This was the most disappointing game of the season. The embarrassment against South Dakota State was just pathetic, this game was disappointing.
The Dawgs played just well enough to keep themselves in the game while giving up numerous buckets because of unacceptable defense. UW made their comeback too little too late and was not able to overcome sloppy defense and poor shooting that plagued them throughout the night.
The Huskies pulled within four at 55-51 with six minutes remaining when Aziz N’Diaye was called for a foul going after an offensive rebound. This was when Coach Romar blew a fuse, as he had been shouting at officials prior to the play and lost his cool following the N’Diaye foul. California went on to make both technical foul shots and knock down both 1-and-1 free throws to go up 59-51. Make no mistake, this technical by Romar was not of similar nature to the one against Washington State.
The Dawgs continued their intensity and fight following the technical and were able to draw within three points going into their last possession. Darnell Gant ended up with an open look to tie the game but his shot fell short, an epitome of the night for the Huskies.WOOFS AND WHIMPERS AFTER THE JUMP!
Aziz N’Diaye: Aziz can now be looked at as a threat on the offensive end. N’Diaye is capable of abusing smaller defenders in the post with his newfound spin move down low. Aziz finished with 14 points on 7-11 shooting and 12 rebounds. He is responsible for multiple Wroten turnovers because of his hands, but this is to be expected. N’Diaye has surpassed all expectations I had for him this year.
Defensive Pressure: The Huskies forced 17 turnovers against a disciplined Cal team. UW was all over the place defensively in the last ten minutes of the second half, swarming the ball and cutting off all passing lanes for the Golden Bears. I was especially impressed with Terrence Ross’ pressure on Allen Crabbe in the second half, denying him any space to create a shot.
*Desmond Simmons finished with 8 points on 5 shots and created multiple turnovers. He was 3-5 from the field and needs to take more than five shots a game. I would like to see him take at least eight a game as he is a very capable shooter.
Terrence Ross: Ross disgusted me tonight. He looked disinterested at multiple points during the game and ROOT began targeting him after every Husky foul because the expression on his face. It wasn’t pretty. Ross could constantly be found shaking his head and rolling his eyes on the court. T-Ross continued to show that he is the best player on the Huskies, creating space off the dribble and taking 15 shots. However, he is not ready to be a leader until he realizes how to act on court.
Basketball IQ/Laziness: The Huskies lack of basketball IQ (could be laziness) during transition defense tonight was appalling. The difference in the game was the amount of easy baskets the Golden Bears had tonight due to the Dawgs’ lack of attention on defense. California did not give up any easy transition layups, while the Huskies gave up at least five layups that can be credited to unawareness.
Darnell Gant: This is not for Gant’s miss at the buzzer. That was a fine shot. This is for Darnell going 0-9 on wide-open shots. Each shot was uncontested. His confidence is clearly gone, as he refused to take multiple open threes during the second half.
Lorenzo Romar: Romar’s technical was inexcusable. Cal was able to make four free throws because of Romar’s boneheaded decision. The Huskies lost by three. Do the math. Romar’s decision on giving Gant the last shot was also baffling due to Darnell’s ineffectiveness throughout the game.
Hikeem Stewart: He brings nothing to the table. His offensive game is nonexistent, as he is Tony Wroten without the passing or driving ability. So essentially a point guard without a jump shot. Stewart badly missed all three of his shots, which were wide open.
The Huskies lost tonight in a critical game that could have kept them atop the Pac-12 with Stanford. They now find themselves in a cluster of teams with two losses in conference.
I want to mention that the refs did a fairly poor job tonight. They were not consistent with their calls and refused to call hand-checks on the perimeter (plenty of these between Wroten and Gutierrez).
The Dawgs played poorly and lost by three to a very good Pac-12 team, which is promising. That said, UW needs to stop showing flashes of talent and start putting them together.
This is the worst team with talent the Huskies have had in the Romar era. Next up is an absolute must-win against the Stanford Cardinal on Saturday.
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