10/24 hoops scrimmage

The Husky men went through a structured and well-organized scrimmage Thursday evening. Three referees were on hand to call the game, fouls were called, the game clock was working, and the shot clock was in full effect. Head Coach Lorenzo Romar stopped the scrimmage when necessary to teach, but overall the scrimmage flowed well and showcased a promising Husky roster for 2002-03.

A few players stood out today. Most impressive was newcomer Bobby Jones. Boy this kid is exciting. Wearing No. 15, he has actually become a joke on defense with his intensity. Other players joke around and mock him because he is always in his opponent's grill. It's almost like in the movie "Rudy", when the other players thought Rudy was nuts for trying so hard all the time.

Jones had a 5-minute stretch today that really stood out. He grabbed a rebound off a shot from the perimeter and went straight up for the put-back drawing the foul. He ran the court well, made a few nice passes, and really hit the boards hard. The loss of Erroll Knight won't hurt as bad with the addition of Jones, who will most likely see a lot of time this season as a true freshman.

Other players who stuck out were Will Conroy, Mike Jensen, and Doug Wrenn.

Conroy simply didn't stop. At the end of the scrimmage, the team had to run lines and while every other person was sucking wind, Conroy looked like he did at the beginning of practice – energetic and unfazed. He's the equivalent of Khalif Barnes on the football team as far as that goes. Conroy looked for his shot more, was quicker off the dribble and drew lots of fouls. Not even the lighting-quick Curtis Allen could consistently defend him.

Jensen started slow but ended the scrimmage in grand fashion. He showed an uncanny ability to pass for a big man. At one point, he hit Wrenn under the hoop with a slick behind-the-back bounce pass. Wrenn crammed it home for two. He also rebounded well, hit his jumpers from the perimeter routinely, and looked improved on his defense. Exciting stuff for the redshirt frosh from Kent.

Wrenn was, well, Wrenn. He was looking to pass the ball more than in the past, but when he chose to shoot he was on the mark. Wrenn stayed in the backcourt more today and handled the ball a lot. He was unstoppable offensively, and a monster on the glass with his amazing hops. Romar has the junior working hard on defense, and by the end of camp Wrenn should have the stamina needed to play on both ends of the court for a full game.

The team showed a competitiveness today that it hadn't in several years. The scrimmage was structured, intense, and at times very emotional. Great stuff, and for the second day in a row Husky coaching legend Marv Harshman was there in attendance to keep the team on its best behavior.

Other observations:

Curtis Allen is a different player. Romar has really helped him learn the team game. He's not as cocky, not as flashy, but just as quick. The play of Conroy has Allen working harder than ever for the starting job, and it's exciting to watch.

Marlon Shelton is starting to work his way back into playing shape. There's no special treatment for him even though he's wearing a knee brace and coming back from missing a whole season of play. Shelton is working his butt off for this team.

Jeff Day can play. Romar is really working on perfecting his game on both sides of the ball, and it's showing. He's very tough from the perimeter when open, and his long arms give opponents problems when the Huskies are defending. Day is a rangy player, a perfect compliment to the team.

Ben Devoe probably is a season away from contributing, but he's working as hard as possible to fit in. Though overmatched, he does run the floor well and has pretty good hands. A seasons worth of working on a mid-range jumper and adding 20 pounds to his frame would suit him well.

CJ Massingale is playing defense like never before. He still has lapses at times, but Romar has got the junior from Tacoma giving it his all. Today he had a nice block on Doug Wrenn and always hustled to get back in transition defense. He also looks more comfortable offensively, and his jump shot is falling through the twine more often as a result.

David Hudson, a walk-on, may contribute in spot minutes this year. He's the team's best shooter, bar none. D Hud is short for a shooting guard, has a hard time on defense, but when left open offensively he'll make teams pay.

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