘We Still Have Some Work to Do’
“Usually we have a rebounding mindset pretty early (in the season),” he added. “But we didn’t have that tonight. We’ve been outrebounded before, but I don’t remember getting outrebounded like this in our (annual) exhibition game.”

While the difference in total rebounding is certainly reason enough for concern, offensive rebounding in particular was a problem: the Huskies gave up 16 offensive rebounds to St. Martin’s and only got 10 of their own. Even if they did shoot well, there has to be concern about how they got outworked on the boards on both ends of the court. As Seattle Times reporter Percy Allen asks, if they struggle with rebounding against Saint Martin’s, what about the Pac-10?

Isaiah Thomas: “We got a lot of work to do”
If the Huskies struggled against Poole and Green, what are they going to do against UCLA’s Reeves Nelson and Josh Smith or USC Nikola Vucevic and Alex Stepheson? Of course Romar doesn’t have to worry about that now, but he said he’ll address the team’s commitment to rebounding.

My guess, plenty of rebounding drills Monday.

Again – it was an exhibition game and this problem stands to improve over the course of the pre-season. But if there was any doubt previously, it’s definitely a key area for improvement.

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UW Basketball: Huskies The Lone Pac-10 Representative In Preseason AP Poll At No. 18

The Pac-10 didn’t have the strongest year last year to say the very least, so it should come as no surprise that the Huskies are the only Pac-10 representative in the AP College Basketball Poll coming in at 18.

That said, the preseason prognostications have been friendly to the Huskies, earning the top spot in the Pac-10 and national recognition in preseason polls.

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UW Basketball: Huskies Chosen As The Preseason Favorite For The First Time

Returning four starters from last season’s team that won the Pac-10 Tournament, it’s probably not a major surprise that the Huskies are the preseason favorite for the 2010-11 season.

Perhaps more significant for the development of the program under coach Lorenzo Romar is that this is the first time they’ve entered the season as the favorite.

Huskies Picked To Capture Pac-10 Men’s Basketball Title
Defending Pac-10 Tournament champion Washington, which returns four starters from its NCAA Sweet 16 squad, including All-Pac-10 junior guard Isaiah Thomas, gathered 33 first-place votes. While the Huskies last captured the regular season title during the 2008-09 season, this is the first time they have been picked as the preseason favorite.

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Washington Lone Pac-10 Team Ranked In Preseason Top 25 Poll

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As Seattle Times reporter Percy Allen noted, the University of Washington is the only Pac-10 (or 12) team ranked in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Preseason Top 25 poll.

But what do these preseason polls really mean anyway? Not much, according to Zach Bell of the Slipper Still Fits and the Huskies should certainly understand why.

ESPN/USA Today Coaches' Preseason Men's Top 25 poll: Gonzaga 12th, UW 16th - The Daily Drip - SB Nation Seattle
Washington's experience last season is all the evidence you need of that: the Huskies started the season ranked 13th and found themselves out of the Top 25 by Week 9.

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SBN Seattle Feature: UW Basketball Preview

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With basketball season officially underway today, we took a look at the 2010 Washington Husky basketball team. UW comes into the season with lofty expectations buoyed by a talented roster and plenty of returning talent. Can they finally break through and make it past the Sweet Sixteen this year?

We look at that and other questions in our UW basketball preview.

The pieces are in place and the Huskies come in more experienced this year -- only losing Pondexter to graduation while replacing transfers with more talented underclassmen. The experience from playing in the tournament last year, and knowing what it takes to get back there, puts the Huskies in a good spot ahead of the 2010-11 season.

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