Coach's Corner

Did I miss something or did Washington get screwed? I watched the NCAA selection show Sunday and didn't expect the Huskies to make the dance, but then not making the NIT, I thought there was an error. I kept reading the banners at the bottom of the screen and sure enough, no Washington.

You mean to tell me they didn't even make the NIT? I thought that was a lock.

Then I thought about how devastated the kids and coaches must be. There had to be some mistake. I probably just missed them so I went through both brackets again and confirmed, no Washington.

I felt sick. I felt disappointed. I thought of lack of respect. I tried to fix the blame. I just couldn't believe my eyes, so I immediately went to and sure enough, my worst fears were realized. The Washington Huskies basketball season is officially over.

They went nowhere this post-season and I'm not sure whether I should be mad, disappointed, or simply depressed.

How frustrating it must be for Lorenzo Romar. His team struggled in league and certainly their road record probably is what eliminated them. But if you look at how they finished, a good argument could've been made for post-season play.

Didn't the Huskies sweep the two LA schools to end the season? I thought both were nationally ranked and considered to be top teams. Shouldn't that sweep have gotten them into the NIT? Obviously, it didn't.

Obviously, a couple of early close losses did the damage. Oh how the boys would probably love to have that Bay Area trip over again.

What about Todd Turner's pull in the NCAA? I thought he came from a basketball background. Wasn't he tied to great basketball powers like Virginia, U Conn, and NC State? Didn't he know the chief connection on the NIT selection committee? Could he have lobbied to get the Huskies one last chance? Maybe he should've scheduled more road games in the pre-season?

No, this isn't Turner's fault - he never missed a free throw to win an earlier game. He never let an opposing guard drive uncontested to the hoop. He never forgot to rotate on defense when the Cougars appeared to always have a man open right under the basket.

How about the Pac-10 office? They got their darling Stanford into the NCAA with the same record Washington got rejected by the NIT. How can that be, especially when the Dawgs beat Stanford? Tom Hansen has absolutely no excuse for not getting the Huskies a bid for the NIT. Yet, even as a graduate of the UW, he has never done anything real positive for his own school simply because he has never wanted anyone to think he was preferential. But no, he never missed a shot either, so this is not on him.

This is just one of those things that happen in sports. Life sometimes isn't fair, so why should basketball be any different?

It just goes back to those 4-5 games that could've been victories that somehow, this young Husky team let get away. That is probably the reality of the lesson. Their youth and inexperience got the better of them and they just weren't determined enough to have won the close ones that they could've.

Getting beaten three times by the Cougars probably didn't help but the Cougars are really a good ‘team" and certainly deserve their high seeding in the big dance. Any two wins though, along the way would have made this a moot issue. The losses to Cal and Stanford are probably the ones that come to mind the most. The overtime loss to USC could've gone easily as a Husky "W" if they could've closed. Just winning two stupid games somewhere along the way would've put them in post-season play.

The really sad thing is the Huskies were really excited to make a run in the NIT. This young team could've used the extra games in a field that includes some of the really fine basketball programs. Schools like Michigan, Syracuse, and Kansas State were waiting. This was to be a great learning experience for this young group. They were expected to be a tournament team. Now, they are left with just disappointment and regrets.

Now they have an off season where this should burn in them the whole year.

They have something to prove and it has nothing to do with the NBA and professional basketball. In a perfect world, Spencer Hawes and Quincy Poindexter would end all the speculation and declare themselves ready to lead Washington deep into the 2008 tournament.

And not the NIT!

The irony is, Washington is invited to play in next year's pre-season NIT. Should they accept that invite after being spurned this year? Probably not.

Jump on Brockman's broad shoulders and ride him all the way next year. The pieces are all there - especially with the incoming recruiting class that includes a rebounder and a legitimate point guard. This Husky team should be fighting mad and stay that way until they start again in November.

And somewhere down the line, this team needs to find a way to beat WSU. Top Stories