Originally posted on SeaTown Sports  |  Last updated 3/28/12


                                                                     Photo Credit: Frank Franklin II/Associated Press

I want to say, first and foremost, thank you to Darnell Gant for an absolutely amazing career at the University of Washington. I wish you all the best in whatever you decide to pursue in life and am sure you will succeed, being the extremely talented individual you are. Brendan Sherrer, congratulations on everything you have achieved on and off the court since going from a member of the Dawg Pack to a member of multiple Pacific 10/12 championships.

Thank you to Lorenzo Romar for continuing to be one of the most kind and inspiring men I have ever met in my life. Many people, including myself, have called out his coaching inefficiencies this season, yet the Dawgs still came away with a regular season championship. These same people will say that Romar was not the reason for the championship banner that will be raised next season. They are wrong. Think of this Huskies team as a whole. The best players are a pair of sophomores and a freshman. One of the two seniors on the roster who receive significant playing time went down with an injury that ended his season. The freshman has the biggest ego that has ever come through the program. One of the sophomores was fighting an identity crisis for two-thirds of the season. The other sat out multiple games and did not come close to reaching 100% health over the final two months of the season. There are just two juniors on the roster. Romar’s effort to get this team a conference title will go underappreciated. I hope it does not, but it will. Thank you Lorenzo.

I started this game with the usual array of things I do while watching the Huskies. I yelled at the TV, gawked at questionable calls against UW, screamed at Tony Wroten and jotted down some in-game notes and statistics. I ended the game thinking of Washington’s season as a whole as defeat seemed inevitable, paraded around my room after CJ Wilcox’s game-tying layup and proceeded to sulk my way through overtime as the Huskies resorted back to their unorganized offense. This is what I’ve been doing the entire season. Isn’t that fitting?

Washington lost the game today. The Dawgs played a flat 30+ minutes of basketball before closing regulation with passionate basketball. This was followed by 5 disjointed minutes in overtime that ended UW’s season. The Huskies played uninspired basketball until the final minutes and it cost them dearly. The fact that Washington needed only to play a couple minutes of good basketball to overcome a double digit deficit shows how much better they could be. Now the season is over. There are no more “how good can UW be?” questions.

Woofs

Darnell Gant and Desmond Simmons: These two Huskies are the only players on the team that can be counted on to inspire other members on the floor. Gant played one of his more effective games of the year, finishing with 12 points on 5-7 shooting and 9 rebounds. Simmons had just 2 points, 2 rebounds and 3 steals. This is offset by his countless high-energy hustle plays to get his teammates riled up. These two did not want the season to end. Simmons would have been the MVP of this game if UW pulled off the comeback.

Terrence Ross: Ross had 14 points in the first half and was the reason why UW didn’t find themselves down at least 20 points at intermission. I expect him to score every time he touches the ball. Hopefully I can expect those same things in a Husky uniform next year.

Hustle Stats: Don’t get me wrong here, the Huskies did not hustle this game. That said, UW finished with 15 offensive rebounds and 11 steals. Those are large numbers. The offensive rebounds were what kept Washington in the game down the stretch and allowed the Dawgs to force overtime.

Whimpers

Tony Wroten: I have backed Wroten the entire season, saying he is a valuable and necessary member of this team. He tried his hardest to prove me wrong tonight. Wroten played his worst game of the season, going just 4-16 from the field and playing moronic defense. Wroten’s two unnecessary fouls on Andre Hollins (one of the best free throw shooters in the country) played a large roll in the loss. He can’t drive right. He forced numerous shots. He was benched. He had zero assists. And yet he managed to play close D and force the turnover that allowed Wilcox to hit his runner that forced overtime. Please come back Tony.

Lorenzo Romar: I still love Lorenzo. This is for one thing and one thing only: Tony Wroten being in the game for the final minutes. He did absolutely nothing to deserve it.

Shot Selection: I don’t know how many points UW scored in the paint, but it should have been more. The Huskies settled for far too many contested shots, finishing with a miserable 37% from the field on 26-70 shooting. The ball movement for the Huskies was ineffective, but what else is new.

Finishing Thoughts

I will have to write a season recap sooner or later (whenever I get off this emotional roller-coaster that UW put me through over the final seven minutes of the game). Expect it to come in the next week. For now, Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten should know that they have some unfinished business on Montlake. Scott Suggs, I highly anticipate your second chance at a senior season.

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