Friday, March 24, 2006


I just finished re-watching the game. Sports fans in the State of Washington are the Job of Sports Fans. This is absurd, when does are day come. Here is the breakdown.

  • You have to foul. We have talked about this one thousand times on Locked on Sports. It is a mathmatical no brainer. If you lead by three with less then 7 seconds you have to foul. It is criminal not to and it cost Washington the game. This is a classic example of coaches coaching scared. Coaches don't foul because they are scared of the worst case scenario no matter how rare it might be. Coaches need to be smarter. In this case Lorenzo cost Washington a trip to the Elite 8 because he coached out of fear from a past experience.

  • The amount of mistakes down the stretch by Washington were unreal. Again we have talked all year on the coaches show about how do you maintain aggressiveness and be smart. The Huskies failed this balance and it cost them the game. Here is the sequence.

  • Up 6 with 1:28 left the Huskies have the ball on a rebound but in traffic Mike Jensen can't get the ball out and throws a bad pass to Dentmon out of bounds. The next play leads to Bobby Jones fouling out.
    Up 5 with :35 seconds left after a Jensen miss UConn pushes it up and Jensen sags into the lane leaving UConn's best three point shooter open for a bomb.
    Up 4 with :11 seconds left Jensen fouls Williams on a drive and gives up and three point play to make it a one point game. The extra point becomes the difference on the final possession. Jensen fouls out.
    Up 3 the Huskies decided not to foul and we head to overtime.

    In overtime, the Officials miss a goaltending, but down 2 the Huskies panicked when they got gift and threw the ball away.

  • The Huskies coaches did a great job with their defensive game plan. They doubled the pick n roll and forced the ball out of the hands of UConn's primary ball handlers. It was fantastic. It forced 26 turnovers and for all intent and purpose it won the game.

  • Jamal Williams was fantastic. His one on one game was unstoppable. He kept the Dawgs in the game when Roy was on the bench.

  • The real killer is that Washington played great and matched UConn every step of the way. It proves Washington was good enough go to the Final Four and they may have been good enough to win it.

  • UConn really struggled on the offensive end. I said on 950,KJR today that if the Dawgs controlled the defensive glass they could stop UConn and for the most part they did that.

  • On NBA Draft day when someone drafts Rudy Gay over Brandon Roy because of potential it will be a crime. Roy showed what a night in and night out stud he is again in this game. Gay showed how he rarely turns on the switch.

  • Ryan Appelby made a great steal and there was a defender in his way that forced him to curl out. It is a minor deal, but that is a great play by the UConn player. He threw the pass away and instead of sulking he quickly stepped out on the floor and cut off Appleby's path. It kept the play alive and forced the turnover. Little Things.

  • One of the key times of the game was early in the second half when Washington had a real chance to blow it out and they got greedy shooting long threes and missed all of them. With 17:00 left Washington forced four straight turnovers up 8 and weren't able to convert any of the four. Roy missed a drive,Jones missed a three, Williams missed a fade away and Dentom missed a deep quick three. All bad shots. Two of those and Washington would have been up 12 or more and rolling. Then two possessions later up 10 Roy missed a lay-up off a turnover that would have put them up 12. Then another turnvoer and the Huskies threw it away on an in-bound pass which lead to a Roy foul that would be costly. This was the key to the whole game.

  • The double techinical that knocked Roy out of the game for 6 minutes was on the upcoming sequence. The officials didn't have to call it, but it was a mistake by Roy to be in that situation.

  • Finally, this is another great season for Romar and Washington. To make the Sweet Sixteen in back to back years is really special. The pain comes because last year if Washington had played Louisville 10 times they would have lost 9 of them, if this year's team played UConn 10 times I think they would win 6 of them.

    Really bad sequence when the Sonics got within 8 with 5 minutes left ended the game.
    Lewis took a quick 3 and then the defense didn't get back on the next possession the Sonics missed three threes.
    Turnovers killed the Sups in the third
    Good night for Swift and Ridnour
    Reggie Evans has to be smiling ear to ear

    Sonics 105 Nugs 95 with 5:23 left in the 4th Quarter
    Ray and Rashard are still not rolling.
    Another strong game for Robert Swift
    Sonics cut it to 8 but can't make the plays to get closer
    The bad Earl has been present for most of the night, 4 of 12 and 5 turns
    The Soncis have been brutal at the line.

    'Nugs 89 Sonics 79 at the end of 3 quarters
    The defense looks bad becaus they allowed another 30 point quarter but it was the offensive that was killing Seattle with the turnover and giving the easy looks.
    If anyone has seen Ray and Rashard can you let them know the 4th quarter has started.

    Nuggets 69 Sonics 63 with 7:14 left in the 3rd Quarter
    Lewis and Allen are combined for 3 of 18
    The Sonics have been terrible with the ball in the Quarter. I mean amazingly bad. They have thrown balls around the floor without any pressure and the Nuggets are getting the easy baskets they didn't get in the first half.
    Another bad third quarter for the Sonics.

    Nuggets 57 Sonics 55 == at the half
    Sonics in the game despite Ray not having a good game.
    Where is Rashard Lewis -- 0 for in teh first half.
    Ray and Rashard are
    Sonics defense has been respectable.
    Reggie Evans is tearing the Sonics up. He has 16. You knew this would happen when they met for the first time.
    Damien Wilkins is having a very nice night.

    Sonics 40 Nugs 35 wiht 6:42 left in the 2nd Quarter
    Ray Allen gets his first field goal with 7:37 left in the 2nd Quarter
    Nugs are trying to post Patterson on Allen in the post. Not sure this is bad because it takes the ball out of the hands of Anthony.
    Chris Wilcox has three fouls. Ouch.
    Ridnour with 10 points

    Sonics 27 Nuggets 27 at the end of 1 Quarter
    Ray and Rashard are 0 for the quarter. This again is a sign of how much better the Sonics are. If this had happened earlier in the season they would be down 20. Then again they may be if those guys don't get going in the near future.
    Wilcox has 9 to lead the Sonics.
    Anthony has 10 but 3 of 8 shooting. He must be kept off the free throw line and he has 4 free throws so far.

    Sonics 22 Nuggets 16 with 3:05 left in the 1st Quarter
    The Ridnour and Watson line-up leading teh Soncis to the lead
    Robert Swift is playing well tonight. He seems to be better on the road.
    Sonics are doing a nice job of protecting the rim

    Nuggets 16 Sonics 15 with 5:34 left in the 1st Quarter
    Chris Wilcox is at it again. He runs the floor so well that other teams power forwards can't keep up. They meekily are seen pointing at Wilcox as though someone has to pick him up.
    For a player that Clipper people said was a low basketball IQ player he has a terrific knack for getting open.

    Thursday, March 23, 2006


    In the meantime, how are the numbers doing. The numbers really are about picking the Sweet 16, the Elite 8 and the Final 4. Therefore, I will update based on who is alive in those.

    Sweet 16 (11 of 16)-- Duke, Texas A&M, West Virginia, Texas, Memphis, Kansas, SDSU, UCLA, UConn, Illinois, UNC, Withita St, Villanova, Boston College, Florida and Ohio State.

    Elite 8 (5 of the 8) -- Duke, Texas, Kansas, UCLA, UConn, UNC, Villanova and Florida

    Final (2 still alive) -- Texas,Kansas, UConn, Florida

    Wednesday, March 22, 2006


    Sonics 114 Bucks 105 --- FINAL SCORE
    This is a totally different team. They played with strong energy all night. They have great depth even with the injuries and the guys understand how to play together,
    Chris Wilcox had a career high 30 points and a double-double. He was magnificent. Teams really are going to have to game plan to his high wire act. You can’t leave him for a moment when the Sonics get into the paint.
    The defense was very good all game. The Sonics guarded the rim very well. Their were two back to back plays late in the game when the Bucks drove the left baseline and beat their man but then had their shot altered by the long help defense of the Sonics big men.
    Earl Watson finished the game and did it with a flash.
    Ridnour played well today. I would rather have him then TJ Ford.
    This is a good team win and a sign that there are positive days ahead

    Sonics 94 Bucks 90 with 5:56 left in the 4th Quarter
    With 8:44 left Allen was 3 of 13 since then he is 1 for 1
    With 8:44 left Redd was 8 of 19 since he is 0 for 2
    Redd and Allen both have 5 fouls with 5:56 left in the 4th
    Eli Roe, one of the officials is a zoo. He may be the worst in the NBA. He is having a miserable night.
    So much of the Sonics offense is free lance open floor that when they game gets tight they go to half court sets and that means that Wilcox and the bigs don’t get those penetration opportunities or open floor easy looks. Instead, the Sonics work hard to get Allen and Lewis there looks.
    Dan Gadzuric is dominating the Sonics game tonight.

    Sonics 83 Bucks 75 at the end of 3rd Quarter
    Rashard Lewis welcome back. 15 points in the quarter for Lewis
    Sonics are much more aggressive and have lived at the line – 36 attempts
    Chris Wilcox has a career high 28 points and 12 rebounds. What a find.
    Sonics defense has been solid all night long.
    Defensive rating through three quarters is 101. That is great.

    Seattle 69 Bucks 68 with 5:13 left in the 3rd Quarter
    I think I would rather have Luke Ridnour more then TJ Ford. Ford is a bit player and Ridnour could be a many year starter.
    Michael Redd is seriously outplaying Ray Allen. Ray is 2 for 11. Reed has 17.
    Wilcox has not been as dominant but they don’t run plays for him so they have to materialize in the game.

    Sonics 55 Bucks 54 at the half
    Chris Wilcox has 20 points in the first half tonight and he has 7 rebounds.
    He reminds me of a young Antonio McDyess. McDyess averaged 21-11 one year in Phoenix and I don’t think it is crazy to think Wilcox could head in that direction.
    The Sonics are up by 1 with Lewis and Allen just 4 of 14.
    Toni Kukoc beat Rashard off the dribble tonight. That is a crime

    Bucks 38 Sonics 33 with 8:22 left in the 2nd Quarter
    The Bucks just jumped on the Sonics with a line-up that should never beat you.
    Ford and Bell were the guards with Kukoc, Joe Smith and Gadzuric. This team can’t score. They can’t shoot and they just kicked the Sonics butt.
    Those are things that have to change if this team is going to correct itself.

    Sonics 28 Bucks 24 at the end of 1 Quarter
    The Sonics defense was terrific to close the quarter. The shots were contested and moreover the drive to the hoop were altered. The Sonics are showing signs of having the instincts of a good defensive basketball team. The area around the basket is clogged.
    The rebounding was very good as well on the defensive end.
    9-0 run by the Sonics to end the quarter
    Chris Wilcox played a fantastic first quarter
    Earl Watson came into the game and brought an immediate energy to the team.
    I am not sure you can win with TJ Ford as your point guard. He was very unimpressive and he really can’t shoot.

    Bucks 17 Sonics 13 with 5:09 left in the 1st Quarter
    Johan Petro hit a jump hook from the post that was awesome. Petro has a skill pac
    kage that makes you wonder what he might be able to accomplish. At other times he looks like a raw 19 year old.
    Andrew Bogut looks like he has tired legs. However, his movement and instincts are terrific. He is enormous and will be a terrific player.
    The post defense is lacking tonight by the Sonics.
    Chris Wilcox continues to be impressive.

    1) Watson returns who finishes
    2) Chris Wilcox hot play
    3) The #1 pick of the draft, Andrew Bogut, is in the house
    4) Ray Allen v. Michael Redd


    Let’s take a look at Washington v. Connecticut through the numbers. Breaking the game into 4 phases, taking care of the ball, shooting the ball, rebounding the ball and getting to the free throw line. This game should be played a blistering pace as these are the 2 of the top 6 pace of play teams in the NCAA tournament.

    A few definitions for you. Trip Efficiency is your offensive rating for every time you cross half court, in other words it doesn’t count an offensive rebound as a new possession. Possession efficiency does the opposite it counts every shot or turnover as a possession and if you get an offensive rebound you have a new possession. Effective Field Goal% weighs three point shots.

    Here is the Washington v. Connecticut breakdown.

    When UConn has the ball …..

  • Stat Conn’s Offense Huskies Defense
    Trip Efficiency 114.2 95.3
    Possession Efficiency 92.9 79.2
    Turnovers per possession 16.2% 21.3%
    Effective Field Goal % 51.1% 48.2%
    Rebounding 44.4% 68.2%
    Free Throws per game 25.5
  • Connecticut is not a particularly good offensive team. They are a very average tournament team in efficiency and scoring. The way they score is on the offensive glass and the free throw line, both cases they are the #1 team in the tournament. Washington’s defense is predicated on forcing the turnover. They have the highest rated defensive turnover % of any team left in the tournament.

    When Washington has the ball ….

  • Stat Washington’s Off Conn’s Def
    Trip Efficiency 113.1 91.8
    Possession Efficiency 94.0 74.8
    Turnovers per Possession 17.1% 16.2%
    Effective Field Goal% 52.6% 42%
    Reboudning % 42.5% 67.1%
    Free Throws per game 20.9

  • When Washington has the ball it is going to be a battle of two great squads. Washington is the 8th best offense in the tournament and UConn is #4 defensively. Connecticut is the best in the NCAA against the shot.

    Washington’s ability to keep control of their defensive glass will be the difference in this game. That is significant because last year Washington would never of had a chance in this matchup.

    Monday, March 20, 2006


    The NFL Network is reporting that the Seattle Seahawks have signed linebacker Julian Peterson to a huge 7 year contract with as much as 18 million in guarantees.

    This is a big time signing and gives the Hawks a defensive player that teams have to game plan for. The Hawks were solid defensive last season, but they have not had a player that teams need to alter their plan to deal with since Tez was at his best.

    Peterson is that type of player. A consummate professional who makes yearly trips to the Pro-Bowl Peterson is a game changer. Moreover, he is the perfect compliment to the Hawks Lofa Tatupu and LeRoy Hill. The advantageous part of having two youngsters at the other linebacker spots means the Hawks can spend the type of money they are spending on Peterson.

    Moreover, this alleviates some of the pressure on Tatupu and Hill. DD Lewis will be replaced in the starting line-up and he has shown no ability to change games or stay in games. This is a dramatic upgrade for the Hawks defensively.

    According to the NFL Network, the Hawks are still pursuing John Abraham who is another serious game changer on the defensive end.

    The Hawks are still without a second corner back or safety depth in the secondary.


    Priority #1 for the Seattle Seahawks this off season has left the building. Steve Hutchinson is a Minnesota Viking.

    There is no debate left on whether or not the Hawks made a mistake not franchising Hutchinson. They made a terrible mistake. They may have done it as a good faith gesture, but it has backfired terribly and the complexion of this team is terribly altered.

    The offensive line has been the core of this football team. Last year, it became obvious they had an advantage going into every game in the battle of their offensive line against their defensive line.

    Moreover, the dynamic tandem of Hutchinson and Walter Jones covered up the other Hawks weaknesses. The reason Robbie Toebeck was a pro-bowler was because the Hawks were able to cover for the veteran with the play of Hutchinson. Chris Gray is also closer to 40 then 30 and his game is slipping. However, that was covered up by what the Hawks could do with Hutch in the interior of the line.

    This team has been built to win right now. However, they just lost their #1 advantage going into each and every game. Shaun Alexander was the MVP and Matt Hasselbeck seems on the verge of being an MVP, but both are going to have bring their games to a new pinnacle without the mauler Steve Hutchinson on the line.