PROGRAMMING ALERT — A few folks seemed to enjoy the post-game Live Chat following the Georgetown game, so let’s do it again tomorrow. It’s a noon start and I’m guessing we’ll start the chat around 2 p.m.
AROUND THE PAC-10:
— Here’s our preview for Sunday’s game.
— I’ve been away from the blog for the past few days, but thought it’s worth noting USC’s big win on Christmas. Suddenly, the Trojans are streaking. They’ve won six in a row, including a 67-56 victory over UNLV. The Rebels were ranked No. 20 in the coaches’ poll.
— Washington reclaimed the top spot in Doug Haller’s weekly rankings.
— The Huskies are getting a lot of help from it’s so-called weak non-conference schedule. UW is ranked No. 6 in the RPI and it’s strength of schedule is fourth. Cal (No. 12) and USC (45) are the only other conference schools in the top 50 RPI.
— The results of are poll “Who is the greatest Husky of the past decade?” produced a clear-cut winner. Congratulations Brandon Roy. Your gold medal is in the mail. (Not reallly.) He picked up 74 percent of the vote among the 4,533 who responded. Jon Brockman was second at 20 percent (886 votes) and Nate Robinson (176) third with 4 percent of the votes.
I wonder if the votes would have been more evenly distributed if the poll had asked: “Who is your favorite Husky of the past decade?” We’ll have a few more polls before the year ends. Stay tuned.
— I know it’s silly but, here’s a NCAA tournament projection from SI.com. This one has UW as a third seed in Spokane, WA playing against Long Beach State. Cal (fifth seed) is the only other Pac-10 team included.
SCOUTING REPORT: San Francisco
Game info: Noon Sunday at Edmundson Pavilion.
TV/Radio: FSN/KJR-950 AM
Coach: Rex Walters, 15-28 in his second year with the Dons; 46-61 overall (three years).
Last season: 11-19 overall, 3-11 in WCC (seventh)
Last NCAA tournament appearance: 1982
Record: 4-9. RPI rank: 247
Prediction: Picked to finish fourth in the WCC by conference coaches.
Series: First meeting. San Francisco is the only WCC team Washington has never played. The Huskies are 57-19 all-time against the WCC.
PLAYER TO WATCH:
— F Dior Lowhorn drew recruiting interest from UW. He led the WCC in scoring last season with a 20.1 scoring average and his 19.1 average is tops this season. He matched Bill Russell as the fastest to 1,000 career points in school history. He’s reached double digit scoring in 70 of his 73 games and scored at least 20 points in 44 games. Lowhorn ranks 12th in career scoring at USF and is on pace to finish third. He can score from anywhere on the court.
— The Dons were riding a three-game losing streak before winning 82-73 against Cal State Bakersfield on Wednesday.
— UW and San Francisco have a common opponent: San Jose State. The Dons won 76-71 at home and the Huskies won 80-70 at home.
— San Francisco is 0-8 away from home this season.
— The Dons are 80-129 against the Pac-10. Last year they went 0-2 against the Pac-10, falling 87-74 at Cal and a 74-69 at USC. USF’s last win against the Pac-10 was Dec. 2, 1997: 59-50 against Cal.
— San Francisco has six players 6-7 or taller, including three in the starting lineup.
— The Dons are a team in transition. Walters re-worked the roster, adding seven new players. C Perris Blackwell is the only newcomer to crack the starting lineup yet and three others (C Tomas Bruha, G Rashad Green and F Michael Williams) are sprinkled in the 9-10 man rotation.
— The Dons average just 66.8 points per game, but they can be an explosive. They’ve scored at least 50 points in a half three times this season. San Francisco receives an average of 22.1 points per game from the first-year players.
— Long before Gonzaga became a mid-major powerhouse, San Francisco was basketball giant between the 1940s and ’80s. The Dons won a NIT title in 1949 and back-to-back NCAA championships in ’55 and ’56. Russell and Bill Cartwright are notable hoops alumni.
F Lowhorn, 6-7, 230, Sr., 19.2 ppg, 5.7 rpg., 28.3 mpg.
F Angelo Caloiaro, 6-7, 225, So., 7.7 ppg., 3.8 rpg., 2.1 apg.
C Blackwell, 6-8, 240, Fr., 7.5 ppg., 4.9 rpg., 22.7 mpg.
G Kwame Vaughn, 6-3, 195, So., 13.2 ppg., 3.3 rpg., 1.8 apg.
G Dontae Bryant, 6-3, 175, Sr., 4.6 ppg., 4.2 rpg., 3.4 apg.
— There should be a few NBA scouts at Sunday’s game and they want to see Lowhorn matchup against Quincy Pondexter. Not sure if Washington coach Lorenzo Romar will give Pondexter or Darnell Gant the tough defensive assignment, but we’re hoping he chooses Pondexter. If so, it could yet another defining moment for Pondexter, who has already proven he can carry the Huskies on the offensive end. If he could shutdown a multi-skilled offensive-oriented player like Lowhorn, then Pondexter would cement himself as one of the best players in the country.
PAC-10 SCHEDULE AND PICKS:
San Francisco at Washington, noon
Delaware State at UCLA, 1 p.m.
My picks: UCLA and … the Huskies. Too much firepower for UW.