In the aftermath of Washington’s stupefying 92-73 loss to unranked — and obviously overlooked — South Dakota State Sunday at Alaska Airlines Arena, UW coach Lorenzo Romar offered an explanation as to why his Huskies were so ill-prepared to face the Jackrabbits of the Summit League.
“I saw it at 8:30 this morning (Sunday) when we met for our pre-game meal,” Romar said. “You know your team, you know the look in their eyes. You know when they just lack energy. I dont think theyve ever seen highlights on Sportscenter of South Dakota State and subconsciously, sometimes that can play an effect.
“We do all we can as coaches to try to make sure we understand that this team is better than we might think. We tried to help our team understand how good of a basketball player Nate Wolters (32 points with nary a turnover) was. Bottom line is, with energy or no energy, this is unacceptable. It shouldnt happen.”
Romar added, “I dont care who we play. We dont lose like we did today at home. Its just unacceptable . . . unacceptable.”
The 19-point defeat, which snapped Washington’s school-record 32-game home winning streak against non-conference opponents, goes down as one of the epic non-league home stumbles in school history.
Four of the worst such defeats were administered by ranked opponents, including a 26-point romp by No. 1 Duke on Jan. 3, 1989. But on only one other occasion have the Huskies lost by a larger margin at home to a non-ranked school comparable in size and status to South Dakota State. That was Dec. 1, 1981, when UW absorbed a 25-point pounding by Idaho.
The chart lists Washington’s worst home thumpings to non-conference opponents in the past 50 years:
|Year||Date||Opponent||Score||Marg.||Opp. Rank||UW Coach|
|1989||Jan. 3||Duke||87-61||26||1||Andy Russo|
|1981||Dec. 1||Idaho||86-61||25||None||Marv Harshman|
|2003||Dec. 3||Gonzaga||86-62||24||17||Lorenzo Romar|
|2001||Dec. 11||Gonzaga||67-47||20||25||Bob Bender|
|2011||Dec. 18||South Dakota St.||92-73||19||None||Lorenzo Romar|
|2000||Dec. 30||San Diego||72-54||18||None||Bob Bender|
|1966||Dec. 2||Iowa||66-50||16||None||Mac Duckworth|
|1993||Dec. 18||Idaho||71-55||16||None||Bob Bender|
|1997||Feb. 10||Cincinnati||82-69||13||6||Bob Bender|
Romar suggested that Washington’s recent trip (Dec. 6-10) to New York, where the Huskies met Marquette and Duke in Madison Square Garden, might have sapped his team’s energy, setting the stage for Sunday’s home-floor flop.
“I had a concern before the game began that we potentially might lack energy,” Romar said. “After the very emotional New York trip, flying back and then not having a day off trying to prepare for finals week and all that. We got an adrenaline win, I think, against Santa Barbara (Friday), and its always been a rule of thumb with us, as a staff, just knowing that if you go seven or eight days in a row, its going to catch up with you.
“You need to somehow back off. I spoke, before the game, to several people about our lack of energy. I spoke to our team concerning our lack of energy and said we better be ready to go. I thought that was only one of our issues. Thats not to discredit what South Dakota State did. They were very, very good.”
Romar particularly referenced the issue of his team’s lack of defense, noting, “One thing we have to do right now is that we must get better defensively.”
After giving up 92 points to the Jackrabbits, the Huskies are allowing 76.3 points per game. That’s not the worst in school history, but it’s the seventh worst in the past four decades, as the chart shows:
|1988-89||Andy Russo||82.5||Allowed 120 to ASU Dec. 22, 1988|
|2003-04||Lorenzo Romar||79.0||Allowed 90+ twice, 102 to UAB|
|1981-82||Marv Harshman||77.1||Gave up 90+ in 6 different games|
|2001-02||Bob Bender||77.1||Blowout of year: Stanford 105, UW 60|
|1997-98||Bob Bender||76.6||Yielded 110 to Arizona Jan. 31, 1998|
|2000-01||Bob Bender||76.7||Allowed 90+ points in two Pac-10 games|
|2011-12||Lorenzo Romar||76.3||Gave up season-high 92 to Jackrabbits|
|1987-88||Andy Russo||74.9||Allowed 110 to Arizona Dec. 20, 1987|
|1974-75||Marv Harshman||73.4||Gave up season high to #2 UCLA|
An issue Romar did not address, perhaps because the Huskies made 16 of 22 (72.7 percent) against the Jackrabbits, is that Washington’s free throw conversion rate still leaves much to be desired. Even after Sunday, Washington is making only 62.2 percent of its foul shots. So this is — so far — the third-worst foul-shooting team Washington has presented in the past four decades, as the chart shows.
|2000-01||Bob Bender||.575||10-20||No postseason tournament|
|2007-08||Lorenzo Romar||.580||16-17||Lost CBI first round|
|2011-12||Lorenzo Romar||.622||5-5||Tony Wroten at .514%|
|1993-94||Bob Bender||.623||5-22||No postseason tournament|
|1995-96||Bob Bender||.624||16-12||Lost first round of NIT|
|1974-75||Marv Harshman||.633||16-10||No postseason tournament|
|1983-84||Marv Harshman||.643||24-7||Lost NCAA West Regionals|
|1984-85||Marv Harshman||.650||22-10||Lost NCAA first round|
|1999-00||Bob Bender||.662||10-20||No postseason tournament|
|1994-95||Bob Bender||.660||10-17||No postseason tournament|
After losing Sunday, the Huskies spoke collectively about putting the defeat behind them and focusing on their next opponent, Cal State Northridge Thursday. Unfortunately for Washington, the NCAA Tournament selection committee will have the South Dakota State debacle vividly in mind for the rest of the season.
The annual honor, named for Hall of Famer and former Boston Celtic Bob Cousy, recognizes the top point guards in college basketball.
Gaddy, a junior from Bellarmine in Tacoma, is averaging 9.3 points and 4.9 assists per game. He leads the Pac-12 and ranks 18th nationally in assist to turnover ratio at 2.9 (49 assists, 17 turnovers). He is also third in the Pac-12 and 68th nationally in assists per game.
Wroten, a true freshman from Garfield in Seattle, is second among all Pac-12 scorers with 16.4 points per game. He also is fourth in steals at 1.7. On Friday night vs. UC Santa Barbara, Wroten tied a UW freshman record with 27 points and overall has scored 20 or more in three straight games.
This original list of candidates will be narrowed to 20 by Jan. 1, 10 by Feb. 1 and a final five by March 1, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame said in a release. A selection committee will be appointed by the to review the final five candidates.