I was able to see 13 of 16 games the first two days of the tourney. Sat with a life-long Husky friend, both of us decked out in our colors. In a previous post on another thread I mentioned that Marv Harshman, Dave Harshman and Lorenzo Romar (for about 2 games) sat behind us on Wednesday.
It was fun watching all the action and in particular, the Federal Way and Gonzaga Prep games. It would be my first glimpse at future Cougs Andre Barrington and Travis Long. Both are starters and major contributors to their respective teams.
Up to this point, Federal Way hasn't really been challenged, dominating Redmond and Walla Walla in their first two games. I know Andre led the team in scoring against Redmond. He's an excellent athlete, ultra-quick, fast, smooth, can really jump and is just an overall great looking athlete. Physically, he's chiseled. I can't wait to see him in action on Saturdays next Fall. I can see why he has a shot at playing as a true freshman.
Gonzaga Prep had to overcome a 17-2 deficit the first night to beat Decatur and last night lost a heart-breaker to Garfield and super-soph Tony Wroten in OT. Great games both nights. John Stockton's son plays the point for Prep, at least I'm pretty sure it's his son. He was in the building too, saw him chatting with Marv during a break between games near where we sat the first night.
I really liked what I saw from Travis Long too, another kid who's probably destined to play next Fall as a freshman. He is big, lean, solid, runs extremely well, athletic, left-handed (just had to throw that in, Andre Barrington is too) and tough as nails. Garfield attacked him relentlessly and he never backed down, in fact, he was a load for them.
If you want an idea of the type of game it was, it's classic Washington vs Washington State. Garfield is full court pressure, Prep was Coug-style ball. Watching Travis and his facial expressions really close I can say this about him, he is intense and he is all business but you can also tell he just plain loves to compete. I saw him in two pressure-packed environments and he handles himself in style. I love his demeanor. It was harder to judge Barrington in that respect because Federal Way wasn't really challenged. That comes tonight when they play Kentridge.
Andre and Travis are soon going to make us all forget about last season. Kids like them are going to have a profound impact on our program.
I got a first hand look at Josh Smith, the big center from Kentwood, who was there watching the action. They were knocked out by Kentridge and Lorenzo is hot after him. My buddy and I sat right where the players enter and leave the court and during the 4th Q of the Garfield / Gonzaga Prep game, Lorenzo showed up. The game was running about an hour late but the gym was fairly packed for this matchup. Lots of energy.
During a break I talked with Lorenzo for another brief moment because I was curious to know how the Pac-10 games had gone for the evening. He remembered me from the previous night, gave me the outcomes, we shook hands and I guess you could say it was a special moment for me. Romar is a class act, simple as that.
He was there to show some love to Tony Wroten. Wouldn't doubt if he didn't chat with Josh either. I expect Wroten and Smith to both end up at Washington. For a 15 year old kid, Wroten is a special talent. hell, he's special for any age kid. Smith is still only a junior himself and probably one of the best big men in the state by far.
One last note - Two of the guys that sat behind us this time were officials that will be working the 3A games next weekend when Anthony Brown and Shadle Park visit the Dome. One of them a UW grad six years after my class at WSU. It was probably 10/1 Husky vs Coug colors in the Dome but I'm here to tell ya it is a great venue to wear your colors.
I'm not taking in the Friday and Saturday 4A action but will be heading up to the Dome for the 3A games next Wednesday and Thursday. I will have to tivo any of the Coug Pac-10 tourney games and watch them that way but my heart will be in LA. I will read all about them here on this site the minute I walk in the door.