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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 13, 2010 at 6:21 AM

Pac-10 Picks; Guess the UW Score contest returns

Oregon got off to a shaky start last night, however, the Ducks managed to defeat North Dakota State 97-92 in overtime.
UCLA had little difficulty knocking off Cal State Northridge 80-53 last night.
The Pac-10 is 2-0 which is important because every non-conference win is important for a conference that’s trying to re-build its national reputation.
Before we get to the picks, let’s rundown some links.
— Virginia, UW’s first opponent in the Maui Invitational, won its opener 76-52 against William & Mary behind five three-pointers and a game-high 19 points from Billy Baron.
— Kentucky breezed to an 88-55 opening win last night over Tennessee State, an NCAA Tournament team a year ago. Without Enes Kanter, former UW commit Terrence Jones led the Cats with game-high tying 25 points and 12 rebounds.
On to the picks and the Guess the UW score contest.
I had big plans for making this bigger and better than ever, but that didn’t happen. So we’ll keep it the same as last season.
Remember how this works? For the newcomers, here’s a primer and a link to last year’s winners. Post your picks and include a score of the UW game.
I’ll buy a hotdog and soft drink before a Husky home game for the person that comes closest to guessing the UW score. It’s that simple.
Here we go.
Today’s games:
UC Irvine at USC, 1 p.m.
McNeese State at Washington, 1 p.m.
Southern at Washington State, 5 p.m.
Denver at Oregon, 7:30 p.m.
My picks: USC, WSU and Oregon
And the McNeese-UW winner is …

The Huskies, 92-72.
McNeese is a veteran team and it should be able to handle traveling 2,000 miles and playing in front of 8,000 or so at Edmundson Pavilion.
Still the only way the Cowboys pull off the upset or keep the game close is if three-point specialist Diego Kapelan gets hot from outside. Like most shooters, he’s streaky. But he can make them in bunches. And when he does, the Cowboys are dangerous.
He led McNeese in scoring nine times last season, including a 20-point effort against Texas Tech. It was the Cowboys best game and they nearly pulled off an upset in Lubbock, Texas before falling 76-75 on New Year’s Day.
In the game, Kapelan took 14 three-pointers and sank four. McNeese was 9 of 23 on treys.
The Cowboys also crushed the Red Raiders on the glass, outrebounding them 43-29. Four McNeese players had at least seven rebounds.
Three-point defense and rebounding are the top priorities for the Huskies.
I noted in the preview the Justin Holiday-Patrick Richard matchup as being key, however, on second thought I think the most important matchup is whoever the Huskies assign to Kapelan. They can live with Richard scoring 20 or so, but they can’t have Kapelan tossing in treys too. It’s vital to make McNeese one-dimensional.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning should be able to score at will in the post and the Cowboys big men won’t dissuade Isaiah Thomas from driving to the basket whenever he wants. Guard C.J. Collins has proven to be turnover prone, which is never a good trait against steal-happy Venoy Overton, who is returning from a hamstring injury.
The Cowboys usually go with an eight-player rotation, but UW’s superior depth should overwhelm them late in the first half and midway in the second half.

Comments | Topics: top 25, UCLA


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