Husky basketball has been tough to watch this year! For a couple of reasons, in fact. First of all, the first two games weren’t even on television! Because Larry Scott is terrible at his job, the only deal we could work out was with some random for-pay website I’d never even heard of before that I’m not even going to promote on this little-read blog because who in their right mind would pay a subscription for that nonsense?
It turned out to be money well saved, because the Huskies got summarily crushed against Baylor (the #2 team in the country) 86-52, and also by a probably-not-good UC Riverside team 57-42. Both of these games were on a neutral floor in Las Vegas, and both were scheduled on short notice (which you could argue is a point in Larry Scott’s favor, but don’t forget that we have the Pac-12 Network at our disposal, and also if he had ANY positive relationships with some of the other networks, he would’ve found a way to get these games on something people can actually find).
There really isn’t anything positive to say about these first two games. The Huskies got absolutely murdered on the boards, and couldn’t hit an outside shot to save their lives.
Then, a couple days later, we kicked off our conference schedule at Utah. The Utes were playing their first game of the season, while the Huskies were playing their third game inside of a week. We managed to keep it moderately close in the first half (down five at the break), but went a LONG time in the second half without a bucket, resulting in a 76-62 defeat. Quade Green has stepped up to be the offensive leader so far this season, but no one else through three games was able to do much. The only bright spot was 7’4 center Riley Sorn coming out of nowhere to provide some beef in the middle.
We finally got some much needed rest (and home cooking) over the last week before playing Seattle U last night. In that interim period, though, we all got some terrible news. Remember that Naz Carter suspension? It turns out it was a lot more sinister than we expected, as he was involved with two alleged sexual assault incidents on campus. So, that’s obviously fucked up. I guess all this time he had been appealing his suspension – meaning there had been some hope for him to return to the team – but then he opted to leave the program and seek a pro career overseas, which is definitely for the best. Not for him, of course, as his deal with some league in Australia fell apart as soon as the sexual assault allegations came to light. So, he’s going to have a lot of work to do on himself to find his way onto a professional basketball court again (or, of course, he can decide to play in one of those countries that doesn’t give a shit about women; they need basketball players too).
It turns out, all the Husky basketball team needed was the breath of fresh air that is Seattle University! We dismantled them 73-41. For some reason, Quade Green came off the bench, but still put up 18 points (on 6/7 shooting) in 18 minutes. Nate Pryor started in his place and it sounds like he was a real spark for this team, scoring 13 in 31 minutes. The team shot over 46% from the field, including 8/15 from long range.
It sounds like the Huskies have been built as a shooting team this year, so obviously hitting outside shots will be priority #1. Teams often live and die by the jumper, but it looks like this year will be an extreme example of that. It’ll be important that these shooting guards we’ve got on the roster (I’m looking HARD at RaeQuan Battle, who never met a basketball he didn’t immediately chuck towards the basket) start making baskets more consistently. They get way too cold way too often, and it’s killing this team.
But anyway, it’s probably best not to get your hopes up or get too frustrated with this team. They’re just not good. It’s fine. What I’m hanging my hat on is the hope that they get better over the course of this season. There will be a lot of players likely to return next year, and we want THOSE guys to be in a much better place than they are right now. Hopefully, with experience, we can look forward to more enjoyable basketball in the future.