Someone somewhere sometime this week used the word "cocky" in reference to the Washington Huskies' basketball team, the word stuck, and a controversy-of-the-week somehow grew out of it.
However, the word "cocky" hasn't appeared in any TNT coverage -- until now -- and I'll take a moment here to explain why.
I just haven't seen any evidence of it. At least not in terms of what coach Lorenzo Romar sometimes describes as the "cool jacket." (Romar uses "cool jacket" to indicate a wrongheaded belief that sometimes just showing up is enough; while he rightly notes that cockiness in and of itself isn't necessarily a bad thing. That 2004-05 team was as cocky as they came. But they always brought their game.)
Similarly, I think these Huskies work. And anyone looking for some attitude problem to explain UW's loss to Oregon might be overcomplicating more straightforward skills-based issues: This team doesn't shoot well from the outside, yet it lacks a dependable big man to dominate down low.
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Against good opponents, that's a difficult combination -- although not necessarily fatal as the Texas A&M and even Texas Tech games showed. It simply means the Huskies lack a couple of important clubs in their bag, and that limits the number of ways they can win.
This team has no Ryan Appleby or Tre Simmons to help them catch up quickly, and it has no Spencer Hawes or Jamaal Williams to provide a few relatively easy possessions of tossing the ball down low and watching the big man work.
It would be useful to have any of those guys wearing purple on Friday when the Huskies face Arizona State's stingy zone in what has become an extremely important game for this early in the season.
But given this roster, the Huskies will have to be patient on offense, they'll have to be relentless on defense, they'll have to hit the offensive boards for some second-chance points, and it would be nice if their defense could generate a few easy points that are otherwise hard to come by against a Herb Sendek team.
Fail in more than one or two of those areas, and cockiness will be the least of their worries.