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January 4, 2011

Huskies' Bryan-Amaning finds his form

Matthew Bryan-Amaning may have earned his first career Pacific-10 Conference player of the week honor during last week's road trip to Los Angeles, but don't expect him to get too excited about it.

That's not his nature.

"It's nice to be recognized, but it doesn't really change anything," Bryan-Amaning said before Tuesday's practice. "Obviously you go out there and try and play as hard as you can and as aggressive as you can all the time."

This unwavering dedication has not gone unnoticed by University of Washington coach Lorenzo Romar, who re-inserted the 6-foot-9 senior forward into the starting lineup just four games ago after playing Aziz N'Diaye in his place for a stretch of four games.

"If Matthew is focused and playing with energy, he's a really good basketball player," Romar said.

In the hopes of gaining a rebounding edge, Romar now starts both simultaneously, and Bryan-Amaning partially credits his recent success in L.A., where he averaged 19.5 points and 9.0 rebounds per game, to playing alongside N'Diaye.

Yet even the Huskies' success at climbing back into the Associated Press Top 25 rankings at No. 23 after their L.A. sweep does little to evoke much emotion from the laid-back Bryan-Manning, who says he believed in his team when others didn't.

While Bryan-Manning may put on a poker face when it comes to individual and team triumphs, his faith in future Husky performances is evident, saying that the team's worth goes beyond mere numbers.

"The rankings are what everybody thinks of us, but what we see is how talented we are and how capable we are," he said.

Bryan-Amaning, who hails from England and played with the Great Britain senior national team over the summer in the FIBA World Championship qualifiers, started the season with a career-high 28 points in the Huskies' season opener against McNeese State in November.

He didn't reach 20 points again until leading the Huskies with 21 in a 74-63 victory over UCLA last Friday.

He's averaged 16.3 points and 9.5 rebounds since being re-inserted as a starter.

"He's a good player," N'Diaye said. "Just playing around him, I'm just like just spacing and letting him do his work. I'm comfortable he's going to make the right move and the right play. He's a senior. It's his last year here. He's been stepping up and helping us get wins. I'm pretty glad that he's doing his thing."



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