Behind the Numbers: It's Not All Gloom and Doom for UW Men's Basketball

Mike Martin

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Gloom:  Utah had a 12-2 offensive rebounding advantage in the second half.  The Huskies were more efficient in converting their second-chance opportunities into points.  However, based upon the sheer volume of rebounds, Utah came up with more second-chance points. 

Reason to Hope:  If the UW had put one more body on a Utah offensive player to eliminate one offensive rebound that led to a Ute bucket, it could have come away with a 66-65 victory. 

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Gloom: Utah didn't score from the floor in the final four minutes, hitting 8 of its 9 free throws to chip away at the Washington lead.  The Huskies' final points came on 4-0 run with a jumper by Stewart and two free throws by RaeQuan Battle, giving the Huskies a 66-61 advantage with just under a minute and a half remaining. The Utes hit all six of their free-throws to seal the victory. 

Reason to Hope:  Jaden McDaniels' fourth personal foul was also a technical foul that led to a six-point possession.  While there's a clear pattern of mental errors for McDaniels, he's showed glimpses of his talent. Just not enough. Eliminating that single error by McDaniels and the Huskies get out of Salt Lake City with a victory. 

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Gloom:  The Huskies had 17 turnovers against Utah on Thursday night.  Regardless of who was bringing the ball up the court, the number has remained somewhat consistent throughout the season.  However, they coughed up the ball 10 times in the first half. They halved that number to five turnovers in the first 19 minutes of the second half before turning over the ball twice in the final minute.

Reason to Hope:  UW's seven second-half turnovers led to 10 points.  Utah's three turnovers led to just three Husky points.  The Huskies forced 10 turnovers in the first half but just three in the second half. If they could have forced just one more turnover, and/or had gave up the ball one fewer time, the scoreboard could have read 66-65 in their favor. 

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Gloom:  Two was a troubling number Jamal Bey.  In the closing seconds of the game, Bey had his only turnovers of the game, including an offensive foul ended the UW's final possession.  He finished with 2 points, went 2-fot-2 at the free-throw line, and had 2 personal fouls and 2 steals.   

Reason to Hope:  If Bey didn't have the offensive foul/turnover at the end, his team could have won.  The Huskies shot 60 percent in the second half and they would have built some confidence with a 68-67 victory to take to Colorado.

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With likely 13 games left, there's still time to reverse things.  Freshmen have been making freshmen mistakes, but six weeks is enough time to grow up.  Every player needs to make one more play, get one extra rebound and commit one fewer foul and the final 13 games can have a very different feel.

The difference between a baseball player being an all-star and hitting .320 and a being an ordinary player at .275 is an all-star player makes one better decision each game. If each Husky player makes does something positive each game, the direction of the UW season can take a different course.

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