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Husky Men's Basketball

The latest news and analysis on Husky men's hoops.

February 17, 2006 at 11:46 AM

Heading for a sweep?

The Huskies still have some work to do to get to the NCAA Tournament.
But Thursday night’s win at Oregon felt like a “get over the hump” kind of victory. The one that makes it clear this team will finish in the Big Dance.
Consider that UW could go 2-3 the rest of the way and still finish 10-8 in Pac-10 play and 21-8 overall, which would seem like a decent enough resume to get in the tournament.
The one problem with that scenario, however, is that UW would then be seen as limping into the end of the season, so going at least 3-2 heading into the Pac-10 tournament would probably be smart. Do that, and UW would be 22-7 and 11-7, probably good for a seed in the 5 to 7 range – critical to get away from being in that 8-9 slot and having to play a No. 1 seed in the second round.
As for the Oregon game, here are links to our game story;
our notebook, which centered on Joel Smith; and a column by Bud Withers that cover all of the obvious bases of the game.
Here’s also a link to a blog by a fellow scribe, Glenn Kasses of the Spokesman-Review, who compiled some fascinating statistical breakdowns of the main scorers in the Pac-10.
Interesting that Ryan Appleby ranks second among Huskies on the list, but I think that’s due mostly to the fact that he shoots almost nothing but three-pointers. That’s surely the same reason Jamaal Williams ranks so low among UW players on the list.
And here’s a link to a story on Oregon State’s win over Washington State from the Corvallis Gazette-Times.
Sounds like the Beavers are feeling a lot better about themselves now, which is ominous for the Huskies. We all tend to remember the memorable win there in 2004. But the Huskies have been blown out in their other two visits to Corvallis under Lorenzo Romar.
As for some thoughts on the game:
— UW’s three-point shooting is still somewhat disconcerting. The Huskies were 4 for 14 against Oregon (28.6 percent) continuing a recent string of rugged shooting from beyond the arc. In UW’s past five games, the Huskies have shot 2 for 17 (11.8 percent), 5 for 25 (20 percent), 6 for 17 (35.3 percent), 4 for 12 (32.3 percent) and 4 for 14.
Of course, the Huskies could also simply be due for a breakout game.
— UW won’t win many road games allowing the home team to shoot 53.1 percent, as the Ducks did. In fact, that’s the third-highest shooting percentage of the year against UW – only New Mexico (54) and WSU in Seattle (53.6) shot better. UW also forced just 14 turnovers.
That all points to just how critical that 36-17 rebounding advantage really was.
— Speaking of those rebounds, one of the real keys to it all is the backcourt. The guard trio of Bobby Jones, Brandon Roy and Justin Dentmon combined for 12 rebounds — almost as many, obviously, as the entire Oregon team.
— Sure, Williams took 17 shots in 29 minutes. But he also had three assists, his most since the win at USC in January, when he also had three. His career high is four in the season opener at Morgan State.

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