Saturday, January 14, 2006

Washington 69; UCLA 65

Get used to this. I fear that this is pretty much what we're going to see for the rest of the season. A tremendous effort, but in the end, the Bruins simply don't have enough bodies to compete with the best teams in the conference. And it only gets worse, as Alfred Aboya was forced to leave the game with an injury.

The Bruins came out on fire, with tremendous shooting by Mike Roll and Aaron Afflalo as they built a big first half lead. Washington cut into a bit, but the Bruins executed their offense as well as they have all season, and they were able to push it back over double digits at the half. In the second half, the Huskies picked up the defense and the rebounding, the Bruins began to wear out, and with a few minutes to go, Washington took it's first lead, which it wouldn't relinquish, due in part to mistakes made by the young Bruins, including failing to rebound a missed front end of a one+one. In the end, it was a poor decision by Jordan Farmar with under five seconds to play trailing by two that did the Bruins in. He drove the lane and tried to dish to LRMAM running at full speed, who in my opinion was fouled before he travelled, but the refs (pathetic yet again, just ask Darren Collison) only saw the travel.

That makes two straight games in which the Bruins have opened big leads and let their opponents back into the game. This is completely opposite of they did last season. But this isn't a problem with nerves. It's a problem with depth. They simply have too many guys out, and if Aboya is forced to miss significant time, than this team is a wounded animal, bleeding, and other teams can smell that blood. The Oregon trip goes from possible to sweep, to probable split, to "oh God, I hope we can manage a split". The series with u$c? I'd take a split right now. At this point you just hope they finish .500 or better in conference, win a game in the conference tournament, and hope that the tournament committee shows them some love.

I usually write these posts right after the game, so the negativity is still flowing pretty strong, but honestly, I think the injuries are going to end up being too much to overcome. You can't have three of your top six out of the lineup for a significant period of time and hope to compete. No team can do that. And let's not forget, of the guys not out, there's Jordan Farmar playing on one leg. This team's window is next year, and all of this experience is going to prove very useful, so maybe there's a silver lining.

Man, I hope I'm wrong.


JudyB said...

I think the Bruins may need to bring in someone from the intramural squads - maybe there's someone out there that can fill in for the injured guys. It's getting awfully hard to watch, wondering who will go down next!

The Chronicler said...

I don't even buy that Luc Richard traveled on that play, but he was definitely contacted before the alleged violation. Typical nonsense refereeing from Pac 10 officials, so it's hardly even worth complaining about.