Sorry about no postgame thoughts last night. The blog software was acting sluggish. I will post some later.
As for last night's game, it was more of the same for the Huskies when it comes to playing on the road.
For three- to four-minute spans to start each half, the Huskies (8-6 overall, 2-1 Pacific-12 Conference) did the things they had preached. The rest of the time, it was more of the same – bad shots, worse defense and a composure level that bordered on panic, given the situation.
“Coming into the game, I felt like we were really prepared,” said sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox, who came off the bench to score 19 points. “But in the back of our heads we knew we hadn’t gotten a win on the road, and it’s just kind of there. And things start going in the opposite direction and we just fall apart.”
The way the Huskies played stunned coach Lorenzo Romar. While no road game is easy, Romar thought his team was playing its best basketball of the season following last week’s home wins over Oregon State and Oregon.
“I was really disappointed,” Romar said. “I thought we had made progress.”
Instead, his team regressed.
“We did things that were unexpected of us,” Romar said. “We didn’t guard like we should have. We didn’t share the ball, things of that nature.”
Colorado (10-4, 2-0) shot 49.1 percent from the field and 57 percent from 3-point range. The Buffaloes abused the Huskies’ man-to-man defense and exploited the 2-3 zone Romar employed.
“It was one of those nights where nothing worked,” Romar said.
Offensively, the Huskies had six assists on 27 baskets. It didn’t help that Washington’s post players couldn’t finish layups when guards made the extra pass. But the Huskies had far too many possessions of one or no passes before a shot being attempted.
“They were quick shots,” Romar said. “On the floor, you have to realize, ‘all right, we’re going to work it around, and if we miss, at least we are going to make them guard us.’ We didn’t do that.” From the Boulder Daily Camera ....
Maybe Washington didn't play its best basketball and some will be tempted to chalk it up to an off night for the Huskies, but that would be a mistake.
The Buffs played hard, played as a team, fought for rebounds and loose balls, defended well and executed their plan.
Doing so enabled them to overcome the advantage the Huskies clearly hold in overall talent and athleticism.
It's not like it was a nail-biter either. Folks were streaming toward the exits with 2 minutes left, something that might have been expected ahead of time, but few would have predicted the Buffs would be on top if it turned into a laugher.
If the Buffs can beat the Huskies by 18, they are capable of beating any other team in the conference on any court any day.
It's that simple.If you look at the four factors, the obvious discrepancies are in the eFG% and the FT%. Colorado shot over 60 percent from 3-point range, making 8-of-14, while Washington was just 4-of-20 from beyond the arc. Even worse, I counted at least six times where the Huskies shot 19 footers that weren't 3-point shots. That's just an awful shot unless the shot clock is at 2.
As for the free throws, UW got to the line 16 times and made 11. But Terrence Ross and Abdul Gaddy didn't attempt a single free thrown, meanwhile Tony Wroten got to the line as he always does, and missed free throws as he always does. He was 3-of-8 from the line.
Washington got little if no contributions from it's two starting posts. Darnell Gant played 18 minutes was 0-5 from the field, made 2 free throws and had four rebounds, an assist and two turnovers. Aziz N'Diaye played 14 minutes and was 1-of-4 from the field for two points with two rebounds and two turnovers. At one point, in the second half, Romar sat them both for an extended period. He said later that he was looking to find any sort of combination that would guard.
What's frustrating for Romar is these are upper classmen. Gant is a redshirt senior and he still continues to make silly mistakes. The goaltending on the fastbreak last night was a perfect example. There was no reason for it. The Huskies continue to try and run the high screen and roll with N'Diaye and teams simply don't respect him as legitimate offensive option. We saw last night he simply dropped two catchable passes. Teams know that: 1. he struggles to catch the ball, and 2. if he does catch it, he's limited offensively and probably won't make an efficient basketball move to score. Unless it's a dunk, it's 50-50 that me makes the basket.
We re-watched some of the game last night, and the Huskies took some awful shots and had terrible defensive breakdowns when things started to go south. There was one time where Askia Booker got a rebound went by four Husky defenders for a layup. Wroten was right there to stop the ball at the top of the key and didn't do it. Offensively, when the Huskies needed buckets, they settled for jumpshots after one or two passes.
Abdul Gaddy said the team needs to learn how grind out games. But you wonder if some of them truly know that means. It's about remaining disciplined when everything is spinning out of control. The Huskies don't have that. Even Romar admitted they need to be physically and mentally stronger. Right now, they are playing soft, passive basketball.