For about 39 minutes and change, I thought we were looking at UW 2007. If you'll recall, we went into Pullman and clinched the outright Pac 10 title, and proceeded to lay an egg in Seattle.
We were tired, sluggish, not rotating properly, and generally having a hangover from Thursday's thriller. And that was just on Defense. On offense, we were having trouble finishing plays early and having trouble hitting wide open jumpers.
I was all set to rip into this team with a post discussing what happens when we go away from our standard defense. Then, as they say, Shipp happens.
With a looping runner over the Cal defense (and over the freaking backboard), Josh Shipp "kept on shooting" as so many fans have been calling for and sent Lorenzo Mata-Real (and Matt Lee) off right on Senior Day. If that doesn't give this guy confidence, I don't know what will.
I'd be lying if I said I didn't expect us to struggle today, because I saw the exact same thing happen to us last year in Seattle. More than anything, I believe we are seeing the importance of REST for our guys. That's why I abhor the Pac 10 Tournament, and I still advocate us resting our starters at some point if the 1 seed is relatively secure. Anyone notice how our winning percentage on Thursdays is much better than our percentage on weekends? I don't believe that's a coincidence, and the big issue we will face IMO from this point forward is getting rest for our starters so that they can play the hard nosed defense that was a no show for about 37 minutes today.
I really hope our shooting comes around. Most of that is lumped into my concern about our guys not getting enough rest. Our jumpshots are short almost every single time. That's a sign of fatigue. We don't finish around the basket enough. Another sign of fatigue.
Oh yeah, and we won. Again. Shipp Happens.