Thoughts and Observations on the Huskies' 87-61 Loss to USC


Well, you only have to scroll down a couple of posts to see how little I know.

I really thought the momentum with the Huskies would go the other way after the near-win at UCLA. (Maybe the fact that I was heartened by a “near-win” on the road says all that can be said about how this season’s gone so far.)

Last night, the Huskies were bad and the Trojans were good. The result was the Huskies’ worst loss in about three years. Here’s some thoughts on the loss:

Even at their best this year, it’s hard to imagine the Huskies beat this USC team when it’s going on all cylinders. While the Huskies have some very talented individuals, somehow, with all of the program’s issues, Kevin O’Neill has put together a balanced team of players who fit together beautifully.

When Abdul Gaddy got off to the good start, scoring the Huskies’ first four points, why take him out less than five minutes into the game?

Scott Suggs was on the floor 15 minutes and took two shots. If he’s gonna play, he’s gotta shoot.

I’m trying to look at our team objectively for a minute, and really we can’t be too surprised that they’re struggling, right? Here’s some of the things the team isn’t doing well right now: defending the interior, defending the three-pointer, shooting from the outside, scoring on the inside, winning on the road. That’s not good, right?

Going to the zone was a neat idea. But, the Huskies looked like they knew they were compromising out there. Almost like Coach calling for the change in defense was an admission that they were overmatched tonight (which they, of course, were).

I don’t know if he’s looking for style points or what, but Tyreese Breshers has a nasty habit of pulling down rebounds with one hand. Tonight he got burned for it by losing a ball out of bounds.

Again, a 9-4 run by the Trojans to start the second half. Whatever’s happening in the locker room at halftime, the coaching staff needs to do, or say, the opposite.

If the game could be summarized in one play, it was with about 11 minutes left, the Huskies down 13. The Dawgs put together their best defensive stand of the game, and with the shot clock almost at zero, forced Mike Gerrity into a crazy 25-footer. It bounced wildly off the rim. . . and right into the hands of Nikola Vucevic, reseting the shot clock. Ugh.

Speaking of Gerrity, he had seven assists. The Huskies had a grand total of five.

Tough night for Quincy, and a bad night for his draft prospects, I think. Marcus Johnson may not quite be an NBA-level talent, but he’s an NBA-level athlete, and Quincy couldn’t do anything against him at all.

I love Coach Romar, and hope he’s the Husky coach forever. But we’re clearly not getting consistent performances this season, or finding a way to win with what we have.

I still don’t think the season is lost. Not in this Pac-10. Just when you thought Arizona State was in pole position to pull away in the Pac-10, they lose by 19 at home to the Wildcats last night. But. . .

Each loss makes it more and more likely that the Huskies will need to peak during the Pac-10 Tournament, and win it, to make an appearance in the NCAA Tournament this season.

For most of the season, the coverage of the team’s losses has generally criticized the poor effort by this talented team. Tonight, I’m wondering if the problem has actually been the talent and not the effort.

Thanks for coming!