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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 16, 2009 at 6:48 PM

Oregon State — Keys to the game

Here we go with five keys to the game for the Huskies tomorrow against Oregon State.
1, Penetrating OSU’s 1-3-1 zone defense. UW coach Lorenzo Romar said “we’ve got to be prepared to play against zone for 40 minutes” against the Beavers. Romar compared what OSU is doing to what ASU did a few years ago when Herb Sendek came in and went to an almost all-zone concept, hoping to slow opposing teams down and keep games close. OSU has had some success at that, holding teams to 62.3 points per game though that’s up to 65 in Pac-10 play.
2, Handling OSU’s deliberate offense. The Beavers like to be just as patient on offense, running a Princeton offense that looks to break opponents down. “We’ve got to be prepared to be strong mentally to guard them for the entire time because you fall asleep on them, that’s when they score,” Romar said.
3, Defending Calvin Haynes. The one OSU player who essentially has a green light to score outside the offense is guard Calvin Haynes, who is averaging 14.9 points per game. The 6-2, 185-pounder played at South Kent Prep School alongside Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning, so those two players may have some insight on how best to defend him. Said Romar: “Everyone else is playing within their system and he’s kind of the guy who has a little more freedom. He and (sophomore guard) Lathen Wallace, but mostly (Haynes) to create more and they look to him more.” Haynes leads the team in scoring and is second in minutes played but does so coming off the bench. Wallace is averaging 9.2 in Pac-10 play with no one else above 7.4. Daniel Deane, a 6-8 transfer forward from Utah, had some big games in the non-conference but has just 14 points in five Pac-10 games.
4, Feeding Jon Brockman. As mentioned in the earlier entry, Brockman isn’t exactly tearing it up offensively in Pac-10 play, averaging 13.8 points and shooting just 42.9 percent, hitting 24 of 56 shots, Part of the reason may be that he says he’s still just a little off due to the sprained ankle suffered last month. But UW coaches also say that he’s simply missing some open shots he normally hits. That doesn’t figure to continue long, and Brockman could have a field day against the Beavers if he can get going early.
5, Playing with intensity. This hasn’t been a problem for the Huskies so far in Pac-10 play. But all teams go through ebbs and flows and who knows when it will hit the Huskies? All else equal, UW is the better team. But OSU is playing hard night in and night out, as shown by beating USC and taking WSU to overtime after leading by nine midway through the second half. But this is one game where UW could simply manhandle an opponent — OSU is at minus-five in rebounding margin in Pac-10 play. And despite playing pretty deliberately on offense, OSU is averaging roughly 14.5 turnovers per game in conference play. Because of the style, this looms as a game that could be close for quite a while. UW will have to weather those storms to get the win.

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