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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM

Pac-10 Picks … including the Washington game

Somebody is on fire since the Pac-10 season started and it’s not just Isaiah Thomas. I’m talking about udubinit, who won the Guess the UW Score contest Thursday for the second time this season.
Three weeks ago udubinit was a co-winner for the UCLA game and this time udubinit finished in a three-way tie following an 85-70 prediction. It’s the same score ArthurDigbySellers guessed and CouchMan28 said UW would win 83-68. The Huskies won 85-68. Good job guys.
As always, contact me privately to claim your prize.
Okay, we’re moving on.
Full slate today. No Sunday game. Times are local to site.
Stanford at UCLA, 11 a.m. (CBS)
Arizona State at No. 20 Washington, 1 p.m. (FSN)
Oregon at Oregon State, 3 p.m. (FSN)
Arizona at Washington State, 7:30 p.m. (FSN NW)
California at USC, 8 p.m.
Picks: UCLA, OSU, WSU and USC
Record: 21-8 Pac-10, 85-30 overall

The Huskies 92-62.
Two determining factors here. Arizona State has great difficulty scoring points especially on the road. In four Pac-10 away games, the Sun Devils are averaging 62 points.
Meanwhile, Washington is averaging 91.7 points at home against three conference teams.
Both teams should continue their trends unless Sun Devils coach Herb Sendek takes the air out of the ball and dramatically slows the tempo. It’s a tactic San Francisco tried against UW last month and the Dons scored just 52 points in a 28-point defeat.
Not sure slowing the tempo is a good idea for Arizona State because when you’re a below-average shooting team – ASU is eighth in the Pac-10 at 40.8 percent from the field vs. conference teams – the last thing you want to do is continually have to score against a set defense. And Washington’s defense is underrated. In conference games, the Huskies are allowing 66.9 points, which is third best. They’re second in field goal defense (38.9 percent) and third in three-point defense (30.1).
ASU’s shooting problems may entice the Huskies to play zone and force the Sun Devils to try and score from long range. It’s an option. Or Washington can do what it does best, which is contest shots and passes. Extend its guards. Switch defensively. Draw offensive fouls. Force turnovers and missed shots that results in transition baskets.
It worked for UW last season in a 79-56 blowout at home against ASU. This season, Washington is better and Arizona State is not as good as the team that finished second in the conference.
The X-factors could be sharpshooters Ty Abbott and Rihards Kuksiks. Kuksiks lit up the Huskies in the first meeting last season for 27 points. In the second game, Justin Holiday – who didn’t play in last season’s game at Arizona and Arizona State due to an eligibility issue – held Kuksiks to eight points on 4-for-7 shooting.
If Holiday defends Kuksiks, then 6-foot-9 forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning may have to start out on 6-4 guard Trent Lockett. It’s not an ideal situation for the Huskies, but Bryan-Amaning has proven adept at defending smaller players without drawing fouls.
And Washington has proven it has the patience and poise to score against zone defenses. Oregon State is a zone team and the Huskies tallied 103 points.
In that game, Washington led by one point at halftime before outscoring the Beavers 63-33 in the second half.
It wouldn’t be shocking to see another slow UW start followed by an offensive spurt or two that turns a close game into a rout.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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