The Husky basketball team went down in flames on Saturday against Arizona State. The Huskies were never really in the game as ASU seized the lead from the onset and never relinquished it through the evening even though Washinton did threaten at times.
What is wrong with this team? First of all they can't shoot very well, and when they do shoot they have terrible shot selection. Second of all they don't move the ball around very well, and can't seem to find the open man.
For example Ryan Appleby would be isolated alone across the court many times and the Huskies simply couldn't whip the ball around to find him on the outside. Ryan is the Huskies one outside threat, but he needs to be set comfortably to be accurate. Washington has done a poor job all season getting him the ball in the right sitation, and setting screens, and picks to get him free.
Defensively the Huskies can be strong inside led by Brockman, but too often opposing guards are able to run free because Appleby is a defensive liability. He simply doesn't have the speed, or agility to keep up with Pac Ten giards who just happen to be among the best in the country this year. As for Brockman I love what this guy brings, but he doesn't shoot very well either.
Finally there is foul shooting. The Huskies are the worst foul shooting team in the conference, a maybe the country. I have never seen a worse foul shooting team. Almost every kid goes to the line with poor form which changes on every attempt, and that for the most part has to do with coaching. Obviously these kids arrived with the problem, but it hasn't been close to being solved since they arrived.
I don't think heart and effort are the problems at all. This team plays hard, but their record simply reflects the amount of talent presently on the team. Saturdays game was just painful to watch because they simply aren't that good.
What can they solve these problems?
Venoy Overton is going to be a very good player in the future. We saw him take over the game against Arizona, and once he matures he will be one of the better point guards in the conference. Leadership is another problem, and I think once again as Venoy matures he will be able to help out in that respect. We also get another year from Brockman who can just dominate on the inside.
The one thing about college basketball is that with early entry the playing field will change dramatically next year in the conference. This years stars for the most part will be gone and playing in the NBA. UW is bringing in a very strong class led by prep school phenom Isaiah Thomas. Thomas can shoot the ball, he can pass the ball, and he can drive to the hoop in a way we haven't seen since Nate Robinson. In addition to Thomas the Huskies add Suggs, Turner, and Breshers who are all going to be a significant upgrade to the roster in 2008-2009.
All this being said this season is still not over. Even with the loss to ASU the Huskies are still not eliminated from the big dance. All they have to do is beat Stanford, Cal, and WSU over the next two weeks and they have a shot. I forgot to mention that in the first go round we lost to those three teams, in fact we were only competitive against WSU, and all three game are on the road.
There isn't much to comment about this week since there has been absolutely nothing of substance coming out of Montlake which is no surprise. The Huskies still have an open coaching slot, but not a single name has popped up yet. The coaches have been recruiting for 2009, and they have made over twenty offers so far. These are the type of offers that go to the top players in the country every year. Locally Desmond Trufant, and DeAndre Coleman are the first kids with Husky offers.
In a sad note the mother of Husky recruit OT Terence Thomas suffered a very severe stroke and is in very rough shape. This is terrible news for the Thomas family, and she is only 43 years old. Lets all pray for her speedy recovery. I picked this up from the Dawgman recruiting board, and it was posted by Terence's father. He and his wife have been married for 22 years.