UW v. SU: A Tale of Two Sophomores

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Last year, freshmen Venoy Overton and Matthew Bryan-Amaning were both major contributors on a young, middle-of-the-road Husky squad. This year, with the arrival of prize freshman Isaiah Thomas, the diminutive Overton was tagged for a slightly diminished role off the bench, whereas Bryan-Amaning was the frontrunner to start at center alongside Jon Brockman. Last night's 87-60 blowout win over Seattle University (it actually wasn't that close; Romar pulled his starters, save for Isaiah Thomas, up 30 with about 15 minutes to go) was the perfect encapsulatoin of how this dream Husky season has gone for these supoosedly super sophs.

While he's indeed been relegated to coming off the bench with the arrival of Thomas and Justin Dentmon's renaissance at the other guard spot, Overton is the stylistic leader of this team. A ball hawk on D, Overton's kinetic energy as the team's sixth man has become infectious, to where opponents' easy buckets are few and far between for a squad rounding into defensive form at precisely the right time. Last night, against the Redhawks (nee Chieftans), Overton played a near-perfect 22 minutes, notching 9 points, 5 assists and 5 steals (Thomas also had 5 steals).

With the tallest Redhawk standing a mere 6'8" and not boasting anywhere near the athleticism of most Pac-10 players of that stature, last night should have provided the proper canvas for Bryan-Amaning to finally put forth a dominant performance in what has been an extremely disappointing season. Instead, MBA played as though he was being guarded by Dikembe Mutombo, failing on all three of his attempts from the field in 15 minutes of play while going 2-4 from the charity stripe (he did finish with six rebounds). His scoring was dwarfed by the output of little-used big men Artem Wallace (8 points in 12 minutes) and Joe Wolfinger (7 in 6), and he remains perhaps the lone player in the Dawgs' rotation who is prone to laziness on the defensive end.

Earlier in the year we wondered aloud why freshman Darnell Gant was starting over MBA. Now we're wondering why Wallace and the Wolf don't cut into his minutes off the bench. Next year, with Brockman gone, he'll have nowhere to hide.

 
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