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Husky Men's Basketball

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

November 23, 2010 at 11:37 AM

Let me explain why I’m picking Washington tonight

I guess the headline gives it away, huh?
But before we get to that, let’s recap Monday’s Guess the UW score contest. The big winner is sephers165, who predicted Washington would win 104-64. The final score was 106-63.
That was an outstanding pick, much better than my 75-70.
Please contact me privately and we can arrange for you to pick up your grand prize. And for the newbies, the winners receive a hot dog and coke at a Husky game.
Let’s move forward. Today is the day many UW fans have been waiting for ever since Terrence Jones sat at a table, picked up a black Husky baseball cap at his news conference, but didn’t sign scholarship papers to Washington.
Jones later agreed to play for Kentucky and became the second UW commit – following Turkish star Enes Kanter – last year to turn their backs on the Huskies.
Other story lines:
— An explosive matchup between Isaiah Thomas and Kentucky freshman Brandon Knight.
— Washington freshmen Terrence Ross and walk-on Antoine Hosley are long-time friends and former teammates of Jones.
— UW coach Lorenzo Romar and Kentucky’s John Calipari have downplayed any sort of rivalry or bad blood exists between them because of the recruiting reversals. Still, tonight’s game is a chance for Romar to match basketball wits with one of the college basketball’s winningest coaches.
I’ve been racking my brain over this game for months. Talked to several folks – people who have watched UW for years and some who are lukewarm on West Coast basketball – last night who were at the Maui Invitational.
So here’s my pick …

Washington 85-70.
I just can’t get Monday’s performance out of my head. It’s clouding my judgment. Even Romar said he didn’t envision the Huskies dominating Virginia like they did and cruising to a 43-point victory.
But they did. And while I don’t believe UW will convert a school-record tying 17 three-pointers against a Kentucky team that has tall and long defenders, I think Washington has considerably more overall talent than the Wildcats.
I think the Huskies have a deeper bench. And they’re more experienced.
Those three factors should play a major role, especially when there’s very little time for coaches to prepare and breakdown the opponents. No one has had a chance to practice. There’s been no extensive film study.
Romar and Calipari will need to keep their pre-game coaching instructions simple and to the point. No sense in overanalyzing. But Romar has many more options than Calipari and he should have a solution for every potential problem that might arise.
Romar can throw Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Darnell Gant, Justin Holiday and Aziz N’Diaye at Jones. He can put Thomas, Venoy Overton and Holiday on Knight to slow him down. And he has Holiday, C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs and Ross to assign to Doran Lamb, Kentucky’s three-point marksman.
That’s versatility.
Washington has three seniors and six upperclassmen with NCAA tournament experience, while Kentucky is led by three outstanding freshmen.
If these teams play in March, maybe it’s a different outcome. But tonight, I’m picking Washington.
Who do you think will win and why?

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, Scott Suggs


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