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The win against Mississippi State might not have been pretty but there were still positives to take away including the way the team finished. Let’s look back at the game through the lens of KSR photographer, Dr. Michael Huang.
PJ Washington was the story of the game providing the toughness that this team needed in the post. He finished the game with a career-high 22 points, six rebounds, two assists, and a career-high three steals. Also, important to note was his touch at the foul line where he has struggled this season. Washington hit 10-of-14 shots from the free throw line. After the game Coach Cal was quite pleased with Washington’s performance but is asking his 6’7 forward to take on more of a leadership role for this team. The PJ Washington we saw against MSU is exactly what this team needs against West Virginia on Saturday.
We also saw strong performances from Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Kevin Knox, and Hamidou Diallo. On a team that struggles to pass the ball, SGA has really been racking up assists in recent games. The 6’6 point guard finished the game with 16 points, six assists, four rebounds and zero turnovers.
Kevin Knox has been starting to get back on track the past few games which is extremely important for this team moving forward. Against Mississippi State, Knox scored 19 points including going 4-for-4 from beyond the arc, an area he has struggled.
While Hamidou Diallo didn’t show up a ton in the scoring column, he showed up in other areas to help his team win. That is great sign for his progression. He scored six points but also grabbed seven rebounds, dished out two assists, and blocked two shots. Diallo still made some athletic plays around the rim that no one on the court is capable of matching.
Sure there is plenty to work on but it’s still January. This team is just now getting healthy. Give them some time to figure out the best rotations and each individual players to define their roles. Now it’s time to get ready for a huge road test against West Virginia. Until then check out our complete photo gallery on KSR’s Facebook page: