Washington lost again. This time 80-77 to Washington State.
That’s four straight defeats for the Huskies, which fell to 11-4, 0-3 Pac-12.
Here’s a few thoughts.
FRONT LINE DEPTH BECOMING AN ISSUE – As strange as it may sound, today was the first time the Huskies may have missed Desmond Simmons, their senior forward who transferred to Saint Mary’s during the offseason. For the second straight game, Jernard Jarreau got himself into foul trouble and played just four minutes in the first half. Making matters worse, the 6-10 junior forward left the game with 2:17 remaining after suffering an apparent leg injury. Coach Lorenzo Romar was a little vague after the game when asked about Jarreau. He said: “What his status is, I’ll find out pretty shortly. … It was something in the game.” The Huskies didn’t have backup center Gilles Dierickx, who was out due to a foot injury, which left them with three available players 6-7 or taller. Romar hinted that lineup changes were possible. The bigger issue is Shawn Kemp Jr. and Robert Upshaw, who both played 31 minutes, will likely see more action. And that’s not necessarily a good thing. The more they play, the less they’ll be able to go hard at practice late in the season. And right now, they’re practically the only big men on the roster.
NIGEL WILLIAMS-GOSS NEEDS HELP – Not sure how much more Williams-Goss can do. He scored 30 points — two shy of his personal best — on 13-of-22 shooting. He pulled down seven rebounds. He dished out six assists. He collected three steals, which tied his career high. And he played the entire 40 minutes for the first time this season. That’s real production. You can’t play better than that. And yet, the Huskies needed more. Even with a point guard such as skilled as Williams-Goss, Washington’s offense still breaks down far too often. Getting the ball inside remains a chore despite the size advantage of Robert Upshaw and Shawn Kemp Jr.
GOT TO BUILD CONFIDENCE IN SHOOTERS – To borrow a phrase from WSU coach Ernie Kent, the Huskies must start “building the confidence of their shooters.” Kent did it with the Cougars. They were the worst shooting team in the Pac-12 last season. Now look at them. They’re firing up shots from all over the place. If the Huskies are going to make just 4 of 19 free throws at their home gym, imagine what they’ll do on the road in hostile Pac-12 arenas. Well, we don’t really have to imagine. In two conference road defeats, UW was 9 of 29 (.310) downtown. It’s uncertain if Washington can improve its perimeter shooting this late in the season. After 15 games, generally you are who you are.