The Ongoing Georgetown Hangover: Here's Where My Head's At. . . How About You?

facebooktwitterreddit
sad husky
I’m seeing a wide range of opinions about the Huskies out there right now. Some fans are panicking after Saturday’s beating by Georgetown, while others are exhibiting patience. /

No matter what, we’re only eight games in. Florida lost two of its first nine games in 2006/07 and went on to win the NCAA title. There’s still a lot of basketball to play.

Here’s where my head’s at right now with regard to this year’s Husky squad:

I’m not in panic mode. I’m really not. But, Saturday was a big-time wake-up call, and if you’re still looking at the Huskies as a darkhorse Final Four contender, it may be time to rethink your expectations, for now. (There’s actually a silver lining to this loss, but you’ll have to read on for a bit first.)

Why am I, for the moment, penciling the Huskies out of the national power category?

It’s easy to think that if Elston Turner buries a free throw in Lubbock, the Huskies are 7-1 right now —  a good second half against Georgetown away from a perfect record. But, the danger signs have been on display for a while now, not only at Texas Tech, but in wins against San Jose State, Montana, and Cal State Northridge: poor shooting, too many turnovers, the lack of a third option on offense, a startling propensity to get beat by the ridiculously straightforward backdoor pass — the list goes on.

There was a part of me, and maybe you too, fellow diehards, that hoped the Dawgs would just raise their play when it was necessary to the level of their opposition. Saturday told me that these danger signs are actual weaknesses, not minor transgressions that can be turned on and off at will.

So, where does that leave us?

Now, instead of lamenting how weak the Pac-10 looks, I’m kind of glad. Consider the alternative: These 2009/10 Huskies might’ve been up a creek in the Pac-10 circa 2007/08. Weaknesses aside, we’ll compete this season and hopefully win the conference, because every team has obvious flaws.

We’re at the point now where the NCAA Tournament shouldn’t be considered a given anymore. We may be looking at a league that gets only two teams in this year. And if Cal were to win the conference, and, say, Oregon won the Pac-10 tournament, it’s not inconceivable the Huskies would find themselves out of luck, no matter what happens against Texas A&M on December 22nd.

And, now, for that silver lining. . .

There’s no question that the Huskies aren’t going to be handed anything now, despite their gaudy preseason reputation. Everything the Huskies achieve from here on out will be because they earned it.

There’s only so much fun you can have rooting for a prohibitive favorite all season long, isn’t there? Watching a season’s worth of games the Dawgs are expected to win puts fans in the position of being, at best, relieved, and otherwise thoroughly disappointed after every game.

The Pac-10 season is just three games away, and it’s clear now that every single game is going to matter. That certainly keeps things interesting.

For fans, it’s just a matter of coming to terms with a new definition for a successful season. Personally, I’m going to try to transport myself back to last year’s mindset, when an NCAA Tournament appearance was all I wanted. Anything else was icing.

I came into the season feeling like another Pac-10 title was, at worst, a 50/50% proposition. And, even then, I was only semi-excited about the idea of a second straight championship — a tasty appetizer on the way to the NCAA Tournament.

Now? I know it’ll be a dogfight just to get back to March Madness. The real question is, after being knocked down a peg, how big is the fight in these Dawgs?

***

Thanks for coming! And, where’s your head at? Let’s hear it in our comments section: What did the Georgetown game do to your thoughts about this Husky team? Have you adjusted your expections? Let me hear you!!