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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 30, 2011 at 2:36 PM

Picking the UW-WSU winner

Judging from the entries in last week’s Guess the UW Score contest, only a couple of people had an accurate read on Washington’s 88-75 win over Arizona State.
Just two folks came within four points of the cumulative score and no one was closer than UMontW who predicted the Huskies would win 88-72. It’s the second win this season for UMontW, who also tied for a victory when UW played Long Beach State.
Good job. Contact me privately to claim your prize.
Okay, here we are. The moment of truth. Just one game on tap today.
No. 18 Washington at Washington State, 7 p.m. (FSN)
Record: 30-12 Pac-10, 94-34 overall
AND THE UW-WSU WINNER IS …


The Huskies 68-65.
If there was ever a game to pick against Washington, this is it. Losing to the Cougars wouldn’t be a surprise, but it would still be an upset because on paper the Huskies have more talent and experience.
Still anything goes in rivalry games. Familiarity breeds contempt and while the coaches are good friends and some of the players are close, emotions run high in this cross-state matchup.
Tonight’s game at Friel Court is expected to sellout and it will probably be the most hostile environment the Huskies will play in this season. Losing Abdul Gaddy to a season-ending knee injury doesn’t help. He’s a calming influence whereas Isaiah Thomas seems to not only enjoy the negative vibes from an opposing crowd, he sometimes encourages the jeers and interacts with the opposing crowd.
Even though the Cougars spent a week preparing for UW’s pick-n-roll between Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning, the Huskies duo should still have great success. Thomas has played well against his good friend Reggie Moore in the past and it remains to be seen how the Cougars will defend Bryan-Amaning. They could start strong man DeAngelo Casto against him, which gives Washington a size advantage on the weakside if 7-foot Aziz N’Diaye is paired against 6-7 Abe Lodwick. N’Diaye isn’t a scoring threat, but he’s capable of a big rebounding performance.
More than likely, WSU plays a zone, which is what it did last week against Arizona’s Derrick Williams. He still finished with 19 rebounds and 17 points.
The Huskies aren’t expected to zone and will stick with their trademark man-to-man defense. Look for Justin Holiday to start out on Klay Thompson, the Pac-10’s leading scorer. Holiday shut him down in a pair of games last season, but the law of averages say Thompson is due for a big game. The Huskies can survive a high-scoring game from Thompson, but they’ll have to limit everyone else including reserve guard Faisal Aden, Moore and Casto who are also capable of putting up points.
If Holiday is chasing Thompson defensively, not sure how much energy he’ll have on the offensive end. Washington could sorely use some help from its three wings (Scott Suggs, C.J. Wilcox and Terrence Ross) who have struggled on the road. The lone exception being Ross’ 18 points at USC in the conference opener.
The stars will ultimately decide the outcome. They’ll get the bulk of the shots and they’ll have the ball in their hands the majority of the time. Thompson is a Player of the Year candidate, but the Huskies get the slight edge because Thomas and Bryan-Amaning are the most destructive duo in the conference.

Comments | Topics: Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox, Reggie Moore

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