Very early post for today’s 2 p.m. season opener against Georgia State. Hope folks have enough time to get their picks in.
Before we get to pre-game analysis, let’s recap last week’s winners. We had a three-way tie between jgreen03 and jr_hik – who each predicted a 78-59 UW win over Seattle Pacific – and fry-n-pan who had the Huskies winning 76-61. The final score: Washington 77-60.
Nice start folks. Contact me via email or Twitter to claim your prize, which is a hot dog and soft drink at a UW game.
Okay let’s move on to today’s games.
Cal State Bakersfield at Oregon State, 1:30 p.m.
Georgia State at Washington, 2 p.m.
My pick: Oregon State
AND THE UW-GSU WINNER IS …
Wouldn’t be surprised if the Huskies topped 100 and one of the UW players recorded the first triple double in school history against Georgia State, which will attempt to run and gun with UW.
It’s a dangerous strategy at Edmundson Pavilion where the Huskies have a 27-game winning streak against non-conference opponents. They’ve won the past 31 regular-season games against non-conference foes at Hec Ed.
Georgia State reminds me of Washington State last year. First-year Panthers coach Ron Hunter faces the same problem WSU’s Ken Bone had when he arrived in Pullman. He’s trying to change a rigid, half court offense into an up-tempo attack. However, Hunter doesn’t have the players to effectively run his system. GSU wore down in the second half of a 90-49 exhibition win over Division III Oglethorpe.
It will be interesting to see if the Panthers can keep pace with the Huskies for an entire 40 minutes.
It will also be interesting to see what lineup starts for Washington. The only sure-fire starter seems to be sophomore guard Terrence Ross. He tallied 15 points and eight rebounds in his last outing – a 77-60 exhibition win over Seattle Pacific – and it wouldn’t be surprising if he registers his first double double.
The real question is can someone finish with a triple double?
Ross is a candidate, but he’s never had more than six assists. Freshman Tony Wroten Jr. is active and he could do it as well as guards Abdul Gaddy, C.J. Wilcox and center Aziz N’Diaye, whose career high is five blocks.
Aside from individual accomplishments, the Huskies need to show it can play defense against an athletic team like Georgia State that’s going to attack them offensively. Gaddy and Wroten have a height advantage over 5-10 guard Devonta White, who orchestrates GSU’s offense. N’Diaye needs to stay out of foul trouble against wings who will dart into the lane. And Washington has to rebound against a team that had a + 18.5 rebounding margin last season.