Category Archives: Huskies

The New Washington Huskies Stadium Locker Rooms

Husky Stadium

Everything about the new Washington Huskies stadium has been a pretty closely guarded secret over the past few months. The closer it got to completion, the more security it had. 

The media was allowed access recently and the Seattle Times posted up a gallery with some very impressive images. The new stadium should definitely help bring in some of the nation’s top football recruits. 

The one thing that stood out to me, and I’m only choosing this one topic because I don’t want to blatantly steal all the Times’ pictures, are the Huskies locker rooms in comparison to what the visitors will be using. Now obviously the home team gets the better accommodations, but in this case there couldn’t be more of a contrast to how the two teams will be getting ready for a game at Husky Stadium.

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How’s Your Bracket Doing?

NCAA_bracket_2013

marchsadness

Let’s check how you did last weekend:

11 Minnesota over 6 UCLA

12 Oregon over 5 Oklahoma State

12 Ole Miss over 5 Wisconsin

12 California over 5 UNLV

13 La Salle over 4 Kansas State

14 Harvard over 3 New Mexico

15 FGCU (I don’t even know what that stands for) over 2 Georgetown.

Got all those? Ok then you also must have gotten:

9 Wichita State over 1 Gonzaga

12 Oregon over 4 St. Louis

15 FGCU over 7 San Diego State.

This was the year you finally picked a 15 to reach the Sweet Sixteen right?

I was once like you. I lived by laws like:

Pick one of the 13s and one of the 12s in the first round (that’s actually not quite frequent enough for the 12s).

Never pick all the 1s to reach the Final Four (only happened once) but pick one of them to win it all (1 seeds account for over 60% of champions).

Just don’t pick the overall #1 seed, they’ve only won the whole thing five times.

Pick your Final Four from among the top 4 seeds. Seeds 1 through 4 account for nearly 90% of Final Four spots.

Here’s one I find fascinating: If you’re going to pick a low seed to go deep, pick an 8 or an 11. 7, 9, 10, and 12 seeds win more often in the round of 64, but none of them have reached the Final Four*. Only one 12 seed has ever reached the Elite Eight (Missouri in 2002, I picked that one NBD) but five 11s have made the Elite Eight and three have reached the Final Four.

Those rules would actually have served you just fine this year; that is if you could figure out which upsets and chalks to pick and that’s a big IF. Despite knowing and loving all of these beautiful statistics, I often struggled to build a bracket of mind blowing accuracy. The 11 I had in the Sweet Sixteen would get killed in the first round. The 3 that I pegged for the Final Four would get bumped by the 11 I should have backed. The 2 that should have been motivated by being snubbed a deserved 1 seed would come out flat against a 10 and the 1 that shouldn’t have had their seed would roll on into the title game. My unwillingness to pick Duke past the sweet sixteen has given me great joy and horrible agony on a couple occasions. As has my bias for Pac 12 schools.

2005 was a rough year for my bracket

2005 was a rough year for my bracket

A few years ago I realized that my bracket, the reason I lived for March Madness, was really the source of my March Sadness. If I had filled out a bracket this year I’d by miserable right now. I would have put Gonzaga in at least the Elite Eight. I would have been right about Cal and Oregon only because I’m a West Coast homer. I would have picked some other upsets too, just the wrong ones. Like Montana, a team with some tournament experience, over Syracuse, whom I find morally offensive. The last thing I’d heard about Syracuse was how they lost historically bad to Georgetown. Which might have also lead me to believe that Georgetown was going to make their first deep run since 2007. Syracuse beat Montana worse than Georgetown beat Syracuse, and Georgetown got dropped by Florida Gulf Coast (I looked it up).

My bracket probably would not have been too bad just yet. My likely Elite Eight and Final Four would only really be missing Gonzaga and I probably would have picked Kansas to win it all. Which probably means we’ll have Duke, Ohio State, Florida, and Syracuse. It would be the third time that none of the 1 seeds reached the Final Four and just the sort of thing the universe does to torture anyone who takes their bracket too seriously to put a mystery 15 seed in the last sixteen.

Now I don’t begrudge anyone from the fun of tournament time. Just like some people can actually have just a couple drinks and then stop, I’m sure some people can pick a bracket and then not worry about how accurate they were.  I haven’t met anyone like that but I’m sure they exist. My girlfriend barely watches her alma mater Gonzaga’s games much less any others. When I texted her excitedly on Friday that the 12, 13, and 14 advanced in Gonzaga’s bracket (foolishly thinking this would pave their way to their first Elite Eight since 1999), the response I got was “yeah but my bracket is a mess”. I’m not sure what system she even used to pick teams. I don’t think she knows but she’s still angry that she got it wrong.

As a recovering bracketologist I’ve come to understand that I’m just too competitive to not be homicidally angry when a 13 upsets the 4 that I went out on a limb to pick to win the title. I eventually realized that it was robbing me of the joy of the best post season in the entire world of sports. With the exception of Gonzaga, I’m having a great tournament. Watching double digit seeds get huge upsets is supposed to be fun. It turns out that it is. It only stinks when not predicting it a week before hand means you might have to show up to work dressed like a duck. When you’re under no such Nostradamian pressure the tournament retains all of its entertainment with very little of the agony. Sure I don’t have the vindication of rubbing my office rivals’ noses in my irrefutable genius. But I can just quote some stats they foolishly ignored anytime I need to appear superior.

So next year you might considering joining a Bracketologists Anonymous group. This is a tough time of year for us to get through at first but watching the Gulf Coast Eagles drop the Hoyas makes it a bit easier. If you can’t let go just yet, then this basketball serenity prayer might help you through:

Dr. Naismith, grant me the serenity to accept the upsets I didn’t predict,

The courage to pick a 14 to beat a 3,

And the wisdom to know that none of my favorite teams will reach the Elite Eight.

 This always makes me feel better too.

This always makes me feel better too.

Huskies have nothing to worry about

romar

Fear Not UW,

The Zags aren’t going to steal all your basketballs

huskiesFor starters, the Huskies were actually pretty good this year. In the heady times of the Romar era you have watched Six NCAA tournaments, three Sweet Sixteens, three Conference tourney titles, and two regular season titles. So it’s understandable that an 18-15 record might leave you disappointed. But at closer inspection it wasn’t so bad. Finishing sixth (I know they tied just go with it) in a strong Pac12 is not a bad year. Six of their fifteen losses were by five points or less including their exit from the conference tournament. UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon, whom the Huskies went 0-7 against, were better but not out of reach. A loss is a loss but the dogs can improve by just a little and be a 20 win team next year. Perhaps only by chance, the first down year in a few for the Huskies has coincided with the best regular season in Gonzaga’s now storied history. If you’re concerned that the Zags new glory will threaten to consume all the Northwest basketball talent, your fears may be premature.

A look at the two programs should show that the great state of Washington is not a one power region. Rather it is on the verge of becoming one of the nation’s great basketball regions along with North Carolina, Kentucky, and Indiana. One of the keys to this growth is that UW and Gonzaga don’t really compete for recruits as much as you might think. Gonzaga tends to draw from around the world. Five current Zags are from outside the US. Three others are not from West Coast states. Only one is from the Seattle area (and I’m not sure that Kent really counts). The Huskies on the other hand tend to build from the West Coast’s major urban areas.

As sports fans we often forget or cynically ignore how much the other factors of an academic institution affect a player’s decision. We think that charismatic coaches with successful track records are all that recruits consider. Campus life, location, public vs private, secular vs religious, and a number of other factors all have a big impact as well. The recruiting track records of Romar and Few suggest that Gonzaga is able to use it’s Jesuit status to attract international talent while UW’s urban setting makes it attractive to teenagers from L.A. and the Bay Area.

Keep in mind that competition breeds excellence. As more schools in the state achieve basketball glory (don’t forget, Western Washington is the defending Div II champs) more young athletes will take their talents to the hardwood. And as each program grows the reach of each will extend further a field. Furthermore, some of the state’s best talent still leaves for the green pastures and history of some the nation’s top programs. Keep a few more of those kids around and every school in the region could experience a boom era.

The Huskies finished midpack in a strong conference without a dominant team. Had a couple close games swung their way we’d be discussing another top 4 conference finish, and instead of writing this post I’d be glued to a tv set with the rest of you, waiting to be outraged or elated by the Selection Committee’s dubious verdict. So do a few Hail Mary’s for the Zags. The further they go, the farther it may take you.

2013 Seattle Seahawks Draft Picks: CB Desmond Trufant

Desmond-Trufant

Desmond-Trufant

The Seahawks won’t be in on a corner while Washington’s Desmond Trufant is still on the board. With the Huskies strong showing at the combine I did want to do a brief scouting report since many will be paying attention to where he ends up. Some are projecting he’ll go to either the 49ers or the Patriots in the end of the first round.

WR DeAndre Hopkins

WR Tavon Austin

WR Keenan Allen

TE Zach Ertz

Name: Desmond Trufant, Senior, CB, Washington

HT/WT: 6′ 0” 190 Pounds

Many prospects have NFL role models and Trufant isn’t any different. But most prospects don’t have the luxury of two older brothers already playing in the league to help guide them through the process. Marcus Trufant was a first round pick in 2003 and is still a contributing member of the Seattle Seahawks and Isaiah Trufant cut his teeth in the AFL and UFL before catching on with the Jets the last two years. Desmond is the little brother, but he also might be the best Trufant in the NFL next season.

A four-year starter, Trufant earned his way onto the field as a true freshman in 2009 and showed steady progression over his career. He set career-bests in 2011 as a junior with a pair of interceptions and 16 passes defended, but decided to return for his senior year. Although his senior stats weren’t as impressive (1 interception, 9 passes defended), teams mostly stayed away from Trufant’s side of the field as he was easily the top defender on the Huskies’ roster. While he needs to refine his technique and is far from a polished product, there is no question he has the fluidity and competitiveness to fight for a spot in the first round. – CBS

Trufant vs Oregon

Trufant vs Stanford

Huskies and March Madness

march-madness

The Huskies lost to UCLA last night in the final seconds, 59-57. With just ten seconds to go, CJ Wilcox tied it at 57 with a driving shot.

Just like Atlanta’s victory over the Seahawks in the playoffs, the remaining time proved to be too much as on the next possession and with a timeout still remaining, UCLA inbounded the ball and PG Larry Drew dribbled up the court and swished in a 15-footer as the final buzzer sounded.

The game was close the entire way. The Huskies had a chance to put away a better opponent but just couldn’t find a way. The Huskies’ Aziz N’Diaye had an 11 point and 18 rebound performance and Wilcox’s shot with ten seconds gave him 15 for the night.

UCLA’s Shabazz Muhammad had a game-high 22 points and continues to improve his draft stock. UCLA shot only 33% from the field and were outrebounded for the third straight game – this was the first of the three that they have won. The Bruins home victory ends a two game losing streak.

march-madnessLast season the Huskies missed out on March Madness even though they were the top team in the PAC 12. This season, it appears that again they’ll be forced to compete in a lesser tournament. With or without the Huskies playing in March you can be ready to bet on March Madness online.

It’s been five weeks in-a-row that the Nation’s #1 ranked team has fallen so I’m sure the odds should be in the betters favor given there isn’t a clear-cut favorite.

4 Star Recruit Joe Mathis Brings Speed To The Huskies Defensive Line

sark

joe mathis huskies

Joe Mathis, the 6’4, 255 pound defensive end from Upland High School in Upland California committed to the Washington Huskies football program during Saturdays Army All-American Game at the Alamo Dome in San Antonio Texas.

Mathis is a high energy player coming off the edge and has the kind of frame that could even bulk up in to a tackle down the road. He’s very strong, and his closing speed is as good as you’ll see at this level. He pursues to the football very well and his backside support is so good that it’s tough to run away from him.

Mathis visited the University of Washington in December and was convinced that his talents would be best put to use in the hands of Coach Steve Sarkisian and his staff. Joe Mathis is the #15 ranked player at his position. Some of his strengths is his ability to disengage from blockers which combined with his 4.69 speed could spell trouble for opposing offenses. Mathis needs a little work on his intensity and effort as well as his change of direction, but it is clear that he will make an immediate impact as a Freshman and the Washington Huskies are sure to reap the benefits.

UW Huskies vs San Diego Aztecs Grades

UW Huskies vs San Diego Season Opener
UW Huskies vs San Diego Season Opener

Washington 21 – San Diego 12

Source: UW Dawg Pound

Quarterback – Keith Price has had better nights and yes he also has had better blocking in front of him in the past. He still was a very adequate 25-35 for 222 yards and one TD but the deep ball and accuracy in the red zone were absent last night. Keith played a bit tight last night and the play calling didn’t really help him out either. Expect that to change next week on the road in Baton Rouge. – Grade B minus

Running Backs – Jessie Callier went down with an early knee injury and that doesn’t bode well for a position that is now paper thin. He will have an MRI to find out the extent of the injury. Bishop Sankey had a nice first half but he was consistently bottled up in the second and only gained 66 yards on the night. Sankey fumbled the ball away inside the enemy 8 yard line which effectively took 7 points off the scoreboard. Erich Wilson made his debut and looked solid when he got his chance to run the ball. The yardsChris Polk used to get with extra effort weren’t there last night which means the offensive line needs to step it up a bit in coming weeks. – Grade C plus

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends – ASJ and Kasen Williams both had big nights. It was nice to see Kevin Smith back in the lineup. Jaydon Mickenslooked impressive in his debut. He is going to do big things in the future. ASJ is the best looking TE I have seen in Montlake since Mark Breuner. He can really do it all at this point. Overall the group held on to the ball well but they need to do a better of job of getting open down field. – Grade B

Offensive Line – The unit as a whole needs to keep improving and do a better job if the Huskies want to end up going anywhere this season. Ben Riva was taken out after breaking his forearm. The units performance noticeably dropped when he wasn’t in the game. Don’t expect Riva back for 4-6 weeks. – Grade C minus

Defensive Line – These guys helped hold SDSU to only 12 points last night and that isn’t too shabby but I didn’t see enough penetration to be satisfied with the groups overall performance. They also gave up 199 yards to the Aztecs on the ground which doesn’t bode well at all for next week when we face LSU. 77 of those yards were gained by Katz on scrambles. – Grade C

Linebacker – John Timu went the wrong way a couple of times and missed a couple of tackle because he didn’t wrap up but for the most part he looked pretty decent. He forced a fumble which ended up being one of the plays of the night. Feeney is going to be a stud. He has great football instincts. I really like how they are deploying him. – Grade B

Defensive Backs – Desmond Trufant had one of his best games as a Husky. Tre Watson picked off a ball. The safeties were all solid. Shaq can lay the lumber and has great instincts. I didn’t really see anything I didn’t like out of this group of athletes. Will Shamburger scored a second half TD on a fumble return that probably was the play of the game. Grade A

Special Teams – First with the good. The coverage teams are noticeably improved and that all comes from more depth, speed, and experience being added to the roster. The accuracy of the kicking needs to improve. Coons didn’t come close on his FG attempt and Durkee really didn’t wow me with his punts. Both have seriously strong legs and will improve. We have noticeable speed in the return game but didn’t break one last night. Grade B

Coaching – The offense was tight last night and that is a very fixable thing going down the road. Sark didn’t call a great game but he had his team in position to score over 30 points last night if they had executed better. Defensively this team still has work to do but the Wilcox defense is a noticeable improvement over the Holt defense. – Grade B

The Pac 12 Network – Rick Neuheisel is the only guy with star quality (and he knows it) that they have in the studio. He needs to slow down and stop interrupting his cohorts. (Who is that sneering bald guy anyway?)

Rick came off at times last night like an arrogant jerk (Eddie Haskell) who doesn’t play well with others. Rick needs to listen better to others for people to take him seriously.

What they really could use is some maturity on the panel to offset Neu’s brashness…were Don James, Terry Donahue, Bruce Snyder, and John Robinson busy?

The extremely San Francisco-centric production values are pretty boring/repetitive and you can tell that they are having early problems selling advertising. There is a reason that DirecTV is playing hard ball with these guys…they aren’t very good at what they are doing and it will take some serious time before the quality of the network improves.

Husky Football: One Day, Eight New Commitments

The Huskies newest WR, Demorea Stringfellow

The Huskies newest WR, Demorea Stringfellow

This was announced yesterday but it’s pretty big news for the Washington Huskies football team so I’m going to add it despite the tardiness.

Eight high school athletes commited to play for the Huskies yesterday. Dawgman covered the story and you can read this and more about the news over there.

SEATTLE – The Washington Huskies took a huge bite out of the recruiting process Friday when seven top 2013 prospects and one top prospect for the class of 2014 verbally committed to the University of Washington football team. It was a move that catapulted the Huskies into the national recruiting spotlight on an historic day.
The seven that committed were:
LB Caleb Tucker from Ouachita Parrish HS in Monroe, Louisiana
DT Elijah Qualls from Casa Grande HS in Petaluma, California
OT Poasi Moala from Rancho Verde HS in Moreno Valley, California
WR Demorea Stringfellow from Rancho Verde HS in Moreno Valley, California
RB Lavon Coleman from Lompoc, California
DL Andrew Basham from Lynnwood, Washington
DE Daeshon Hall from Lancaster, Texas

Committed QB Troy Williams from Narbonne High School in Harbor City, California was also there to lend his support.

And earlier in the morning, Rahshead Johnson, a 2014 receiver prospect from Jordan High School in Long Beach, California, verbally committed at Washington’s Rising Stars camp. HERE is the story on Johnson’s commitment.

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