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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 24, 2008 at 3:16 PM

A statement game for Huskies

I won’t be in Kansas City for tonight’s game against Kansas as columnist Steve Kelley is covering the action for us there.
But I will be watching intently — and I’ll try to keep some stuff active on the blog, as well — as this is obviously a big one for the Huskies.
It’s not big in a win-or-else type of way, but big in setting a tone for the rest of the season.
I think everyone has some questions about the Huskies after the first three games. The loss at Portland exposed some troubling traits, and some of those — turnovers, some lax defense, stagnant offense against zone defenses — were on display in the next two games, as well.
The thinking going into the season was that UW’s experience this year — seniors Jon Brockman and Justin Dentmon and junior Quincy Pondexter, in particular — would help the team get off to a quick start this year, unlike the past two seasons when melding in so many new players resulted in some sporadic efforts in the early going.
So the two games in Kansas City will be something of a litmus test for determining just where UW is right now.
Such non-conference games also help the RPI, which could come into play in March should the Huskies be on the bubble for an NCAA tourney bid.
Interestingly, UW rates pretty well there so far, listed at No. 48 overall and No. 2 in the Pac-10 by RealTimeRPI.com.
As for Kansas, they are obviously the defending national champs. They also return just two significant contributors from that team, so the Jayhawks are pretty much starting over.
The Jayhawks are 2-0 so far but hard to read much into either of those games.
Kansas coach Bill Self said he is treating this tournament as a learning experience, going in with relatively low expectations and hoping for the best.
Here’s a good breakdown of the game from PhogNet.com as well as another preview from the Hutchinson News. And here’s some interesting stuff from RockChalkTalk.com.
All for now.

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