Here are my notes on the Huskies’ thrilling run to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2010 NCAA basketball tournament.
Round one win over Marquette:
The game falls on the last math class of the quarter. I contemplate skipping it, but no. Later I read my friend Dan’s text. It illustrates what happens in the second half when the Dawgs battle back from a deep deficit and senior forward Quincy Pondexter wins the game with a buzzer beater: “Jesus Christ! I am a f@%!ing wreck after that game, but I’ll take it!”
Round two win over New Mexico:
NM coach Steve Alford wears a hideous red blazer. The Dawgs go buck nutty on the Lobos. My friend Cod takes a nap through the drubbing. Later Cod calls Washington “the new Arizona” (the Pac-10’s previous perennial power hooper). “Romar will keep reloading. They will be better next year, they only lose Pondexter.”
2009 flashback, second round loss to Purdue:
I am at my friend Ryan’s Man Retreat. We watch the game, play beer pong and gulp touchdowns. Even though senior forward John Brockman has decent stats, Pondexter is the lone Husky who can create his own shot. My friend Anthony is beside himself because senior guard Justin Dentmon isn’t hoisten’em up - he barely shoots the ball in the last game of his college career. I feel a sense of responsibility. I picked UW to win the tournament in my bracket.
2010 Sweet Sixteen loss to West Virginia:
I don't want to jinx the Dawgs. I do the opposite of last year. My guy Seamus says it’s a good decision. He knows the situation is delicate. I don’t fill out a bracket. I don’t watch the game at a bar or a friend’s house. I hunker down at home with a glass of water.
CBS broadcaster Dick Enberg calls Quincy Pondexter “Quinton Poindexter.” Cod barks, “It’s PONDEXTER! Why does everyone call him POINdexter?” ESPN’s Digger Phelps pronounces Washington, “Worshington.”
Junior Justin Holiday is the lone Husky who can create his own shot, which is ironic because Holiday is a Nate McMillan type doing all the little things, but not the usual scorer.
Days before my friend Jacob forecasts the problem, “I would definitely settle for just a close win. Gonna be a tough game though. Scares me that people compare WV to USC.”
Tall teams are kryptonite for Washington. Forwards Tyrese Breshers and Charles Garcia were recruited to give the Dawgs more length. Breshers played sporadically this season. Garcia was not accepted into the UW. What If the Dawgs had two more big men?
The Garcia question:
Most Seattle basketball fans know the story. Garcia was a junior college recruit for the UW. Husky basketball coach Lorenzo Romar said, ”Garcia worked hard and it was close.” He was not admitted to UW for academic reasons. Romar’s longtime assistant coach Cameron Dollar becomes head coach at Seattle University, brings over the eligible Garcia. “He is NCAA qualified above and beyond,” Dollar says. “He has his AA.” Romar is quoted in a Seattle Weekly cover story . "Chuck Garcia is one of the nicest young men I've ever met. He's getting national acclaim and getting Seattle U's program national acclaim. As devastated as I was not to get him, I couldn't be happier for him. And I'll leave it at that." The last line from Romar seems odd. “I’ll leave it at that,” implies that there is more to the story, in my opinion.
I found this comment after a story about how Isaiah Thomas and Pondexter agree Garcia is missed.
I'll again throw out what a coach from out of state told me. The coaching staff decided Garcia did not fit their plans, i.e. a finesse perimeter player that is not a banger. Also, every university has an admissions committee that reviews each application. It is not unusual for a person that has marginally met general entrance guidelines to get denied admission. This is what happened to Garcia. It is unusual for this to happen to a highly recruited athlete, which ties in to the theory that the coaches did not fight very hard to get him in.- Harborhawk, Gig Harbor, WA
A guy I met at a Superbowl party said something similar, “Romar did not want Garcia because he was too thuggish.” I doubt Romar referred to Garcia as a thug, but maybe a hoodlum. The guy said he got his information from a friend of Dollar’s. It’s hard to know what he meant by “thuggish.” He couldn’t have been referring to Garcia’s style of play: A face-the-basket, ball handling big man. So he must’ve meant Garcia looked too streets for UW with his ink sleeves and full chest piece.
Some say Garcia is not a Kenyon Martin type banger so he is not what the Dawgs need. A banger plays physical basketball, like a goon fights in hockey. They protect the star player and set the tone on the court or ice. In basketball sometimes people refer to that style of play as thug ball, but the true meaning of thug has been muddled, for instance, it has become a derogatory code word in some circles. Thug no longer just refers to the English word for violent criminal.
Others say Garcia was a better fit at Seattle U because at UW he wouldn’t have had as many scoring opportunities sharing the ball with IT and QPon. I think his length would have helped Washington no matter what, especially with West Virginia, but we will never know what might have happened.
Who was the one or two persons or how many ever, who denied him entry at the dub. And especially if he had met all the academic requirements? Soooo, why? I really would like to see a full report discovered on this one. What; did he go sleeveless into administrations? Show off his tattoo's? We need some answers here, even though it’s too late. Is there a grunt reporter out there who has the guts to find out? Or does tenure figure in and bar the truth?-Paperbackwriter, Olympia, WA.