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Husky Men's Basketball

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

March 12, 2008 at 1:20 PM

Tonight’s picks

Have landed safely in Los Angeles, and the flight allowed a couple of hours to peruse stats and box scores to try to come up with a prediction for tonight’s game.
All the while realizing, of course, that most of that history may be meaningless given the probable absence tonight of Jon Brockman. How can you really assess how UW will play without him when he has played double-digit minutes in every game since joining the Huskies in 2005?
Still, as I pointed out earlier this week, the Huskies played 80 minutes this year against Cal and for 33 of those were without Brockman due to foul trouble, their most activity against any conference team this year without their leader.
And for most of that time, with and without Brockman, the two teams couldn’t have been more even. In fact, UW outscored Cal without Brockman in beating the Bears 87-84 in Berkeley. UW outscored Cal 22-19 when Brockman sat seven minutes in the first half, and played the Bears even when he sat out again for 10 minutes in the second half.
I think UW survived against Cal without him in part because the Bears are an up-tempo team that doesn’t pressure much — the Huskies lost only 15 turnovers in the two games against Cal this year.
That style seems to suit well the players who will see action in place of Brockman, primarily Quincy Pondexter, who had 12 points against the Bears in Berkeley.
Brockman’s absence, however, surely contributed to a 78-64 rebounding edge Cal had on UW in the two games (Brockman combined for just eight rebounds against Cal this year).
The other big difference between the two teams was free throw shooting. Cal, the best FT team in the conference, made 34-41 against UW. The Huskies, the worst, made 20-39.
But many of the rest of the stats were even — UW shot 48.1 percent against Cal while the Bears shot 48.3, for instance, and UW hit 16-41 three-pointers while the Bears sank 17-39.
So what the heck. Maybe Pondexter continues his recent resurgance, and Joe Wolfinger again lights up the Bears with a few threes, and Matthew Bryan-Amaning has another quietlly productive game, and Ryan Appleby shrugs off the flu of last week to drain a few long ones and finally leave the Staples Center with a good memory (remember, this is where he got hammered by Aaron Brooks two years ago). Besides, I’m packed for two days. WASHINGTON 83, CAL 79.
OREGON STATE VS. ARIZONA — Do we really need to go here? Arizona is a 19-point favorite and there’s little reason to think the Beavers can win this one. The one attraction? With the arena likely being a third (a tenth?) full by the time this one tips, you may be able to hear Marcel Jones’ smack talk in the upper reaches. ARIZONA 78, OSU 54.



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