If certain aspects of Washington’s 73-64 defeat Saturday against Stanford left you thinking, don’t worry.
You’re not alone. Tacoma native and junior point guard David Crisp said UW’s scoreless runs were on him while freshman guard Jaylen Nowell said everything about the loss bothered him.
There were also a few things even first-year coach Mike Hopkins rued in retrospect. Let’s break down what happened to the Huskies at the Alaska Airlines Arena.
AN OASIS AT THE BASKET
Washington saw a few things go wrong. The biggest was the team’s lengthy stretches when the offense struggled to do anything.
UW opened the game going 3 for 13. It would settle down until another offensive letdown came about in the second half.
The Huskies went through a 1 for 11 stretch and would eventually cut the lead to 62-60 with less than four minutes left.
From there, the Huskies shot 1for 8.
Hopkins watched his bunch shoot 37.5 percent from the floor and 33.3 percent in the second half. The Huskies were 5 for 22 for 22.7 percent from the 3-point line too.
“Sometimes when you get too stagnant ... there wasn’t a lot of flow to it,” Hopkins said. “You can also be holding the ball too much instead of seeing it pop.”
Both Crisp and Hopkins said the Huskies were guilty of holding onto the ball too long without having good movement.
Limited movement, one could argue, has been a persistent concern for the Huskies. UW averages 12.6 assists per game and that’s in the bottom half of college basketball.
The Huskies had eight assists against the Cardinal.
Stanford put up 58 shot attempts while Washington pushed 56. That said, the Huskies spent more than 35 minutes trailing and only held the lead for less than three minutes.
THE BIGGER THEY ARE?
There’s no denying poor shooting crippled the Huskies late. It also didn’t help they had trouble on the boards too.
Stanford finished with 48 boards while Washington only had 28. The Cardinal had 34 defensive rebounds and 14 offense rebounds that led to 12 second-chance points.
“They out-toughed us,” Crisp said about UW losing the rebounding battle. “We’ve played big teams. They wanted it more tonight. We didn’t come out with that sense of urgency.
“You don’t come out with a sense of urgency, you’re going to get manhandled.”
Three Stanford players — Daejon Davis, Oscar Da Silva and Michael Humphrey — each finished with more than nine rebounds.
Crisp has a valid argument when it comes to facing teams with size.
California and Kansas had more length and interior size than Washington. UW out-rebounded KU by three and had the same amount of boards against Cal.
Here’s the difference. The Huskies shot 48.3 percent against the Jayhawks. They were 50 percent versus the Golden Bears.
UW’s shooting woes not only came at an inopportune time but it may have played a part in why Stanford controlled the boards.
THINGS ARE COMING INTO FOCUS
One could argue the last two games against Cal and Stanford have provided more details about UW than at any point in the year.
The Huskies are 10-2 at home and it shows they can make Hec Edmundson a tough venue. They’re 3-3 away from Seattle and will get a chance to get over .500 against Utah and Colorado next week.
A few things are clear when it comes to how this team operates on offense. Like Crisp and Hopkins said, the Huskies must move the ball in order to get good looks.
Hopkins’ point of getting into a flow also plays into the argument of finding a rotation. UW has its starting five and from there, it gets a little tough.
Freshmen forwards Nahziah Carter and Hameir Wright are the first two options off the bench. Guard Michael Carter III is the strongest choice to run the offense to give Crisp rest.
As conference play has shown, anybody on the UW bench is capable of doing something. Dominic Green was the hero against USC. Carlos Johnson was the engine in the second half that drove UW to a win at Washington State.
Part of what makes staying with a rotation difficult is foul trouble. The last three games are evidence. Noah Dickerson fouled against WSU. Nowell and junior forward Matisse Thybulle each played with four fouls for most of the second half.
Thybulle picked up four against Cal while Dickerson and Nowell each had three.
Move ahead to Stanford. Wright fouled out and Timmins had four fouls. Dickerson and Nowell each had three.
It means any time Hopkins wants to do something, he has to consider his team’s foul situation. He’s had starters either foul out or come close.
Stanford also had foul trouble with two of its starters each picking up five. But the Cardinal at least had four players in double figures. Also, they had seven players receive more than 12 minutes.
Crisp and Nowell were the only Huskies to score more than 10 points and Hopkins had nine players receive more than 11 minutes.
“When you lose it’s never easy,” Hopkins said. “What I told them is, ‘Listen. This is a long season.’ For the most part, we’ve played well and found ways to win ... we just gotta keep getting better.”
Ryan S. Clark: @ryan_s_clark