Huskies Have Nothing to Offer Nation's No. 2 Team, Get Blown Out in Opener

Baylor crushed Mike Hopkins' team, which looked exceedingly soft as it got outrebounded 50-19.
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The first Husky shot was an airball. 

The second one got blocked.

The first jumper didn't go down until six minutes into the game, and it was a desperation heave at that.

The University of Washington basketball team, hoping to put a dismal season behind it and start anew, instead rekindled a ton of bad memories by opening with a dysfunctional 86-52 loss to the second-ranked Baylor Bears on Sunday at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.

No other way to put it: the Huskies were brutal.

Even against one of the nation's better teams, they were overwhelmingly soft. They got beat on the boards 50-19. 

"I feel at the beginning of the game they hit us in the face pretty good and we didn't respond," Husky coach Mike Hopkins said. 

They blew kisses. 

They misfired on 12 of their first 14 shots. One of them was a Jamal Bey 3-pointer, with the clock winding down, that was swatted back into his hands and he shoveled it to the hoop where it somehow rattled in.

Hopkins promised a team full of playmakers who would dish and drive. They were nowhere to be found.

None of the starters finished in double figures. Quade Green, that one-time Kentucky transfer supposedly with the new attitude and grade point average, scored 2. 

A lot of guys who couldn't shoot from the perimeter last season still can't shoot. The Huskies hit 21 percent from 3-point range. 

Sophomore guard RaeQuan Battle came off the bench and led the Huskies with 10 points, but he hit just 3 of 11 shots, only 2 of 8 beyond the arc.

The big difference between this team and last year's last-place Pac-12 finisher is Isaiah Stewart, the NBA's 16th overall draft pick, no longer mans the middle. 

Things got so bad inside Hopkins inserted 7-foot-4 Riley Sorn, a non-scholarship guy, for mop-up duty — with nine minutes still left to play.

The Huskies trailed by as many as 37.

It could be a long season. 

Maybe longer than last season.

Hopkins opened the late-arranged game at the neutral site with a lineup of shooting guard Erik Stevenson from Wichita State, and returnees Hameir Wright, Nate Roberts, Green and Bey.

Green, again, underperformed. Stevenson looked tight. Wright fouled out early in the second half as he is wont to do. Roberts and Bey should be subs. 

"This group hasn't played a lot together," Bey said. "It's growing pains, for sure."

Baylor, led by All-American guard Jared Butler's 20 points, never trailed and quickly built a 10-2 lead as it attacked a welcoming UW middle and shot well around the perimeter. 

Midway through the half, the Bears were sailing along at 28-7. Things got progressively worse from there. The Huskies had no response at all. No second half to make everything better like the football team had. The biggest disparity was 84-47.

This game was reminiscent of the poor showings that cost Lorenzo Romar his job four years ago. They came in bunches. 

Hopkins says he has enough talent. After watching this one unfold, some might digress. His guys didn't even look like the Pac-12's ninth-best team as predicted.

The Huskies now head to Utah for a Thursday afternoon game and conference opener, knowing it could be canceled at anytime by the pandemic. 

Follow Dan Raley of Husky Maven on Twitter: @DanRaley1 and @HuskyMaven

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