Well, since the last time I wrote about the Dawgs, they’ve played three games. They narrowly beat UC Santa Barbara, they narrowly lost at Gonzaga, and they narrowly beat Seattle U. In other words, two crappy wins and a heartbreaking quality loss.
The Gonzaga game was eye-opening for a lot of people, because it was a true road game, against the #1 team in the nation, hot off a recent stunning victory over Duke. But, you know, when you run a zone defense like the Huskies, and the other team maybe doesn’t shoot so hot, you can hang around with just about anyone on the right night. What’s frustrating about the Huskies is the lack of progress. You just never know what you’re gonna get on any given night. Which is why you see this team struggle against inferior opponents; that inconsistency goes both ways.
I’m hard-pressed at this point to say that the 2018/2019 Huskies are any better than last season’s incarnation, even though most of the same guys are back, and ostensibly you’d think the extra year’s experience – along with the extra year learning and perfecting the system – would produce superior results. Right now, the Huskies are 7-3, and I don’t know if there’s a quality win in the bunch.
What I do know is that this team IS winning the games they’re supposed to win, so that’s a start, I guess. I dunno, do you get credit come Tourney Time for no losses to bad non-conference opponents? Do you get rewarded for Doing Your Job, essentially?
It doesn’t sound like it, to me. It sounds like they really only focus on the quality wins. So far, we got killed down in Auburn, lost at the buzzer on a neutral floor against Minnesota, and again at the buzzer over at Gonzaga. Don’t get me wrong, I love that the Huskies scheduled themselves so tough this year, but it’s frustrating to go 0 for 3 like that, particularly when – as I said before – the Pac-12 is shitty and tanking it up in the non-conference slate.
The Huskies have one more test to go: this Saturday, in Atlantic City, against #13 Virginia Tech. If we win this game, then maybe with a decent conference showing (getting up over the 20-win mark on the season), we’ll sneak into the Tourney. If we lose, then it’s going to boil down to the Huskies going something like 14-4 in conference play, and at least reaching the conference tournament championship game. Given the state of the Pac-12 – on top of its already poor reputation, thanks Larry Scott – I figure the Huskies are as good as anyone, and could very well accomplish this.
But, they’re the Huskies, so I could also see them going 8-10 and fizzling out in the first round of the Pac-12 Tourney. EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE! ISN’T THIS EXCITING?
Suffice it to say, this game is huge on Saturday. 4pm. Be there or be square.