Hoops practice report - 2/25

A hard, but relatively short practice continued the long week for the Huskies. The rewarding 78-66 win over Oregon is behind them and now they face their arch nemesis, the road. Saturday's matchup at Washington State looms large for the Huskies who have not won a conference road game this year. They'll have three chances to pull off their first conference road win in the next two weeks.

After typical light runs, stretches, shooting and other warmups the Huskies broke into a three on none break drill that requires running the length of the floor hard with your teammates. All of the day's drills involved a lot of running perhaps cutting into the length of the session. After the three on none drill, which the team runs often, the team was split into two squads. One squad worked on two man high post plays, while the other group shot free throws. After a few minutes the roles were reversed.

After using the time to instruct the players on how to take advantage of the two man game the entire group was brought together to add a five on five element to those same sets. The same plays that succeeded in the two man format succeeded in the five man as well. With the two man game working to coach Romar's satisfaction the Huskies moved on to war rebounds.

War rebounds is all about effort as five players crash the boards in an attempt to get an offensive rebound against five players boxing out. Any defensive player getting a rebound must outlet to start a fast break the other way. The drill is hectic and is a good way to get the energy flowing early in the practice session. Jeff Day stood out giving maximum effort and seemingly being all over the place.

Jeff Day did play the day with a brace under his right knee, but he seemed to run fine and showed no signs of any injury. Anthony Washington did arrive at practice out of the boot he has been sporting recently, but didn't participate in any drills. Washington spent the day on the bike, doing pushups, doing situps and shooting free throws. He is able to walk without pain but not yet run. The staff is still shooting for a return for the center by the end of the season or the Pac-10 tournament.

After a short water break the once again split squads worked with coach Dollar on their ball pressure. Coach Dollar emphasized today that the Huskies haven't been talking to each other enough on the defensive end. Communication was a big issue through the second half of practice and coach Dollar went as far as to call out some of his upperclassmen to direct the action. To force the Dawgs to talk the coaches put them through a transition defense drill where a turnover is simulated and a fast break started. All the players getting back on defense must guard someone different than the player who had been guarding them. At first the drill was difficult for some, but the players eventually picked it up to the point everyone was yelling something or other and all offensive players were accounted for.

Three on three transition drills and five on five full courts closed out the one hour 45 minute session. Almost every drill or scrimmage involved running the length of the floor. Coach Romar does not intend to let conditioning be a factor while travelling the next two weeks. With no game until Saturday, but a bus ride to Pullman to look forward to, the Huskies will likey have similar short yet hard practices for the rest of the week.

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