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Husky Men's Basketball

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February 24, 2009 at 3:09 PM

Huskies prepare for “big game”

This is one time there is no trying to deny the stakes involved.
As the Huskies met the media today in advance of Thursday night’s game with Arizona State, there was liberal use of the phrase “big game.”
“This is probably the biggest game I have had since I have been a Husky,” said senior forward Jon Brockman of a contest that will go a long way to deciding the champion of the Pac-10 Conference this season.
Asked if his is maybe the biggest game for the Huskies since the loss to UConn in the Sweet 16 in 2006, head coach Lorenzo Romar said “I would say so.”
With the knowledge that the game sold out quickly on Monday, Brockman said “I know what the environment is going to be like. It’s going to be wild and crazy.”
What the Huskies also know is that ASU is unlikely to be awed by the surroundings. The Sun Devils are 5-2 on the road in Pac-10 games this year and 6-2 overall, the best road record in the league, having won at Pauley Pavilion, McKale Center and Maples Pavilion — a rare trifecta.
“They are going to come in here and expect to take it,” Brockman said.
UW beat ASU 84-71 on Jan. 31 in Tempe, in part due to holding ASU guard James Harden to 15 points. The Huskies in that game went with a strategy of putting bigger defenders on Harden, starting off each half with Darnell Gant. Romar was mum on whether the Huskies will go with the same scheme this time, though it seems logical to think they’d try it again.
Romar jokingly asked that we not write about Harden struggling last time, then seriously said that “he has a lot of pride” and noted that Harden was similarly held down by USC in the first meeting then came back to lead ASU to a win the second time the two teams played.
Romar said with all the attention Harden has been getting that the sophomore guard has begun to shift his game just a little and that “he’s making everyone else around him look good. Now guys are playing more off of him.”
Here are some more notes from today:
— The school announced that Brockman has been named as one of 30 finalists for the Naismith Award (so is Harden, a nd they are the only two Pac-10 players listed) honoring the nation’s best college basketball player.
— Brockman also announced that he has a new Twitter page, JBrock40, and that his goal is to someday get as many followers as Steve Sarkisian. (By the way, did I miss the sunny day here yesterday that Coach Sark wrote about? Not sure being a weatherman is in his future).
— Brockman made the revelation about his Twitter page after he was asked about the mention of his Facebook page during an FSN telecast this weekend. Brockman said he already has the maximum 5,000 friends on Facebook — or just about one for every bruise he has inflicted during his basketball career.
— Romar, meanwhile, said he didn’t know what Twitter was when asked if he had his own page. Asked if he was on Twitter, Romar said “I could tell you if I knew what that was.” Given the details of Twitter, Romar said “I’m not that advanced at this point.”
— There was some actual basketball talk, as well, as Brockman was asked about his battles with ASU big man Jeff Pendergraph. Brockman said they have always been enjoyable noting that “he doesn’t take things personally” and the two can bang at each other one minute and laugh about it at the free throw line the next.
— Since there was a mention of Venoy Overton and USC coach Tim Floyd getting in a shouting match Saturday’s game in LA, I asked Overton about it. Overton said “nah” that it didn’t happen. I asked Overton if he thinks Floyd is still mad at him over having decommitted from USC. “He knows he’s going to get great recruits to go there so I was probably not a big deal to him,” Overton said.
— Romar said the team held a light practice Monday and would begin seriously game planning for ASU today with Tuesday usually being the most intense practice of a normal game week.
All for now.

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