No. 21 Washington’s losing streak extended to three games following a 68-60 overtime loss to Stanford at Maples Pavilion.
Here’s a few thoughts.
WHERE’S SHAWN KEMP JR.? – Coach’s decisions are always second guessed. Especially after defeats. So it was a little confusing to see Kemp on the bench for the entire five-minute overtime, especially when he gave Stanford fits inside. Kemp scored 19 points on 7-for-9 shooting in 20 minutes. He wasn’t Wilt Chamberlain (Google it kids) reincarnate, but he was pretty doggone good. Plus, the Cardinal was short handed up front after losing backup forward Michael Humphrey who fouled out. And Stanford center Stefan Nastic had four fouls. It’s understandable why coach Lorenzo Romar chose to go with Robert Upshaw down the stretch. He did the same thing against UTEP and UW won 68-65. But choosing Jernard Jarreau was somewhat puzzling considering he had a quiet 17 minutes of action. Romar believed Jarreau was a better defensive option for Anthony Brown. That’s probably right. But the Huskies needed points and was outscored 12-4 in overtime. UW was 0 for 3 from the field.
WHERE’S THE TRANSITION OFFENSE? – Stanford missed 36 shots and committed nine turnovers, which suggest there were plenty of chances for Washington to get a few easy baskets in transition. However, the Huskies finished with zero fast-break points. Not sure if the Stanford statistics crew got this right. I want to check the video replay to verify its accuracy. Still, Washington isn’t running as much as it did in the past. To be fair, not sure if the Huskies have many guys that can finish at the rim in traffic. Kemp has been pretty good in transition in the past. He’s a big man who can get up and down the floor better than most big men. Washington’s recent offensive struggles are magnified when it settles to run the half-court offense rather than attempt to score before the defense gets set.
BETTER, BUT STILL MISSING SOMETHING – Romar praised the Huskies for returning to the brand of basketball that enabled them to win 11 straight games at the start of the season. He said the previous two games were out of character for the Huskies. He said Washington could win with the type of effort it exhibited Sunday. I’m not so sure. While tonight’s game was a dramatic improvement from the Stony Brook stunner and the loss at California in the Pac-12 opener, the Huskies have deficiencies that hold them back. For starters, the guards routinely misconnect on their entry passes to the big men in the post. Several of UW’s season-high 19 turnovers were the result of passes that never made it inside. While the defensive gaffes were limited and UW did a nice job holding Stanford to 58 points in regulation, the offense is barely functioning and is prone to long scoring droughts.