UW Notebook | Dentmon takes blame for team's poor road play
Washington guard Justin Dentmon pointed his finger in only one direction after the Washington Huskies were blown out 96-74 at UCLA on Sunday...
Seattle Times staff reporter
LOS ANGELES — Washington guard Justin Dentmon pointed his finger in only one direction after the Washington Huskies were blown out 96-74 at UCLA on Sunday.
It was Washington's third defeat in three road games this season, all of which have featured subpar performances by Dentmon, UW's sophomore point guard — something he readily admitted afterward.
"I've just got to step up and keep leading the team," said Dentmon, who was 2-for-8 shooting with just six points along with four turnovers in 33 minutes. "I feel I haven't been playing good enough point guard to lead the team this year. I haven't been doing the job to lead us. I take the full blame for that."
The Huskies had 22 turnovers Sunday and UW now has had 20 or more turnovers seven times this year after losing that many only once last season.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar, however, said everyone shares in the blame, not just Dentmon.
"Yeah," he said, when asked if the turnovers are a concern. "But it's not just Justin but our entire team that needs to take better care of the basketball."
Indeed, Spencer Hawes had six turnovers to lead UW on Sunday and Quincy Pondexter five.
Turning point: Despite being dominated much of the way, the Huskies were down just 38-33 with 2:18 left in the first half. But the Bruins scored the last nine points of the first half to take a 47-33 lead and the Huskies never got within single digits again.
Next: Arizona, Thursday, 7:30 p.m., Edmundson Pavilion.
Still, point guard is the position that gets the most responsibility for leading the offense, and Dentmon has particularly struggled on the road this season when such leadership is needed most. He is 8 for 30 with 21 points and 12 turnovers in UW's three road games this season.
"I think we're in a rush to get the play over with and try to make the home-run play," Dentmon said of the team's turnover troubles. "We've just got to really focus on the offensive end."
In a zone
The Huskies cut a 22-point UCLA lead to 11 early in the second half after going with a 2-3 zone defense, something the team rarely does as Romar prefers to play man-to-man.
"We had to get a different look," he said. "We weren't very successful the other way."
Romar said it was the longest he has used zone this season.
After a while, however, UCLA adjusted and went on a 12-0 run to put the game away.
• Former Husky Nate Robinson watched the game from the UW bench. Robinson was in town with the Knicks, who played the Clippers on Sunday afternoon. But because Robinson is still suspended for his participation in a recent fight, he couldn't play and had the time to come watch the Huskies.
• Forward Darnell Gant of nearby Crenshaw High, who has signed to play with the Huskies next season, attended the game and talked with players and coaches afterward.
The 6-foot-8 Gant said UCLA recruited him for a while "but then they stopped." Asked what he thought of the game, he said, "It was just turnovers and then UCLA got out in transition."
• Freshman guard Adrian Oliver tied a season low in minutes played with 11, just four after halftime, and scored just two points. He has 18 points in his past five games.
• UW has lost eight games by 20 more points under Romar. Two have come this season, and five in his first year of 2002-03. UW never lost by more than 13 points last season.
• The Huskies have to take today off per NCAA rules, leaving them just Tuesday and Wednesday to prepare for Arizona on Thursday.
• Hawes has scored 20 or more points in six of his past seven games.
• UW's Jon Brockman has four consecutive games with 10 or more rebounds.