UW Loses Big to St. Louis: Is It A Good Thing?


St. Louis pounded UW in the first half of the game, the Billikens led 50-25. However, UW was able to crawl back to make the loss only a 13 point defeat with a final of 77-64.

This loss was ugly and made the Huskies look silly and unready to compete at a high level. However, the question is- at this point in the season, was it a good thing for this young Husky team?

This team is a young team, in a young season. There were 8 guys coming into this season that had never played a college basketball game in their life. Desmond Simmons, Tony Wroten Jr., Hikeem Stewart, Martin Breunig, Shawn Kemp Jr., Alex Wegner, Jernard Jarreau, and Andrew Andrews.

Granted only 4 of those 8 players put in minutes for today’s loss to St. Louis. The message is still the same- as a team UW needs to get better fundamentally, the team needs to work together more, and be ready for hostile environments.


You can have all the talent in the world but if you don’t play with fundamentals, teams like St. Louis, who are very disciplined will be able to beat you.

  • St. Louis knows how to control the ball- they only allowed 8 turnovers. UW allowed twice as many with 16. And 9 of them came from the new players this season.
  • The Billikens only had 11 fouls while UW had 19. St. Louis went 75% from the line while UW only shot 63%.
  • UW only had 10 assists on the day while St. Louis had 16.

These are just a few examples of the fundamentals that St. Louis has been able to develop early in this season while UW is behind in those areas. And this didn’t even mention anything about the defense and the Washington team still hasn’t quite grasped Lorenzo Romar’s defense.


The entire team is full of guys that are former stars from their respective town or

high school team. These athletes are amazing at playing basketball and many of them are used to carrying their team or getting away with being lazy. Now the talent is faster, stronger, smarter, and just as athletic as them. It is a wake-up call for the majority of the new freshman.

Jernard Jarreau is a perfect example of this principle. In the summer, I talked with him about his upcoming Husky Basketball season. Nowhere in his mind was the idea of red-shirting, in fact, he was hoping to take the starting job from someone else on the team. That was before he realized how talented of a group he was coming into. He didn’t become a worse player, he just realized he was a player that is not completely ready. He either could have been a player that will spend a year developing playing just a few minutes a game or a player that will spend a year developing and keeping that extra year of eligibility. It was a tough call for him but in the end he realized he needed to red-shirt.

However, you can see the mindset- he was the best player not only on his team but in his entire city, last year. Now he comes onto the Husky squad and realizes he has a long way to go.

The other 7 freshman are no different, this isn’t the time to rack up stats or “carry” a team, this is the time to help your team win by working together. UW was by far the more talented team on the floor this morning, NBA scouts didn’t come to see anyone on the St. Louis team, they came to see 3 to 4 different players on the Husky team. The talent is there and now they just need to learn to work together to put together wins.

Hostile Environments

Most of these new players have never seen a crowd more than a thousand or so (and that is generous). Much less against good opponents. Even when they played in front of State Tournament crowds of a thousand or so, the last thing it is- is hostile. It is moms and dads, brothers and sisters, girlfriends and want to be girlfriends. This is a friendly crowd and usually the most critical person is the player’s dad.

However, now they walk into an arena filled with thousands of fans and hundreds of them have studied each player, they may even have chants targeted at the player. These fans want to see this player fail, want to see this player air-ball, want to see this player get blocked. They will boo, yell, and scream at said player. Nothing comes easy anymore, there is no support.

These freshman need to learn early to play in front of fans that want to see them fail.

The way the Pac-12 is shaping out this season, having an early loss to a team that was less talented but more fundamental could have been a good thing. They have learned that fundamentals is just as important if not more important than God-given talent. If they use this loss as an opportunity to learn, to improve, by the time the Huskies hit Pac-12 play they should be ready to go.