It was another rocky non-conference schedule that ended with exactly zero quality wins (and a few distressingly bad losses). You could tell straight away that this wasn’t going to be our year.
But, then we opened up conference play with a strong win over Arizona State, and a strong close loss to #1-ranked Arizona – both on the road – and by God, we could dream, couldn’t we? Unlike years past, the Pac-12 is pretty solid right now, so if there was a chance to improve our RPI, conference play could be it. And we followed that up with a couple solid home victories over Utah and Colorado, allowing us the opportunity to dream even higher.
Since that point – our high water mark on the season – we’ve gone 0-5 on the road, losing the Bay Area games, the WSU game, and over the weekend, the mountain games. Two home wins over two bad Oregon schools are the only notches in our belt.
It’s frustrating, because you can see the promise in this team. C.J. Wilcox is a legitimate NBA shooting guard who’s averaging nearly 20 points per game. While Lorenzo Romar’s seat remains hot in some circles of Husky fandom, it’s nice to see he’s still able to coach up and get the best out of players who put in the effort. C.J. Wilcox has gotten better every year he’s been with the team, and he has taken arguably the biggest leap this year.
Nigel Williams-Goss looks like the real deal too, but his game isn’t quite established just yet. I REALLY hope he comes back for a second season, because I think he’d greatly benefit from another year’s tutelage under Romar.
Andrew Andrews can be electric or maddening. I’d like to see him spend his off-season working on his jumper and nothing else.
Perris Blackwell would be a solid role player of a big man on a better team, but he’s simply being asked to carry too much of the load on this under-sized team.
Mike Anderson does a lot of things well, sort of like a Desmond Simmons type. You’d like to see him improve on his jumper, because quite frankly you can only have so many Desmond Simmons types on your team before you need someone else to help pick up the scoring slack. Speaking of which, you’d almost want to have a whole team made up of Desmond Simmons – if it meant they’d actually play some defense – but I guess you can’t have everything.
Finally, Shawn Kemp Jr. is a walking personal foul waiting to happen. With a guy his size, it’s not unreasonable to expect better things, but at some point you just have to wonder how much the guy wants to be better.
I dunno. I like to see what’s possible in our guys, and with this team, what’s possible should be A LOT better than what we’ve seen recently. When things are clicking, we’re a tough team to tangle with. But, more often than not, things DON’T click, and we’re left with lopsided defeats to good teams and baffling defeats to bad teams.
There are seven games left to go in the season. Five at home (Bay Area schools, WSU, and L.A. schools) and two on the road (Oregon schools). If this was a good Washington basketball team, we’d win every single one of these games and finish the regular season with 20 wins overall. Want to impress the Hell out of me? Do just that and blow my mind.