In a clear response to the lack of rebounding and backside rotation that was prevalent in Maui, Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar decided to give seven-foot center Aziz N’Diaye the start on Tuesday night against Long Beach State, sitting down Matthew Bryan-Amaning.
Bryan-Amaning had a dismal game against Kentucky in Maui and followed that with a mediocre performance against Michigan State. The Huskies were outrebounded in both instances.
In Maui, Bryan-Amaning was often stripped when he brought the ball to his waist. One instance prompted Romar to scream at him to be strong with the ball.
After an up-and-down career, the senior center hit his stride at the end of last season. Bryan-Amaning possesses the frame and athletic ability to challenge any big in the Pac-10. But his largest issue has been ambition for rebounding, as well as maintaining his confidence. His response to the lineup change will be intriguing.
As for N’Diaye, he took it to the higher competition in Maui. He was a menace against Kentucky and stout against Michigan State.
Romar said he was not concerned about N’Diaye against the stiffer competition.
“I was anxious to see how it would work out,” Romar said. “As you can see, he’s not easily intimidated.”