The Huskies fell behind by 26 points early in the second half against Stanford and spent the rest of the game in scramble mode. They never got closer than 10 points and lost 84-74.
Washington dropped to 14-6 and 3-5 Pac-12. It’s 3-6 in the last six games since starting the season 11-0.
Here’s a few thoughts:
TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE FOR HUSKIES — Even though their numbers are down, not sure if the Huskies can play their 2-3 zone defense any more considering the loss of shot-blocking sensation Robert Uphsaw. Opposing big men are going to attack 6-9 forward Shawn Kemp Jr. and 7-foot backup center Gilles Dierickx in the post just like Stanford’s Stefan Nastic, who had 15 of his 17 points in the first half. The Huskies may have to go back to their man-to-man defense. Even though there’s just eight healthy scholarship players on the rotation, they may have to speed up the game with a frenetic defense that’s pressuring opposing guards and looking for turnovers. The danger in this tactic is Washington isn’t likely to maintain a fast pace for 40 minutes. The Huskies’ five-guard lineup looked good at times in the final minutes Wednesday. They played with heart, grit and character down the stretch. They didn’t give up and made the score respectable. But expecting them to play that way for 40 minutes is unrealistic. Not with just five scholarship guards on the team. Washington doesn’t want to begin games down by 12 points at halftime and expect to flip a switch to ramp up the pace. The Huskies need to find a formula that works. Kemp has to figure into the mix. Small ball works well in limited minutes, but over time players wear down. Small ball might work if the Huskies were better perimeter shooters, but so far Washington has been below average on three-pointers. On Wednesday, they were 0 for 5 in the first half beyond the arc and 4 of 16 in the game.
UW WAITING ON AN UNSUNG HERO — Junior guard Quevyn Winters had his best game at Washington while scoring a personal best 13 points in 13 minutes off the bench. He converted 3 of 5 three-pointers. The Huskies have been waiting for that kind of production from the junior-college transfer who tallied 12 points in the second game against Seattle. He hadn’t had more than three points in the previous 15 games. And backup guard Darin Johnson had a bit of an awakening as well tallying a season-high 10 points. Obviously, the short-handed Huskies need all the help they can get. Especially on a night when freshman forward Donaven Dorsey was held scoreless during his first start. Senior guard Mike Anderson stepped his game up and was more offensively assertive. He finished with a season-high tying 16 points, five rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. The Huskies need Nigel Williams-Goss (17 points, seven rebounds and seven assists) to have big nights. They don’t need his six turnovers. And they have to have Andrew Andrews (0 for 5 on three-pointers) contribute more than six points and three rebounds. Dierickx gave Washington eight minutes, but not sure if the Huskies can keep him on the floor for long stretches. He finished with two rebounds and had difficulty protecting the rim.
JERNARD JARREAU CAN’T GET BACK SOON ENOUGH —- Jarreau, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery last week, is still 4-6 weeks away from returning to the court. He dressed in warmups Wednesday and was on the floor during warmups. However, he didn’t participate in the on-court action and still moves slowly. Best-case scenario, he returns Feb. 15 for the Arizona State game and appears in six games before the Pac-12 Tournament. Given a six-week timetable, Jarreau makes his way back Feb. 28 and plays the final three regular-season games.