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Cal Misses Layups, Washington Strokes Threes; The Winning Combination.

This is kind of the game we thought we'd get against Arizona when Gary Franklin left. These are the kind of games that make we want to throw a bone across the yard for my sister's puppy to fetch, allow me to glance up at the screen, see Justin Holiday nail another three, grab the wet bone from her mouth, then throw it across again. Rinse, repeat.

Some things I caught while trying to ignore this one after Washington nailed their fourth or fifth three in a row.

  • After his best performance of the season, Brandon Smith went and got a buzz cut. He proceeded to put up an immortal 1 for 5, 4 point, two assist, two turnover performance, all while allowing Isaiah Thomas to stroll into the paint for 27 points and 13 assists. These events are related, you cannot prove otherwise.
  • To be fair, Smith was getting picked on a lot of those plays. The help defense was unhelpful tonight. Allen Crabbe struggled on that side. Jorge Gutierrez was surprisingly ineffective, and the bigs were all over the place. Thomas dominated the game the way Randle used to dominate our contests, proving once again a point guard who can get to his spots on the floor can control a basketball game. As well as my volatile emotions.
  • Our wing players can't finish at the rim with any consistency. Last year we had three to four guys who could. In basketball, this tends to be a problem.
  • Stop missing free throws. I can take that from Bak Bak or the Human Cigar, but Markhuri Sanders-Frison and Harper Kamp missing seven? This isn't funny anymore.
  • Kamp made his usual array of shots, but he couldn't hold onto the ball tonight. Five turnovers. Kamp and Sanders-Frison couldn't guard Matthew Bryan-Amaning if he were locked in the Tower of London either. 
  • Crabbe makes a pro play here and there. Holiday made a pro play on almost every play. Advantage neutralized.
  • Richard Solomon is developing. Kid makes plays. If MSF keeps on struggling healthwise, it wouldn't hurt to see Solomon play more.
  • Emerson Murray looked like a Pac-10 player for about two minutes. Then he started shooting.

Next game, please.

Postgame thread is here. Recap coming tomorrow morning