TOP OF THE TOWN – There were so many bad things about Washington’s 73-56 win at home against Montana that it’s hard to find the positive, other than the Huskies won to go 4-1 on the young basketball season. First, the referees were awful. They called everything imaginable and real, 51 fouls in all, and 33 of them on Montana (The Huskies made 35 of 46 free throw attempts; Montana hit nine of 13). What was so obviously evident is that the Huskies couldn’t hit the water of they stood on the water’s edge. Last year’s Huskies were devoid of consistency on perimeter shots, including three-pointers, but this squad simply cannot make anything from outside the paint. Nothing. Nada. Wait until they play a team with physicality inside. Then we will see how important it is to have somebody – anybody – capable of hitting an outside shot. Then there is the inexcusable number of unenforced errors. The Huskies had a season high 21 turnovers, five of them by super stud freshman Jaden McDaniels. They were throwing the ball everywhere, losing the ball on the dribble and making passes so bad you wonder who is teaching these guys? I suppose we will write this off as a product of a young team. I think it is that and also a product of them going faster than they should. If they had cut the turnovers just in half they would have blown Montana out early and wouldn’t have had to wear them down late as they did. They were making passes, some of them too high, before they could think. Slow it down. No need to rush. Still, the Huskies managed to overcome all the negative things, including the other super stud freshman, Isaiah Stewart, playing less than five minutes in the first half , and 15 minutes overall, because of foul trouble. Stewart still scored a game-high 18 points. The 6-9 Stewart is built like a power lifter with shoulders as broad as Lake Washington and, yet, he is only 18. He can score with either hand and is tough to defend inside, especially against a smaller team like Montana, but when the Huskies begin to consistently play against the big boys Stewart is going to be slowed down and then the Huskies inability to shoot from distance will be exposed. One reason of hope is that the Huskies have yet to find their identity and how to mesh all this talent – three 5-star players in McDaniels, Stewart and point guard Quade Green – together as a fierce and cohesive unit. Once they find that –or if they do – they might be able to overcome their lack of consistent outsider shooting. Until then, there are going to be nights like Friday when they looked awful, matching that of the three referees. That’s it for today.

Be well pal.

Be careful out there.

Have a great day.

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