Washington Loses 7th of Last 8 Games, Defeated by Rival Ducks

They fight for a loose ball, and Oregon probably got it. - USA TODAY Sports

Today I slept through my alarm. Waking up half an hour before class started, I made it with seconds to spare, eating my morning bagel in the car while speeding almost all of the way there. I luckily found a good parking spot, pulled in, and hurried up the stairs. When I was finished trudging up three stories I made it to my classroom, I found a note on the door: the instructor was out sick.

With that time, I finished up the preview for the game in which I mentioned that it could be a high-scoring up-and-down game, completely forgetting that Washington hasn't done that this year in a single game I have watched. I then nearly fell asleep in my English class, and then my final class was cancelled, so I went home to get a nap before work. The same scenario from this morning unfolded. Nothing went right for me today.

Nothing went right for me today, and nothing went right for Washington tonight in their late-night matchup against Oregon. Things were probably worse for Washington than for me, but that is my introduction and I am sticking to it. The round orange thing didn't want to go into the other round orange thing for Washington's best player (when healthy) and the "in healthy" in parentheses is a big note. A foot injury is one of the most debilitating injuries for an athlete. More on that in my single Dot for the game.

Oregon started on a 7-0 run that many of us (myself included) missed thanks to the Baylor-West Virginia game featuring two fewer fouls than made field goals. Washington came back to within three, and that is where the game began, for the majority of its viewers. Wilcox was already 0-3, and things weren't looking up for Washington. They trailed and then came back, eventually taking the lead (the play-by-play for this game is unavailable, so the recap will be a little different, more general). The Dawg Pack got pretty loud at that point, but it was the loudest they would get.

Wilcox finished 3-13 from the field, hitting a single three almost at the end of the half, finishing with nine points and not impacting the stat sheet in any other meaningful way.

Abdul Gaddy led the team with 17 points and five assists versus two turnovers, in a decent performance from him. A lot of his points came in garbage time, but from what I saw, he looked like he belonged out there, making solid passes and getting into the lane decently for most of the night. He went out for a spell in the second half for what seemed like a lower-body injury, but no word on that yet. He also finished with 11 rebounds, Washington's best player tonight.

Aziz N'Diaye, despite the struggles from the free throw line, was his usual efficient self. He shot 3-5 from the field and had 11 rebounds to go along with 2 blocked shots and a steal. He was strong defensively, although one mistake in particular led to a Tony Woods putback dunk. N'Diaye was solid overall, and has developed into UW's most dependable player -- nobody would have imagined that two seasons ago.

Nobody in particular hurt Washington badly, but Oregon as a team performed well offensively. They had four players in double figures, with the highest shooting percentage of the quartet coming from Carlos Emory. Oregon won despite being out-rebounded by six and also shooting under 60% from the free throw line. They shot 56.5% from the line, a less-than-torrid percentage.

This game was lost because Washington couldn't hit shots, which is something that happens. Jump shooting teams have off nights, and this was definitely one of those nights for Washington.

A single Dot, because I have too much schoolwork to do.

  • Maybe the team won't say it is affecting him too much, maybe he won't let on to it, but the stress fracture in Wilcox's foot is hampering him. There is no way that he goes from being one of the best shooters in the country to so cold for this long without something being wrong either mechanically or an injury. Mechanically he looks sound, but obviously he is dealing with an injury. Injuries hurt play.

    Wilcox still has superior athleticism despite the injury. He compares to Terrence Ross physically in a lot of areas (straight-line speed, vertical) so an injury he can play through would still leave him with strong athleticism, but it can still affect you in other ways.

    A foot injury itself is one of the most debilitating issues an athlete can deal with. Suggs missed all of last season with a foot injury and has dealt with one this season. It is an injury that can linger and affect everything you do. It affects jumping, cutting, running, and even tying shoes.
    With how ritualistic shooters can be (Ray Allen is the worst offender of this, as he has borderline obsessive compulsive disorder) shoes being tied differently can have the slightest effect to their shot, which has a large impact.

    Now, this is just a theory, but a stress fracture is caused oftentimes by overworking. Wilcox dealt with a similar injury in his hip last season. I think --think-- that Wilcox might shoot too much during the season. During the off-season, he has to shoot a lot to be able to knock down shots like he does. His body can't take the beating in the season that he gives it by not resting much, if at all, thanks to shooting on top of team practices.

    Now, there are other players who shoot more and practice more than Wilcox, NBA players in particular. My theory is dependent on Wilcox landing flat-footed on his jumper. If that was the case, it would send shockwaves up his body which could have caused the stress fracture. Now, he may have adjusted that in the off-season, but over-corrected and now he has a foot injury because of it, or maybe the injury is there because he didn't change. This is all speculation.
Washington plays again on Saturday at eight PST on ROOT Sports this Saturday, hoping to get a much-needed win against Oregon State.

Knibbe is on Twitter. Give him a follow, and he may or may not promise to bring you cookies. (He doesn't actually promise)
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