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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 14, 2007 at 3:15 PM

Shooting, turnovers key for Huskies

And, of course, you read that and think, well, no kidding, aren’t those keys to every basketball game?
But as we pointed out before the Cougars and Huskies played the first time, there are few statistical areas that better illustrate their differences than shooting and turnovers.
The Cougars, for instance, are first in the Pac-10 in fewest turnovers per game at 8.8 (in Pac-10 games only) while the Huskies are ninth at 14.5 (Arizona is last at an astounding 17.5 which explains a lot about what’s happened to the Wildcats).
As a result, WSU leads the Pac-10 in turnover margin at plus-4.15 per game while UW is tied for seventh at minus-one.
That’s a difference of five possessions a game for the two teams.
Shooting will also be huge for the Huskies tonight as the Cougars like to double-team the post to get the ball out of the interior. It’s a strategy that can backfire if teams can nail some outside shots, though the Cougars are so good at rotating that opponents often aren’t open long.
Still, as UW’s Phil Nelson said “since they double the post a lot, we can get a lot of good shots if we play it right.”
The key then is making them.
UW is shooting 35.4 percent from the three-point line in Pac-10 play, down a little from last year’s 38 percent (which led the conference) but not so far off as to think the Huskies don’t have it in them to suddenly get really hot for a night.
Both of these areas could be early barometers of how this game is heading.

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