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Husky Men's Basketball

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

February 13, 2009 at 8:44 PM

Keys to the game

Here’s a breakdown of Saturday’s game against Oregon.
Records: Washington 18-6, 9-3; Oregon 6-18, 012. Where: Edmundson Pavilion (10,0000). Time: Noon TV: FSN-NW (And in HDTV) Radio: KJR-AM
No. 1: Start fast — Saturday’s noon start will be tricky for both teams who aren’t accustomed to playing so early. I spoke with OU coach Ernie Kent after their Friday night practice and as much as he professed otherwise, the Ducks appear as if they’re still reeling from a 67-38 beatdown against Washington State on Thursday. Kent expected his group to bounce back, but they’re riding a 12-game Pac-10 losing streak and they haven’t won at Hec Ed since 2001. It wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they folded after falling behind early. Oregon is 1-15 when trailing at halftime.
No. 2: Keep tabs on Tajuan — Oregon’s leading scorer Tajuan Porter ranks 10th in the Pac-10 with 14.4 points per game. The three-point specialist, however, finished with just 7 points on 2-for-7 shooting against the Cougars. He was 1 for 4 behind the arc. In Washington’s 84-67 win on Jan. 15 in Eugene, Ore, Porter finished with just 9 points on 3-for-12 shooting. He was 2 for 8 on treys. Expect every UW guard to spend time defending Porter, who’s averaging 9.5 points in his last four games against the Dawgs.
No. 3: Ride the hot hand — No one is hotter in the Pac-10 than Justin Dentmon, who bounced back from lackluster outings in the Bay Area last week and poured in a career-high seven three-pointers in Thursday’s win against Oregon State. He finished with 28 points, two shy of his career best. Coach Lorenzo Romar said Dentmon has progressed to the point where the coach goes into games expecting the senior guard to continue scoring like he has. He’s averaging 18.8 points per game.
No. 4: Contest shots — Oregon is 4-1 when it has a better shooting percentage than its opponent and just 2-17 when its opponent shoots better from the field. The Ducks are the worst shooting team in the Pac-10, shooting 40.7 percent in conference games. The Ducks also allow a conference high 51.4 percent shooting percentage and 44.6 percent from behind the arc.
No. 5: Find alternative solutionsIsaiah Thomas failed to hit double-figure scoring Thursday for just the third time this season and Jon Brockman attempted a season-low three shots, however, Quincy Pondexter (11 points) and reserve G Venoy Overton (nine) picked up the slack. Pondexter has always been an X-factor, but Overton is beginning to play a similar role. He doesn’t have three-point range on his jumper, but recently has converted many turnovers into scoring opportunities.



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