In a conference home opener that was anything but pretty, the Huskies showed that the three wins that resulted from their conference slate-opening road trip were no fluke by notching a physical win over the University of Colorado Buffaloes. The offense was still mostly one-dimensional in that C.J. Wilcox’s jumpers, whether they be catch-and-shoot treys or mid-range pull-up jumpers, continued to be the only reliable source of points. The junior sharpshooter finished with 25 points on 8-14 shooting, with Suggs contributing 13, making him the only other player in double digits.
Regardless of how Washington scored, the key to the win was the continuation of aggressive, Romar-style team defense. The Buffaloes were held to 36% from the field, including 1-10 from three point land, while also being out-rebounded by Washington 37-32. That was primarily due to the efforts of Desmond Simmons and Aziz N’diaye, who made their blue-collar basketball priorities very clear by combining poor 3-10 shooting with a dominant 22 total rebounds.
As for what the victory means, it’s a little tough to tell right now because the extent of Colorado’s struggles are unknown. If they don’t pull out of there conference season nosedive, perhaps this will look like a game the Huskies should have easily won. But right now, it is a win, and Washington is 4-0 in conference play to start the year with lowly Utah coming up on Saturday. Even with an uneven offense outside of Wilcox, the complete turnaround from the beginning of the season in rebounding and team defense seems to be enough to win, and I am happy to say I was very wrong to lower my expectations so low early in the non-conference season. This team has learned, they have committed, and they are dangerous.