Washington started off conference play 0-2 after a disappointing start to the season. Future NBA lottery pick Markelle Fultz is, on any given night, the best player on the court. The rest of his team is anywhere from not so good to just okay. But none of that mattered this afternoon in Seattle, as Washington blew out the Beavers by 26 points.
The Beavers stuck with the same starting lineup once again, with Matt Dahlen and Drew Eubanks down low and Stevie Thompson Jr. and Kendal Manuel in the backcourt. JaQuori McLaughlin also made his ninth start in a row tonight in what was somewhat of a homecoming for him, as the former Mr. Basketball Washington returned home to play against the team he decomitted from to play for Oregon State instead.
The story of the night was whether or not Drew Eubanks would be able to take over on offense (he didn’t). In order to be successful on this trip to Seattle, Drew needed to take advantage of mismatches inside and the Beavers had to contain All-World guard Markelle Fultz (we did not do that).
The Huskies switched to a full court press after the Beavers had some success on offense after the tip, and the press proved yet again to be our nemesis. Washington went on a 12-0 run a few minutes into the first half as the Beavs succumbed to the same scoring-drought problems that have plagued them since Tres Tinkle hurt his wrist. Another problem for Oregon State that became obvious early were the Washington 3’s. Washington hits over 40% a game, one of the best percentages in the country. The Beavs have struggled from behind the arc this season and have had a difficult time scoring enough points to stay close in games against teams that shoot the long-ball well.
For pretty much the entire first half, the Washington pressure led to the Huskies just dunking all over the Beavers. This was one of the worst ones:
No-look lob✔️— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) January 7, 2017
This oop from Crisp to Dime was too much sauce
Watch: https://t.co/YfMNDWtSGW https://t.co/Gu0EG8AZQ7
There was a brief moment with under 4 minutes left in the first half that Oregon State had cut it to single digits, only to see that hard work slip through their fingers as Washington pulled ahead by 15 at halftime. For the last almost six minutes of the half, in what, for a normal team, would be a huge advantage and a great way to cut into a big lead, Washington’s foul trouble put Oregon State into the bonus. But Oregon State is not a normal team. In fact, we are far from normal. Being in the bonus is one of the worst things that could happen to us on offense, and we proceeded to miss free throw after free throw after free throw, going only 55% from the line in the half.
Ironically, just about the only statistical category that the Beavs won in the first half was their 3-point percentage. We shot 42% in the half to the Husky’s 40%, but got dominated on the boards 24 to 17 and had 8 turnovers.
Unfortunately, those horrible things I just said about the first half were the best things that I can say about this game. The second half got much, much uglier.
We are getting extra dunked on rn we're like a glass of milk playing a sleeve of Oreos— Building the Dam (@BuildingTheDam) January 7, 2017
I’ll keep this short and sweet:
The Beavs couldn’t score on Washington and the Beavs couldn’t stop Washington from scoring. Which, as it turns out, is a really important part of playing basketball. Eubanks had a good game but not the dominate one we needed. He finished with 19 points and 6 rebounds, and both Stevie Thompson Jr. and JaQuori McLaughlin hit double digit scoring with 12 and 17, respectively. But this was our 7th straight game getting out-rebounded by an opponent, and the 15 turnovers did us no favors. The lack of depth also was apparent once again, with only 6 of our 61 points coming from the bench.
The Beavers have a break in basketball action before playing Oregon next week in a Civil War match-up. Unfortunately, the Ducks are really really good.
HOWEVER, I refuse to leave you hanging on a sad note. Go read this about Jamire Calvin, one of the most sought after wide receivers in the country, who announced his commitment to the Beavs on national television this morning during the Army All-American game.