by: Griffin Bennett
It was over before I even got my pint of Manny’s delivered to me. The Dawgs went down 0-8 after the first 1:49 of the game and they immediately began to fall apart. Someone pressed the panic button and the team began to launch poor threes and desperation jumpers while forgetting every single defensive fundamental. Before my least-favorite friend could shout “Fire Romar!” it was 28-13 and we were doomed.
Fast forward an hour-and-a-half and the Huskies got embarrassed on the the most embarrassing court in front of the most embarrassing fans, 57-82.
The problem, to me, seems to be a lack of energy and passion throughout the whole team. This lack of early energy leads to a lack of effort and the lack of effort leads to early deficits and then, ultimately, losses. The only conclusion that I can come up with is that this team lacks leadership. It also must be on-court leadership as this is the first Romar team that I can remember that lacked this key attribute. Players like I.T., Brockman, Roy, Overton, and Conroy, are just a few that raised their teams up when they needed it. Romar gives the players that responsibility and it has worked for him in the past. I think I’ve seen Gant do it once this year. Maybe.
The leader that Romar promised us by mid-season never arrived and it may just cost the Huskies the league title. I’m not saying that the season is over or that the Huskies would have even won this game, but leadership is this team’s Achilles’ heel.
Wroten? Too young. Ross? Too passive. Gant? Not enough passion. Suggs? Not playing. Gaddy? Not enough confidence. It has just been a nightmare in this regard.
This was just one game and we have to throw it out. Oregon did a fantastic job at spreading the floor with four and cutting to the rim. The Huskies struggled getting help when the cutter entered the paint and the Ducks three-point shooting picked them apart from there. Hey, Pac-12! Want to know how to beat the Huskies? Do that a bunch.
I’m scrapping my usual “positives and negatives” breakdown tonight because it was so lop sided. I tried to find ONE positive thing from tonight and I couldn’t. Simmons played kind of well. Eight steals was nice. What am I saying? We just flat out sucked.
We need to talk about Abdul Gaddy. The kid is a ghost out there. Romar claims that he “runs the offense” but I don’t see anything coming from him at all. He scored two points, had two rebounds, and one assists while shooting 1 for 5. Since the New Year’s Eve game against Oregon, he is 4 for 22 from three. Remember how well he was playing in the first half of last year? Where did that go? He’s a fraction of what that player was.
It’s not all of Gaddy. Teams have learned how to “contain” Tony Wroten by forcing him right and giving him a 5-to-10 foot buffer daring him to shoot (which he does). Without a point guard to create, Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox are left to take contested shots or try to create their own off of the dribble. That is neither of their strengths and it changes the dynamic that makes this team so dangerous.
The sky isn’t falling. It was only one loss and we all knew that we were due for two or three more this year. It just sucked that it was this ugly. The Huskies have an extra day off with the Oregon State game on Sunday so they can work on some extra things in practice.
This Oregon State game becomes a proverbial “must-win” and a lot of issues need to be addressed. If the Huskies can ratchet up their intensity on defense, the offense will follow. Don’t jump off the wagon yet, the race to the finish is just getting started. Bow Down.