Let’s start with a quick note on the Pick & Roll contest. Thanks to everyone who signed up and is playing this season. It should be a blast. After two weeks, I’m tied for 77th among 1,201 contestants. Shocker.
It’s too late to join and realistically expect to win the $200 grand prize, but it’s fun tracking your Pac-12 picks and comparing your results with everyone else.
In terms of the Guess the UW Score contest, the latest winner is RhinoDawg2 who predicted the Huskies would beat Utah 67-52. The final score: 57-53. Contact me privately to collect your prize.
OK let’s move on.
Light schedule tonight in the conference. Just one game on tap.
Seattle (3-10) at Washington (9-6), 7 p.m. (ROOT Sports)
AND THE UW-SU WINNER IS …
The Huskies 85-65.
The games between these schools have produced some wild scores since the cross-city rivalry renewed in March 2009. Washington won 87-60 the first year, 123-76 (remember that foul-fest?) and 95-74 last season at KeyArena.
Those Seattle U. teams had better records at this point in the season than the Redhawks squad that plays tonight, which suggests another lopsided Washington win.
However, the Huskies managed just 57 points in their last outing. Normally Washington is a high-scoring squad that has topped 90 points four times this season at home. Coach Lorenzo Romar has preached offensive patience recently, but he may loosen the reins at Edmunson Pavilion where the Huskies are 8-1.
Seattle U. has the potential to push Washington just as it did Virginia in an 83-77 defeat on Dec. 21 at KeyArena.
The Redhawks were overwhelmed by the Huskies in the past largely because UW had a considerable size advantage inside. A year ago, Matthew Bryan-Amaning torched SU for 24 points and 13 rebounds and Aziz N’Diaye tallied a career-high 15 points and 10 rebounds. Washington doesn’t have a similar inside attack this season.
The Huskies best post players are guards Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten Jr. who visit the paint on occasion. N’Diaye is a fixture beneath the rim, but for some odd reason he’s struggled against smaller defenders this season. SU doesn’t have anyone taller than 6-9 Louis Green in the rotation.
This figures to be an up-tempo game where the guards and wings take are the primary scorers. Oregon State thought it had the athletes to run with Washington and the Huskies ran them out of the building in a 95-80 victory.
Look for Washington to exploit SU’s relatively small back court comprised of 5-10 Cervante Burrell and 6-0 Sterling Carter with 6-3 Abdul Gaddy and Wroten, who is 6-5. The Redhawks may need to rely on reserve guards Prince Obasi, who is 6-2, and 6-5 Allen Tate. Both were were starters early in the season. They’re offensively challenged, but they give Seattle U. considerably more size.
The X-factors are Washington’s C.J. Wilcox and Seattle’s Clarence Trent. Wilcox had a miserable performance in his last outing and slogged through a 2-for-13 shooting performance during a homecoming at Utah. Expect him to bounce back in a big way, while Trent, the former Husky, is making his Montlake return.
If Trent struggles, then that adds more pressure on SU’s leading scorer Aaron Broussard to carry the offense in a potential shootout. Broussard, who has tallied 31 and 29 points this season, is capable of big scoring nights.
Because of the complex relationships between the players and coaching staffs on both teams, you’d like to say that anything can happen in a bragging rights game that has multiple story lines and subplots. But realistically, this rivalry is a year or two away from being competitive.