2/24 Practice Report

You might think that the Husky men's basketball team would relish having their first Monday off in months. But a 2500 mile flight from Raleigh, NC and a pending trip to the Arizona desert doesn't allow for much time to lolly-gag. Tuesday was the first time the Huskies hit the court in preparation for their weekend series with Arizona and Arizona State.

After the usual stretches and warm-ups the Dawgs split into a group of bigs and a group of guards. The bigs spent their time working on low post offense and defense with a splash of double posts and high-low action.

Coach Russ Schoene was dispensing his knowledge of the painted area while head coach Lorenzo Romar stepped in intermittently with some pointers of his own.

The coaches emphasized the need to make post moves before the defense reacts to the ball being on the block. Coach Romar insisted that letting a defender get on your back after receiving an entry pass only helped the defense. Each of the bigs were guilty of the offense at one time or another but weren't repeat offenders after the coaches pointed out their mistakes.

Hakeem Rollins and Anthony Washington both showed a wider variety of offensive moves and touch than they have shown in the past. It may be a while before the two forwards are dominant in the post, but progress is being made.

On the other end of the floor Cameron Dollar led the guards in a simple curl screen drill. The Huskies have implemented this facet of the offense more and more in recent weeks, and for good reason. Tre Simmons, Nate Robinson, and especially Brandon Roy have a knack for scoring after receiving the ball on the elbow.

The purpose of the drill was to make sure that the screens would be clean on the elbow and that the recipient doesn't dribble into traffic after getting the ball. Tre and Nate both hit numerous jumpers while Brandon repeatedly got to the rack.

The second session of practice involved the "scout team" emulating the Arizona Wildcat offense. There were a lot of 3-2 sets and a little of 4 out. The Husky coaches emphasized the shadowing of Salim Stoudamire and the blanketing of Channing Frye inside.

After a session of nothing but shooting drills, war rebounds started session four. The gold squad of mostly second teamers dominated the board crashing session.

The full court madness continued into session five. The coaches were riding the big men hard to beat their men down the floor while also keeping track of the opposing bigs on defense. Coach Romar stopped the practice to point out that being lackadaisical getting back on defense doesn't work against Arizona. He made his point in a manner that ensured everyone in the gym heard him.

Hakeem Rollins was the offender, but he more than made up for his mistake the next two times down the floor by stealing passes intended for the other big men. Nate Robinson once again showed that the open court is his territory. He repeatedly scorched the defense, who could do little to keep up with Nate's quickness.

After running full court for a while, the coaches ended practice with a full-speed down and back sprint from baseline to baseline. Brandon Roy, Curtis Allen, Bobby Jones, Nate Robinson, and Will Conroy were each given two free throws to set the mark the entire team would have to beat. For each of the ten free throws missed one second was taken off the eleven second clock.

Surprisingly, it was Curtis Allen who missed his first attempt. Jones missed his second attempt while the others converted their tries. The team was forced to make it from baseline to baseline and back in 9 seconds. No easy task for the Washington big men, but every one of them made it on the first try.

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