Friday, February 11, 2011

What is the deal with the Huskies?

Last night was one of the most amazing games I have seen the Huskies play in the last few years. The team made 17 threes, had 11 blocks and 30 assists. From the start until they lit their victory cigar (Brendan Sherrer) the Huskies looked unbeatable. On defense they were active, annoying the Cal offense and not allowing them to get any easy buckets. On offense they looked just as good, even Aziz N'Diaye was able to beat the zone in the game.

Thats all good and fine, but lets not forget the Huskies had lost 3 in a row, all on the road. And this win was at home, where they always dominate. It makes me wonder if the Huskies are a good team, or are they just REALLY good at home?

I think the Huskies are a good basketball team, but they are not even close to a great or elite team. Isaiah Thomas is one of the best players in the country, but some games he just never gets going and the Huskies rarely win those games. MBA is another great player, but even in the games he plays good in, he fails to convert buckets that even I could make. Those two guys are a big reason for the Huskies current record, but they are also a big reason for their losing streak, neither of them knows how to play on the road.

Thomas has brought back Raising the Roof (RTR) and also started Pushing it Down (PID) on the road. He obviously feeds of the crowd which is good when he is home, but he can't tune out the road sometimes on the road. It is a tough thing to deal with, but Thomas may need to tone down his emotion and reactions with the crowd. He is a fun guy and wants to entertain but at this point in the season I don't think it's helping. Actually I think he realized it's hurting the team as well. He is a self admitted Twitter addict and has said he's taking a break from it until March 12th, which is the end of the Pac-10 tournament. That takes away a lot of his interaction with the fans and if Thursday is a sign that it could help, Thomas may be gone for good. Now I'm not saying Thomas can't play on the road, he obviously can and has, but he does have the tendency to disappear at times on the road which leads me to believe it's all upstairs for him.

A few weeks ago Terrence Ross coined the new phrase 'Like a Ross', and man is that the case with his talents. They are one of a kind and that was on display last night. The way he hung up in the air on a reverse lay-in was amazing, he missed but the play was still absolutely beautiful by the freshman. Romar needs to get the guy in the game a lot more, even though apparently his defense isn't up to snuff, his offense can really be a spark plug for the Huskies. I hope this guy stays around for several years and can eventually lead Washington deep into March.

Venoy Overton has struggled all season long, he has been injury ridden for the majority of the season and it just seems like something has been bugging him up until recently. But he was back to his old self being a pain in the butt to the Cal ball handlers. He had just one steal but was all over the place in the game. He was moving the ball up court to speed up the game and dishing the ball out for 7 assists, also scoring more than 10 points as well. He has been the Huskies signature 6th man and if he keeps it up, the Huskies will be getting attention again from across the country.

I think the Stanford game this weekend is meaningless! The Huskies will probably win by a solid margin, because it is a home game and they always win. But next week will be the true tell tale sign of what is to come for the Huskies. Thursday they play at ASU, a team that they should roll over, but because it is on the road I think it could go either way. If they win that game handily I think they will have a great shot at beating Arizona. They have already won once at home and yes they stink on the road, but it is a must win if the Huskies want to win the conference.

So I asked what's the deal with the Huskies...My answer is that they are mentally weak. They haven't learned how to deal with success nor playing on the road. Two things they will have to figure out if they want to win anything of note this year. We won't know what their real deal is until they hit next week and then we'll see whether they sink or float...My guess is they will be floating high and sweep Arizona next week to get back on track.


Tage said...

I don't think the dawgs can win against Arizona away. The wildcats are 13-0 at home and Derrick Williams is not about to let is POY aspirations be slowed by Washington. We are 3-5 on the road, and this is the toughest team we have faced yet on the road.

larsem said...

I see what you're saying, but I think Washington is going to turn the corner next week. The Huskies have a lot of their own great players and it will be a tough game to win, but I don't see why the Huskies can't pull it out if they find their rhythm.

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