There are two Washington Huskies basketball teams. There's the one that looks like it has the potential to break out and become a top 25 team with their talented backcourt. Then there's the one that has to board airplanes.
Washington has played three road games and two neutral site games in New York City (which were pretty much road contests). The Huskies have played alright in the neutral games against top teams like Marquette and Duke, but have been outright awful in hostile environments. They were doubled up by St. Louis at halftime (one of the worst results of the year for the Pac-12, regardless of how good Rick Majerus's boys end up looking) and lost in overtime to an inferior bunch in Reno.
Their latest blundering comes in-conference, where the Colorado Buffaloes bulldozed them. Parker_Baruh of Ralphie Report discusses how well his team played.
Things the Buffaloes did well: Offensively and defensively, Colorado played its most complete game. The Buffaloes were helping on defense, taking charges, and doing the little things they don't always do. The bench filled in greatly with the help of 12 points from Askia Booker. Booker had some crucial threes when Colorado looked lost against Washington's zone defense. Jeremy Adams and Sabatino Chen stepped up big each adding 6 points as well. Spencer Dinwiddie also did a great job of beating Washington's zone defense by pushing the ball in transition so Washington could not set up its zone. Overall, Colorado played mistake free basketball, never looking back once they got the lead, and earned their most impressive win of the year.
The first thing that should look out of place is Washington playing zone defense. When does that happen?
The second thing is how complete Colorado was, and thus proved how deficient Washington can be. The Huskies had seven assists to 15 turnovers, a ghastly number. Tony Wroten continued his freshman struggles; despite shooting well, he had five turnovers and three assists (although he did have an incredible seven steals). Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox struggled a little.
But the Washington defense was the one doing the hemhorraging. 57% on three pointers. 28 free throws shot, 25 made. Washington had 20 offensive rebounds and 17 more shots and it hardly made a difference because of the incredible Colorado shooting and overall efficiency.
Colorado has only played two home contests insofar, but they've been impressive in both of them. Tad Boyle has his boys balling, and it's clear transitioning from the Big 12 (clearly a superior basketball conference) to the Pac-12 has its perks. Perhaps it isn't too early to count out Colorado as being one of those teams in the mix--although we'll probably have to see them travel before making such judgments.