by Craig Yamada
Definitely not the poetic ending we all wanted to see unfold at the end of the game today. The Dawgs fell a bit short after leading most of the game as they folded in the final minutes 83-86. In the closing seconds, they put the ball in the hands of their two seniors Venoy Overton and Justin Holiday. Unfortunately they could not get it done today. Poor shot selection by Overton and a bad inbound pass from Holiday sealed their fate at the end of the game. Say what you will about the clock at the end of the game, but we gave this game a way long before that last possession. Mental breakdowns and UW turnovers spelled disaster for this game. Despite the result, you have to tip your hats to this squad as they gave it everything they had today. Unfortunately in the NCAA Tourney, there are no moral victories. It’s win or go home and UW will have to wait yet another year to get further in the Dance.
But my only question is this. We get the ball back with 20 seconds left down by one point. Why does IT not have the ball? He got us here. Shouldn’t he be the one that finishes off every game? If we go down, I want to go down with our best foot forward.
- Terrence Ross – Granted Ross had a costly turnover in the closing minutes, but without his play today, we would not be in this game. The Freshman shook off his nerves and went toe to toe with freshman Harrison Barnes on UNC. He was a stud tonight and you have to applaud his effort tonight. With a team high 19 points and 6 rebounds, he has nothing to hang his head about.
- Aziz N’Diaye – Aziz earned his scholarship today. Aziz finished with 11 rebounds and managed to garner 4 points today as well.
- MBA – Good last outing for the senior today with 14 points and 8 rebounds.
- IT – IT was off today but still did his part to get in the lane and distribute 8 assists and totaled 12 points. I am still shaking my head he didn’t have the ball with :20 on the clock. Thanks for all your efforts this year and we all hope you come back next year!
- Rebounding – Can’t blame the battle of the boards today for the loss as they outworked the #1 rebounding team in the nation today 38-33.
- Wilcox/Suggs – Both of these guys played well today and hit big shots time and time again. You have to be excited with both of these guys coming back next season
- Holiday/Venoy – This very well may have been the worst game of Holiday’s career. Holiday was just not himself today with three costly turnovers and just never seemed to find his shot in the last two weeks. And Venoy felt like he could close the game out at the end. He also shot a half court shot with so much time left on the clock. Most of Dawg nation is thinking the same thing. We wanted the ball in the hands of #2. Sad ending to two great Husky seniors. We thank you for your efforts.
- Turnovers – Aside from the final Suggs 3, the last four possessions the Huskies had were horrid. The Ross turnover, Holiday in bound pass and IT loose handle and the VO half court shot just ended our chances to come back at the end.
Sad finish to an almost promising season. But to our seniors, we wish you the best and we thank you for everything you have done for our team over the last four years.
It’s a crying shame I have to write a “looking forward” piece when I am this down, but there is always room left for optimism. Next year promises to be fruitful with the squad we have coming back. If Isaiah Thomas returns, like his father claims, we will easily have the one of the best, if not THE best backcourt in the nation. With flashy PG Tony Wroten joining up the pack, we will have three legit ball handlers to anchor our team. If Gaddy can rehab and get back to where he left off this year, it’s hard not to be excited about the log jam at PG going into next season. Our three point shooting depth gets that much deeper next year with Hikeem Stewart joining the team next year as well. Suggs, Wilcox and Ross have proved late in the year that they are all worthy of big minutes heading into next year. Ross and Wilcox definitely made huge strides at the end of the year and should be vying for starting positions next year. I am glad I don’t make lineups decisions for Coach Romar next year. He definitely will have his hands full picking a lineup next year with all the talent in his back court. Desmond Simmons will add some depth in the front court with the departure of MBA. Aziz N’Diaye started showing signs in the NCAA that he could turn a corner if he puts in work in the offseason. We are still missing one big piece at PF currently, but Darnell Gant could be the wildcard next year if he gets his post game in order. Jernard Jarreau sounds like he could add some depth next year as a 6’10” scoring forward that can handle the ball. He will be wearing #22 next year and can we hope this J-Holiday look a like can replace the the defensive prowess that Holiday made his name with in his 4 years of service.
The ask is still out for a big man, but we will continue to keep you updated during the spring and summer of any new developments.
Thanks for reading!