Seattle Sports Bro

Where east coast bias goes to die.

Tony Wroten Displays Character Flaws Amidst Scandal

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tony-wroten

It’s already been a very tough offseason for Husky basketball fans. First we were surprised with the news that the indisputable leader of our team in Isaiah Thomas was leaving school for the NBA. Then we had to watch as the Huskies continued to lose out coveted big man recruits like God’s Gift Achiuwa and Wally Judge.

Today, it got even worse as the Seattle Times’ Mason Kelly reported that Tony Wroten Jr., the Huskies’ most heralded incoming recruit, was essentially taking bogus classes at Garfield HS in order to become eligible at Washington. Read the rest of this entry »

Husky Basketball Offseason Preview

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terrence-ross

Klay Thompsen is roughly half as talented as Terrence Ross... that isn't even a joke.

After this past weekend, I can’t even think about the Mariners.  I mean, I knew the M’s weren’t gonna be competitive this year, but our offense is just downright excruciating to watch.

Thus, let’s talk some Husky basketball and preview the offseason and the team’s outlook for 2012

Recruiting

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The Blame Game- Worst Officiated Games in Seattle Sports History

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Isaiah-thomas-ncaa-tournament

Let’s face it: Seattle sports teams have been on the wrong end of some absolutely horrendous calls over the years.  It seems like every time the stakes get higher, so too does the ineptitude of the refs calling the calling the game.  There are two games that stand out in my memory worse than any others:

The Two Worst Officiated Games in Seattle Sports History

superbowl xl

Super bowl XL

This one was pure torture.  To see the Hawks make the Super Bowl and play a great game, only to have it repeatedly tarnished by the officials.  There were two bullshit calls in this game that took away 14 points from the Seahawks (offensive PI on Darrell Jackson, offensive holding on Sean Locklear), not to mention the gift of a touchdown call on Ben Roethlisberger’s scramble that gave the Steeler’s 7 when they should have had 3.  That’s an 18 point swing right there.  The Hawks lost by 11.

4 years later, head official Bill Leavy offered this statement about his performance in Super Bowl XL: “I’ll go to my grave wishing I’d been better… I know I did my best at that time, but it wasn’t good enough.”  You can say that again.

Washington Huskies Connecticut Huskies

2006 Sweet 16 VS. Connecticut

March 24, 2006.  Now there’s a date I wish I could have just blacked out and spared myself the lasting emotional trauma it caused me.  The UW basketball team faced Connecticut in the Sweet 16, and the refs blew the game in such expert fashion even Kim Kardashian had to take notes.

While the refs made countless ticky-tack calls in the game, probably the most upsetting moment was when they called three fouls on Brandon Roy in just over a minute, bringing his total up to four with 13:48 left to play.  With Roy out, Connecticut was able to chip away at the Dawgs’ 10 point lead until they forced overtime on a last second 3.  In OT, Roy finally fouled out (ending his Husky career), the refs missed an EGREGIOUS goaltend by UConn that could have kept UW in the game, and we ended up losing by 6.  I would also like to note that I just vomited on my keyboard as I typed this.

Anyways, those are the two big games that I actually believe the refs cost us the game in.  Last weekend’s NCAA tournament game against UNC, however, was not on the officials.  Don’t give me anything about the lack of a goaltend on Isaiah Thomas’ last shot (his foot was on the line), or the clock issue at the end of the game.  It was our costly turnovers and inability to score at the end of the game that cost us.

 

Venoy Overton’s full court drive down 1 with :15 seconds left was absolute garbage, but a sadly fitting end to his UW career.  It’s impossible to count how many times we’ve seen Venoy try to go coast-to-coast in his career, only to throw up a prayer of a layup over two defenders.  Now, I’m thankful for Venoy’s great defense over the years, but he’s always been my least favorite player with the ball in his hands, and the fact that he wouldn’t try to get the ball to our offensive threats at the end of the game was inexcusable.

Ugh… now that I’ve gotten my two cents out on that game, I can start to move on.  The Dawgs will be absolutely stacked at guard next year with Abdul Gaddy back and Tony Wroten coming in.  We’re gonna be short handed down low, but I think we’ll be able to pull off a 4-guard lineup a la 2006 Villanova with some success.  Luckily, our guards will have some height, so hopefully we won’t get killed on the boards.

One rock solid prediction: the Pac-12 is gonna be dirty next year.  Be afraid of what’s going on down in UCLA and Arizona.  WSU and USC should also be very good next year, assuming Klay Thompson and Nikola Vucevic stay at their respective schools.  This league is going to bounce back in a big way, and the Huskies are going to face much tougher opponents in league play.  It should make for a very exciting season.

Washington Huskies NCAA Tournament Preview- Rd. 1

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washington basketball

GIMME DAT TROPHY

My god, what a difference a week makes.  Hard to believe that only seven days ago the huskies were almost a bubble team coming off the loss to USC, and just finding out that Venoy Overton had been suspended for the entire Pac 10 Tournament.

On Saturday the Dawgs played in one of the best college basketball games I’ve ever seen, and surely a win that will go down as one of the all-time greats in Washington Huskies basketball history.

Show of hands, who else shat their pants when Isaiah Thomas’ last second shot hit the bottom of the net?  While Gus Johnson’s call was amazing, I’ve always had a serious man crush on Bob Rondeau, and the fatigue in his voice at the end of this marathon game adds the perfect touch to his masterful call.

Anyways, Seattle sports fans will remember Isaiah Thomas  for his gutsy performance across the entire Pac-10 Tournament for years to come.  And rightfully so- the dude had 59 pts, 30 assists, and 10 rebounds over a three game span!  Thanks to I.T, I’m now seriously considering revising the top 5 Seattle sports bros list.

It’s hard to overstate how significant that late comeback was against the Arizona Wildcats.  With a loss in that game, the Huskies would have received an 8 or 9 seed, meaning a much more difficult first round game and of course a matchup against a 1 seed in the second round.  Although the 7 seed sends us all the way to Charlotte with a potential second round game against UNC, the Huskies would rather have that than facing any of the 1 seeds in this tourney.

Now it’s time for March Madness, the best time of the year for sports fans. Here’s what to expect Friday night when Washington faces the Georgia Bulldogs:

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Dawgs Rediscover their Swagger

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isaiah thomas

Isaiah Thomas drivin' (note Faisal Aden sitting down in background)

Damn.  That was probably the best game in Seattle sports this year.  The UW Huskies played like we haven’t seen in weeks, and Washington State did what we all expect them to do: Coug it.

With that win, the Huskies eliminated any lingering doubt about their NCAA tournament credentials.  We’re definitely in, now it’s just a matter of seeding.

I wrote a couple days ago about the Huskies NCAA tournament seeding predicament, and how losing in the Pac 10 tournament might actually help their chances of avoiding a dreaded 8 or 9 seed.  Unfortunately, that appears to still be the case.

By looking around at updated bracketology, the Huskies still seem to be slotted at a 9 seed on average.  It’s anyone’s guess as to where we’d end up with another win or loss tonight, but I realized that’s no longer important.  It was much more crucial to get the win last night and get back to their up-tempo style of play.

A win tonight will put them in the championship game, and who knows, maybe we can steal a 7 seed if we win the whole Pac 10 tournament.  For now, Oregon presents a big challenge for UW as they looked dominant last night in their romp over Lucifer Nelson and UCLA.

Other observations:
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Bring Your Barf Bags: Previewing UW’s Pac 10 Tournament Situation

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Lorenzo Romar

Even Lorenzo is dry heaving over this season

Watching the Huskies this season has been a kind of torture that Seattle sports fans are all too familiar with.  Expectations of greatness at the beginning, followed by a seemingly endless barrage of head-scratching losses, costly injuries, and off-the-court issues.   2010 Mariners, anyone?

This article, titled “More Final Four Talk Following a Blowout UW Win” Percy Allen’s blog, now stands as a sick joke in our rear view mirror.  My, how the mighty have fallen.

Heading into tomorrow night’s game with WSU, the Huskies’ confidence is at a season low at the worst possible time.  With Venoy Overton suspended, Isaiah Thomas is essentially going to have to play all 40 minutes while carrying the team if we want to win.  That’s an unbelievably tall order, but I don’t think it would shock anyone if he pulls it off.  On the flip side, it wouldn’t shock anyone if we lost by 20, either.

And that right there is this team in a nutshell.  Some nights this team looks like a NIT also-ran, while on others visions of an Elite 8 run flash before our very eyes.

UW Tournament Chances

So what’s on the line tomorrow?  Every bracketology website I study has UW making the tournament, most usually as an 8-10 seed.  This is where UW is in an excruciating catch-22.  If we get an 8 or 9 seed, which is most likely the case if we beat WSU, we would be forced to play a 1 seed in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

However, if we lose to WSU, we’ll be relegated to “bubble” status, and receive probably a 10 or 11 seed and a more favorable second round matchup.  But that’s only IF we make the tournament.  A loss to WSU and a few wins by bubble teams could actually push UW out of the tournament.

I of course would love to see UW win the Pac-10 tourney, but unless we win the whole thing, losing to WSU could either put us in our best possible situation, or knock us out entirely. Obviously, this is a total clusterfuck and it could be a very long wait on Selection Sunday for Husky fans.