I promised myself I wouldn't do it. There was to be no expectations put on neophyte head coach Mike Hopkins and this motley bunch of leftovers from the mass exodus that was the spring and summer of 2017. Instead, I was just going to sit back and watch and hopefully was impressed enough with what I saw I'd be able to be able to put fair expectations on next years team.
This weekend changed all that. Dom Green's buzzer-beating trey sending Hec Ed into pandemonium ended all thoughts that we can just passively sit back with no expectations and wait until reinforcements come.
You see, this team is special. Not special in terms of talent but blessed with the unique combination of toughness, desire and belief in the system that every coach in America hopes for and rarely gets.
I thought it was fitting that sitting in the Dawg Pack Saturday night was Nate Robinson. The young man thought to be a football player hit the shot at Oregon State that ignited the Lorenzo Romar era and propelled the program to greatness for nearly a decade. Dom Green's shot may just do that for Mike Hopkins and the new Huskies.
I thought I had this all figured out, the Dawgs would lose tough games to Arizona and at Oregon and fall to 6-5 but then would rally against beatable teams to win enough games to set up a defacto loser-out game on the final day of the regular season in Seattle against the Ducks. I was wrong. Not only did this win give them a massive boost in resume, it passed my eye test that this is a tourney team and if it didn't pass everyone on that committee's eye test then they don't know basketball and shouldn't be on the committee.
So what's next? Just keep doing what you are doing. Play stifling defense, get the ball to Nowell and Dickerson and get out of their way. Simply take care of business. And taking care of business for this team might not just be a tourney berth, it may mean a rematch with Arizona in the Pac 12 title game.