Tag Archives: Lorenzo Romar

What’s Going On With UW Basketball?

The Washington Husky basketball team started last season 12-0, and while no one thought they were going remain undefeated for the season, a return to the NCAA tournament seemed likely.  Instead, they went 4-15 to finish their worst season in years. In the process, they lost their best player and pro prospect, C Robert Upshaw, when he was kicked off the team for an undisclosed rules violation. The horrid second half intensified the negative buzz starting to surround Lorenzo Romar’s tenure as head coach.

The offseason hasn’t been any less tumultuous. Remember all those players who made up that terrible team last season? They’re pretty much all gone. Mike Anderson and Shawn Kemp Jr. graduated. Gilles Dierickx and Darin Johnson moved on in transfers that weren’t too surprising. Nigel Williams-Goss’ and Jernard Jarreau’s transfers were more surprising. Even assistant coach TJ Otzelberger quit to go back to Iowa State. All that was left was Andrew Andrews, Donaven Dorsey and Quevyn Winters. In case you can’t count, that’s not even a starting line-up. It’s not even a very good three-on-three group.

The good news is this is not all bad news. While I doubt Romar was dying to lose Williams-Goss or Jarreau, it’s pretty clear he was aiming to gut this roster. The program had grown less talented, and it had simultaneously morphed away from the athletic, pressuring squads of Romar’s best years at UW.

Even in the midst of the terrible second half of the season, Romar was putting together what looks like his best recruiting class. In its original form, the class had six recruits, a group among the top three in the Pac-12 and the best in the country. It included three elite local kids, an elite California power forward, and a junior college big man to play immediately. That group of six had fans extremely excited and was a solid foundation for a rebuild. And then it kept getting better.

With all of the transfers, Romar found himself with plenty of roster space that he could, and eventually needed to, fill. First, there was an SEC big man transfer, Matthew Atewe, young with upside. He’ll likely have to sit out this year, but is petitioning for immediate eligibility. Whenever he plays, he should be an athletic big man, maybe not a star but the type of body UW has had in short supply of late. Next came local wing Dominic Green, who had been committed to Arizona State until they changed coaches and he asked to be released.

The real icing to this cake came last week with two separate announcements. The first was long-rumored but surely brought a smile to every fan’s face: former point guard Will Conroy had been hired as an assistant coach. To many, Conroy represents everything this program used to be but has lost. He’s a local boy who worked himself from a walk-on to the fringes of the NBA. He played tough defense, team basketball, and directed many of those great teams with Nate, Brandon and everyone else. He seems to be viewed as the all-time captain of Husky basketball  and brings tremendous respect and connections to the local Seattle basketball scene. There’s been a feeling amongst fans that UW’s coaching staff has gotten too nice, has lost its edge since Cameron Dollar left, and whether that’s true or not, Will Conroy brings plenty of edge.

The second piece of news came with the (likely) final piece of the recruiting class. Center Noah Dickerson had picked Florida over UW earlier, but when Billy Donovan left for an NBA job, Dickerson asked to be released as well. He visited UW last week and signed scholarship paperwork before he left to make himself a Husky. He brings size and a fairly polished low-post game. Another big man was the only thing the class was really missing, and Dickerson is a better player than anyone expected they would be able to find to fill that hole. His signing gives this class five of the top 100 incoming players in the country (according to Scout.com), with the 102nd ranked player thrown in for good measure. UW has never seen a class that is this deep and this good, and given the amount of roster turnover it took to get there, it likely never will again. Recruiting classes aren’t usually this big, and when they are, they tend to have a lot of filler.

So what does all that mean for the coming season? It’s hard to say, really. A return to the NCAA tournament would be tough but not impossible, or even unlikely. They should improve as the season goes, and if they can keep this group together for another year (likely, as there aren’t any real obvious one-and done candidates), the next year could be truly special. Whatever the season’s outcome, this group should bring a return to fun, high-paced, intense basketball. This group is extremely long and athletic, and once they get a little bit of experience under the drawstrings of their shorts, they should bring the program back to its glory days of pressuring defense and high-flying fast breaks. The 2015-’16 Huskies might not be recognizable, but that’s be a good thing after the last few seasons.

The Newcomers, in the order they committed: Continue reading


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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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Apple Cup Predictions

Happy Thanksgiving to you all.  Hopefully your day was full of turkey, people you love, and Mark Sanchez running into his lineman’s butt.  Worst football play ever.

One quick piece of news broke today.  Devon Blackmon, a wide receiver who recently left the Oregon program, is reportedly transferring to the UW.  He has to sit out a year but will be eligible in 2014 with two years to play (or maybe three. Not sure why that’d be, but I saw one news outlet reporting that).  Blackmon was a highly rated recruit out of high school who considered UW at the time.  I wonder about a guy who couldn’t get on the field much for a team with inconsistent receiver production, but he’s a talented, athletic guy and hopefully that will show by the time he can see the field.

Before I get to the predictions, in the spirit of the day, I’d like to take a moment to appreciate the UW coaches.  I’m not sure how good the basketball team will be this year.  They’ve been spotty thus far and have less talent than in some recent years.  That said, I could not appreciate Lorenzo Romar more than I do.  Some people question his ability to take the team to the next level, and he might never do that.  Romar’s value goes beyond the court, though.  He’s one of the classiest, most respectable coaches in the country.  He has a lot of personality and great stories.  It would take the program completely cratering to convince me that the program would be better without Romar than with him.  Some people value winning at all costs, but I’m not one of them.  I love having a program that I feel good cheering for that’s also quite successful.

It remains to be seen whether Steve Sarkisian will succeed in returning the Huskies to prominence, but I think the job he’s done so far is commendable.  Sark has brought enthusiasm that was desperately needed, and he’s been a coach that Husky fans could watch grow along with the team.  While he doesn’t quite have Romar’s reputation, he’s conducted himself quite well.  He holds players accountable but also treats them well.  Mike Leach’s actions in Pullman have thrown into sharp relief how lucky we got with Sark.  Last week in Colorado, he brought the team onto the field early to watch Ralphie, Colorado’s buffalo mascot, run across the field.  It always feels like Sark takes the football quite seriously but also realizes that the football gives lots of amazing opportunities.  I think he has a nice balance, and I think that will benefit him in the long run.

Maybe the Huskies don’t have the best teams in the country, and maybe they won’t anytime soon.  Still, we’re lucky enough to have coaches that are easy to cheer for while they’re successful.  Go Dawgs!


The Cougars lost to Colorado.  The Cougars played with ‘good effort’ last week, according to Mike Leach, and lost 46-7 to a Pac-12 team with 6 wins.  Serious question, would the Cougars get bowl eligible in the Mountain West Conference?  They barely beat UNLV, who is the worst team in that conference.  They’d lose to Boise, San Diego State, Fresno State, and probably Nevada.  Air Force, Wyoming and Colorado State might be toss-ups.  They might get to four wins in the conference.  I’m sure you wanted to know all of this….  Here’s my prediction.

The Cougars are just awful and falling apart.  Mike Leach is accused of having players roll around in a sand pit until they vomit as a disciplinary action.  Their best player left the team.  They lost to Colorado and are currently on a 9 game winning streak and if that’s not enough, their current best player (Travis Long) is questionable for this game.  Now, I know you throw out the records for the Apple Cup, especially when it’s in Pullman.  No question, the Cougars will come out fired up and have had moments where they’ve executed this year.  But, talent does matter some, even in rivalry games.  I think the Huskies will pull away eventually in this game and end up winning by a couple of scores.  I’m excited to see if the Husky secondary can hold up against the Cougars fairly decent passing attack.  Also, when the WSU defense shows up and plays hard, they have done some good things and kept the game close.  The Huskies will need to get off to a faster start than last week and not let the Cougs linger or gain confidence.  It should be an entertaining football game and I think the Huskies will end up with their 8th win, even if it’s not comfortable for some of the game.

UW 30 – WSU 17


I keep trying to get worried about this game.  Apple Cups do get weird, and these Cougars have some talent.  The Cougars have been so bad, though, and the Huskies are playing awfully well.  The Huskies pass defense has become one of the best in the conference, and all the Cougars do is pass.  They have the worst rushing attack in the conference and maybe the country.  I would be really surprised if the Huskies lose.  I think it’ll be close until the Huskies can deliver a blow or two (or the Cougars kill themselves in the foot).  That might take a half, or it might take two possessions.  The Huskies have lost Apple Cups that seemed a surer thing than this one, so no guarantees, but the Dawgs should win this one without much trouble.

UW 38 – WSU 13


The Apple Cup.  First, this game means a ton to me as a Husky fan.  No other game gets me more fired up.  I want to beat Wazzu, and I want to beat them bad.  Nothing is worse than an overly confident Cougar fan who gloats over one Apple Cup victory.  I like the lovable, funny loser Coug fans, not the cocky, drunk morons who come out of the woodwork after a victory. (I realize Coug fans are actually drunk whether they win or lose…)  If I had my way the Cougars would never win an Apple Cup.  Ever.  I like normalcy in life, and normal = UW Apple Cup victories.  Sound arrogant?  Yup, but that’s the reality of things when it comes to this game.  I hate Wazzu, always will.  Ok, now onto the game.I will keep this very simple.  It’s the same thing I have been saying since before the Oregon State game:  Run the ball with Sankey. A lot.  Then play action to ASJ and Kasen.  The Huskies have been doing this with a lot of success the past four games, and it’s translating into victories.  Second, keep doing whatever you’re doing Coach Wilcox.  The Huskies have improved by over 60 spots in total defense nationally between last season and now, warranting me to officially feel like the UW defense is “back” to some semblance of it’s former glory of tackling well and reading offenses with confidence.  As well, for the first time in over a decade, I feel the UW defense has legitimate star playmakers.  Shaq Thompson and Marcus Peters are future all Pac-12 players, Desmond Trufant has been nothing less than stellar all year, Danny Shelton has been a force on the line and John Timu and Travis Feeney (who I am massively impressed with right now) have been tackling machines all year. Look at this, I’m gloating over the Huskies defense! Amazing.  I personally expect the Huskies to come out and dominate the Cougars.  I know this is a rivalry game and it’s all circle the wagons talk in Pullman right now, but the fact is this:  The Huskies are a better football team. Period. Better players. Better coaching. The only thing going against them is the game is in Pullman. That isn’t enough for the Pirate and crew.  Drew Bledsoe and Phillip Bobo ain’t walking through that door.

UW 34 – WSU 17


It will feel odd being at work during the Apple Cup, but that’s the case for me this year.  I’m sure I’ll find a way to see some of the game but I feel like this will be a predictable outcome yet again. They say you throw out the stats and records for the Apple Cup, but honestly if the Huskies lose this game, it will be because everything that could go wrong does, and the Cougs play out of their minds. That’s possible, but quite unlikely.  WSU has not won a conference game for a reason. They are dreadful in all phases of the game. There’s no telling how long it will take for WSU to make it back to respectibility and playing in bowl games. The Huskies are in nearly the complete opposite position. The arrow is pointed up for the UW program, and while I’m excited at the possibility of finishing this year with 6 straight wins, I’m already gitty about next season. As for today, I see a slow, weird start for both teams. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a one score game at halftime, but ultimately we will likely see a lot of Bishop Sankey, some play action pass to ASJ/Kasen, and plenty open space in the Cougars defense will . Throw in a couple turnovers on D and by the 3rd quarter, things should go according to plan for Washington.

UW 30 – WSU 17

Go Dawgs!

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Bad News, Good News, Great News!

Ready for the bad news? It is a bleak day for Dawg fans, there’s no 2 ways around it. Yesterday’s loss was frustrating, untimely, but certainly not surprising, at least if you’ve followed this team all season. On one side, the Huskies exceeded pre-season expectations by winning the Pac 12 outright, a truly awesome accomplishment. On the other side, 20 of the Huskies 21 wins have come vs. opponents with an RPI of 75+, and time and time again the Dawgs have narrowly missed on opportunities to make a statement, and erase doubts. The biggest factor, for me anyway, is leadership. Gant is the only contributing senior, and I think he has done his best, but his personality is not that of a Brandon Roy, Will Conroy, Jon Brockman, Isaiah Thomas, or Quincy Pondexter. Gaddy, Ross, Wilcox and Wroten, for all the good that they’ve done in spurts, have not embraced the role of captain, the guy that pulls his teammates up in the face of adversity. The result is a plethora of head shaking moments, and some success based largely on raw talent like Lorenzo Romar has never had. It’s tough when talent does not fully translate, and potential is not reached. If this core stays together for another year and really gels, they are a top 10 team, but Ross and Wroten seem destined for the NBA, which nobody should blame them for.

Now for some good news. If the Huskies do make the big dance, which is officially an “if”, their seed will likely be an 11 or 12, rather than a 9 or 10 which seemed possible a week ago. But does it matter? I would argue being an 11 or 12 seed is often better than being a 9 or 10, at least in terms of making a sweet 16 run. The recent numbers back this up. Since 2001, here are the seeds, and what % have made the round of 16.

9 seed- 2/44 = 4.5% make sweet 16
10 seed- 8/44 = 18%
11 seed- 6/44 = 14%
12 seed- 9/44 = 20%

The great news? Check it out, your Mariners are in 1st place! Granted the games don’t “really” count, but we’ll take what we can get.

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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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Myth Busting: Pac-10 Hoops Conference Road Records 2002-2010

Last night the Huskies defeated USC on the road in a tough, hard fought win. Afterwards, via news recaps, radio, other fans, I kept hearing how this was a great win because it’s a road win, and well, it’s assumed the Huskies don’t win on the road. As I listened to all of this, something was nagging at me: Aren’t the Huskies a decent road team? Aren’t they good enough? They win road games, and yet every time they do, people act as if they have NEVER won a road game, and now it just has become a mantra, “Romar can’t win on the road” and so forth. Because of this I decided to roll up my sleeves and get into the stats, because the stats don’t lie.

The sample set is the years 2002-2003 through last season, 2009-2010. These are the 8 full years Romar has been at the UW. I am looking at only in conference road records. That’s 72 road games for each team, 9 games a year for 8 years.

Here is an Excel spreadsheet I cooked up with all the details. It’s in Google Docs, so feel free to open and look at it, my comments below make more sense if you are looking at the spreadsheet at the same time. Here are the results:

School – Win % – Win-Loss

Arizona – 56% – 40-32
UCLA – 56% – 40-32
Stanford – 46% – 33-39
California – 44% – 32-40
WASHINGTON – 43% – 31-41
Arizona St – 37% – 27-45
Wash St – 36% – 26-46
USC – 33% – 24-48
Oregon – 31% – 22-50
Oregon St – 18% – 13-59

As you can see, the Huskies are right in the middle, but in the upper half. Stanford, Cal and UW are essentially tied, with Arizona and UCLA by themselves at the top and the Oregon schools in the cellar. Here are some of my observations:

The Huskies overall record on the road is not .500, but it’s not terrible either. There are only two schools out of ten in the last eight years who have an above .500 record on the road in the league. That tells me it’s hard to win on the road. So hovering around .500 on the road isn’t a bad thing, it’s just normal. (as an aside, Arizona and UCLA had some insanely good seasons early/mid in the decade, including an undefeated season by Arizona in 2003, so those years do throw the sample off a bit, just keep that in mind, those seasons are anomalies).

The Huskies, right now, are more talented than the four teams in front of them on this list, so going forward I expect these numbers to change positively for the Dawgs (last night’s win helps).

The five teams behind the Dawgs on this list are, in a word, terrible on the road in conference (ASU is bucking the trend the past two seasons, but on the whole they aren’t that good, and I expect them to stink this year). Of the 40 combined seasons these teams have played, only 5 seasons have resulted in an above .500 record on the road. That’s bad. Those types of numbers deserve criticism. Oregon and Oregon St are historically bad, Wazzu had two great season under Tony Bennett, and USC is just, well, USC, I have no idea what to say about them (their fans don’t care, why should I?). The upshot? The UW isn’t as bad as the majority of the league on the road.

To focus more on the Huskies, in the 8 years Romar has been head coach, the Dawgs have made the Big Dance 5 times. In those 5 years, the Huskies were above .500 on the road in conference 4 times. The exception was last year at 44%, but that number doesn’t tell the whole story because they finished the year winning 3 straight on the road, and then 3 more on a neutral court in the conference tourney. So away from home, in conference, last year, they were 7-5. The other three years when they did not make the tourney? Terrible. 3-6 and two 1-8 records. But those teams were not very good overall. They were imbalanced, young and incomplete teams that struggled. The upshot? When the Huskies are good, and I mean NCAA Tourney good, they are good on the road, they do not struggle in conference. They win the games they need to win on the road, then take care of business at home. When they are bad? Well, they are bad on the road. It’s not a big surprise, so why do people act as if they are bad when in fact they are good?

Overall the above point supports the broader data set. Of all the teams with above .500 records on the road in league over the past 8 years, all but one made the NCAA’s. The one not to make it was last year’s ASU Sun Devil team that was snake bit by an historically bad Pac-10 season nationally. Of the teams with sub .500 records on the road in conference that made the NCAA’s, 4 had to win the Pac-10 tourney to get in, most likely they would not have made the NCAA’s without the automatic bid. There are some exceptions, but on the whole, if you are good enough to be above .500 on the road in conference, you are good enough to make the NCAA’s.

The point I am trying to make here is the obvious fact that if a team has enough talent to make the NCAA’s, they will win on the road in conference. The years the Huskies had that talent, they won on the road. The years UCLA went to all those Final Fours? They won on the road. Arizona is always pretty good, so they obviously win on the road. But when a school has a bad team with sub par talent, wins on the road are by far the hardest to come by.

I think there is a notion among Dawg fans that even when Romar has a really good team, they can’t win on the road. That’s a myth that needs busting. You can make the same argument for any other school in the league, and probably nationally. UCLA can’t win on the road without Kevin Love. Arizona can’t win on the road without Lute Olson. Stanford can’t win on the road with Johnny Dawkins as head coach, and so on. This problem is not unique to the UW and I think it’s unfair to hang this stigma around Romar’s neck as if he’s the only coach/program with this problem. It’s a basic truth of sports: Superior talent = wins. Wins on the road are the hardest types of wins, so superior talent is needed to succeed away from home. Look at the top two teams on the list above, Arizona and UCLA. I don’t need to tell you how talented those two programs have been the past decade. Multiple Final Fours and loads of lottery picks. Of course they won on the road. The Huskies have had talented teams but nowhere near those two, so why expect the Huskies to be just as good? I think frankly the Dawgs have always played to their talent level on the road, just like everyone else.

I’m sure I am missing some trend in the data that helps clarify things, but you can look at my spreadsheet and decide for yourself. I am trying to bust a myth that I am honestly tired of hearing from people who should know better (some of them are getting paid to cover or follow the team). I know fans can and do believe things someone else repeats and they they just blindly repeat it not caring if it’s true or not. I know it can be frustrating, especially in the past, when the Dawgs would lose a road game they should have won. I understand that. But lets not let a handful of games cloud how we view this program as a whole, which in line with their talent, have been good on the road, relative to the rest of the conference. (I love high expectations, I want them to win every road game, I want this program to be on top of this list in a few years, so don’t accuse me of being a nancy fan with my nerd machine. The UW is my alma mater, I’m a Dawg for life, I’ll always be disappointed when they lose and glad when they win).

It’s worse elsewhere, you could be Oregon or Oregon St…


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My 2 cents on T-Jones

A week has passed since Husky hearts were broken over the news that Terrance Jones is headed to Kentucky, and not Washington. My initial reaction of frustration has subsided some now, so rather than vent, I think I can convey some thoughts.

In hindsight, this had a bit more drama than most recruiting battles, but similar scenarios play out in college recruiting every year, and Washington has been in the middle multiple times. Consider these recent episodes:

1- Lorenzo Wade verbally committed to Washington, but ended up at San Diego State. This left an open scholarship. That scholarship went to Quincy Pondexter. That kinda worked out.
2- Venoy Overton verbally committed to USC, but ended up at Washington. I can’t imagine having to watch Venoyance make life hell for UW guards twice a year.
3- Abdul Gaddy verbally committed to Arizona, then de-committed, then re-committed, then finally de-committed once again and ended up at Washington. Gaddy has not lived up to the hype of being a top recruit, but his sophomore year could be a big one.
4- Enes Kanter verbally committed to Washington, but ended up at Kentucky. Kanter had not taken the required tests to be able to make an official visit to UW, thus the school was never able to showcase itself to Kanter. As his stock began to rise, his options increased and similar to Jones, Kanter couldn’t pass up Kentucky. Boo Kentucky.

The bottom line is that 17-18 year old guys change their minds all the time, sometime it benefits Washington, sometimes it doesn’t. Would Washington have been better off with both Terrances heading into 2010? We can speculate that yes, the team would have been better. Certainly they would have had more talent, but one can only hypothesize whether Jones would have been the difference maker in UW making a deep tourney run. Consider 2006, when everyone thought the Huskies would be major players with Brockman and the 2nd rated center in the country coming in, Spencer Hawes. That team failed to make the NCAA tourney.

I wish Terrance Jones would have stuck to his word, and signed on to be a Husky. I don’t like that he was in Montlake the day before changing his commitment, and he basically embarrassed himself with the whole press conference thing. But in the end, I can hardly blame him. Kentucky gives Jones top exposure, and in the past 2 years, Calipari’s star player, Derrick Rose and John Wall, have gone on to be the #1 pick in the NBA (assuming Wall is picked #1). T-Jones is a 1 and done player in all likelihood, so you can understand why this would appeal to him.

UW would have loved to have had Jones for the 6 months or so that he plays college hoops. There is still an outside chance, if Calipari goes to the NBA, that Jones ends up back at UW. But I highly doubt it, and at this point, Romar may just say no thanks. He indicated as much in an interview last week with Kevin Calabro. The Huskies will be good next year, and upperclassmen will lead the team. My prediction is the Huskies come out just fine from all this. Given how everything played out, Washington might even be better off without Jones. Time will tell. And besides Husky fans, would you rather have Locker or Terrance Jones this coming year? You can’t win them all, but we haven’t lost them all either.


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