The Dawgs can’t wrangle the Buffs, lose 87-69

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by: Griffin Bennett

Stop me if you’ve heard this before; a favored and more talented Husky team goes on the road and shows up with a lack of energy and walk out with a blowout loss in their pocket and talks of “next time”. Oh, you’re familiar with it? Well then I won’t bother repeating it.

Basically, it was a game of shooting percentages. The Dawgs shot 37.5% from the field and 20% from the free throws. Conversely, the Buffaloes shot 49% from the field and an above normal 57% from three. The difference is that Colorado played standard defense and UW played none. It might have been the worst overall defensive performance of the year. The Huskies looked completely lost at times on the defensive end with players not knowing who they are guarding, who they are supposed to be rotating to, or even if they are supposed to be played man or zone.

While I’m not close to being any sort of basketball expert, it appears as if their is little-to-no game plan coming in and that each teammate had just met each other a few minutes before the tip off. Chemistry, continuity, rhythm, whatever you want to call it, it’s not there when this team leaves the walls of Hec Ed.

With 16 games left now (15 in conference and 1 vs. SU) UW needs to go 12-4 the rest of the way to reach 20 wins which is normally the absolute minimum if you want an at-large bid to the Big Dance in March. Unfortunately, without a marquee non-conference win UW will need more like 22 wins this season.

On the other hand, it seems as if no team wants to win the conference this year. Cal, Arizona, and Stanford each lost on the road as well yesterday so winning the Pac 12 conference title is still possible, albeit unlikely with a future road win seemingly unattainable.

Also, the Huskies could always win the Pac-12 tournament for the third straight year and burst some better team’s bubble. The Huskies are bad but luckily the conference is worse.

Positives:

  • Tony Wroten – He’s the only player who shot over 40% on the day (9-16) with a game high 21 points as well as 6 rebounds, 3 assits, 5 turnovers, and an amazing 7 steals. He was abusing the other guards one-on-one but he still gets lazy and forgets to rotate or get back on D quick enough. Still, he’s our best defensive player, other than Aziz, on the team.
  • Rebounding – It wasn’t a bad night for rebounding, especially offensive boards, as they had 20 on offense and 38 overall. However, the team shooting 37.5% created a lot of extra opportunities. Ross led the team with 10 and Wroten was second with 6.

Negatives:

  • Defense – I went over it above. It’s just an embarrassing effort.
  • Abdul Gaddy– He played a team high of 33 minutes and finished with 4 points, 3 rebounds, 1 assist, and no turnovers. How is that even possible? Was he trying to do nothing? He only took 5 shots, too. He wasn’t the offensive catalyst that he is supposed to be and his defense is below average. I think we need to start changing our expectations for him.
  • Darnell Gant – In a game in which he was desperately needed, he went 0-5 from the field, had 4 rebounds, 2 points, and 2 turnovers in 18 minutes. He doesn’t seem to know his role on this team and it leaves him in no man’s land most of the time. Similar to Holiday last year, he needs to focus entirely on defense and rebounding.
  • Martin Breunig – I almost feel bad for him. He plays with more energy than anyone else on the team but it’s never doing the right thing. He makes bad fouls, passes, shots, everything. It’s tough to watch.
  • Coaching – Just in general. Not getting your players ready on the road is on the coaching staff. It seems like a pick up game out there. Aziz only played 14 minutes, which is shocking to me, and Breunig was in for FAR too long after it was clear that he was struggling. If a game plan is being produced, it is not being taken onto the court. Romar and his coaching staff need to look in the mirror and makes some changes. Fast.

Summary:

There obviously are more negatives than the one’s I have listed so feel free to pile yours on in the comments. I have a feeling that it’s going to be a long season.

I can handle losing, don’t get me wrong. I’m a Husky fan in my twenties, I’m used to it. What I can’t handle is watching a terrible product. It’s not entertaining to watch these games and it is becoming a chore at times. Husky basketball is up-tempo and high octane with emotion and energy pouring out of the players. I don’t know what I’ve been watching when the team leaves Hec Ed.

Here’s an idea: if you’re Romar, tell them before the game that the player who he thinks puts out the worst effort on the court gets benched for rest of the month. Heck, why not tell them that he will get cut off the team. It seems that this team has a lack of motivation so let’s light a fire under them.

While a trip to the Dance isn’t out of the question yet, it sure doesn’t seem likely. A big change needs to happen and happen fast. Hope isn’t gone yet, but it’s fading quickly. Bow Down.