Dawgs and Redhawks Should Both be Highly Motivated Tonight
Tonight’s Seattle U game could be a very big test for a Washington team that could be reeling from the disappointment of this past weekend’s failures and foibles. ESPN blogger Diamond Leung asked the question, “What’s up with Washington?” and Isaiah Thomas laments the loss of Charles Garcia to add to the many “What ifs”.
Meanwhile Cameron Dollar and Seattle U come into the game loose and with nothing to lose and everything to gain. Dollar demonstrated his feelings that this game is something special to him and to his team in a Q+A with the Seattle Times Percy Allen.
Dollar told the AP that the match-up with the Huskies is not going to be one that is that different for Charles Garcia than any other.
“I know him. Everybody else wants to make that big, but it’s not big to him. It’s an exciting game, on TV and playing against a Pac-10 team, but there is nothing more of it than that.”
I find that as hard to believe as a lot of other things that have transpired in regards to Garcia and the Huskies. I believe that Chuck would like nothing better than to stick it to the team that he couldn’t be on. Garcia told Jeff Goodman that if he were a bigger name.
“I was a no-name. I think if I had been a big-name guy, I’d probably be there right now. But coming out of junior college, I just don’t think they wanted to take a chance on me.”
It sounds to me like there may be something to prove for Chuck against Lorenzo Romar and company tonight.
There is also the matter of Romar vs. his former assistant Dollar and it seems as if there is a definite motivating factor there. The Washington players even seem to feel that losing Dollar is another one of those “What ifs” that are plaguing the Dawgs psyche this season.
Quincy Pondexter talked to Percy Allen about Dollar and it really seemed from his tone that some of the guys may be lamenting the loss of their former coach.
“He meant so much to us, me personally. He was just as influential as coach Romar. He was a really tough coach to play for because he demanded excellence and (that) you fulfill all of your potential. I respect him so much. I love the guy. He really meant so much to me and this program.”
It seems as if Seattle has at least gotten the Pac-10 team’s attention as Pondexter compares the game tonight with the Washington/USC football game in which the former assistant beat his old boss.
“It might be like how our football team played USC this year. Coach (Steve) Sarkisian really had an insight on how USC was and they came out and executed their game plan and they got the win.”
One thing is for sure and that is that Washington has been inconsistent. The Morning News Tribune’s Don Ruiz writes that both the Dawgs and the Redhawks have struggled with inconsistency and it makes one wonder which team on both sides will show up tonight.
So how will the game turn out? Montlake Madness’ Josh Anderson feels that it will be a game at Hec-Ed similar to those this year in which |UW played well enough to win, but not much better than that.
“I predict that the Huskies on Tuesday will look like they did in games against Montana or Oregon State, when the team won, but didn’t shine. I just can’t see the Dawgs not being a little hungover with only 72 hours between the USC debacle and this game. I do predict, though, that the Huskies will win this one, 80-73. After all, they’re at home.”
One thing that needs to be pointed out is that Seattle U has a lot more to play for in this one, not just for this season, but in building up their program in this market. Seattle U senior guard Taylor Olson spoke about the way that this team owns the glory and the responsibility of putting Seattle U on the map when he spoke to the Times Bob Condotta.
“When I first got here, you’d see all sorts of different people wearing UW sweatshirts or Duke or Gonzaga, now you see a lot more people buying stuff at the bookstore, actually wearing Seattle U. gear. You see a lot of people wearing red. It’s kind of cool.”
In summarizing, I feel that Washington needs to come out firing and not take it easy on this Redhawk team or they could very well get beat, as did the Oregon State Beavers who lost to Dollar’s guys 99-48 at home.
The Huskies team chemistry can ill-afford a game like that added to its 2009-2010 resume, which is already teetering on NCAA Tournament disaster. This season is one of “What ifs” right now and until they get out of that mindset, very little good will come from it.
There is Charles Garcia and Cameron Dollar and the questions as to what would have happened if they would have both been there. There is the question of C.J. Wilcox red-shirting in a year when outside shooting has become such a major team weakness.
There is also the thought that next year is going to be the year and that Enes Kanter, who is such a major big man prospect and possibly Terrence Jones could solve the Dawgs need for an inside presence.
Though that could be a great thing for a Washington team that desperately needs help in the post, this year is not over and someone from the group of guys that are there needs to get into the action or this UW team could really start to slip and spiral.
Oh yeah, there’s another big “what if”. Adrian Oliver was just awarded the national player of the week award.
If Oliver had stayed what would UW have been able to do with another big time scorer to help Quincy and Isaiah. Adrian is averaging 22 points per game and certainly would have helped UW over this past three years.
Oliver has one more season to go with San Jose State, but the possibility is there that he could test the process after this season.
UW needs to put all of these “What ifs” out of their mind and focus on winning basketball games. If they can do that the rest will take care of itself.
For Seattle U they have nothing to lose and everything to gain, which make them a dangerous team for Washington to face without a lot of urgency of their own. It should be a good one.