Can the Cougs string some wins together?
By Bert Klasey
With a nice 81-76 win over OSU on Saturday, the Cougs have a chance to string together some wins coming in to this week. Beating a struggling Utah team and decent Colorado team is not out of the question, and knocking off UW isn’t looking quite as difficult as previously thought, either. Of course, they’ll have to play at a consistently high level, something that they’ve struggled mightily with this season.
Winning four in a row after the debacle against Oregon seems out of the question, but really, it shouldn’t be.
First off, if the Cougs play the same solid ball they played Saturday against OSU, they SHOULD win all three, setting them up for a very interesting weekend against league-leaders Stanford and Cal.
Of course, getting there will be tough simply because this team is maddening in their inconsistency. Against OSU, they moved the ball very well, found Motum consistently under the basket, and actually rebounded. For a team like this, with a lot of offensive weapons, this spells good things for the conference season. But then you look at what they did against Oregon — basically everything exactly the opposite. On top of it, they displayed a characteristic that is starting to be one of the main problems of the Bone regime — the team simply didn’t seem to have their head in the game.
Success for this team seems to start down-low. Against OSU, they outscored the Beavs 38-28 in the paint. Against UO, they were outscored 44-28. Against OSU, they won the rebounding battle 31-30 while against Oregon they were killed on the glass, 34-22.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out the difference. In case you are wondering, the UofO front line is not much better than the OSU front line, it had a lot to do with execution. What is interesting, though, is that the perimeter players need to be executing in order to allow the guys down low to do their job. If the guards are moving the ball and shooting the ball effectively, it will stretch defenses and allow them to get the ball down low. This guard play has been at the center of the inconsistency.
So, can the Cougs expect a couple, or maybe even three wins in the next week and half? It’s certainly not out of the question, but based on what we’ve seen so far, I’m not sure it’ll happen.
This team has talent, but without a consistent leader and a go-to guy to get these guys focused day in and day out, it will be hard to really start believing.
The Cougs and UUUtes match up tonight at 6:00 p.m. — it will not be televised. On Saturday, the game against Colorado will start at 1 p.m. and be televised by Root Sports NW.
Here’s Ken Bone discussing this weekend’s matchups:
In case you missed it, Mike Leach (aka “TSO” — The Strange One — an endearing nickname given to him by Texas Tech fans) did an online chat with The Seattle Times this week and you can read the transcript here.
What we are quickly finding out is that Leach doesn’t really seem to like these things. I’ve heard him speak twice now and have seen several of these, and the answers are all the same. To me, it seems that Coach Leach is far more concerned with coaching football than dealing with the fans.
I am 10000000 percent okay with that.