November 20, 2013 at 4:32 PM
A couple of big early tests for Washington this week in the championship rounds of the 2K Sports Classic.
The Huskies can erase the disappointment of last week’s loss at home to UC Irvine and bolster their sagging 211 RPI rating if they can win the tournament.
To do so, Washington will have to break a five-game losing streak at New York’s Madison Square Garden. UW is 1-5 overall at the place billed as the most famous arena in the world.
The Huskies also are looking to buck an unflattering trend.
They haven’t fared well on the road in regular-season games against non-conference teams. During his UW tenure, coach Lorenzo Romar is 13-25 in those games and the Huskies haven’t had a winning record since 2004-05.
He’s 21-33 overall in non-conference road games, including an 8-8 postseason record.
Here’s the breakdown by season.
Season ……. Regular season …. Postseason …. Total
2002-03 ….. 1-3 ……………………. 0-0 …………….. 1-3
2003-04 ….. 1-3 ……………………. 0-1 …………….. 1-4
2004-05 ….. 4-1 ……………………. 2-1 …………….. 6-2
2005-06 ….. 1-0 ……………………. 2-1 …………….. 3-1
2006-07 ….. 0-2 ……………………. 0-0 …………….. 0-2
2007-08 ….. 1-3 ……………………. 0-0 …………….. 1-3
2008-09 ….. 1-2 ……………………. 1-1 …………….. 2-3
2009-10 ….. 0-2 ……………………. 2-1 …………….. 2-3
2010-11 ….. 2-3 ……………………. 1-1 …………….. 3-4
2011-12 …. 0-4 ………………….…. 0-1 ………….…. 0-5
2012-13 … 2-2 ………………….….. 0-1 …………….. 2-3
TOTALS …. 13-25 …………………. 8-8 ……………. 21-33
If Washington (2-1) can upset Indiana (4-0) in Thursday’s semifinal, the Huskies will face No. 18 Connecticut (4-0) or Boston College (1-3) in Friday’s championship game.
So here’s your chance to chime in.
May 10, 2013 at 1:39 PM
We’re running a poll in today’s sports section asking readers which in-state NBA product is the most fun to watch?
You have two choices: Nate Robinson, who starred at Washington, or former Washington State standout Klay Thompson.
Ken Bone, who coached both players, said Thursday he’s enjoying watching both of them succeed during the playoffs. Bone arrived at Washington in 2002 shortly before Robinson walked off the football field and onto a basketball court where he became a star. They left UW in 2005.
When Bone took the WSU job the first thing he did was watch every game from the previous season of Thompson. Bone concluded the Cougars were underutilizing the 6-foot-7 freshman.
“I’m not knocking the system at all – a great system under coach Tony Bennett – but Klay was really just a catch-and-shoot guy,” Bone said. “We needed more. We needed him to score a variety of ways.
“I asked the video coordinator to pull up some James Harden stuff because Klay’s got to learn how to drive it and be aggressive like Harden,” Bone said. “So we tried to mix the ability of him being able to shoot it and being able to drive and at times post up. And he really became a great scorer for us obviously.
“And he’s doing that now.”
Thompson started 33 games as a freshman and had just 31 free-throw attempts. He made 28 and averaged 12.5 points. Bone replaced WSU’s half-court oriented offense with an up-tempo scheme built around its mercurial shooting guard.
As a sophomore, Thompson converted 133 of 166 attempts at the line while averaging 19.6 points.
As a junior, he converted 155 of 185 attempts at the line while averaging 21.6 points.
It’s interesting to note, Washington junior C.J. Wilcox is following a similar path. He’s brilliant jump shooter who rarely got to the line early in his career. However, he’s become more of a versatile scorer recently.
As a redshirt freshman Wilcox was 25 of 31 at the line and averaged 8.1 points. As a sophomore he was 78 of 93 and averaged 14.2 points. And last season he 93 of 114 free throw attempts while averaging 16.8 points.
It’s not entirely a fair comparison because WSU built its offense around Thompson, who took 551 shots his final season. Wilcox has the green light, but he was more judicious and attempted 480 shots last season.
Still maybe Wilcox should ask Thompson if he can borrow those videos of Harden. Or better yet, maybe he should tune into the the NBA playoffs and watch Thompson, who is quickly becoming a star.
April 1, 2013 at 5:08 PM
It’s time for Aaron Gordon to make a decision.
The 6-7, 210-pound forward from San Jose, Calif. is the biggest 2013 prospect who hasn’t committed to a school. The five-star prospect is expected to announce his decision 9:30 a.m. PT Tuesday to reporters at the McDonald’s All-American practices in Chicago.
The schools vying for his services include: Washington, Arizona, Oregon and Kentucky.
The Huskies have been targeting Gordon for several years. A little while back, there were hopes among UW fans of landing a dream 2013 class that included: Jabari Parker, Jabari Bird, Issac Hamilton and Gordon.
Coach Lorenzo Romar seemed to go all in on the 2013 class when the Huskies failed to sign anyone in 2012 that made an immediate contribution. The Huskies signed three transfers. Perris Blackwell and Gilles Dierickx redshirted while Mark McLaughlin never played at UW.
One by one, Washington’s top targets picked other schools.
Parker committed to Duke. Bird signed with California and Hamilton chose UTEP.
However, Gordon remained a high priority and he kept the Huskies on a list that started with 15 and now includes four.
Realistically only three remain. He hasn’t officially dropped Kentucky, but the Wildcats took themselves out the Gordon derby two weeks ago when they picked up Julius Randle, who is considered the top power forward in the nation.
Gordon eliminated Oregon when he initially narrowed his list to three, but recently added the Ducks. Oregon made an unexpected run to the NCAA tournament Sweet 16 and adding Gordon could make the Ducks a Final Four contender next season.
I’ve talked to Gordon more than a dozen times over the past year and I’d be very surprised if he picked Oregon.
Everything tells me it’s Arizona or Washington in that order. A few months ago, I thought the Huskies were in the driver’s seat. But not any more. Not exactly sure what happened.
Washington fans may want to access blame if the Huskies whiff on Gordon and that’s understandable considering his stature. He’s a program-changing recruit. Check out the highlights (above).
He’s a legitimate high-school superstar. He’s a coach’s dream because he works hard, brings tremendous energy to the floor and he has a tremendous desire to get better each and every day. He averaged 21.6 points 15.7 rebounds 3.3 assist 2.1 blocks last season.
At Washington he would be the centerpiece of a young team with several players moving into new roles. You’d have to think Gordon would be good enough to start the season opener and he’d play near the top of the key and on the low block in Romar’s high-post offense. He’d also get to pair with Nigel Williams-Goss, a McDonald’s All-American who is considered one of the top high school point guards in the country.
At Arizona, Gordon would likely vie with five-star incoming freshman Rondae Hollis-Jefferson for the small forward spot vacated by all-Pac-12 standout Solomon Hill. On the one hand, the Wildcats coach Sean Miller has history developing post players including Hill and Derrick Williams, the No. 2 pick in the 2011 NBA draft. But you have to wonder how Gordon will get minutes on a crowded front line that includes Hollis-Jefferson, forwards Grant Jefferson and Brandon Ashley, who were 2012 five-star prospects, center Kaleb Tarczewski and forward Angelo Chol.
Give credit to Miller for keeping everyone happy in this day and age when players transfer at the drop of a hat.
Apparently he’s done a good job selling Gordon he can be a perimeter player at Arizona in the mold of Scottie Pippen or Shawn Marion. Truth is, Gordon isn’t a perimeter player. He’s a post player. Think of a shorter Blake Griffin. Gordon may not want to hear that, but it’s the truth. His shooting, ball-handling and passing skills are deficient. However, he’s an incredibly explosive low-post player.
You could argue that among the teams pursuing Gordon, Washington needs his talents more than any other. However, barring a last-minute reversal it appears Gordon will choose Arizona.
Here’s a look at the predictions of ESPN writers. None of them picked the Huskies.
But what do you think? Does Washington still have a chance at landing Gordon?
March 21, 2013 at 12:08 PM
Five teams from the Pac-12 made the NCAA tournament, but the conference didn’t receive a seed higher than No. 6.
On the one hand the league made a vast improvement from last year when just two teams made the Big Dance and Washington, the regular-season champion, didn’t receive an at-large bid.
Still the selection committee didn’t do the Pac-12 any favors this year in terms of the seeding and matchups.
California received a somewhat favorable draw because the Golden Bears are playing in San Jose, Calif. However, they face a very tough UNLV team that is a legitimate Final Four contender. Arizona looks to have the easiest draw. The Widcats are in Salt Lake City against mid-major powerhouse Belmont.
Last year, Cal got stomped in the play-in game while Colorado pulled off an upset victory in the Round of 64 game before losing the next game.
This year the NCAA tourney is as unpredictable as it’s ever been.
I’m guessing Oregon will ride any momentum from winning the Pac-12 tourney and advance to the Sweet 16. Arizona should survive today, but not sure if any other Pac-12 team will win a game.
But what do you think? Which Pac-12 team will be the last team standing in the Big Dance?
Here’s a look at today’s games in the Pac-12. (All times Pacific)
No. 5 Oklahoma State (24-8) vs. No. 12 Oregon (26-8), 1:40 p.m.
Midwest Region: San Jose, Calif.
Station: TNT Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner and Marty Snider
No. 6 Arizona (25-7) vs. No. 11 Belmont (26-6), 4:20 p.m.
West Region: Salt Lake City
Station: TNT Announcers: Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb and Jamie Maggio
No. 5 UNLV (25-9) vs. No. 12 California (20-11), 4:27 p.m.
East Region: San Jose, Calif.
Station: truTV Announcers: Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner and Marty Snider
AND HERE’S FRIDAY’S GAMES:
No. 7 Illinois (22-12) vs. No. 10 Colorado (21-11), 1:40 p.m.
East Region: Austin, Texas
Station: TNT Announcers: Tim Brando, Mike Gminski and Otis Livingston
No. 6 UCLA (25-9) vs. No. 11 Minnesota (20-12), 6:57 p.m.
South Region: Austin, Texas
Station: truTV Announcers: Tim Brando, Mike Gminski and Otis Livingtson
February 21, 2013 at 1:24 AM
Say one thing for the unpredictable Washington Huskies, they’ve been remarkably consistent when it comes to their offensive output against Arizona.
They scored 53 points in a four-point defeat on Jan. 31 at Hec Ed and they scored 52 points in an 18-point shellacking Wednesday at McKale Center.
You had to figure Washington would have difficulty generating points against the No. 12 team, which was playing at home in front of a sold-out crowd of 14,545 and a nationally televised ESPN2 audience.
At the end of the lopsided 70-52 beatdown, the Huskies (14-13, 6-8) were playing for pride while the Wildcats (22-4, 10-4) had much bigger stakes on the line. They’re still in the running for a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
Some notable observations and statistics:
— The late 9 p.m. start and a snowstorm didn’t keep the crowd away. The building was packed and loud minutes before tip off.
— Washington was 1 of 11 on three-pointers and 0 for 8 in the second half. The one three-pointer made tied a season low set in the first game against Arizona.
— The Huskies were 26.5 percent (9 of 34) from the field in the second half.
— Arizona had eight blocks.
— The Wildcats also had 10 fast-break points, the Huskies two.
Washington had to be near perfect to hang with Arizona and for about 14 minutes the Huskies were in the game. The score was tied 18-18 when Solomon Hill converted a layup that gave the Wildcats a lead they would never relinquish.
After the 18-18 tie, Washington was outscored 15-7 to finish the first half and trailed 33-25 at the break. The second half began with an Abdul Gaddy that resulted in a Arizona basket. That scenario was repeated many times.
After 6 1/2 minutes, Arizona built a 49-29 lead. That’s when coach Lorenzo Romar called a timeout and went ballistic on the sidelines.
Some say it was long overdue. Others will argue what’s the point. There’s four games remaining in the regular season and likely five total for this 2012-13 campaign. Might as well save your breath and get ready for next season.
But Romar refuses to give up on the Huskies and he doesn’t expect them to give up on each other.
“I think so far our group has done a good job not finger pointing and I don’t think that will happen with them,” he said.
When asked if he plans on personnel changes, Romar said: “We’ve made changes. I don’t want to have the knee jerk reaction and change everything. We were playing the No. 12 team in the country on their home court. In that situation you can’t afford to come out in the second half and not compete at a high level. It hasn’t been our identity.”
Say what you will about the Huskies during this disappointing season, they haven’t been blown out many times. It happened during a 73-55 defeat to Colorado State and it happened Wednesday. You might also throw in the 77-66 loss to Ohio State. But that’s it. Every other loss has been closely contested, even the 71-60 loss at USC.
It’s a testament to just how far the defending Pac-12 regular-season champions have fallen when the best thing you can say about them is they lose lots of close games.
But now that last little bit of positivity has been stripped away.
So where do the Huskies go from here? They’re 2-8 in the last 10 games after starting the Pac-12 season 4-0. Saturday’s contest at Arizona State is their last true road game before finishing with a three-game homestand.
If the season ended today, Washington would be the No. 9 seed against No. 8 Stanford in the Pac-12 Tournament. The winner would play No. 1 seed Oregon in the quarterfinals. To make the NCAA tourneys, the Huskies would need to do what’s never been done – win four games at the Pac-12 Tourney.
Judging from tonight, you have to wonder if Washington will win another game this season?
February 15, 2013 at 10:45 AM
I know this is a Washington Husky blog, but we’ll lead today’s post with a column from Bud Withers about Washington State coach Ken Bone, who may be on the hot seat.
His efforts to clean-up the program could have a correlation to the Cougars’ troubles on the court.
Bone told Withers: “We’ve put a huge, huge emphasis on character. What happened there a couple of years ago, it’s on me, because I was the head coach. I’d never in my life been associated with something like that.
“I would sit in my office and say, ‘This is unbelievable.’ I never thought that guys breaking the law would interfere with my success, or lack, in being a successful basketball coach.”
Washington State is last in the Pac-12 at 2-10. The Cougars are 11-14 overall and appear to be headed to their first losing season since 2006. Bone has never finished below .500 during his previous three seasons. But he’s never led them to a NCAA tournament either.
Here’s a poll (below) asking what’s the problem with WSU.
AROUND THE PAC-12:
— Colorado got a little revenge and a big win last night while defeating No. 9 Arizona 71-58in front of a sold-out crowd at the Coors Events Center. Spencer Dinwiddie scored 21 points and Xavier Johnson added 19 to lead the Buffaloes (17-7, 7-5) to its second win over a ranked opponent in a week.
— Arizona senior forward Solomon Hill told the Arizona Daily Star: “We just played catch-up pretty much the whole game.” The Wildcats (20-4, 8-4) fell into a second-place tie with UCLA in the league standings.
— California continues its push for a NCAA tournament berth. After registering significant wins over Arizona and Oregon recently, the Golden Bears thrashed UCLA 76-73 in front of 9,854 fans at Haas Pavilion. “We’re clicking as a team right now, and we keep getting better each and every day,” junior wing Allen Crabbe told the Mercury News. He finished with 16 points and Cal improved to 15-9, 7-5.
— The Baby Bruins look as if they’ve hit the freshman wall. UCLA (18-7, 8-4) has lost four of the past seven games.
— The hottest team in the Pac-12 is USC, which has a four-game winning streak including last night’s 65-64 win at Stanford. Seems crazy, but the Trojans are a serious Pac-12 title contender even though they’re still below .500. USC is 12-13 and 7-5. More importantly, it is 5-3 under interim coach Bob Cantu.
— Stanford wasted a big night from junior forward Josh Huestis, who scored a personal best 22 points. The Cardinal, which entered the game winning four of its past five games, seriously hurt its chances of winning an at-large NCAA tourney berth. Stanford is 15-10, 6-6.
February 5, 2013 at 1:30 PM
December 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM
A few Monday night links to pass along.
— Jerry Brewer caught up with former Washington star Terrence Ross in Toronto last week. As a reserve, the No. 8 draft pick is averaging 6.1 points and 2.1 rebounds in 16.7 minutes per game. Toronto is 6-19 and Ross said the toughest part of transitioning to the NBA for Ross is adjusting to the losing. “Getting so close every night and not coming up with the victory, I think that’s been the hardest thing,” he said.
— Meanwhile the Memphis Grizzlies recalled former UW standout Tony Wroten Jr. who spent the previous three weeks with the Reno Bighorns, their D-League team. Wroten played six games as a reserve averaging 13.3 points, 3.3 assists and 3.0 rebounds in 23.3 minutes.
— You can chime in (below) on a poll question asking who will have a better career Ross or Wroten.
— Senior guard Mark Lyons, who hit the game-winner in the final seconds over Florida last Saturday, is paying early dividends for No. 4 Arizona after transferring from Xavier.