Even days later, the numbers are stunning.
Colorado State had more offensive rebounds (24) than Washington had rebounds (21) during the Rams’ 73-55 bludgeoning of the Huskies last Saturday night.
During that game, Washington was pushed around by Colorado State on its home floor. The Rams lead the country in rebounding differential, but that was no solace to the Huskies.
“You look at that game almost in the sense that they came in here and punked us,” Washington forward Desmond Simmons said. “If you’ve got any pride, that bothers you.”
The Huskies went through a similar level of embarrassment last season when they played at Saint Louis and trailed 50-25 at halftime in their first road game. Washington will try to get back at the Billikens when it hosts Saint Louis in a 9 p.m. made-for-TV start tonight at Hec Edmundson Pavilion.
The home-and-home series with Saint Louis was scheduled as a way to give Scott Suggs, a Washington, Mo., native, a chance to play in front of hometown friends and family in what was expected to be his senior year. But a toe injury kept him from playing last season. Suggs, who was on crutches and in a walking boot Tuesday because of plantar fasciitis in his right foot, will again miss the game against Saint Louis (3-2).
Which leaves Washington trying to figure things out early on.
Despite their losing record, the Huskies came into Tuesday 18th in the RPI rankings, one of the key measurements when determining if a team is worthy for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. The RPI also has Washington’s strength of schedule ranked fourth in the country.
That’s because Washington’s first five opponents are 22-4 overall. Loyola (Md.) and Seton Hall each have one loss, both to the Huskies.
But, without Shawn Kemp Jr. and Suggs, the Huskies are 2-3 for the first time since the 2008-09 season, and one of the prime problems is a lack of rebounding. Washington’s 32.6 rebounds per game is 269th in the country
“Our teams are usually pretty good rebounding teams,” Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said. “There are some guys that have to come out of their comfort zones to rebound the ball.”
Suggs’ absence also gives Washington a shortage in scoring. C.J. Wilcox scored a career-high 28 points against Colorado State, though he needed 25 shots to do so. Wilcox was much more aggressive on dribble-drives than he had been in the past. He once posted up and was bumped into when trying to catch a pass, causing him to land on his tailbone. Wilcox said he is bruised but will play tonight.
Wilcox was the only Washington player in double figures against Colorado State. The Huskies had at least three players in double-figures each game prior.
Kemp won’t be back until December. Suggs is week to week with an injury that tends to linger for athletes. He hasn’t practiced in a week. The Huskies are trying to hang on until they get those two back and can look at the team as a whole. Seven of the next eight games are at home, with the lone “road” game at KeyArena.
“We’re 2-3 right now, but anything can happen,” point guard Abdul Gaddy said. “It can easily be turned around or we could easily go to 2-6, which we don’t want to happen.”
Saint Louis (3-2) at Washington (2-3)
9 p.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle
TV: Pac-12 Networks. Radio: 950-AM, 102.9-FM.
All-time series: Saint Louis leads, 8-6.
Mike McCall Jr.G11.02.83.845.276.9
Jake Barnett G5.2 3.4 1.2 32.0 1.000
Rob Loe F-C22.214.171.1247.988.5
Aziz N’DiayeF10.811.00.6 67.946.1
Scouting report: The upshot for Washington is it follows the Colorado State debacle with one of the few opponents in the country worse at rebounding than it is. Saint Louis is ranked 311th in rebounding. The Billikens are also missing their second-leading scorer from last year, Kwamain Mitchell, because of an injury. Cody Ellis brings some pop off the bench for Saint Louis under interim head coach Jim Crews. Crews took over when Rick Majerus had to step aside this season because of a heart condition.
Next: 4 p.m. Sunday, vs. Cal State-Fullerton, Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Pac-12 Networks.firstname.lastname@example.org blog.thenewstribune.com/uwsports @Todd_Dybas email@example.com