The Husky basketball team is really struggling. Plain and simple. Having lost six of their last seven, this team really has not shown the fight recently that we have all hoped they would. C.J. Wilcox has continued his recent struggles and this has really fueled the losing streak for the Huskies. When the Dawgs started 4-0 in Pac-12 play Wilcox shot over 48% from the field, and over the last seven games he has shot a mere 36% from the field and a horrid 32% from the three point line after shooting just under 48% during the first four games. To really prove the point, Wilcox made 11 threes in the first four games, and has made 12 over the last seven. Additionally, Wilcox scored 83 total points (averaging 22.25 per game) over the first four games, and has scored only 87 total points in the last seven games (averaging 12.4 per game). Part of these shooting struggles can be attributed to Wilcox’s partially fractured foot, which happened two weeks ago, but was not revealed to the public until a few days ago. No matter the excuse, it is clear that Wilcox’s struggles are one of the reasons the Huskies can’t seem to win recently.
Poor shooting aside, there are no excuses for the way the Huskies have come out in games recently. They came out with no energy against USC yesterday, and that resulted in a 19 point deficit at one point in the first half. Their increased sense of urgency in the second half was not enough to climb all the way back, and they took their sixth loss in seven games. There are so many things contributing to these losses. Poor shooting, turnovers, sloppy defense, lack of energy, and more; however the reason why we are losing games is no longer the question. The question has now become: is this basketball season over for the Huskies? Conventional wisdom says no, because the Huskies have dropped to 13-11 (5-6) and ninth in the Pac-12. They do have games left against all three of the big schools in this year’s Pac-12, Arizona, Oregon, and UCLA, but I still don’t think the Huskies would make the NCAA tournament with wins against all of these teams. Considering the fact that the Huskies have seemingly regressed as the season has worn on, I wonder where coach Romar is looking to inspire the team. Conventional wisdom says this season is over. But conventional wisdom could be wrong.
Even though the Huskies have moved under .500 in the Pac-12, if they finish in the top eight of the regular season standings, they will only have to win three straight games in the Pac-12 tournament to get in the big dance. Winning tournament games is all about getting hot at the right time, and if the Huskies can do that, they have as good of a chance as anyone to win the tournament. Plus, with Cal beating Arizona this weekend in Tucson, and with both UCLA and Oregon taking recent losses, it is clear that there is no dominant team in the Pac-12 this season. If C.J. Wilcox can get his shot back, and the whole team can cut down on turnovers and play better defense, there is no reason that this Husky team can’t make a run in the conference tournament. These things are obviously easier said than done, especially with the horrible play of the team recently, but I think with a whole month left, coach Romar can get this team into winning shape. The Huskies may be struggling right now, and it really is a horrible stretch they are on, but I think they have as good a chance as any to salvage the season and potentially win the Pac-12 tournament.