At home, on a rainy Tuesday evening, the Washington Huskies proved correct all those that questioned the talent and leadership of this year’s team by allowing Albany to defeat them with a layup from senior guard Mike Black in the final seconds of the game, after Aziz N’Diaye missed two free throws before a rebound and bank shot from Gaddy Washington the lead with only a few dozen seconds left on the clock.
The game started horribly for the Huskies, as Scott Suggs was accidentally kneed in the head early in the first half. He immediately looked to have a concussion, and he did not return to the game. A few minutes later, Desmond Simmons was forced to come out of the game to get stitches above his eye, though he was able to return fairly quickly. These losses, coupled with the off shooting of CJ Wilcox, a general lack of offensive execution, and a barrage of three pointers from Albany’s Jacob Iati, led to a 31-27 halftime lead for Albany.
In the second half, Washington temporarily regained the lead, but in the end, more confusion on offense and generally horrible defense from several players allowed Albany to regain the lead and fight for an eventual victory. A loss at home to a basically unknown team certainly looks horrible, and there will be a fair share of doomsayers spouting off in the next few days. They have a valid point. It looks like the lack of star power and leadership on this team, coupled with apparently ill-prepared defense both at the team and individual level, there is a decent chance that this team simply does not succeed anywhere near standard Romar levels.
However, panicking now does no good. Wait and see if this was a temporary lapse rather than a permanent deficiency. It is possible the team was thrown off by the loss of Suggs, didn’t take Albany seriously enough, or simply had an off night. Do I know this to be true? Of course not. The fair level of optimism I had for this team is pretty much gone now, and my confidence is shaken. No longer will I go off about the possibilities, but that doesn’t mean nothing positive is possible.
The defense could get better, the shots could start following, someone could step up and take lead. Of course, now, I won’t be predicting these things, I will simply be hoping for them in the back of my mind, knowing full well that this loss means I would be foolish to expect anything more than another disappointment. Specifically, I do not even want to think about what a Washington team that lost at home to Albany will do next week on the road. I suppose we will see.
More specific analysis tomorrow morning. Thanks for reading.