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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    3 plays doom Wildcats

    Arizona junior center Kirk Walters and Washington senior forward Bobby Jones fight for the ball in No. 14 Washingtons 70-67 win in McKale Center Saturday. With about 30 seconds left, Jones dunk gave the Huskies their first lead as they cruised to the come-from-behind win.
    Arizona junior center Kirk Walters and Washington senior forward Bobby Jones fight for the ball in No. 14 Washington’s 70-67 win in McKale Center Saturday. With about 30 seconds left, Jones’ dunk gave the Huskies their first lead as they cruised to the come-from-behind win.

    Men’s Hoops Analysis

    The first time the Washington Huskies led Saturday afternoon occurred with 33 seconds left to play in the game. The Arizona Wildcats, who have had trouble with slow starts this year, came out with intensity, a fire sparked by Senior Day and a 95 percent red McKale Center crowd.

    After controlling the game for 39 minutes, three plays in the last minute left the Wildcats red in the face.

    “”They outplayed us the majority of the game,”” Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said.

    Play 1 – 33 seconds left: The in-bounds play

    Senior guard Chris Rodgers took the ball from out of bounds on his own baseline. The Wildcats had four perimeter players in the game, and the in-bounds play can be confusing with different personnel.

    Along with Rodgers, junior point guard Mustafa Shakur, freshman forward Marcus Williams, junior forward Ivan Radenovic and senior guard Hassan Adams were in the game. Arizona head coach Lute Olson said he thought Adams was open and Rodgers just didn’t see him.

    “”It’s the same in-bounds play we run all year, side out,”” Shakur said, “”but (Williams is) usually the guy taking the ball out.””

    Instead, Williams stuck in the corner near the half-court line, took a few steps toward Rodgers and jumped to receive the ball.

    “”From the day they get here we tell them not to get to corners, but it’s easier to talk about it than it is to do when the pressure is on,”” Olson said.

    Williams also said the different lineup led to some of the confusion, but ultimately, “”we didn’t execute.””

    “”We should have just called timeout, but those mistakes happen in the course of the game,”” Shakur said.

    After Williams made the catch, he was triple-teamed, and freshman point guard Justin Dentmon snatched the ball out of his hands, dishing to senior forward Bobby Jones for the dunk and a 68-67 lead.

    “”That steal was a gift from God,”” Dentmon said. “”It was a gift to me. He just gave it to me, and I ran with it.””

    “”We got the ball into (Williams), but from my angle he was getting fouled, but they made a big play defensively,”” Rodgers said.

    Play 2 – 20.4 seconds: The free throws

    For a freshman, Williams is as composed as they come. The frontrunner for Pacific 10 Conference Freshman of the Year, he is not afraid to take the big shot or have the ball in his hands at crunch time.

    Against his hometown team, Williams led the Wildcats with 20 points. Needing a bucket to take back the lead, Williams drove the right side of the floor against the frontrunner for Pac-10 Player of the Year, Washington guard Brandon Roy, and drew the foul.

    The first free throw: Clank, front rim.

    Williams missed the first seven free throws of his career, including two free throws against No. 25 Michigan State in the Maui Invitational with eight seconds left and the Wildcats down 70-68.

    The second free throw: clank, back rim.

    “”I felt fine, that’s the thing,”” said Williams, a career 69.1 percent free-throw shooter. “”I never feel bad at the free-throw line, I’m not really nervous, I just missed them. I just have to step up, follow through (and) make the shots, and they didn’t go in.””

    For the best player on the floor for the Wildcats during the game, the last few possessions should not overshadow an otherwise great performance.

    “”You tell him keep your head up and don’t worry about it because we all wanted to win,”” Shakur said.

    Play 3 – under nine seconds remaining: the last shot

    After two Dentmon free throws, the Wildcats trailed 70-67. The play was supposed to be a pick-and-roll with Shakur and Radenovic, but Shakur was double-teamed in the backcourt and Adams was forced to come up and get the ball.

    “”It was supposed to be a pick and roll with a 3-pointer for a guard or the kick back to Ivan, and it didn’t work out that way,”” Shakur said. “”It was kind of a scramble and it turned out sour.””

    Adams, just a 28 percent 3-point shooter on the season, and playing at only 70 percent, according to Olson, was not the man he wanted taking the last shot.

    “”Basketball is a lot of upper motion, so (I was) limited in pursuing what I wanted to do,”” Adams said.

    Olson could not rely on last year’s savior Salim Stoudamire or other clutch superstars in attendance, including assistant coach Miles Simon, former Wildcat Michael Dickerson (in the crowd), or even the clutch touch of Arizona Diamondback Luis Gonzalez, sitting courtside.

    Instead Adams dribbled up, as a scrambled Radenovic set the screen, and fired a deep 3-pointer that didn’t draw iron.

    “”We were running a pick and pop with Ivan and the man switched,”” Adams said. “”So when we looked at Ivan, the man had committed and time was running down, so you have to get a shot up no matter what.””

    “”At that point, under the circumstances, we would rather have had Mustafa or Marcus take (the shot),”” Olson said.

    A poor 33 seconds left the Wildcats as the No. 4 seed in the conference instead of the No. 2 seed they would have earned with a win.

    “”We played a better game,”” Williams said. “”At the end of the game we just let it slip.””

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