Nov. 14, 2005
By Benton Strong
Head coach Lorenzo Romar has no reason to be wary of his team letting down late in games this year. A deep bench has finally made sure of that.
Brandon Roy said that in the past Romar has criticized his team for letting down when they get up by 20 points and the bench goes out there. Now, he says, they play 40 minutes of basketball.
"Guys are coming off the bench and saying, 'It's my turn to show what I can do,'" Roy said. "If this team keeps bringing it like that, we can do just about anything."
Six players off the Washington bench combined for 37 points in 89 minutes total as the Huskies cruised past Wisconsin-Green Bay 87-54 in the second round of the BCA Classic.
Led by 12 points from junior walk-on Brandon Burmeister, the Husky bench racked up 14 assists to only five turnovers and 13 rebounds. It was the hustle and tough defensive play that Romar called, 'Husky Basketball.'
"Guys have come off the bench and have given us a lift or expanded what the starters have begun," Romar said. "Sometimes guys can give you effort but they can't produce, but we are getting productivity from our bench."
Joining Burmeister off the bench and filling it up from outside, is Florida transfer Ryan Appleby. He and Burmesiter combined to go 5-of-11 from three point range against the Phoenix, and 9-of-16 overall. That was important Monday night as the Huskies went against a team that tried to slow the tempo down with a zone defense.
"Both of those guys are really stretching the defense," senior Brandon Roy said. "We are doing good just swinging the ball and guys are shooting the ball well. It's going to be pretty tough to zone us."
What has also magnified the Huskies' three-point shooting success is that the pre-season games are being played with an experimental three-point line that is 20-feet, nine inches from the hoop, one foot longer than normal.
The Washington bench has now scored 84 points in two games during the BCA Classic, outscoring the opponent's bench by 45.