The Washington Huskies are tied with Arizona for the lead in the Pacific-10 Conference at 7-2, but that doesn't mean they are where they want to be as a basketball team.
"All in all we'll take 7-2 at this point, but we know we have to get better," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.
Washington is coming off an 87-80 loss to Washington State in Pullman Sunday. The loss dropped the Huskies to 15-5 overall yet they remain in the Top 25 in both polls.
Romar explained that the start by the Huskies meets their expectations coming into the season, but at the same time, they would like to be in even better shape.
"Ideally you like to go undefeated, but knowing that is difficult to do, this way you would like to only have one or two losses," Romar said. "You say that before it starts, but then you actually are in that position and you get a little greedy and wish the ball would have bounced your way."
In all of the Huskies' losses to this point, they have had a chance to take over the game in the closing minutes. While some would say that is a sign that they are a good team, Romar believes it is a telling sign that they are not good enough.
"We haven't been good enough to get it done," Romar said. "We need to take the next step, and get over the hump to where we win the majority of those games."
Washington's late-game struggles have been mostly on the road. Junior forward Darnell Gant said, however, that opposing crowds haven't really been the issue.
"I don't think we really get rattled on the road," Gant said. "We just feel like we're our own worst enemy. We do things that make us lose control of the game."
Washington has come out flat in several games this season, leading to losses. Romar explained that sometimes the team just doesn't have the focus it needs and doesn't play to its potential.
"Some games you just don't come in dialed in, why that happens? Who knows," Romar said. "When this team is really dialed in, this team can be pretty good."
Gant explained that following the losses, the team always wants to come back in the next game and make sure they rectify the situation.
"The next game we want to come back with an unbelievable focus and just know that the things we did in the losses, we have to get those things right," Gant said.
Romar had similar thoughts following the losses, saying, "After our loss in conference, the next game the guys came in really focused."
That game was Jan. 16 at California, where the Huskies played one of their most complete games of the season, winning 92-71.
The Huskies look to bounce back at Oregon State this Thursday, a team they beat by 31 in Seattle.
"The game bugged me all night, but at the same time you can't dwell on things like that, both in life and in sports," Gant said. "You have to just turn the page and be ready to go next time."
That's what the Huskies will be focusing on when they head to Corvallis.