Tag Archives: Husky Basketball

Where Did These Dawgs Come From?

I’ve noticed that us Good Guys aren’t very good about writing about sports when sports go wrong. It’s a good thing we aren’t getting paid to write about these things because once our teams start losing, we all start going to the movies (or doing something that isn’t sports related). If you would like to pay us to write though, I’ll gladly accept your money. So, on this very full sports day, I’m going to ignore the Mariners trade that I don’t really like and talk about a surging Husky basketball team. I could have chose Chip Kelly or dead, fake girlfriends but I’ve been planning on writing about the Huskies for about a week.

The easiest place to start this post is with the question, “What happened to the Huskies?” The easy answer is that Romar pulled a Bugs Bunny and convinced the whole team that they are drinking something special so that they will be able to defeat the Monstars of the Pac-12. That’s probably not accurate though. Before conference play began, the Huskies suffered humiliating losses to Albany, Colorado State, and Nevada. The team had some good moments but they were overshadowed by inconsistency and a lack of play-makers. The team didn’t have an identity and seemed to be going no where.

There were excuses for this, and they were pretty legitimate. Romar lost two players to the first round of the NBA Draft. The team suffered injuries to Scott Suggs and Shawn Kemp Jr. The Dawgs weren’t a deep team to begin with and these injuries didn’t help. With that to boot, the Huskies were learning a new offense this year. When you don’t have your whole team there to practice a new offense, it’s hard to learn it. The defense also suffered, as they were slow on their rotations.

The Huskies played better towards the end of non-conference play but still was not consistent. The turnaround in the season may have come when the Dawgs went and played a game at Connecticut. They lost by 8 points but the defense held UConn to 65 points and the team played hard. It was clear that progress had been made.

Since that game, the Huskies have started Pac-12 play 4-0. Three of those wins have come on the road. Yes, they haven’t played the top teams in the conference but they have found a formula to let them compete against those top teams. That formula is hard-nosed defense, hustle, veteran scoring, and more hard-nosed defense.

Read about those after the jump!

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The State of the Husky Basketball Team

Yes, I still write for this blog.  Welcome back, you say?  Why thank you.  How have you been, you say?  I’m doing well.  The main reason I haven’t written much lately is that I wanted to make sure that I was still writing on here for the right reasons.  All four of the Good Guys’ write on this blog as a hobby and nothing more.  We aren’t paid for what we write (nor should we be) and we aren’t the most popular sports blog in Seattle (again, we shouldn’t be).  We just do this for fun and we are hopeful that our readers find us entertaining and somewhat informative.  In the last month I wanted to make sure that I wasn’t writing just to see how many blog hits we could get.  I wanted to make sure that I didn’t think of it as a chore.  Most of all, I wanted to make sure that I enjoyed sports more while writing about them than not writing about them.  Now, I’m back!  Yes, I’ve missed writing and, having wasted about 200 words already, it’s time to get on with this post!  There will be more in the future and, hopefully, not as many breaks in the future.

I was driving back to Seattle today and caught the last couple of minutes of the Husky basketball game on the radio.  After watching their blowout loss against Colorado on Thursday, I was hesitant to even turn it on but I’m a Dawg and will always be.  Despite the Huskies best effort to lose the game to a terrible Utah team, they edged out a close victory.  It was their first road win of the year.

After the game had ended I spent a few minutes about what I thought ‘Husky basketball’ is.  In recent years I think the program has been successful enough to earn an identity and I think Romar, Bob Rondeau and Harry the Husky would agree.  What is that identity?  I would peg it as in-your-face defense that takes risks, fast paced offense that thrives off of penetration and shooters, and a dive on the floor to get the loose ball mentality.  Most of all, I think it’s that last part.  That’s what makes Dawg fans stand up and bark.  Since the program has been on the upswing, there is no doubt that Romar has taught his players to want it more than their opposition.  Sure, that hasn’t been the case every single game but I think most Husky fans would agree.  So what’s different about this year’s team? Continue reading

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A Few Thoughts Before the Weekend

The blog’s been a little quiet this week, as it usually is after a Husky loss.  Matthew and I will be away this weekend, I think he’ll get a predictions post up before we head out but I thought I’d throw up a few thoughts before we left.

Obviously, the big story of the week has been the scandal at Penn State.  I’m not going to write much about it, not because it’s not worthy of being discussed but because it makes me sick to my stomach.  Two things that have stuck out to me from the story this week.

One thought is how much good has come out of a horrible situation.  Both radio stations in the Seattle area have had counselors and people promoting help-lines for sexual abuse on the air throughout the week.  This has gone on throughout the country, and I believe that helps.  The more people who hear the horrifying statistics and tales of sexual abuse, the more aware our society will become.  Good job to the radio and TV stations in doing the right thing this week.

As Penn State students were protesting Joe Paterno’s firing on Wednesday night, there was a tweet flying around saying something like, “In the 60’s and 70’s a generation protested wars and civil rights, now students protest over a coach who did wrong.”  Then the tweet was usually met with a hash-tag that stated something about the current generation being lost.  I saw the tweet in numerous places.  The sentiment is right; the Penn State students were ridiculous in protesting this and they were in the wrong.  But, please rethink what this tweet is saying if you agree with it.  In the 60’s and 70’s groups of people from everywhere would protest wars and civil rights.  Please don’t take a few thousand students from Penn State as a representation of a whole generation.  I guarantee you that most college students around the country thought that Penn State did the right thing in firing their coach, I know I do.  People all over the world have been over-reacting or reacting wrongly to things since time began (see the Crusades, Nazi Germany, and even some of those protestors in the 60’s and 70’s just as an example).  Again, please don’t take those protestors as a representation of my generation.  We may be lost, but that ugly night didn’t signify what most of us believed.

I’m not going to say much else about this situation.  Please keep the victims in your prayers and thoughts.  Also, keep the offenders’ families in your prayers and thoughts, as I’m sure it’s a trying time for those families.  It’ll be great to get back to football tomorrow, to take our minds off such a terrible situation.

A few more random thoughts:

  • The Husky basketball team starts their regular season tomorrow afternoon against Georgia State.  We’ll have a more complete preview of the season in a couple of days.  Matthew and I were at their exhibition last week and they seem to be a young and very exciting team.  This is probably the most athletic team Romar has had, if you can believe that.  With that being said, I don’t know if it’ll be his best team or close to it.  They need to find dependable scorers and some leadership.  They are extremely young and will probably play like it sometimes.  Tony Wroten will awe us with some plays and then will leave us scratching our heads with others.  It’ll be an exciting year and fun to watch.  If they lose at some point this weekend, then something went extremely long.
  • Oregon and Stanford face off tomorrow in the game of the year in the Pac-12.  If any of you care, I think Stanford will win this game.  I don’t have a ton of conviction in that thought and wouldn’t be surprised if I was wrong.  I just think Stanford is more consistent and their offensive line is the best unit on the field (aside from their quarterback).
  • If Stanford wins, they should have a fairly good shot at the national championship.  That would mean that the Ducks, if they didn’t lose any other games, would probably end up in the Rose Bowl.  If that happens the Dawgs have the inside track on playing in the Holiday Bowl.  The Alamo Bowl is a possibility but not a very high one.  If the Dawgs slip up at all and finish below 8-4, the Sun Bowl is the most likely scenario.  San Diego sounds a lot better than El Paso to me.

That’s about it for today.  The predictions will be up in a few minutes.  I’d like to say thank you to any and all Veterans who read this blog.  Thank you for your service and thank you for our freedom.  Stay safe and God bless you!  Have a great weekend everybody, go dawgs!


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Huskies +/- vs. Nevada

I had meant to put this up for a while, but never got around to it.  For every Husky basketball game that’s on TV from here on out, I will try to put up the +/- for each player.  +/- is an interesting stat for basketball because the sport is so dependent on all 5 players on the court.  I’ll try to add up the stats throughout the season.  Anyway, here are the numbers.  (Venoy Overton was out for this game).

Isaiah Thomas: +37
Abdul Gaddy: +20
Justin Holiday: +31
Aziz N’Diaye: +6
MBA: +35
Darnell Gant: +12
C.J. Wilcox: +12
Scott Suggs: +10
Terrance Ross: +11
Brendan Sherrar:  -6
Antoine Hosley:  -6

This seems about right.  Thomas was easily the best player on the court against Nevada and that shows in this stat.  MBA was the player that benefited most from Thomas and Gaddy passing inside.  He missed so many lay-ins but also was in charge of the post.  I’m not sure why Aziz’s numbers are so low, he played a pretty good game.

I probably won’t be able to do this for tonight’s game, since it’s on the radio, but I will do the UCLA game on Friday.


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Summer is Coming

Spring is in full bloom.  I’ve always associated the season of spring with the word hope.  Spring hasn’t quite gotten us to the full-blown joy that summer brings but that joy is within reach.  The chill of winter has mostly passed but there’s still those cold days where we hope that the sun will come out tomorrow.  Things aren’t perfect but there’s enough evidence to make hoping for summer justifiable. 

It just so happens this is where we are right now in the Seattle sports scene.  A few weeks ago we were able to enjoy one of the best weeks sports has to offer; The Masters, college basketball’s championship, and Opening day in baseball.  But, this is a week where spring can turn to summer sports wise.  Hope could turn joy.  Cautious joy, but joy none the less.  The Mariners, Seahawks, and Huskies all have significant events starting today and lasting through next weekend.  If all goes well this city could be as excited about sports as we’ve seen in a long time.

Lets start with the Mariners because this is probably the most evident case of things turning golden quickly.  The M’s had an outstanding homestand and are now tied in first place.  You think things can’t get better?  Ladies and gentleman, meet Cliff Lee.  Next Friday, April 30th, the former cy young award winner will be making his Mariner debut.  This is the moment Mariner fans have been dreaming of since mid-December.  He’ll be thrown right into the fire against a pretty good Texas Rangers lineup.  Will he be as sharp as he was in the world series his first start?  Probably not, but this is still cause for celebration.  And if this isn’t enough to get someone excited, Felix pitches the next day.  Finally, what was billed as the best 1-2 punch in baseball is here. 

The same night that Lee returns on his white horse, the Dawgs will take the field at Husky Stadium.  Now, I know spring games aren’t going cause the excitement that upsetting USC brought but I truly think that after seeing this team play people will be buzzing about what could be next fall.  The freshman running backs, Nick Montana, the emergence of the secondary, Mason Foster, and Jake Locker will provide the Dawgs with higher expectations than they’ve had in years.  While a team has to fulfill expectations to be considered a success, high expectations is step is important for a program.  The fact that those expectations are coming back is enough to bring a smile to my face and after April 30th I think Husky fans will have plenty of smiles going around. 

By that same day we should know the fate of Terrance Jones and Terrance Ross.  Both of these guys are mega recruits that the Husky basketball team would love to have.  If these two commit the sky may be the limit for the Huskies next year.  The dawgpack will be partying in the streets of Montlake and the basketball team would move up 5 or 10 spots in the “way too early” preseason rankings.  The sun will be shining bright if Jones commits and if both commit then you might as well put on your swimming suit because it will be like we’re on a beach in July.

Then there’s the Seahawks.  Few sporting events bring the amount of hope that the draft brings.  Dan wrote about what he thinks the Hawks should do with their picks earlier today so I won’t get into that.  A franchise is built on young talent and today is the start fo Seattle rebuilding their franchise.  Unfortunately, this hope can’t translate to joy as soon as these other examples.  The NFL draft can be really hit and miss and it will take a few years to fully judge these players.  But that doesn’t take away from the hope there is in this day for the Seahawks.  The last few years have been absolutely awful and today may be the start of that changing. 

Yes, this could just be me getting excited about nothing too important (it wouldn’t be the first time).  But it’s hard not to feel a sense of excitement and hope about the next week. 

Meanwhile, Donald Butler, who just last year was an average linebacker playing for a terrible Husky defense, is sitting somewhere today waiting for a phone call that will tell him he’s going to receive money to play professional football for the first time in his life.  22 years of hard work will pay off for him today.  His hope will turn to joy.  His spring will turn to summer.  As I sit here looking out the window at a sunny day, I can’t help but feel that summer might come a little bit early this year.


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Beating a team 3 times in a row

With the Huskies facing Oregon State for the third time on Thursday the saying “It’s hard to beat a team 3 times in a season” is sure to come up.  I thought we’d take a look at that saying from a number of different aspects to test the validity of it. 

The first aspect we’ll take a look at is the physicality and in-game coaching.  When playing a team twice in a season you can learn their tendencies, this enables coaches to expose match-ups that they’ve found.  Using the Huskies-Beavers example, the Huskies will look to take advantage of Isaiah Thomas’ quickness cutting through the Beaver zone.  Romar and his players have seen that their team is quicker than their opponent and will try to speed up the game because of this.  Unfortunately, they knew this before the very first time they played.  The Huskies may have figured out what works with defensive matchups against OSU over the last 2 games.  The Beavers, on the other hand, may have learned a little bit more.  Half way through the 2nd half last week it seemed as if Roeland-Schaftenaar figured out that he was quicker than the UW big men.  I expect Craig Robinson to try to take advantage of this earlier in the game.  Speaking in general, this aspect seems to favor the team who has lost twice just slightly.  It’s always easier to figure out what you did wrong and what you need to do better after you lose than after you win.  I don’t think this provides a big advantage to OSU but I do think them playing the Huskies twice helps them more than it helps UW in this aspect.

Another view to take into account is the psychological aspect.  If a team beats someone twice that team is likely to have a good amount of confidence playing the team the third time.  The thought of, “We beat this team twice, we can obviously do it again” is one that brings confidence to a team.  With that confidence could come overlooking a team.  With a potential semifinal showdown with ASU looming, the Huskies could overlook the Beavers.  The Dawgs know they are superior but if they don’t show up and play to their potential then they could lose quite easily.  There are two different angles the losing team can take.  Playing a team who has beat you twice can inspire an attitude of “Here we go again.”  This is what Coach Robinson will try to stay away from.  The angle he will try to inspire is a feeling of being overlooked.  If he can convince his team that they have something to prove then he’ll do his job.  I’m sure the Beavers will say that they are ready to prove that they aren’t the same team that lost to U-Dub twice already, but are they past that mental block?  I think it’s very difficult for players to get past that which is why I would give the Huskies a big edge in this department.  Plain and simple, you want your team to have confidence in who they’re playing.  The Huskies will have that and it has yet to be seen if the Beavers will. 

For the final view lets look at the mathematical aspect.  What is the probability of a team winning 3 games in a row.  Lets drop the Huskies-Beavers example for now and pick two teams that are evenly matched (we’ll call them team A and team B).  If the two teams are evenly matched than it becomes the exact same as flipping a coin 3 times.  Like a coin flip, the third game is completely independent of the first two games (this is strictly from a math viewpoint).  The math is pretty simple on this. If team A has a 50% chance of winning each of the three games the equation would be .5^3 which equals 12.5 % probablility of winning all 3 games.  Say the Huskies have a 75% chance of beating the Beavers each time they play, the probability of beating them all three times would be 42.19% (.75^3).  Of course, this doesn’t mean that the Huskies chances of winning this game are 42.19%.  After beating the Beavers twice already the probability of winning this game is the same it was last week, 75% (the 75% is just a guess by the way, that seems about right to me).  But this is part of where the beating a 3 times in a season argument comes from.  The probability is against a team winning 3 in a row unless they have a substantial edge on their opponent.  This doesn’t take into account the matchups teams have against each other, which is obviously a big part of basketball.  But the mathematical aspect of this makes it easier to see why even the Royals don’t get swept in every 3 game series they play.  Although a team may be significantly worse than the team their playing, the probability will soon catch up to the superior team and they will lose.  This is when upsets happen.  So, should we be concerned about the mathematical probability of the Beavers beating us on Thursday?  It definitely has a level of intrigue but it won’t matter if the Huskies play to their full potential and the Beavers play to their full potential.  It’s important to remember that this game is its own separate trial, its own separate coin flip if you will.  Except this coin is weighted towards the Huskies.

I see where people are coming from when they say beating a team 3 times in one season is difficult.  It makes sense to some degree, especially from a mathematical standpoint but I don’t think that view takes everything into account.  The psychology in sports is very important and it’s favoring the Huskies at this point.  This 3 game saying may be part true but it’s definitely part myth.  I sure hope it’s all myth come 8:30 Thursday night.


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Huskies vs. Cougars Prediction

I thought this would be a worth a try, we’re going to have a little prediction thread for the game tonight.  If this works we can do it before more games.  So, leave your prediction of the game tonight below in the comments section.

My prediction?  Sadly, my prediction is WSU 72-68.  I feel awful for predicting this but for some reason I just don’t see the dawgs winning this game.  Maybe because it’s another road game, maybe it’s because I lost some hope after the USC loss but this may be a nail biter.  I see Klay finally going off and scoring in the 20’s and Casto shutting down MBA’s improved post play.  Quincy will show up, like he always does but I don’t think it’s enough to beat the Cougs’ in their home finale.  I hope I’m wrong!

Post your predictions below! Go Dawgs!



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