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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 25, 2015 at 9:40 PM

Three impressions: No. 12 Utah 77, Washington 56

Dakarai Tucker, left, scored 19 points off the bench to hlep No. 12 Utah to a 77-56 win over Washington and Nigel Williams-Goss, right (Photo credit: Deseret News)

Dakarai Tucker, left, scored 19 points off the bench to hlep No. 12 Utah to a 77-56 win over Washington and Nigel Williams-Goss, right (Photo credit: Deseret News)

Washington had its three-game winning streak snapped following a 77-56 loss at No. 12 Utah.

The 21-point drubbing was the worst defeat this season for the Huskies who fell to 14-5, 3-4 Pac-12.

Here’s a few thoughts.

EXPECT TO SEE THE ZONE AGAIN – Just because it didn’t work tonight, don’t expect coach Lorenzo Romar to give up on the 2-3 zone that helped the Huskies win three straight games. I’m guessing Washington will add some tweaks to the defense, such as trapping in the corner or maybe applying token pressure in the backcourt before falling back into the zone. Otherwise, not sure how much Washington can improve defensively in just a few days before Wednesday’s game against Stanford. It probably wouldn’t hurt to switch things up from time to time and use a little man-to-man defense, especially after timeouts. Opposing teams have video of UW’s zone now and they’re looking for ways to dissect it. Utah did a marvelous job getting the ball inside and whipping it back out to open shooters on the perimeter. The Utes shot 53.8 percent and had 20 assists on 28 field goals. That’s amazing. Still, when bad teams start shooting like that against Washington, then it’s probably time to abandon the zone. The Huskies are still shorthanded and tonight they used essentially a seven-man rotation.

WHAT’S HAPPENED TO THE OFFENSE? – Starting not to recognize Washington’s offense. The Huskies just don’t get easy baskets anymore. They don’t run or get much  in transition, which forces puts onus on their half court offense. What happened to the high post? Without 6-10 forward Jernard Jarreau (knee) who should return in 4-6 weeks, it’s understandable that the Huskies would rely less frequently on the high post. However, not sure if UW has used much of it – if any – in the past four games. And what happened to the pick-n-roll between 7-foot center Robert Upshaw and point guard Nigel Williams-Goss at the top of the key. That play worked really well early in the season. Maybe Williams-Goss isn’t the best person to use on pick-n-rolls considering he’s not the greatest long-range shooter. Maybe Andrew Andrews would be a better option. But Washington should use the pick-n-roll a little more. What happened to Shawn Kemp Jr.? He attempted just two field goals and didn’t go to the line. That can’t happen. Kemp needs more offensive opportunities than that. Especially on a night when Williams-Goss and Andrews each take 14 shots. And what’s happened to the alley-oop pass between guards. Washington ran this play several times in past years for C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross.  While Mike Anderson and Andrews may not be high fliers on par with Wilcox and Ross, they can get off the floor and possibly finish at the rim. It wouldn’t hurt to diagram a few plays for Andrews considering he’s been on a tear recently. Which  leads us to the next observation.

ANDREWS IS STARTING TO HEAT UP – In the final six regular-season games last season, Andrews averaged 17.2 points and 6.5 rebounds. It’s always dangerous to make any definitive statements with a Andrews, who has been streaky during his three-year UW career. However, these past three games is one of best three-game spans he’s ever had. It stared with a 21-point outburst against Oregon on Jan. 18. On Thursday, he drained a last-second, game-winning shot at Colorado. And tonight, Andrews tallied a personal best 22 points on 7-for-14 shooting, including 5 of 6 on three-pointers. He went to the line three times and made every shot. He also had two rebounds and two assists. It may have gotten loss in the lopsided defeat, but Andrews played really good defense at times on Brandon Taylor, especially in the second half. Andrews gave maximum effort on the defensive end.

Comments | More in Game recap | Topics: Utah

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