2016 Pac-12 Men's Basketball Tournament: Washington basketball sees season as success
LAS VEGAS — The Washington Huskies knew their loss to Oregon in the Pac-12 Tournament likely ended their NCAA Tournament hopes.
Minutes into the grieving process in regards to that painful reality, senior Andrew Andrews had already reflected enough to search out the positives of the Huskies' season.
"I think at the beginning of the season, me and Coach (Lorenzo) Romar went down to the Pac-12 and all we kept hearing is rebuilding year, rebuilding year, rebuilding year from the coaches poll and the media poll," Andrews said. "They picked us 11th.
"So in our locker room we don't take this as a failure," he added. "I think we shocked a lot of people and did things people said we couldn't, especially with pretty much an all freshman team. So to look at this season as a failure would be kind of dumb on our part."
Those were strong words for a senior who just a day prior had watched his young Huskies put it all together.
That's why, with the frustration of being so close to making an NCAA Tournament case, the positive outlook was so refreshing.
On Thursday, in the 83-77 loss to Oregon, the Huskies continued to show their upside.
Freshman forward Marquese Chriss scored 19 points, stepping outside for threes, catching dunks in transition and facing up on Oregon's defenders before stringing together enough moves, leading to buckets. Then there was freshman guard Dejounte Murray. After scoring 25 points in a rout of Stanford the night prior, he scored 13 points to go with nine rebounds and seven assists.
At 18-14 on the year, the NCAA selection committee doesn't appear likely to reward the Huskies. But don't call their season a failure.
"At this point I think we have to wait and see what happens on Sunday," Romar said. "But regardless of the situation, I wouldn't think we're done playing basketball this year.
"I told our team many times how proud I am of our group. But you look back, we didn't get it done, bottom line. But we probably are literally three baskets ... somebody else made them or we didn't make them ... (where) probably we'd be in a little better shape than we are now. So we're close, but it doesn't count."