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Washington Huskies Basketball: UW Still Has 'Final Four Talent' After Road Loss

In terms of the rankings, the Washington Huskies' 63-62 loss to the Texas A&M Aggies is an upset.

However, in terms of what actually occurs on a basketball court, TAMU had a considerable rebounding and home court advantage over UW entering the game. And both ended up playing a significant role during the game - TAMU beat the Huskies on the offensive glass 16 to 10, which led to an 18 to 7 advantage in second chance points and a 70th straight win over non-conference opponent at home.




Huskies board work still incomplete | UW Basketball
The Huskies were outrebounded every way possible. They gave up rebounds on missed shots in the paint. They did not get long rebounds. Despite having inside position, Washington allowed offensive rebounds and layins off missed free throws. Until that changes, Washington will not get to where it expects to be.

Offensive rebounding was just one of many things that simply didn't go UW's way in a tight game, as described by miketag of SBN's Texas A&M blog I Am The 12th Man.

Ags Beat Washington 63-62 - I Am The 12th Man
I honestly thought the Ags were going to lose this game by 20. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the Washington team. I expect them to be a Final Four candidate in March. The Ags struggled from the FT line, hitting only 68 percent from the charity stripe. The Ags did not hit a three-pointer in the game. The fact that A&M was able to grind out a win despite their struggles from the outside speaks well to the future of this team. The Ags forced 20 turnovers and held the top scoring team in the country to 37 percent from the field and only 62 points.

There is certainly a lot of negative that can be said about the Huskies after losing an ugly game in their first true road trip, but - and this point is worth repeating - that they still do have Final Four talent even if things aren't going their way right now. It's something people watching closely know and something that Texas A&M fans and coach Mark Turgeon alike noted after the game.

A&M men outlast No. 21 Washington 63-62 | Aggies | - Houston Chronicle
"I think Washington has Final Four talent, and we’re still trying to find ourselves, but defensively we were as good as we’ve been all year," Turgeon said.

The Aggies held the Huskies, the nation’s top-shooting 3-point team entering the game, to 6 of 22 from the 3-point line. A&M also held Washington to a season low in points and field-goal percentage (37.7), and forced the Huskies into a season-high 20 turnovers.

As a ranked team coming off a Sweet 16 season, the Huskies are going to get everyone's best shot this season, particularly in the Pac-10 where they have to be considered the favorite despite their losses. They have a long stretch between now and the end of conference play to correct their rebounding problem. Until then, it's hard to disregard that they still have Final Four talent and plenty of time to figure it all out.