Sunday, January 13, 2008

Good Loss

Happy Sunday, fellow Cougies.

While things were tough yesterday, the loss could not have been better for us. We got waxed in several ways--which will allow Bennett to get this group's attention at mid-season--and we showed enough sizzle at the end to have some real confidence moving forward.

Overall, the split was EXACTLY what this group needed. EXACTLY.

What is most important is that we saw the emergence of this group as an offensive unit over this past weekend. And that bodes quite well for us moving forward.

And yes, I know that we looked bad in that first half against the Bruins. BUT, overall this weekend we saw both Low and Harmeling really find their stroke. And boy do we need them to compete at and reach elite status.

Derrick Low, in particular, showed a level of aggressiveness that we haven't seen in a while. And, after a miserable post-flu game against the Pups, Rochestie played pretty darn well in stretches and looked QUICK again.

So now, we get a little of the super hype off our backs a bit and can re-focus on IMPROVING--something that this group needs to do. And it will.

And, per my little post on Saturday, remember that UCLA is a team we didn't match up with BEFORE they added the next Karl Malone to their team (memo to Sonics: get #1 pick and draft Love, PLEASE!!!)

But lest we all write off hope for the bright lights and big city of a conference championship, here's something to remember: WSU will be RIGHT there in the hunt for the Pac-10 title at the end of the year because we are not good enough to overlook anyone. As a result, you can expect that we will be the least likely of all of the upper division teams to lose games we should win.

What we need now is to get the Oregon Monkey off of our backs and beat a really good 3 point shooting team--something that we did not do last year (see Oregon and Vandy). Do that, and we become the surefire #5-6 team that I think we are.

Its all about that #2 seed folks. Lets go get the Oregon schools this week and get back on that track.


wsuhoops said...

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it a good loss -- getting outclassed in a game that's supposed to prove you're among the nation's elite is never a good thing -- but I follow your premise.

This team has proven time and time again that it learns from its mistakes better than just about any other team I've ever seen. I really think it stems from the teaching mentality of the Bennetts, and I have no doubt that we're going to run right through the Beavs on Thursday.

As for those pesky Ducks? Why did we have to get them coming off wins at Arizona and against Cal and Stanford? I had practically left them for dead after losing to ASU. Couldn't they come in reeling for once?


tiltingright said...

I read the sentiment regarding Oregon, Nuss, but I think it's just what we need. OSU should be a slam dunk/confidence builder (or as close to one as you can get in the PAC-10), and then Oregon's another test to put the guys on their toes.

How long until ASU's referred to as this year's WSU?

Σ (FormerlyKnownAsBrinkHater) said...

I went to Miami Ohio at the same time that Sendek was there and he is the real deal. Funny that he is a Petino protege yet is much more about defense etc. As an aside, he was the one who recruited Wally Sczerbiak to Miami. He's a great coach.

That said, its a little early to crown the Sun Devils as a real force until they beat us or UCLA at home OR win a couple of big road games. So far, they are 3-0, but all are home wins. We'll see.

Nuss, you seem quite concerned with the NCAA committee. But don't be, at least not yet. Losing on the road against the #1 or #2 team in the country is no crime. In fact, for this group, I do think its a blessing.

This team is MUCH better as the hunter instead of the hunted--at least on the national stage. For me, the goal for this season is to make the Elite Eight and have a war of a game for a spot in the Final Four. Personally, I think we do that as a #2 seed that comes into the Regional Final as an underdog that is loosy goosy. Against anyone not named UCLA, I like our chances.

Anyway, Oregon IS scary now, and that's good. We need to exorcise those deamons. Also: following that weekend, the AZ trip is going to be another STIFF test.

Look at it this way, on a 4-5 half (5 games are away) if you can go 7-2 you are laughing. If you go 8-1, you're a top 3 or 4 team in the country.

Saturday will be our first real test to see how much we've improved over last year--since our second achillees heal are teams that BOMB away from three point land.

I like our chances a lot.