UW

‘Utes will be a problem for Huskies’ if they meet again

Feb 16, 2018, 11:45 AM | Updated: 11:46 am
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"You've just got to fight through these tough times," Huskies' coach Mike Hopkins said after Thursday's loss. (AP)
(AP)

Washington men’s basketball dropped its third straight game Thursday night, this time in a 70-58 loss to Utah. It’s a sudden shift by what was, just over one week ago, a program with the most impressive turnaround in the conference.

To dissect just what went wrong over the last three contests, 710 EPSN Seattle’s Brock Huard and Tom Wassell were joined by ESPN and Pac-12 analyst P.J. Carlesimo.

Mike Hopkins on Huskies’ turnaround: ‘They just kept fighting’

“I think (the Huskies) are not a great team – they’re a very good team,” Carlesimo said, when asked whether anything about the Huskies’ loss surprised him. “I still think that they’re in the hunt. I think what they ran into, which I didn’t know going in … that’s a horrible matchup for them. Utah is probably the best passing team in the Pac-12 … so that fact that they pass it so well, the fact that they’re a good three-point shooting team, and the fact that they have that size makes them a really bad matchup for UW.”

In early February, the Huskies were sitting just outside of the AP Top-25, were third in the Pac-12, and were the subject of one of the best stories in college basketball this year. However, they’re last three games have been losses to Oregon, Oregon State, and Utah.

Carlesimo says that while Washington didn’t perform to its expectations Thursday, Utah was an especially tricky opponent.

“They’re a good three-point shooting team, they’re a good passing team, and they’re a big team.  And that is a bad, bad matchup for UW. So I think it was mostly that, I truly do. I think that’s a team they don’t want to play. There’s teams you just don’t match up very well against. If there’s somebody they do not want to play in Las Vegas in the Pac-12 Tournament, it’s Utah.”

A few players mentioned a lack of intesity and energy postgame.

“I certainly yield to whatever (Hopkins) or the players would say. And also, frankly, and please don’t misinterpret it, I was disappointed in the crowd. I think 6 o’clock is a horrible time in Seattle. And I thought I would walk into an Arizona or Gonzaga crowd. The guys that were there were great, the Dawg Pound was great, and the team’s gotta play well to energize the crowd, but I didn’t think I’d see that many purple empty seats last night in that building. The way this team has played all year and how enormous a game that game was last night, I thought the place would be filled, and it deserves to be filled… and you guys know as well as I do, getting anywhere in Seattle to start something at 6 o’clock is not easy.

“I think all those things played in. But the biggest problem was the guys in the red uniforms. And I really think they will be a problem if they have to play them again.”

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‘Utes will be a problem for Huskies’ if they meet again