That will do it. Washington’s meandering season came to a close at 18-16 after a 90-79 first-round loss to BYU on Tuesday night. With the loss, the careers of Abdul Gaddy, Aziz N’Diaye and Scott Suggs also ended.
After four consecutive seasons of averaging 25 wins a year, Washington comes up with just 18 this season, the lowest total since the 2007-08 season when it was 16-17. The 16 losses are the third-most since Lorenzo Romar began running the program in 2003.
Tuesday night in Provo, the Huskies had no answer for Tyler Haws. The Cougars’ 22-year-old sophomore (he went on a two-year mission for the LDS church) scored 37 points on 15-for-24 from the field. Washington tried Suggs on him for most of the game, and it didn’t work.
Suggs was 1-for-9 from the field. He was 1-for-7 at the half after forcing several shots. Haws had 17 points at the half to Suggs’ two.
One of Washington’s hallmarks this season was playing poor transition defense against the few teams that tried to run on it. Tuesday night was no different. BYU outscored Washington 12-2 in fastbreak points. At times, Washington was beat up the floor. Other times, it was not matched up in transition.
And, like so many other nights, once one player got going, no one joined.
C.J. Wilcox had a poor first half. He started rolling in the second and finished with 20 points on 7-of-18 shooting. He was 4-for-8 from 3.
But, Suggs lost all his offensive aggressiveness in the second half. He took just two shots. He appeared caught between dialing back what were several ill-advised attempts in the first half and remaining an important piece of the offense.
Shawn Kemp Jr. was 7 -for-9 for 15 points and had 11 rebounds. He also played poor help-side defense, which is something he has to cure during the offseason. He often sets poor picks and goes to the wrong place in sets.
But, once in the post, he’s hand full. He’ll pair with transfer Perris Blackwell to provide Washington some potent post scoring next season.
This was the final night for the divisive Gaddy. He had five points and six assists at the half, but finished 4 for 11 from the field, with nine points, nine assists and two turnovers. He ends his career with 469 assists, second-most in Washington history, and he’s the first player with 150 assists in two separate seasons.
After being one of the most hyped players to ever join Washington, he leaves as one of the most criticized.
Also done is N’Diaye. He had a tough close to the season and had 10 points and three rebounds in his final game.
The Huskies shot just 41.8 percent against BYU, a mediocre defensive team. That includes the Huskies’ main post players — N’Diaye and Kemp — combining to shoot 11-for-18 (61.1 percent). All season it shot poorly. Romar contended throughout the year that Washington was getting decent shots, it just was not knocking them down. Tuesday night we saw it again.
So, a couple big decisions loom. C.J. Wilcox needs to decide if he will return for his senior season. He’s said in the past he’s about 50-50 on the decision. Draft Express projects Wilcox to go in the middle of the second round, if he comes out.
The other large decision will come from 6-foot-8 high schooler Aaron Gordon. He comes in with every recruiting service salivating and will choose between Arizona, Kentucky, Oregon and Washington on April 3 at the McDonald’s All-American game.