Well, it was exciting for a while. We all had a pretty good handle on what the Huskies would be this season: a team hovering around .500, but probably not even good enough to crack the N.I.T. Then, they went on the road for their first three Pac-12 games and came away 3-0, a feat they haven’t accomplished in many a moon. After a home victory over a supposedly-good Colorado team, the Dawgs were staring 5-0 in the face; all they had to do was beat an 0-5 Utah team. An 0-5 Utah team that has never won a road Pac-12 game since they joined the conference.
My friends and I decided to attend, because we had nothing else better to do on a Saturday night, and because it looked like we might have all severely underestimated this Husky team. As it turns out, we probably just overestimated some of these other Pac-12 teams the Huskies managed to beat.
This was by far the flattest performance I’ve ever seen out of a Romar-coached Husky team. Utah burst out to a 12-2 lead and never let the Huskies get closer than 6 points the rest of the way. Yeah, Utah shot 60% from the field, but it never felt like they were on fire. They just always had an answer to whatever the Huskies tried. The Huskies managed two solid runs in the game. It’s hard to define “runs” when they were so thoroughly dominated in all facets, but I would define a “run” as the Huskies stringing together consecutive baskets while getting the fans fired up at both ends of the court.
Both of those runs were quickly extinguished before they could lead to a Husky lead.
As I’ve stated repeatedly this season: the Huskies won’t win a shoot-out. They need games slow and ugly. They need their opponents scoring under 60 points.
The Huskies out-rebounded the Utes, which is part of the battle. They dominated on the offensive glass, 14-3. But, even with all those second-chance opportunities, the Huskies could make little headway.
There is something seriously wrong with the offense, that much is obvious. When C.J. Wilcox doesn’t score for the ENTIRE first half, and for much of the second half, this team is going to struggle. Scott Suggs, normally a pretty dependable guy when the rest of the offense goes in the toilet, could never really get it going.
What this team lacks more than anything else is a guy who can go to the line. Last year, Tony Wroten would’ve taken a game like this over and led the team to victory by sheer will. This team needed to get to the line in the second half and just wasn’t able to do it. Andrew Andrews feels like a guy who should be able to pick up that kind of slack, but for whatever reason the offense isn’t going in that direction.
One thing’s for certain: Abdul Gaddy isn’t that guy. Talk about a major disappointment for the program; to miss on a guy who was supposed to be one of the best in the nation is a huge setback.
Outside of a barrage of 3’s to close out the game, the Huskies were completely impotent against one of the worst teams in the conference. Doesn’t bode well for this week as the Dawgs go back on the road to face the Oregon schools.