Weekly Analysis: The Huskies Still Learning How To Finish

The Washington Huskies Men’s Basketball Team returned home last weekend and escaped with a 70-62 win over Seattle University.

Last night, the Huskies traveled on the road to play #13 Virginia Tech and lost 73-61 in the inaugural Army Reserve Boardwalk Classic.

Here are a few quick observations about the team…..

The Huskies Need To Finish

One thing that the Huskies are still trying to learn this season is how to finish out games.  Last weekend against the Seattle University Redhawks, the Huskies were in full command of the game, with a 20-point lead and then the Redhawks came storming back.  Towards the end of the game, Seattle University cut the lead to two points before the Huskies were able to squeak by with the victory.  Opportunities are getting few and far between to impress the NCAA Tournament Committee.  The Huskies must find a way to close out games against some ranked teams, if they want to make it into the “Dance” this year.

Hopkins Should Try A Lineup Change

At this point in the season, the Huskies have shown that they have problems with getting off to fast starts.  One big reason for this is their inability to score the basketball, and their best pure shooter is coming off the bench.  Senior forward Dominic Green is the Huskies best shooter but he is also a streak shooter.  When he is hot, there is nobody better!  Head coach Mike Hopkins might want to consider starting him so they can get off to faster starts, by putting the ball in the basket.  With a lack of outside shooters in the starting lineup, opposing defenses are enjoying not working as hard at the start of games.

Matisse Thybulle Is Finding His Shooting Stroke

A couple of weeks ago, during a weekly press conference, Hopkins said that they needed senior guard Matisse Thybulle to score the basketball more.  When Thybulle is only scoring 6-8 points a game, then opposing defenses are able to sag off of him and help out somewhere else.  Last night, Thybulle found his shooting stroke as he finished 5 for 9 from behind the arc.  All season long, the Huskies have needed a second shooter to emerge from the outside.  After last night’s game, Thybulle may be that guy going forward.  When Thybulle scores, it just energizes his defense and the team even more.

Putting Together A Complete Game

Throughout the course of the season, the Huskies have played some of their best minutes in spurts.  They have really dug in and put some huge runs together in both halves of games.  What has been missing is their ability to put a 40-minute performance together.  Sometimes, the Huskies have started very slow and other times they have been unable to finish.  The slow starts have put themselves “behind the 8-Ball” so to speak, which has made it too much to overcome in second halves.  On the reverse, playing well early and then taking their foot off the gas, has almost costed them some games down the stretch.

Who Are The Real Huskies?

When judging the Huskies performances on the grand stage this season, they have gone 0-3 with losing to Auburn, Gonzaga and Virginia Tech.  While the Huskies lost all three of those contests, the result didn’t tell the entire story of those games.  Back when they played Auburn, the Huskies were pretty much ran out of the gym from the outsmart.  Against Gonzaga, the Huskies played a tremendous game and stood “toe-to-toe” with the top ranked team in the nation.  Last night, the Huskies looked like the moment was too big for them and really didn’t play great the entire night.  Who are the real Huskies this season?