I found it difficult to watch most of that game on Saturday. It was BEYOND ugly. Five guys fouled out. The teams shot a combined 60% from the free throw line and a combined 29% from three. The Huskies looked particularly inept in the first half and Duke looked particularly inept in the second half (except, they had such a commanding lead, all they had to do was hold on for dear life as they continued to make 1 of 2 from the line every time they went).
I found myself having a lot of the same complaints in this game as I’ve had all season. Wroten is the only guy challenging other teams in the paint. Gaddy is pretty much bringing nothing to the table. I like Gant, but he’s got to get his fouling under control because we NEED him at the end of games to be our big man. I like Ross and I think he should be shooting even MORE. And I like Wilcox, but the kid is hot-and-cold like you would not believe.
Learning that Suggs will be redshirting this season is a real blow to this team’s chances. I’ve said it all along: the dude is a calming influence on offense. Unlike Wilcox, Suggs RARELY goes into shooting slumps. I suppose it’ll be nice to have him healthy for the full season next year, but it’s looking like that’ll be a team missing two great stars (Wroten & Ross) with little-to-nothing to replace them.
This is a team badly in need of a win. That’s all I can say. On the plus side, I thought we hung in there really well against teams that are clearly better than us. To go into New York and lose by a combined 8 points against a couple of top 11 teams is very impressive. I know I tend to ride this team on this site, but that’s only because I have higher expectations of them than I do the other teams in this city. Still, those were two games where we – by all rights – should have been run out of Madison Square Garden. And instead, we hung in there with the big dogs, the elites of the NCAA.
That gives me hope for this impending Pac-12 season. Against this conference that is TOTALLY up for grabs right now. Why not us? If we can play with that much heart and grit, why couldn’t we take the Pac-12 title? Or, at the very least, run the table in the Pac-12 Tourney?