Three weeks ago, the Washington men’s basketball team racked up 91 points in an impressive performance while crushing No. 7 Nevada on the road in a charity exhibition.
Since then, the Huskies offense has been stagnant.
UW managed just 70 points against Division II Seattle Pacific during a come-from-behind exhibition win.
The Huskies recovered from a nine-point halftime deficit to knock off Western Kentucky 73-55 in last week’s season opener.
And the offense short-circuited once again, which was one of the many problems that resulted in a humbling 88-66 loss at No. 11 Auburn on Friday.
“We’ve had spurts where I’ve felt our offense is where it needs to be, but certainly it hasn’t been as consistent as I would like,” coach Mike Hopkins said. “We can get better, for sure.
“Just too many mistakes and being careless with the ball. We’ve got to clean that up.”
The Huskies converted 55.6 percent of its field goals and converted 6 of 14 (42.9 percent) of its three-pointers against Auburn, but the Tigers forced 18 turnovers that resulted in 30 turnovers.
“We shot a good percentage so that wasn’t an issue,” Hopkins said. “We just needed more shots and you get those if you don’t turn it over.
“When we were at Nevada or other places, we got the turnovers. We got the activity steals. But (Auburn) got 70 shots to our 45. That’s offensive rebounds and steals. We can get better at those areas. Auburn did a good job of killing our rhythm, but we still shot a high percentage.”
Washington’s offensive woes weren’t detrimental in its first three outings because of its vaunted 2-3 defense shutdown Nevada, Seattle Paficic and Western Kentucky.
The Huskies were at their best when they held the Hilltoppers to 28.6 percent (8 of 28) shooting from the field after the break.
But against Auburn, UW were disoriented and out of sorts defensively.
“We didn’t defend the three-point normally how we do,” Hopkins said noting the Tigers’ 12-for-31 shooting behind the arc. “There were a lot of breakdowns. When you break down against a shooting team like this, like we did against Virginia Tech last year, they make you pay.”
Making matters worse, Auburn collected 19 offensive rebounds that led to 22 points.
“Letting a team score 88 points and giving them 12 three-pointers, those numbers are not winning numbers for us,” Hopkins said. “We didn’t defend the 3 and we couldn’t get the rebound. So those are a few areas that we got to clean up.”
Washington (1-1) hosts San Diego (2-0) at 8 p.m. Monday in what Hopkins calls “a trap game.”
“We have to travel across the country and it’s a two-day turnaround after you just played one of the best teams in the nation,” he said. “The biggest thing is to get our energy and to get our rest to make sure that we’re mentally ready to go.”
The Huskies’ return home was delayed roughly two hours after its team bus caught fire on the way to the airport and forced everyone to evacuate to the side of the road in the middle of the night.
Before the Auburn game, Hopkins believed the trip would be beneficial for the Huskies regardless of the outcome.
“We wanted to play against the best and a style that hurts us and in an environment that’s like what we’re going to play in the future like Arizona and Gonzaga,” he said. “To be a great team you got to go out and deal that.
“And the only way to learn is to feel it and experience it. The big word that we use is poise. We got to show better poise. So what was the good? It was a great learning experience.”
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