What. A. Weekend.
The Washington Huskies pulled off their most impressive home court win of Mike Hopkins’ first season, Sidney Jones and Elijah Qualls are Super Bowl champions, and Tom Brady confirms rumors that he is, in fact, mortal. All is right with the world.
Mike Hopkins’ first year as head coach of the Washington men’s basketball team has gone better than just about any outside observer had predicted, the latest evidence of which came Saturday night when the Dawgs knocked off Sean Miller’s No. 9 Arizona Wildcats at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. With two top-10 victories this season, and a pair of top-25 victories in their most recent two games, the Dawgs find themselves on the precipice of their first NCAA Tournament bid since 2011.
Although it was a tough loss for our Arizona team last night I want to thank the @UWDawgPack and everyone else who gave me and my family an unbelievably warm reception. It meant a lot.— Lorenzo Romar (@CoachRomar) February 4, 2018
Columnist Matt Calkins reflects on Washington’s accomplishments in a year that “was supposed to be a season in which the Huskies served as a bye game for their Pac-12 opponents.” He continues:
... [Y]ou couldn’t have expected UW to shock Arizona. You couldn’t have guessed that it would have neutralized one of the best players in the country and caused the crowd to rush the court.
But it happened. All of it. And if the Huskies are a perennial NCAA tournament team five years from now, Saturday will be considered the launching point.
Scott Eklund has a load of great insights from Washington football’s final weekend of official visitors in advance of Wednesday’s official signing day for members of the 2018 class. The visitors he discusses include a pair of four-star prospects: defensive end Jeremiah Martin and USC commit Tuli Letuligasenoa. (Friendly reminder here to please not discuss anything from Dawgman’s premium boards in our comment sections.)
In his latest first-round mock draft, Chris Burke has Vita Vea going to the Los Angeles Chargers (man, that still feels weird to type) with the 17th overall pick. Says Burke:
There are at least two defensive tackles who will garner top-10 buzz: Vea and Maurice Hurst. Each still sits on the board in this mock, and Vea — at an athletic 340 pounds — better fits what the Chargers are missing as an interior anchor.
SI calls Washington’s 13-7 loss against Arizona State one of 2017’s games that continue to defy logic, and I’m right there with them. The Sun Devils gave up 30 or more points in 10 of 13 games last season, and yet somehow managed to hold the No. 5 Huskies to a single touchdown. With Washington having lost 10 of its last 11 games in the Grand Canyon State, including four of five with Chris Petersen as head coach, the team’s unofficial motto ought to be “The Desert: Not Even Once.”
And finally ...
Sports Illustrated — Washington State Player Gets Community Service Award For Completing Court-Mandated Hours
It’s undeniably a good deed to give back to one’s community. That being said, I’m not sure one deserves to be lauded for said community service when it is mandated by the local judiciary. From the article:
Washington State defensive lineman Logan Tago recently was named the recipient of the Fall 2017 Community Involvement Award, which is given out by the university’s Center for Civic Engagement. From Washington State’s press release, Tago seems like a perfectly worthy winner—he completed 240 hours of community service around the City of Pullman and Palouse communities.
The press release conveniently did not mention Tago was literally ordered by a court to do that community service as part of a plea bargain he accepted to avoid a felony robbery conviction.