Six seconds left. Down by two. Ranked opponent. Madison Square Garden… As a college basketball player this is what you live for. This is what all those hours in the gym have been for. It’s what is known as crunch time. A moment that separates the winners from losers, not just on the scoreboard but also in the way in which you truly play the game. This was the Washington Huskies on Tuesday evening, playing in front of a national audience. And as we’ve come accustomed to as Husky fans, they couldn’t overcome the challenge.
The young Huskies have stumbled out of the gates this season, having dropped three of their first seven games. You can point the finger at many different things whether it be foul shooting, youth, or lack of an inside presence (although Aziz has shown great improvement). But the two things that glaringly stand out, to me at least, are as follows: leadership and organization.
When you think of any elite team, or even a halfway decent one, you usually can link that team to a certain player that they have; the face of the program, per say. When I think of the 2011-2012 Washington Huskies I think of Isaiah Thomas, and then I realize that he left for the NBA. Who is this team? Who leads them on the court? Who will be the one to take the last shot in a game like last night’s against Marquette? These are questions that need answers and they need to come quickly because before we know it conference play will be starting and that’s when every single game counts twice as much. As for the present, the player that is closest to being the guy would have to be Terrence Ross. Possessing the most talent on the team besides possibly Tony Wroten Jr., Ross is on the cusp of being an absolute force for this basketball team. When he makes the jump to that next level of basketball it could get scary for every team that has to face the Dawgs. But he hasn’t hit that stride yet, which puts us in the situation we’re in now. Continue reading