Taking a Shot at the Huskies Not Getting Off a Shot

Dan Raley

The clock showed 14.1 seconds.

Plenty of time for the Washington basketball team, down 67-66 at Utah, to get off a high-percentage shot. 

More than enough opportunity to run something smart and practiced. 

The Huskies, trailing for the first time since the first eight minutes of play, understandably were in a bit of panic.

In a timeout, the UW players huddled around coach Mike Hopkins as he drew up a final play.

Once the game resumed, the ball ended up in the hands of sophomore guard Jamal Bey as the final buzzer neared. 

Bey put his head down, drove to the basket and was called for a charge with .08 left.

Game over.

Crushing defeat.

Pretty sure that's not what Hopkins sketched out on the sideline.

The question is: Why did the ball not go to Isaiah Stewart?

To the guy Hopkins calls the best college player in America.

To his leading scorer.

To the soon-to-be NBA player.

It really didn't matter how many guys surrounded, crowded and squeezed him; he likely would have got off a shot.

Chances are good that Stewart gets fouled, and he's a 75 percent free-throw shooter.

He's also a 58-percent shooter from the floor.

Bey shoots 38 percent.

If you have Brandon Roy, he takes that shot. If you have Isaiah Thomas, he goes for the win. Even Noah Dickerson gets the opportunity to pull out a victory.

This is where this UW team (12-8 overall, 2-5 Pac-12 and tied for last place) has gone off the rails.

Stewart, shown in the video last weekend explaining another blown game, attempted 8 shots against Utah and made 6. 

It should have been at least 9 attempts. Or two more foul shots. 

In four of the past five Huskies games, this great player has attempted 8, 9, 7 and 8 field goals. 

Opponents have made adjustments. Where are the UW's counter moves?

Against Utah, the Huskies should have been under firm orders to get the ball to their big man and see what happened. 

To the best freshman player in school history.

To the best in the conference.

Maybe the best in the nation. 

Instead, the UW failed miserably at saving face and using its best resources.

The Huskies couldn't get off a shot.

Bey should have been the team's fourth or fifth option.

This one rests squarely on the clipboard of the man in the purple tie.

As they head into 23rd-ranked Colorado (15-4, 4-2) for a Saturday night game, the Huskies need Hopkins to regain control of a messy and disoriented basketball situation.

He needs to get tougher and quit being the agreeable players' coach.

And just coach.

 

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