Huskies taking lessons learned in loss to Gonzaga to heart

UW’s coaching staff spent two days reviewing the tape of the loss to the Zags, looking to shore things up as the team wraps up its nonconference schedule.

While players completed term papers and took final exams last week to end the fall quarter, the Washington men’s basketball coaching staff went back to “school.”

They studied last Sunday’s embarrassing 97-70 loss to No. 12 Gonzaga, an early measuring-stick game that stemmed a rising tide of enthusiasm following an upset win over then-No. 2 Kansas four days earlier.

“We didn’t have practice for two days,” coach Mike Hopkins said. “It was school. Coaches, we met. We watched (the Gonzaga video).”

The two-day film study reinforced what Hopkins felt immediately felt after the game. He lamented an inability to keep the Bulldogs off the free-throw line, where they connected on 21 of 26 attempts.

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Hopkins also pinned the defeat on UW’s inability to find favorable offensive options against double-teams and a 40-27 rebounding discrepancy, which was a big reason the Bulldogs outscored the Huskies 26-7 on second-chance points.

“That’s what we’ve been working on,” he said. “It’s rebounding. Making sure that we can get back and rebound out of our defense, even when we’re extended on the three-point line.

“Then having poise based in certain situations when teams really try to take us out of what we’re doing (offensively). … We’re not going to be sped up. We’re going to play at our pace and our tempo.”

Sunday’s 3 p.m. matchup against Loyola Marymount (5-4) begins a three-games-in-six-days stretch at Alaska Airlines Arena for the Huskies (7-3) as they close the nonconference season. On Tuesday UW faces Bethune-Cookman and Montana on Thursday.

Washington opens Pac-12 play with three road games against USC (Dec. 29), UCLA (Dec. 31) and Washington State (Jan. 6).

After 10 games,…

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