I'm about talked out with regards to this game, but before we look ahead to Oregon, how about we enumerate some of the things that were awesome about the Cougs yesterday? Because there was plenty:
Klay Thompson's foul trouble caused him to play his fewest minutes (28) since the blowout win against Montana State (Dec. 15) and completely screwed up our rotation, yet we were still able to stay in this game until the end. Think about some of the combinations that were on the floor at times. If you're not marveling at this fact, you're just not remembering how offensively atrocious some of those combos were. That would not have happened earlier this year.
- We actually had just two fewer free throw attempts than Washington (23-21), and the margin basically came down to the intentional fouls at the end. This, in a building where the Huskies had averaged 17 more free throw attempts than their opponents. (So put that in your pipe and smoke it, guy who was sitting in front of me!)
- Aron Baynes scored 16 points on five shots. That is efficiency my friends. I know we'll lament the fact that he didn't get more shots, but as I mentioned in the comments, it's awful tough to make an opposing defense play your big man honest when there was often only one perimeter threat in the game.
- Oh, and Baynes also had 11 rebounds -- four offensive -- three blocks and a steal in 39 minutes, all while holding Jon Brockman to seven points. And don't even try to discredit his performance by pointing to Brockman's rebounds; I'd say at least three of them were in a situation where someone else tipped the ball and Baynes had position. Not his fault.
- Taylor Rochestie has the most guts and heart of any Cougar I've seen in a long time. Say what you will about some of his late-game decision making this year, we are not even sniffing success yesterday without his 23 points and four assists. I know he had five turnovers, but I think at least a couple of those could have gone to guys who weren't ready to catch the bal. The bottom line is that Taylor further cements his place in Cougar lore with each passing game.
- Washington shot just 2-of-10 from 3-point range.
"Player of the Year" candidate Justin Dentmon and freshman of the year in waiting Isaiah Thomas combined for just 18 points on 6-of-20 shooting. Dentmon had 12 of those.
Thomas didn't shoot a free throw. He is 8th in the Pac-10 in free throw rate, and it was only the second time that's happened this year.
I know sometimes it's hard to see the big picture when you don't win -- and especially when that loss likely seals your NCAA Tournament fate -- but we played a heck of a game yesterday. Don't lose sight of that.