Big thanks to Dave Boling, who covered the game in St. Louis, before heading to the Seahawks game.
Romar had warned the Huskies what kind of team St. Louis had, and pointed out the way they stepped in and took four charges in just the first half.
“I know we came out on the short end, but we couldn’t pick a better game this time of year,” said Romar, whose Huskies slipped to 3-1 while the Billikens moved to 3-0. “To come out in a hostile environment on the road against a well-coached team, a team that was very deliberate. We learned a lot of lessons. I think this game will help us later on.”
It might help them learn to not schedule games that start at 9 a.m. Pacific Time.
“I would love to be able to use that as an excuse,” Romar said of the early wake-up call. “That’s not an excuse; you just come out and you play.”
Four quick thoughts …
1. This isn’t the end of the world by any means or totally indicative of what we will see this season from Washington. SLU is a pretty solid basketball team. Rick Majerus is a very good coach. The Huskies are going to have moments like these this season. When you play that many freshman, consistency is impossible to achieve early on. A positive from this was the fact that they didn’t get beat 40. UW continued to play and chip away.
2. Defensively this team has a long way to go. What’s concerning is the breakdown on communication and understanding of switches on the numerous screens set by SLU. It’s one thing for Tony Wroten or Martin Breunig or Shawn Kemp to struggle since they are still learning the system. But to see C.J. Wilcox or Terrence Ross to miss an assignment or for Darnell Gant to be late on a rotation, that’s troubling. Still, SLU runs good solid offensive sets. And it’s tough to defend. UW will learn from it. The Huskies better because California will also run good half-court sets with twice the talent.
3. The Huskies fired up a lot of quick shots in the first half – often settling for jumpers – when things were going wrong. It wasn’t completely surprising. However, usually Abdul Gaddy is the guy that can slow them down and get them to run something offensively. Dribble penetration was non-existent in the first half, but give SLU credit as well, the Billikens did a good job of limiting it. Even the unflappable Gaddy looked like he was out of rhythm at times. I’ve said this before … he’s the most important player on the team. That hasn’t changed.
4. UW needs more from Darnell Gant and Azia N’Diaye. The foul trouble happens, but it’s how they got a couple of those fouls that will have Romar shaking his head. You can see how far behind that Kemp and Brenig are in terms of their development and Desmond Simmons redshirted last year, the Huskies cannot afford to have both of their big guys in foul trouble early.