Now that sophomore Curtis Allen has returned from an ankle sprain, the competition at the point guard has increased with freshmen Will Conroy pushing Allen in every way. Conroy arguably plays with the most intensity on the floor. At one point when a loose ball looked to find it's way into other teammates' hands Conroy absolutely laid out for ball like a wide receiver hitting the floor chest first.
Near the end of practice Conroy rolled his ankle defending Allen and fell to the ground in obvious pain. He stayed down for a few seconds then Conroy jumped right back up visibly hobbling, but continued playing.
Interspersed between his hustle and toughness, Conroy showed nice touch on his perimeter jumpshot and solid on-ball pressure while on defense.
The improvement of senior David Dixon continues. Several times the 6-foot-11 center muscled his way through hard fouls and converted the bucket. And when he receives the ball down low off of a pass or a rebound, Dixon has kept the ball up high so that pesky guards don't have the opportunity to strip the ball away.
The highlight of practice came when Dixon received the ball on the left wing, took a few dribbles and tried to dunk over freshmen Mike Jensen. Dixon narrowly missed but drew a foul in the process and drew words of encouragement by everyone or his aggressiveness.
Despite his obvious strength in outside shooting, junior Josh Barnard showed that he's got some bounce too. During fastbreak drills he had no problem throwing it down and at one point rose over redshirt freshman David Hudson for a nice one-handed slam.
Bender even stopped practice to let everyone know that they should not hesitate to throw an alley-oop to Barnard if given the chance.
Though sophomore transfer Doug Wrenn began practice, he sat out a majority of it after his pulse reached a very high level. After awhile Wrenn wanted to jump back into practice, but wisely stayed out under the orders of trainer Craig Moriwaki as a precautionary measure.
Freshmen Erroll Knight has experienced occasional swelling on his left knee because of a minor MCL problem and yesterday he gave it that rest. Knight still caught some wise words from ex-Husky guard Brent Merritt who about how to relax and shoot his jumper without getting too excited.