The Huskies played Grambling State last night, but the opponent doesn’t matter. Yes, it was a tune-up game against a 2-win basketball team playing thousands of miles away from home. A team two years removed from going 0-28, and a single year removed from winning all of 5 games. Obviously, we’re not talking about a marquee matchup. But, again, the opponent is irrelevant. What’s most important is all the purple that can be seen in the stands.
Oh no, not the purple of a capacity crowd donning one of the school’s primary colors! I’m talking about the purple of empty fucking seats. In a 10,000-seat arena where there isn’t a bad view in the house.
I’m looking at you, aged Sonics fan who supported professional basketball in this city for decades. I’m looking at you, Husky alumni, who opted to abandon this program after two down years. And, quite frankly, I’m looking at the fucking UW student body. What has HAPPENED to our Dawg Pack? Does the school no longer give those tickets away for a song? Do you realize you’re getting literally the best seats in the house – in an age where basketball student sections are frequently pushed to behind one of the baskets? You need to fucking appreciate the opportunity you have to see bigtime college basketball at the 50-yard line of a bigtime basketball arena!
Hey, newsflash, to everyone out there: you don’t necessarily have to be a fan of the University of Washington to go to Hec Ed and appreciate the type of basketball on display! I mean, granted, if you’re a Coug or an alumnus of some other unfortunate school, you might not want to go. But, if you have no ties to any local university, and you just want to watch some great basketball, I don’t understand why you’re not going to these games!
I’m not here to spend your money. It’s not like I’m out there every game, with season tickets or whatnot. I’m gonna go to the game on Monday, but that’s neither here nor there. If you can’t afford season tickets, or it’s too much of a hardship to get there, I get it. But, that arena used to be filled on a regular basis, and now we’re lucky to see it half full, and that’s a damn shame. Because that means we’ve got people in this city who could easily afford the cost, and who could easily afford the time required to go to the games, but they’ve chosen to turn their backs on the program. Hell, this city used to fill up a 17,000-seat arena for Sonics games; you’re telling me all of these basketball fans in this city have suddenly died out?
How are we supposed to be expected to support an expansion NBA franchise when we’re letting a legitimately good, legitimately RANKED college basketball team play in front of ghost towns? WAKE UP, SEATTLE! I know there are basketball fans out there, hungry for something great. Well, the University of Washington has a great basketball team this year, and it’s about fucking time you got your asses out to a game or two.
If everyone is just waiting for conference play to start, I’ll stand down. But, in the meantime, even though there aren’t any great home matchups left in the non-conference schedule, you’ll probably never again have a chance to get some really primo seats for basketball this good.
As for the game last night, what can you say? The Dawgs were throwing alley-oops like they cured cancer or something. This really wasn’t a contest whatsoever. Nevertheless, there was some great stat-padding. Shawn Kemp Jr. had 21 points on 9/12 shooting. Andrew Andrews was 4/8 from behind the arc, en route to another 16 points. NWG had 9 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds, as the Huskies are inching ever closer to having their first-ever triple-double. Mike Anderson filled up the stat sheet with 10 points, 6 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals. And, of course, Robert Upshaw finished with 15 points, 15 boards, and 4 blocks.
My only quibble, if I strain to have one, is that Romar didn’t go to his deep bench early enough or for long enough. Seriously, what’s the point of having NWG in there for 33 minutes in a game where we’d end up winning by almost 50 points? Why not throw a bone in the FIRST half to some of our walk-ons? Why wait until the game is practically over?
Looking ahead, the Huskies travel to Vegas to play the 15th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday night at 6pm, in the MGM Grand Showcase. It’s being televised on ESPNU and WatchESPN (if you have a cable subscription). That’ll be a HUGE battle, and our final non-conference ranked opponent. Oklahoma figures to have an awesome RPI by season’s end, so winning this game would be one of the bigger feathers in our cap come Tournament time.
Then, on Monday, the Huskies are back home to face Tulane. 8pm start time, which is a little rough (with great Pac-12 television money comes great responsibility), but just do like I’m going to do: go to the game, then just go to work late the next day! Print this out and hand it to your boss as me giving you permission. I can be very persuasive (that’s not true, I’ll cave in like a big ol’ caveman).