by: Griffin Bennett
Questionable effort and intensity lead to a meager first half. It was almost over before it began. Defense was lacking and no leadership ever developed as time grew on. In the second half, the team came out with a new found energy and made a push late that was downright impressive. In the end, it just wasn’t enough as the Huskies fell just short.
Oh, you thought I was talking about the game?
This 67-68 OT loss to Minnesota in the NIT semi-finals was a microcosm for the entire season. A terrible start that prevented the team from any sort of recovery in the second half. We’ll call overtime the NIT just to make it fit.
I guess it was a fitting ending for this season. A season full of disappointment and frustration. So many ups and downs. Unfortunately the downs outweighed the ups.
Minnesota out-hustled and out-grinded the Huskies Tuesday night. The type of effort that the Huskies show seems to be a coin flip each and every night. It just didn’t come out our way. How much have you ever lost on a coin toss? Perhaps an NIT final and even earlier, a trip to the Big Dance.
It’s obvious where this game was lost. It was in the paint. The Golden Gophers outscored the Dawgs 44-28 down low and the Huskies had no response. They got easy shots all night and Romar couldn’t even play Aziz N’diaye as he wasn’t a factor at all. Austin Seferian-Jenkins tried his best but even his energy couldn’t right the ship.
Terrence Ross did his thing, especially in the first half, but the rest of the team seemed content to just watch. He looked very impressive but he still couldn’t take the game over late like we’ve all been waiting for all season long. I would love to see him come back and develop into a coldblooded killer next year, but I think the draw to the NBA may be too strong.
His counter part, Tony Wroten, lacked any sort of defensive presence all night. He refused to get back on the on the defensive end, follow his man through screens, and was gambling on steals all night long. The last gamble almost cost the Huskies the game in regulation. To be fair, I did hear that Tony came down with the flu which might have zapped his energy.
Now we wait. We wait for Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross to make their decisions on whether they will turn pro. They have until April 10th to make the decision to return which doesn’t leave them much time.
In Ross’ case, I don’t think he can go wrong. He’s not quite ready to jump to a team and make an immediate impact but he doesn’t have much more to gain by returning, either.
For Wroten, I feel that another year in college would really benefit his game and his draft stock. If he can develop any sort a jumper, his NBA draft value will skyrocket.
My prediction? I say Ross goes and Tony stays. I’m not basing that on any inside info, it’s just my prediction.
After a career game against Oregon, Abdul Gaddy failed to build on it. He recorded his first points late in the second half and made some boneheaded plays in overtime. We thought that he was turning the corner but it seemed had just regressed back to the norm. He will need a fantastic off season if the Huskies are going to get back to the NCAA tourney next year.
Darnell Gant. A true “Romar Guy” who I enjoyed watching develop over his five years here. His last game ended with 12 points and 9 rebounds. The perfect Gant game. I will miss him and I wish him all the best going forward. He’s a smart, passionate, and charismatic young man and he will succeed in whatever he chooses to do in life. I’ll miss you, Birdman.
The final minutes were quite a roller coaster. The Huskies come back seemed to be thwarted time and time again by the refs until a fantastic steal by Wilcox in the waning seconds of regulation to tie it and send it to OT.
The momentum didn’t carry over, as the Huskies scored on six points in overtime and came up short.
A disappointing ending to a disappointing season.