This sign (above) is posted in the middle of the visiting locker at Coors Events Center. It’s meant to intimidate opposing teams.
When Kelvin Sampson was coach at Oklahoma State, he would pry it down. Oregon coaches used athletic tape to cover up the sign. And some teams would drape towels over it.
The origin of the sign is sketchy. It’s been around for at least a decade, certainly preceding the arrival of fourth-year coach Tad Boyle, who talks at length about the adverse affects the mile-high altitude has on opponents.
Fifth-year senior guard C.J. Wilcox, who played in 3,000-plus feet altitude at Pleasant Grove High in Utah, admitted the higher elevation is a very real phenomenon that takes awhile to get used to.
Whether or not the altitude played role in Washington’s 91-65 defeat at Colorado is anyone’s guess. What is certain, the Huskies have never been as bad this season as they were Sunday.
This was worse than the embarrassing loss at home to UC Irvine. This was worse then the drubbings in New York’s Madison Square Garden from Indiana and Boston College. And this was worse than the Bay Area beatdowns last month from California and Stanford.
Washington never had a chance against Colorado. After two minutes and four seconds, the Huskies trailed 10-0. After five minutes and 29 seconds, they were down 20-4.
It took Washington nearly 10 minutes to pull within seven points (37-30) with 4:12 left. But Colorado closed the first half with an 11-3 run to push its lead to 15 points (48-33) at the break.
Washington got as close as 14 points and trailed by as many as 30 the rest of the way.
“We were not organized in our defensive transition early in the game,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. We were not picking people up, we allowed them to get a couple baskets but we also turned it over early and allowed them to get going. [That early lead] can be tough, but we brought it back down to seven. We came back and we used a lot of energy to come back but we couldn’t make shots and eventually they ran away from us.”
Not much went right for the Huskies. They were outrebounded 44-30. Their defense was as porous as its ever been. Colorado shot 51.5 percent in the first half, 60.9 in the second and 55.4 in the game. The Buffaloes scored in nearly every way imaginable. Inside and outside, the Huskies had no defense.
Colorado finished with nine three-pointers, nine layups and seven dunks, including Jaron Hopkins’ monster slam on Wilcox midway in the second half.
MORE NOTES, QUOTES AND OBSERVATIONS:
— Nigel Williams-Goss had a team-high 15 points on 5-for-13 shooting. He was 2 of 4 on three-pointers and 3 for 3 at the line. Williams-Goss also had four rebounds, four assists and four turnovers in 35 minutes. He wasn’t the only person defending Askia Booker, but none of the UW players could slow down the Colorado point guard who had 20 points, seven assists and fiver rebounds.
— Early on, it looked as if Andrew Andrews put Thursday’s 2-for-12 outing behind him. He drained two three-pointers in the first half and was 2 for 3 behind the arc and 2 for 5 from the field. In the second half, Andrews was 1 for 8 on field goals, including 1 for 5 on three-pointers. He finished with nine points and five rebounds.
— Perris Blackwell had a hard time slowing down Josh Scott, who finished with 21 points on 8-for-11 shooting, eight rebounds and three blocks. Blackwell had foul trouble and played just 21 minutes. He finished with 10 points, five rebounds and two assists.
— It just wasn’t Wilcox’s game. That happens. After the game, he said his legs felt a little heavy. Got to imagine his back is also sore after carrying the Huskies all season. Wilcox finished with a season-low eight points on 2-for-10 shooting. He missed all seven three-pointers. Making matters worse, Wilcox contributed just two assists and failed to get a rebound, block or steal in 31 minutes.
— Sporting a bandage over his eye, Darin Johnson scored seven points on 2-for-8 shooting. He suffered the cut during Saturday’s practice.
— Desmond Simmons needed three stitches to close a gash on his forehead after incidental headbutt in the first half. He missed about 15 minutes and returned in the second half. Simmons, who had 14 points Thursday, finished with five on 1-for-3 shooting. He also had three rebounds.
— Mike Anderson replaced Simmons and played 15 of his 20 minutes in the first half. However, he was no match against Xavier Johnson, who finished with a career-high 27 points on 10-for-14 shooting and 10 rebounds.
— Shawn Kemp Jr. had a quiet four points and four rebounds in 18 minutes.
— Jahmel Taylor, Gilles Dierickx and Quinn Sterling played the final minutes in mop-up duty. Taylor drained a long three-pointer.