Monday, March 05, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

The Husky basketball team finished the season on an extremely high note by sweeping the LA schools at home in convincing fashion this past weekend. Washington went out there, and seized both games from the onset and played the type of basketball we expected for the first time since the LSU game in December.

Despite the wins over two highly ranked opponents Washington likely still has to win four games over four days starting Wednesday to grab a berth in the Big Dance. The Tournament starts on Wednesday against a very dangerous Arizona State team which is also starting to play it's best basketball of the year. If they win they would most likely face the Cougars one more time.

The Huskies can win both those games, but the final two would most likely be USC, and UCLA, the same two teams that Washington handled at home this past weekend. Now if the tournament was in Seattle I would say the Huskies look like the favorite going into the this deal, but it is in Los Angeles which just happens to be the home territory of the aforementioned schools Washington needs to get by to get an invitation.

Bob Condotta mused on Saturday that maybe they don't need to win the whole thing to get in, but by Monday morning the consensus was that Washington needs all four to make it in since they finished the conference season with a losing record and still lack the definitive road victory they have been searching for all week.

What does Washington need to do to win all four? Saturday against UCLA was a good example, they need Hawes, and Brockman to dominate. Hawes finished with 15 rebounds on Saturday in his best game ever as a Husky. It was the first time all year that he was aggressive on the boards. Brockman on the other hand is a given, if he stays out of foul trouble he is the rock this team is built on.

I think the Huskies have a chance to do it, but the road thing is what bothers me, and even though this is a neutral court, the Huskies just haven't had a spark away from home this year. Wednesday night will give us an idea if these guys are the team that swept the LA schools, or the guy's who weren't competitive with Oregon State the previous weekend.

2008 Football Recruiting

2007 letter of intent day was less than a month ago, but Washington received it's first commitment for 2008 over the weekend after they held a big junior day on campus. Washington nabbed one of the top lineman in the state, Senio Kelemete, a 6-4, 255-pound lineman from Evergreen High. Kelemente projects to be an OT even though he seems a little light. Senio also wrestles, so he keeps his weight lower to compete. Good chance that he starts his senior season of HS weighing in around 285.

This may be the best in state class in over a decade. Scott Ecklund over at Dawgman feels there may be as many as 35 kids who merit Pac Ten scholarships in this class. Most of them were on campus this past weekend, the one's that were not were playing in the state basketball playoffs.

The class lack's the obvious superstar names like Taylor Mays, and Steve Schilling, at this point, but that may change after the early Summer combines. Lakes HS's TE/DE Kavario Middleton is one athletes who is a lock to achieve five star attention. His coach feels that he may equal Reggie William's athleticism.

OL/DT Alameda Ta'amu from Rainier Beach is another top recruit to watch, but he may be USC's to lose if they offer him since he keeps telling everyone, including UW coaches that USC is his dream school. If USC doesn't offer he will likely attend Washington, he had a great time at Junior Day. Hopefully the USC thing will wear off as the Huskies give him the love.

The strength of this years class is on the lines, and it just happens to be Washington's biggest need at this point. This is the class that can put Washington back into shape talent wise to compete for championships. Expect the Huskies to sign a dozen, or more athlete's from in state next Winter. From all reports Junior Day went pretty well, and just about all the attendees are very high on Washington at this point.

Spring Sports and Winter Championships

For the second straight day, the Washington Softball teams pitching and hitting proved too much for sixth-ranked LSU as the 14th-ranked softball team handed the Tigers their second loss in as many days. Nice to see that program starting to rebound after the Doctor Feelgood fiasco which was stranger than fiction.

UC Irvine had a combined no-hit bid broken up in the ninth inning, but still handed the Washington baseball team a 6-3 loss Sunday at Husky Ballpark in the final game of a three-game non-conference series. The Huskies (2-8) had their chances to score as UCI pitchers issued 13 walks and hit three batters, but Washington didn't manage a hit through the first eighth innings, scoring its first run on a bases-loaded walk. Irvine improved to 12-4-1 with the win.

Senior guard Cameo Hicks scored a team-high 18 points - including six points in the final 30 seconds - but Washington wasn't able to keep up with USC down the stretch, falling to the Women of Troy, 81-77, in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament at HP Pavilion, Saturday evening. That early loss could knock the Huskies out of NCAA tournament and seal the fate a little sooner for June Daugherty.

The Dempsey indoor facility was originally built with the football team in mind, but the Washington track, and field program is the team which has benefited the most from the facility. The Huskies finished the NCAA Indoor Track season by qualifying 14 athletes for next weekend's NCAA Indoor Championships in Fayetteville, Arkansas. "We might have to take a bus to nationals this year, the way things are going," Metcalf said. "Four years ago we went to the NCAA Indoor meet with four kids, now we're talking about the possibility of taking 14, and even the chance of competing for a trophy on the men's side. That's pretty exciting."


prrbrr said...

HIE, on June D. The biggest problem I saw was the local disconnect in her teams. Whereas Chris Gobrecht built her teams around mostly Washington girls like Rhonda Smith, June failed to keep the in state talent home losing Catherine Kraayveld to UO, Sheila Lambert to JC and Baylor, Chantelle Anderson to Vandy , Malick Oneal to Az, the four to ASU, plus this year lost the 2 Sealth girls to UCLA, not even in it for Angie Bjorkland of Spokane etc. (numerous other examples) June also built her teams around Jamie Redd, Lori Payne,the Mendiolas, Cameo Hicks, Dominique Banks etc, all great players and Cal girls except for Lori from Montana. Thus I think there wasn't a local affinity for the team like existed with CG's regime. Top all that off with getting beat in the PAC10 by home grown products didn't help her situation. I used to be a fan of the womens game as they played more like a team, instead of the NBA 1 on 1 me first style that started to surface in the college game. Lorenzo changed that style at UW. In all fairness to June, she has recruited the start of a very good home grown class with the big post from Roosevelt (M Argens) Katelyn Redmon from Spokane and Kristi Klingma from Jackson ( a jr). She also ended up with a 6'5" post from New Zealand jr national team, but I suspect a project like Todd MacCullough (
albeit a nice project). I also believe her recruiting strategy was suspect in like 1 scholly to give the last 2 years and 5 or six this year, so the balance wasn't there. This was supposed to be her year to run with the big dogs with seniors Bell, Hicks etc. For some reason, June's teams have been above average, but not on the scale of her predecessor Chris G who competed annually for the PAC 10 crown. Granted the competition is tougher now, but not sure if she and hubby were lazy recruiters or lacked a grand strategy for winning big and consistently at the UW. The attendance has also dramatically dropped for the UW women BB, a reflection of her record and style of play. She has done well in graduation rates etc, but is that enough? If and when her replacement search occurs, I hope her successor will look to infuse the program with enthusiasm and a strong local connection. Perhaps hire Rhonda Smith or Joyce Walker as an assistant coach. Sorry to ramble on but this has been a thorn to me for the last 7 years,(JD has been here 11) so I think she has had time to fish and not cut bait. We and the UW deserve and expect better.

Health Insurance Expert said...

I like the idea of hiring Rhonda Smith, or Joyce Walker as an assistant. I think the next womens BB cach is going to be a pretty big name in that circle.