BY Andrew Harvey 09:30PM 11/13/2016

Huskies mauled on the boards in loss to Yale

Despite freshman Markelle Fultz scoring 30 in his freshman debut, the Washington Huskies were beaten at home by Yale Sunday due to poor rebounding against a smaller team.

Lorenzo Romar was disappointed with his team’s rebounding Sunday. / Andrew Harvey, Sportspress Northwest

The Yale Bulldogs sunk their teeth into the Huskies Sunday, out-rebounding the bigger, stronger Pac-12 home team 42-29 to stun Washington  98-90 in the men’s basketball season opener at Hec Ed. So much for the soft Ivy Leaguers, who won the offensive boards 21-4.

Huskies forward Matisse Thybulle bemoaned the rebounding apathy.

“Lack of effort,” the sophomore said. “Lack of heart. We weren’t crashing hard enough. We weren’t trying to be physical. They hit us first and we just stopped.

“It hurts because we practice hard. For us to come out in the first game of the season and not show any of the things that we’ve been working on is disappointing.”

The lopsided offensive rebound numbers were compounded by careless play. Eight of Yale’s 21 offensive boards were team rebounds; balls that rolled out of play or the result of fouls.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar acknowledged that his team had been outworked.

“We could not come up with the basketball,” Romar said. “In rotations, they had a lot of movement offensively. Sometimes you get out of position on the box-outs. A number of times we were right there with the ball, but they were quicker to the ball and more aggressive to get it, which should not happen.”

The rebounds led to 19 second-chance points for Yale, while Washington managed six.

Washington’s size meant little in the embarrassing loss. A front line of 6-foot-11 Sam Timmins, six-foot-nine Malik Dime, and six-foot-eight Noah Dickerson combined for 10  rebounds.

Meanwhile. six-foot-nine Yale forward Sam Downey had seven rebounds, while six-foot-seven Blake Reynolds and six-foot-six guard Oni Miye each had six.

In fact, it was six-foot-four freshman guard Markelle Fultz who led the Huskies with seven rebounds, all defensive. No one else had more than four.

Even when they did have the ball, Washington was hapless in the first half. The Huskies opened 8-of-19 from the field over the first 14 minutes, committing eight turnovers. The early stumbles allowed Yale to build a 20-point lead with 5:49 remaining.

In the second half, Washington stirred from listlessness to close within four at 77-73 with 5:32 to play, but Yale sank 12 of 16 free throw attempts down the stretch.

“I thought we still had a chance to overtake them, but give them a lot of credit,” Romar said. “They were able to control the basketball. We weren’t able to impose our will on them and get them to turn it over.”

The dreary proceedings put a damper on a strong debut from Fultz, who has been hailed as a program savior after last year’s standout freshmen Marquese Chriss and Dejounte Murray left for the NBA and senior captain Andrew Andrews graduated.

Fultz dropped 30 points on an 11-of-17 performance from the field, and had six assists to go with seven rebounds. Thybulle scored 20, while Dickerson and sophomore guard David Crisp added 12 points each.

Miye led the Bulldogs with 24 points. Yale’s big men did the rest. Downey scored 22 and Reynolds tacked on 19 to put the muzzle on the Huskies.

Romar claimed his team’s goal was to limit opposing teams to nine or fewer offensive rebounds. Clearly, Sunday’s showed work needs doing.

Washington hosts Cal State Fullerton Thursday (8 p.m., Pac-12 Networks).


  • wabubba67

    Huskies have always had no defensive rebounding technique…they just run to the rim when the ball is shot. It’s not difficult to correct, just takes consistent emphasis on the part if the coaching staff combined with discipline from the players. Forearm to chest, butt replaced forearm…everytime. Don’t do it?? Have a seat on the bench until that player gets tired or fails to execute. It’s simple.

    • Comrade Suge

      Well, in their defense (no pun intended), doesn’t seem like the high school and AAU teams are teaching this skill.

      • wabubba67

        I agree, but it’s not really a skill. It just requires focus and mental discipline…that is relatively easy to instill each day in practice during almost every drill. Don’t do it, get replaced in the drill. Or run individually, or as a team. As a high school coach, my staff emphasized defensive rebounding (it was an automatic substitution if there was no effort on any shot)…within two weeks, the players were policing themselves and holding each other accountable.

        I have no faith in Romar, no matter how well he recruits. The best teams have talent and are well coached. We will always be in the 2nd tier (at best) with no discipline and a lack of execution.

        • Comrade Suge

          It’s not a skill per say like shooting or dribbling but it definitely needs to be practiced. Quite frankly, it is harder nowadays since the game is so perimeter oriented and you’re right, a lot of it is just mental and discipline.

          You’re right about Romar and his lack of fundamentals. However, with his system, you’ll continue to see it since guys are just in and out.

  • 1coolguy

    Hey Jenn- DO YOUR JOB! You have our permission to off Romar anytime, but certainly only though the few days after the season. Signed: Another FORMER season ticket holder.

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  • Talkjoc

    The chair in Montlake is getting hot, again, early. Yale, for goodness sakes. AAU basketball players NEVER rebound.

  • woofer

    Romar is now apparently a comer in recruiting the one-and-done stars. But he doesn’t know what to do when he gets them. His teams seem worse off than they were before. He should have brought Ken Bone back to run the daily drills. With one-and-doners you need immediate structure and discipline. Calipari may be a slime ball but he at least knows how to make the system work. Is Markelle Fultz the next Tony Wroten? I sure hope not.