Let’s recap Sunday’s Guess the UW Score contest. Not surprisingly, we had more people pick against Washington than any other time this season.
Lots of posters predicted Washington State’s 87-80 upset, but no one came as close as cwg who guessed the Cougars would win 85-80. Good job.
Contact me privately to claim your choice of prizes. For the newbies, we’re offering either a hot dog and soft drink at a UW game or a promotional code to the UW men’s basketball app.
As we begin the turn for homestretch, it should be noted that we’ve had three two-time winners (mjlaw, UMontW and dawgpound99). At the end of the season, I want to award the big winner or winners with some sort of prize. Ideas are welcomed. Keep in mind, we operate on a shoe-string budget.
Okay, let’s move on.
Today’s games (all times Pacific)
Washington at Oregon State, 6 p.m. (FSN NW)
Washington State at Oregon, 6 p.m.
Arizona at Stanford, 6 p.m.
Arizona State at California, 8 p.m. (FSN)
Picks: Oregon, Arizona and Cal
Record: 30-13 Pac-10, 94-35 overall
AND THE UW-OSU WINNER IS …
The Huskies 80-60.
Oregon State has had great difficulties offensively recently. In four of the five past games, the Beavers have not reached 60 points.
It hasn’t been an easy ride for coach Craig Robinson, but he faces perhaps his most difficult task since taking over in 2008. The Beavers are reeling and teetering on the edge of falling off of the proverbial cliff. They didn’t show up last week in a pair of blowout defeats in the Bay Area and they’ve lost six of their past seven games.
It appears as if Pac-10 opponents have figured out the 1-3-1 zone defense because OSU is allowing 75.1 points per game and 49.7 percent shooting, which ranks at the bottom of the conference.
There’s little offensive continuity for the Beavers and they have a nasty habit of falling behind early before staging a second-half comeback that often falls short.
It’s a short week for Washington, which played Sunday and took Monday off. Players returned to practice Tuesday and Wednesday.
The Huskies have done a good job this season of shaking off losses. They followed their past two defeats with blowout victories, including a 92-71 win at California.
Washington likely paid extra attention in practice this week on passing after committing a season-high 24 turnovers against WSU. Coach Lorenzo Romar also wasn’t pleased with UW’s defense on Sunday and the Huskies should come out with a better effort tonight.
This feels like a game where senior forward Justin Holiday could have a big night because Oregon State is going to direct its offense to stop Matthew Bryan-Amaning inside and Isaiah Thomas’ dribble penetration.
Holiday can be a deadly spot-up shooter on the wing and he’ll get plenty of chances. It remains to be seen whether he takes jump shots or if he’ll be able to get to the basket.
Also keep an eye on Darnell Gant, who sank a career-high six free throws, in the last game against Oregon State. The 6-foot-8 reserve forward could see extended minutes because starting center Aziz N’Diaye has struggled at times against zone defenses. Gant’s mid-range jumper, height and improved rebounding makes him invaluable.
Redshirt freshman C.J. Wilcox is expected to return after suffering a concussion in last week’s practice. He helps with the depth and gives UW another perimeter threat along with Scott Suggs and Terrence Ross.