The Washington basketball team went down against Purdue 74-72 in a tough afternoon game on Saturday. Washington fell behind in the first half and really didn't get the Boilermakers figured out. In the second half they made a valiant comeback led by Jon Brockman and Isaiah Thomas but fell short in the last seconds of the game.
We could sit around and analyze this game for hours but we all saw it and we all know what went wrong. Purdue simply played smarter longer than Washington did. JuJuan Johnson was the MVP in this one. Washington never was able to match up well with him. The Purdue guards and a quick whistle kept things even out on the perimeter.
Looking ahead to 2009 this team will have a different look being led by Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas. The Huskies loose Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, Artem Wallace, and probably Jose Wolfinger.
Brockman is the guy who is going to be hardest to replace. Matthew Bryan-Amaning will be assuming his role next season. Gant will start a second straight year in a more expanded role. Pondexter is going to be counted on to put it in the hoop every night.
Isaiah Thomas will continue to improve and look for him to get the ball a lot more during crunch time. I imagine he will keep working on his outside shooting and you usually see a nice jump in the second year.
Either Abdul Gaddy or Elston Turner will start beside I.T. giving UW a larger profile at the guard position. Both of those kids can shoot so you hope they develop into better long range threats than Dentmon. I think we all liked what we saw out of Turner and Gaddy is one of the top recruits in the country.
The bench will be deeper and better. Overton, Holiday, and Suggs return. Charles Garcia, Tyreese Breshers, and Clarence Trent help beef up the front line. Gaddy and CJ Wilcox add a couple of shooters in the back court.
It looks like another tournament team to me but I think the missing piece to take it to the next level is Josh Smith. You add a big presence like him to the middle and I think UW can go very deep in 2010.
Following the Tournament forward
Arizona is the only Pac 10 team left and that is perhaps getting to luck of the draw playing Utah and Cleveland State. The state of Washington still is represented with Gonzaga facing off against North Carolina.
UConn Vs Purdue
I have to with UConn in this one and the other Huskies may be the only team that gets out this tournament without a loss.
Memphis vs Missouri
I have to go with Memphis.
Villanova vs Duke
I like Villanova in this one, They came out and dominated last time theyw ere on the floor against UCLA.
Pittsburg vs Xavier
Very tough one to call so I go with the undedog Xavier.
Louisville vs Arizona
The Pac 10's ride in the tournament stops right here.
Michigan State vs Kansas
The Jayhawks will not go back to the final four this year.
Oklahoma vs Syracuse
I like what I have seen of Oklahoma so far. They are playing like a #2 seed.
Gonzaga vs North Carolina
I think the Zags will surprise some people and upset UNC on Friday. Gonzaga can put some points up on the board and they have lots of weapons.