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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 18, 2005 at 5:37 PM

Pullman is litmus test

This game is turning out to be the biggest game of the year for the Dawgs.
It would be so easy for them to overlook WSU while anticipating the big Arizona game at Hec Ed. Losing to OSU changes all that and should give the Huskies some real motivation to get their house in order. If they don’t come out a changed group then we start to assume that either something is evident in their game that other coaching staffs are able to adjust to now or (worse) that they have lost something huge in their overall strength and chemistry.
Last weekend at the Oregon schools, something was missing from their level of effort to the point that even when I thought they were trying, they couldn’t play like they have been for the better part of the last year. If that’s the case Saturday, this season will turn out to be a huge disappointment.
If not, then we should expect a return to form to some of the dominant play that we’ve seen this year and some of the tremendous will that UW showed down the homestretch last season, which will be hugely exciting and send the team into next year with solid momentum.
Last year’s game in Pullman was right after the big season turnaround game at OSU (where Nate hit the shot that capped a 16-point comeback, starting UW’s big run). In that game UW dominated the Cougs and won convincingly.
What the Huskies need is a strong dose of the do-or-die that got them into the tournament after the horrendous start. They need to face each game with what it takes to achieve their lofty goals this season.
In order to win the conference, win the conference tournament and blow everyone’s mind in the NCAA tourney, they must play with a ferocious sense of urgency, much like they showed at the end of last year, combined with the overall improvement, depth and maturity that they have shown this year.
All the pieces are in place, but it won’t happen for this team just by showing up. The game in Pullman Saturday will probably set the tone for the rest of this year and possibly more.

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