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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 2, 2007 at 3:03 PM

Whod’a thunk it?

So raise your hand if you figured a few months ago that UW and Arizona would meet tomorrow with sixth place on the line.
Actually, both teams could be worse than that if Cal were to beat Stanford and UW beat Arizona, which would put the Bears in sixth and UW and Arizona in a tie for seventh.
UW center Spencer Hawes agreed that he never would have imagined it.
“Still, it’s a huge game for both teams and any time you play Arizona, it’s a big one regardless of the circumstances,” he said.
The Huskies practiced here today looking revived in the wake of their three-game winning streak.
They realize the three games they’ve won don’t compare to what they could accomplish here tomorrow considering Oregon was without Aaron Brooks and the other two were against the two worst teams in the league.
Still, they feel as if they are finding themselves.
“The way that we have played lately, it wouldn’t have mattered who we would have played — we would have had a chance to win those games,” said UW coach Lorenzo Romar. “To go on the road and play the way we did in the first half (against Arizona State) has me a lot more optimistic. You can’t fake that.”
The sloppy second half, however, left a slight smudge on that win as ASU outscored UW 40-22 after the Huskies had grabbed a 44-21 halftime lead.
On Friday, Romar again attributed the second-half collapse mostly to playing tentative and being inexperienced with playing with a lead.
“You run across all these different experiences for the first time as a team,” Romar said. “That was the first time we had a substantial lead on the road like that.”
Romar has instead concentrated on the fine play in the first half, saying that the team’s improving health may have made a difference.
“We are finally healthy,” Romar said. “Guys were active and fresh and quick.”
Romar said the lineup will remain the same even though Spencer Hawes is beginning to look like his old self.
Hawes played 30 minutes against ASU with 13 points and seven rebounds and said after Friday’s practice he felt “pretty good. So it’s good to be back in that flow.”
Arizona coach Lute Olson met the media here for a while today, as well, and professed nothing but confidence that his team has merely hit a little lull.
“I think we can be very good,” he said, then pointed out that the team’s new starting lineup includes two freshmen. “But we are still a work in progress.”
The main reason UA has slumped is its poor shooting — Arizona is now eighth in the Pac-10 in three-point percentage (34.5). Hard to believe for those who saw Arizona nail 11-20 against Washington.
Olson said he will continue with the team’s new lineup which features 6-9 freshmen Jordan Hill. Hill started in place of Marcus Williams Thursday against WSU with Williams nursing a sprained ankle. But Hill may start tomorrow in place of guard Jawann McClellan as Olson said he wants go to with a bigger lineup.
“We’re better with two big guys in,” Olson said.



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