I debated about whether to start the Guess the UW Score contest for tonight’s exhibition, but decided why not?
So here we are again for the third season. This is one of my favorite posts because I enjoy reading the comments with your picks.
Seems like each year I have big plans for making the contest bigger and better, but a lack of resources slaps me back to reality. So we’ll keep it the same as before.
Remember how this works? Post your Pac-12 picks and include a score of the UW game. I’ll buy a hotdog and soft drink before a Husky home game for the person that comes closest to guessing the UW score. It’s that simple.
Here’s a link to last year’s winners.
Alright let’s get started.
Oregon State vs. Pacific, 7 p.m.
Utah vs. Adams State, 7 p.m.
Washington vs. Seattle Pacific, 7 p.m.
My picks: OSU and Utah.
AND THE UW-SPU WINNER IS …
The Huskies 85-72.
Washington is shorthanded without center Aziz N’Diaye and wing Scott Suggs, which is a major factor. Both are possible starters with postseason experience. It’s going to be difficult to overcome their absence.
Fortunately for the Huskies, they have a other options on the perimeter including sophomores Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox. However, it remains to be seen if UW has a viable Plan B to replace N’Diaye.
Redshirt freshman forward Desmond Simmons will get his first start, but he’s 6 foot 7 and five inches shorter than N’Diaye. Still, Simmons is a active player who hustles for rebounds. He sat out last season due to a knee injury and hasn’t played for UW since last year’s exhibition so it will be interesting to see how much he’s developed over the year.
Coach Lorenzo Romar is also curious about the team defense. He’s waffled in recent week’s about his assessment of the defense. Initially he said the Huskies were behind in installing the defense and admitted there’s been “some disastrous days in practice.” However, this week he said: “Our team probably is better off in terms of team defense than I thought we might be.”
We’ll find out tonight.
It will be essential for the Huskies to keep their intensity and focus on each defensive possession. SPU can mentally and physically wear teams down with its methodical, half-court oriented offense that features, a series of screens, sharp cuts without the ball, passing and solid perimeter shooting.
Without Suggs, it’s critical for co-captains Darnell Gant, a fifth-year senior, and junior point guard Abdul Gaddy to lead seven freshmen who will likely make their UW debut. One of the most difficult transitions for newcomers is learning how hard they need to play on ever possession. So more is expected from the veteran returners and the Huskies will have four players (Gaddy, Gant, Ross and Wilcox) on the court with NCAA tournament experience.
And finally, many UW fans will get their first glimpse of a freshmen class that includes: Tony Wroten Jr., Martin Breunig, Jernard Jarreau, Hikeem Stewart and Andrew Andrews. It will be interesting to see who is the most ready to help the Huskies immediately.
In 2009, Isaiah Thomas scored a team-high 27 points in his UW debut to lead the Huskies to a 105-85 win over Western Washington.
No one is asking the freshmen to duplicate that amazing feat, but Romar needs someone to emerge and plug in some holes from a team that lost its top three scorers.