Perfect time for Washington to solve its defensive issues

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Washington’s lost three straight and is squarely on the NCAA tournament bubble. But don’t worry, Husky fans. Lorenzo Romar isn’t worried.

Yet.

Washington’s coach has kept his cool the last few days, reminding people that the Huskies have started slow before and still made the Big Dance. At 7-4 in Pac-10 play this season, that’s a slow start he doesn’t mind. Especially if they start playing defense.

From the Seattle Times:

“I think it’s fair criticism. You lose three in a row, people are going to ask what’s wrong with the Huskies. … when we start talking about defense if you want to fast break, if you want to be able to play, have fun and enjoy yourself, it’s a lot of hard work because it starts on the defensive end. If we’re not guarding like we need to be guarding, it hurts just about every aspect of our game.”

But it’s not just challenging shots. Only Washington State boasted an eFG% over 50.0 during the Huskies’ three losses. It’s also about forcing turnovers.

The Huskies are right on the D-I average in turnover percentage at 21.1. But neither Wazzu (14.5) or Oregon (11.1) ever had issues. And Oregon State (21.5) was right on the average.

Washington’s close, but needs that little extra to return to form.

“Nobody is a liability on defense,” center Matthew Bryan-Amaning told the paper. “It’s just that we’re not getting the full effort that we can. We’ve seen it on tape. It’s embarrassing. You think you’re giving it your all, but you’re not. We’re fixing things this week, and we’ll get it right by Thursday.”

Having two home games also should help produce that extra effort. The Huskies handled Cal on the road and had one of the season’s more puzzling losses at Stanford last month.

Sounds like a good night to make a statement.

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