When a seven year-old boy walks up to a 6'5 man, he will say two things. "Wow, you're tall." Also, "You should play basketball." For regular, everyday life, 6'5 is very tall. My best friend is 6'5. He claims shotgun privileges in car rides because of his "unusual height." I will have a trump card for that soon. That is for another day, for another article, actually, that I have promised you guys but then realized it is really difficult to write about. I don't know if you are still interested in this stream of my consciousness.
There is a reason that height is associated with basketball: it helps. I don't mean the Mike Glennon four-foot neck - although that would trick a seven year-old. I mean the wingspan of a condor that really is a side-effect of height. The long arms that alter shots, the long arms that get into passing lanes, long arms that deter drives and field goal attempts. UC Irvine is the tallest team in the country. Remember what the other N'Diaye did?
Washington already was at a disadvantage against Indiana with two key members of its frontcourt down. The team could not afford to have one of either Perris Blackwell or Shawn Kemp Jr. be ineffective. Kemp was more than ineffective. He managed 0 shot attempts, 1 rebound, one turnover and five fouls. He was Gilles Dierickx with one extra skill: commit "bad" fouls.
Mike Anderson fouled out, while I don't remember him committing a "bad" foul. My definition of a bad foul is a foul that doesn't happen in one of two situations: a hustle or aggressive (but not boneheaded) play, or preventing a basket or open look where the defender didn't get beat and subsequently forced to foul. Anderson's fouls were ticky-tack at best. Kemp... yeah.
Alright, a bit of a recap.
The game took a turn for the ugly at the beginning (I was actually asleep for this part). Two turnovers and a 9-0 deficit. UW wasn't out of it, though. The Dawgs battled back after their early deficit to be within two points at three different junctions, but Washington never tied it in that first half, and went into the break trailing 50-37.
Anderson had eight points and C.J. Wilcox had nine at the half to make up over half of the UW offense at the break. Wilcox had one spree where he scored seven straight for UW. Including the several scores before that, Wilcox and Anderson scored 11 straight for the Dawgs at one point in the first half.
The defense had trouble defending the dribble-drive in the second half, but in the first half, that wasn't an issue. The issue in the first half - all game, really - was size. UW was just out-bigged. The offense wasn't particularly inefficient. The defense wasn't bad either. It wasn't bad, at least, when it could help itself.
After forcing misses, UW wasn't able to clean up the glass. Check out this tweet by Kevin Pelton.
The Hoosiers finished the game with a 56.3% offensive rebound rate (18 of 32).— Kevin Pelton (@kpelton) November 22, 2013
Yeah, that's not going to win any basketball games unless there is a historic shooting performance put on. Wilcox's game-high 24 (despite going only 2-10 from deep) wasn't enough. Washington needed a great performance from all of its perimeter players. Wilcox just didn't hit his shots, it happens. Anderson got called for a few questionable fouls. He plays in the Pac 12, it's going to happen.
Nigel Williams-Goss showed quite a few flashes. He attempted to take over the scoring load after he had a few nice drives, but then was shut down. He will learn when he can and can't try and do that with time. Darin Johnson showed flashes. Jahmel Taylor showed nice burst getting to the rim in his limited playing time. Quinn Sterling saw the floor.
This game was essentially a Washington team in flux going up against an Indiana team that is unproven yet talented. Indiana will likely be in the tournament as top-5 decent seed, at least from what I have seen of them. They could very well end up higher than that.
I don't got any Dots for you today, sorry to disappoint. There is that whole "school is important" stuff that is being thrown around, so I have to attend to that.