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Archive for December 22nd, 2007

Afterglow of Hardwood win tempered by a loss

Posted by Jeff Nusser on December 22, 2007

Sorry it took a couple of days to get to the postgame breakdown — while on vacation on the west side of the mountains, I’m kind of at the mercy of whose house I happen to be at as my wife and I take our 9-month-old son on his whirlwind tour of the South Sound.

Rather than rehash the blowout — which really didn’t tell us a whole lot about where this team is at — let’s pass along the bit of news that many seem to have already gotten: Daven Harmeling will be out at least a month with a broken thumb on his right (shooting) hand.

This is bad for a number of reasons. One is that of all the guys who needed to figure out a way to get it going, Harmeling was No. 1 — and that’s going to be tough to do with a cast on his shooting hand. Another problem is that this messes with what already was a short rotation for Tony Bennett.

I had planned on doing a full post on the rotation leading into the Pac-10 schedule, but given this recent development, now seems like as good a time as any to throw this out there.

Earlier this season, I think many of us were eager to see what some of the newcomers might be able to do, specifically guys such as Stephen Sauls and Thomas Abercrombie. Given the light competition, I think a lot of us expected that Bennett would use this preseason as both an opportunity to get ready for the Pac-10 season and develop some depth, both for this season and next.

Instead, what we’ve seen is Bennett go almost exclusively with a seven- or eight-man rotation that gives the bulk of the minutes to six guys: Derrick Low, Kyle Weaver, Taylor Rochestie, Robbie Cowgill, Aron Baynes and Harmeling. Caleb Forrest and Nikolai Koprovica (above) each have picked up minutes here and there, but really only 10-15 minutes a game.

This actually tells us a lot about how Tony Bennett views this season. First, let me tell you a little story:

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