Thursday, February 3, 2011

Beavers pull shocker in 68-56 upset win over #20 Huskies!

By Kshell

For the second straight game the Washington Huskies(15-6,7-3) were upset on the road to a Northwest rival school. The Oregon State Beavers(9-12,4-6) pull off their biggest win in the Craig Robinson era defeating the 20th ranked Huskies 68-56. This is Robinson's first win over a ranked opponent in his three years as Beavers head coach. Meanwhile the Huskies have to be left wondering what happened? What happened to the team that was 7-1 in Pac-10 play? What happened to the team that was so deep? Most importantly what happened to the play of the Huskies big three Isaiah Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Justin Holiday? This loss was a horrific loss for the Huskies who for the first time all season long find themselves in second place looking up at the Arizona Wildcats. The Huskies who had won eight straight over the Beavers including a 31 point thrashing just four weeks ago. Lorenzo Romar will have to regroup his guys before this season falls down the toilet which would be a tragedy given the talent and experience on this roster.

The Huskies once again much like in their previous loss to Washington State decided to not run an offense but instead to jack up three pointers. The Huskies began the game hot from the outside well Scott Suggs didn't making three of his first four three point shots to give the Huskies a nice 11-6 lead. After that the Beavers stormed back and the Huskies stopped making those three pointers. Instead the Huskies after starting off making three of their first four three pointers would go on to miss 12 of their next 14 three point shots. The Huskies found themselves trailing 32-29 before the half with five seconds left. That is when Scott Suggs drilled his fourth three pointer of the game to tie up the score 32-32 heading into the half.

The Huskies not learning their lesson one bit from the Wasington State loss. The Huskies in the first half made just 12-37(32.4%) field goals in the first half. Even worse than that was they shot 19 three poitners only connecting on six of them for a 31.5% percentage. The Huskies only attempted four free throws as they weren't not attacking the rim. The Huskies were also outrebounded by the Beavers 21-19 in the first half. The Beavers shot 12-27(44.4%) from the field and connected on two for six(33.3%) from the three point line. The Beavers struggled making just 6-13(46.2%) from the free throw line. The Huskies were led at halftime by Scott Suggs who scored 14 points on four for six shooting including four for five from three point range. The Huskies stars for the second straight game were struggling. Isaiah Thomas was just two for seven shooting with five points and five assists. Matthew Bryan-Amaning was just two for six shooting with four points and six rebounds. Justin Holiday didn't hit any of his five field goal attempts as he was shut out in the first half.

Just like the Washington State loss the Huskies came out and shot even worse in the second half. Unlike the first half where Suggs carried the team the Huskies had nobody step up in the second half. The Huskies scored just 24 points in the second half while making just 8-25(32.0%) from the field including a horrific 1-10(10.0%) from three point range. Even worse for the Huskies was shooting just 7-15(46.7%) from the free throw line while grabbing just 12 rebounds. The Beavers in the second half lived at the free throw line making 18-25(72.0%)of their free throws. The Beavers also shot 9-21(42.8%) from the field while jacking up just one three pointer in the second half. The Beavers dominated the boards in the second half out rebounding the Huskies 23-12. When it was all said and done the Beavers had defeated the Huskies for the first time since 2007 with the stunning 68-56 win.

In the second half the Huskies struggled as Isaiah Thomas didn't hit a single field goal finishing the game just 2-11. The red hot Scott Suggs was just one for six shooting in the second half with four points. Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored eight points on just three for six shooting in the second half. He didn't receive enough touches as the Huskies decided to instead launch up three pointers. Justin Holiday scored just four points in the game for the Huskies. The Huskies shot just 20-62(32.3%) from the field making only 7-29(24.1%) from three point range. Even more embarassing was shooting 9-19(47.4%) from free throws. When it was all said and done the Huskies had just two guys score in double figures. This was a far cry from the Huskies scoring 103 points on the Beavers just a month ago. There was no "Raise the Roof" or "And one" yells this game. Instead the Huskies find themselves 0-2 on a road trip that should have been three wins.

The Huskies must get back to playing good basketball. This is why the university is paying head coach Lorenzo Romar so much money to coach these kids. The team made zero adjustments from the poor loss against Washington State. The Huskies were still playing terrible transition defense, still weren't attacking the rim and aren't creating enough turnovers. The Huskies are launching three pointers and sitting around feeling sorry for themselves. The Huskies have just eight games in Pac-10 play to turn this around or they'll be in for a rude awakening come selection Sunday. This team at first handled the loss of Abdul Gaddy pretty well but these last two games you are sensing he would have been a difference maker. Romar needs to get the teams focus on throwing the ball inside to Bryan-Amaning and stop launching up threes every single possession or else you might want to cancel your March vacation plans.


- Isaiah Thomas just completed a pretty rough two game stretch that may have cost him Pac-10 player of the year. After playing so terrific the entire Pac-10 season Thomas has been down right awful the last two games which isn't a coincidence they were both losses.

Thomas finished today's game shooting just 2-11 with just nine points. He had six assists but for the second straight game had seven turnovers. The last two games Thomas has shot 5-24(20.8%) from the field. He has averaged just 14.0 points per game with 5.5 assists per game but seven turnovers a game is the alarming stat. Thomas is turning the ball over and not shooting very well.

Thomas could be struggling lately because he simply is receiving no help. With the loss of Gaddy and Overton has been MIA since his little incident that has put all the pressure on Thomas. Thomas is the only ball handler on the team and the team can't afford for him to have off nights. When Thomas is struggling to score and take care of the ball the Huskies simply can't win.

- Another big part of the Huskies offense has struggled the past two games in Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Today Bryan-Amaning was 5-12(41.7%) from the field with 12 points and 10 rebounds on the game. Bryan-Amaning has struggled lately due to the fact his teammates are hell bent on launching 60 three point shot the last two games. Considering the Huskies have shot just 64 two point shots the past two games you can see why the big man has been struggling.

Bryan-Amaning the last two games is shooting 6-20(30.0%) from the field and 6-14(42.9%) from the foul line. Bryan-Amaning is averaging just nine points per game but is grabbing 10.5 rebounds a game the last two games. There hasn't been any flexing or screaming of "And one" the last two games. In Bryan-Amaning's defense he simply isn't getting the ball enough and when he does he has to connect on his free throws. Of the three stars I'm actually worried about him the least. The other member of the big three I'm most concerned about I'll about next.

- Where has Justin Holiday's shooting been the last three games? Holiday is shooting just 8-27(29.6%) from the field while making just 2-14(14.3%) from three point range the last three games. Holiday today was just two for eight shooting while tieing for a season low four points. He had four points against Texas A & M when he fouled out in 15 minutes today he played 33 minutes. Holiday missed three easy layups today as well.

Holiday is averaging just 8.3 points per game the last three games. Holiday also isn't getting those steals along with Overton which has been a consistent force for the Huskies in the past. It's hard to win when your three scorers that count on shoot a combined 9-31(29.0%) from the field. The last two games Thomas, Matthew Bryan-Amaning and Holiday have shot 17-64(26.6%) from the field. I don't care who you are you will not win many if any games when your three top scorers are shooting like that.

- The only bright spot in the past two games is the play of Scott Suggs. Suggs scored a career high tonight with 18 points making five three pointers. Suggs slowed down big time in the second half but still nice to see him stroking the shots. When Romar named him a starter at California many raised eyebrows and at first he didn't produce. In Suggs first two starts he shot just two for seven with six points in two games. Since then Suggs in the last three games has shot 14-29(48.2%) from the field including 9-22(40.9%) from three point range while averaging 13.3 points per game.

My only complaint about Suggs is I feel he is to good to settle into being Ryan Appleby 2.0 . He 6'6" and a good free throw shooter I would love to see Suggs attack the rim just a little bit more. When he goes to the free throw line it will most likely be a free two points for the Huskies. Suggs has worked hard from a guy who rarely played as a freshman who I figured would transfer. He has never complained about playing and is a easy guy to root for. Him and Darnell Gant are both guys who maximize their talents. Just a shame not everyone on the roster has heart like these two guys.

- Romar didn't have his guys prepared to play this game which is an obvious statement. The rough part of coaching is when you win you often never get praise but when you lose you take all the criticism from fans such as myself. Don James once said players win games only coaches lose them. For the second straight game the team acted as if they have never seen a zone defense before in their lives.

The intensity isn't there either. Where are the Huskies who full court press and create so many easy buckets? Where is the team that was so guard heavy where they could penetrate the defense for open looks? What happened to Bryan-Amaning being the best post player not named Derrick Williams? So many questions and yet this has been going on for seasons on end. Romar for whatever reason still doesn't know how to win these type of grind it out games. The Huskies run an offense at times that would remind you of watching a city league basketball game at the YMCA. Just five guys looking out for themselves, jacking up three pointers while playing zero defense.

At what point does incosistency become unacceptable or will it ever? Are fans satisfied with the job Romar is doing or do they want more? I don't know what to think at this point. Romar has brought the Huskies to points they have never experienced and this could be what my dad used to tell me "Chuck Knox" Syndrome. "Chuck Knox" syndrome is when you have a successful coach and you become spoiled. Eventually that team fires that coach and you go crashing down. Seattle sports has seen that before with Chuck Knox, George Karl, Marv Harshman, Jim Lambright and Lou Piniella.

In conclusion the Huskies better get their act together fast. The NCAA tournament berth is earned not given to you. I think the Huskies forgot that you have to go out and earn victories as nobody is going to just give you wins. I would like to see the Huskies appear more focus as well. Stop with the twitter all the time, stop with all the stupid gimmicks("And one", Flexing, and "raise the roof"), and start playing Romar ball. Romar ball is when guys are diving on the floor, hustling back on defense, having good ball movement on offense, and most importantly finishing fast breaks. The Huskies have now lost two games in conference to teams who are 4-6 in league play who they have historically dominated recently. Time to take off those "Cool Jackets" and get ready to battle it out. The Huskies dropped a game they can't have back so to make up for it they need to start playing good basketball. I thought the Cougar loss on Sunday would be the wake up call instead I was wrong. If this loss here isn't a wake up call then this team is a lost cause. Here is hoping the Huskies have finally learned their lesson and start playing inspired ball. I guess we'll find out on Saturday what this team is made of.

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