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January 16, 2011 at 1:07 PM

Picking the UW-Cal winner

Before we recap Thursday’s winner in the Guess the UW Score, need to correct an error from the Jan. 8 Washington-Oregon State contest.
The winners were Mr. T and wayupandwaydown. Washington beat Oregon State 103-72. Mr. T guessed 105-72 and wayupandwaydown predicted a 101-73 UW win.
Sorry for the mishap guys. And thanks to rjs425 for e-mailing me about the mistake.
On Thursday, there were just three posters who predicted Stanford would upset Washington. No one came came close to guessing the score, 58-56, but mjlaw was the closest with a 70-65 prediction. That’s the second win this season for mjlaw. Good job.
Alright, let’s get to today’s game.
Washington at California, 7 p.m.
Record: 16-8 Pac-10, 80-30 overall.
AND THE UW-CAL WINNER IS …


The Huskies 66-62
Washington has a prolific offense at home that averages 97.8 points per game. UW doesn’t score nearly as many points on the road. In their four true road games, the Huskies are averaging 66.3 points, which includes an overtime win at USC.
Excluding Terrence Ross’ 18-point performance against the Trojans, the role players haven’t had a major impact in the road games. UW’s bench accounted for just 13 points in Thursday’s 58-56 defeat at Stanford.
The Huskies need more than the spectacular efforts of Isaiah Thomas to get back on the winning track. It would help if Matthew Bryan-Amaning took more than five shots, which he did Thursday. And it’s essential for UW to make rebounding a priority against a Cal team that has outrebounded 11 of its 16 opponents.
Road teams haven’t fared well when they travel in the Pac-10 for the Thursday-Sunday format. It happened once this season and three times last season and all four teams lost – Arizona at Oregon State, California at Arizona, UCLA at Stanford and USC at Cal.
Washington coach Lorenzo Romar is familiar with the trend and he’s talked about it at times the past two weeks.
“Just that extra day, for some reason, teams haven’t been as successful,” he said.
The Huskies (12-4, 4-1 Pac-10) have the talent to buck the trend, but their confidence took a hit after Thursday’s defeat. Plus, Haas Pavilion has been a difficult venue for UW, which has just two wins in Berkeley, Calif. in the past 10 years.
That statistic has more to do with the teams Washington was playing than the building and this season the Golden Bears are rebuilding after losing four starters from a team that won the Pac-10 regular-season title last season.
The young Cal players are starting to find their legs, including freshman Allen Crabbe who scored 30 points Thursday against Washington State. It’s unlikely he can put together another game like that against a quality opponent like the Huskies.
It’s also unlikely Cal’s 5-foot-11 sophomore point guard Brandon Smith, who will make his sixth start tonight, will hold up against Washington’s veteran guards.
On paper, the Huskies are deeper and they have more talent. But we’ll see what defensive wrinkles Cal coach Mike Montgomery was able to install with the extra day to prepare.
And it also remains to be seen what effects losing injured guard Abdul Gaddy and the sexual assault police investigation into a UW player has on Washington.
Losing at California wouldn’t be a major surprise, but considering the Huskies play Arizona (15-3, 4-1) on Thursday, today’s game takes on added significance because Washington could be staring at a three-game losing streak.
Another loss might signal a crisis for a team that had ideas about going undefeated in the Pac-10 season.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, UCLA

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