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Husky Men's Basketball

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

January 5, 2012 at 12:07 PM

Pac-12 picks … including the UW game

Reminder: We launched a new season-long contest called Pick & Roll! last week. It’s not too late to sign up, make picks and win $200 because we throw out your lowest scores from one week. So if you join now, then you can toss out last week as your lowest score.
Last week I got eight out of 10 correct. I’m tied in 210th place among 1,087 contestants.
And don’t worry about the out-of-state stipulation. If you live outside of Washington you can still play, but you won’t be eligible to collect the prize money.
As for the Guess the UW Score contest, congratulations to sequimdawgbob who was the big winner last week. He predicted Washington would beat Oregon 77-59. The Huskies won 76-60.
As he wrote in the comments section: “Wow, and I figured (Tony) Wroten would make one more free throw and (E.J.) Singler would make one less.”
Still an awesome job. Way to pick ’em mighty sequimdawgbob.
Contact me privately to collect your reward. It may not be $200, but the hot dogs are very tasty at Hec Ed.
OK let’s move. Full slate of games today.
Washington (8-5, 2-0) at Colorado (9-4, 1-0), 6 p.m. (ROOT Sports)
Washington State (9-5, 1-1) at Utah (3-10, 0-1), 6 p.m.
Stanford (12-2, 2-0) at Oregon (10-4, 1-1), 6 p.m.
California (12-3, 2-0) at Oregon State (10-4, 0-2), 7 p.m.
Arizona State (4-9, 0-1) at USC (5-10, 0-2), 7:30 p.m.
Arizona (10-4, 1-0) at UCLA (7-7, 0-2), 8 p.m. (FSN)
Times PST
Picks: WSU, Oregon, Cal, USC and UCLA

The Huskies 75-70.
Told myself I wouldn’t pick Washington on the road until it solved its road issues or played at Utah, everybody’s punching bag.
For some reason the Huskies have a split personality and their alter ego appears whenever they get in front of a hostile crowd. You can say they’re like Cybil or maybe they’re Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Both comparisons are fitting for a team that’s 8-1 at home and 0-4 on the road.
They lost badly at Saint Louis and against Duke. And they choked away potential wins in the final seconds at Nevada and against Marquette.
Still we’ve seen this many times before from a Lorenzo Romar team.
Washington began the 2009-10 season with seven road defeats before winning nine straight on the road.
In 2008-09, the Huskies were 0-3 on the road in the nonconference season and 6-3 during Pac-10 games.
In the past two weeks, it seems as if Washington discovered a formula that’s portable and will give them a better chance to win away from home. The Huskies made a commitment to defense and talk as if they understand quick shots on the road can be dangerous.
The win over Oregon gave the Huskies a good test of what they’re going to see this weekend. Colorado’s plan is simple. The Buffaloes are going to pack the middle, cut off driving lanes and attempt to force the Huskies to make jump shots. Colorado doesn’t force many turnovers, but it thrives on allowing just one shot and getting the rebound on the miss.
“Washington is a team that’s capable of obviously getting out in transition and putting a lot of pressure on the basket,” Buffs coach Tad Boyle said. “We have to be able to exert a strength 15 feet in and make them beat us with jump shots over hand.”
We’ll discover tonight how mentally tough the Huskies are and how much they’ve learned from early disappointments.
The Buffaloes aren’t very big, but this game will likely be physical.
“Our will is going to have to be very strong,” Boyle said. “Our resolve is going to have to be very strong on Thursday night. And we’re going to have to withstand maybe some runs that they make at us. I think it’s going to be more of a toughness and a pride game and really execution. I think those three things is what it’s going to come down to more than just trying to outscore them because I think they’re as athletic and talented at every position as anybody in our league.”
Boyle said it’s been difficult to simulate Washington’s quickness in practice. Colorado hasn’t faced a team like the Huskies who pressure the ball.
The Buffs have two senior guards (Carlon Brown and Nate Tomlinson) in the starting lineup who won’t be easy to rattle. They also have sure-handed bigs in Andre Roberson and Austin Dufault. Freshman guard Spencer Dinwiddie is a dynamic play maker and scorer who averages just 1.1 turnover per game.
Suffice to say, Colorado isn’t the type of team that makes many mistakes and the Buffs aren’t going to themselves. Romar compared them to California and Stanford, two well-coached and fundamentally sound teams.
Washington will need to control the glass, take care of the ball, execute offensively, hit free throws, pressure defensively and capitalize on scoring chances when they arise.
That’s a lot to expect from a team with a lousy road record and a history of doing ‘weird things’ on the road as sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox said.
Despite their poor road performances, the Huskies are a 2.5-point favorite and some may suggest the wrong team is favored.
At any rate, Washington appears ready to snap its winless road streak.
If not tonight, then the Huskies will do it Saturday at Utah. Maybe.

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, UCLA


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