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Husky Men's Basketball

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January 26, 2012 at 1:19 PM

Pac-12 picks … including the UW game

Thought we might get a perfect score Saturday in the Guess the UW Score contest. No one nailed Washington’s 76-63 win over Stanford, but plenty of folks were near the final score.
But none were better than Lost_Dawg who predicted a 75-63 Washington win and Fatkids55 who guessed the Huskies would prevail 77-63.
Not bad. Contact me via email (pallen@seattletimes.com) or Twitter to claim your prize.
OK let’s move on. Just a handful of games so let’s get to it.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
Washington (12-7, 5-2) at Arizona State (6-13, 2-5), 5:30 p.m. (ROOT)
Colorado (13-6, 5-2) at USC (5-15, 0-7), 7:30 p.m.
Utah (5-14, 2-5) at UCLA (10-9, 3-4), 7:30 p.m.
Washington State (11-8, 3-4) at Arizona (13-7, 4-3), 7:30 p.m. (ROOT)
Times PST
Picks: Colorado, UCLA and Arizona
AND THE UW-ASU WINNER IS …


The Huskies 70-60.
In their last road game, Washington slugged its way to a 57-53 win at Utah. The Huskies stifled and suffocated the Utes with a dominant defensive effort that held the Utes to 37.3 percent shooting from the field (19 of 51) and 26.7 percent on three pointers (4 of 15).
Coach Lorenzo Romar didn’t say a negative word about Washington’s 57 points, which was 21 below its season average. In fact, he praised the Huskies’ patience on the offensive end and relished the fact that they didn’t take hurried shots.
Got to think Washington will take a similar approach against Arizona State’s tricky matchup zone. The Huskies will need to be creative to find holes inside ASU’s defense.
Last year, C.J. Wilcox simply shot over the zone and connected on four three-pointers to help UW to a 79-62 win. The sophomore sharp-shooter is questionable for tonight’s game. Even if he plays, Washington will need to find a way to attack ASU’s zone and get to the basket.
It will be interesting to see if Romar puts 6-5 freshman guard Tony Wroten Jr. at the high post the way he did two weeks ago to counter Washington State’s zone.
This week Romar said he learns a little bit more on how to combat ASU’s zone the more he sees it. Considering he’s 16-5 against the Sun Devils, that appears to be a true statement.
But enough about Washington’s offense because this game will be decided by UW’s defense and ASU’s offense. In their past six games at Wells Fargo Arena, the Huskies have allowed 62, 68, 71, 61 and 66 points. During that span, they are 5-1.
The Sun Devils are averaging 57.4 points against Pac-12 teams. Whenever they’ve scored more than 60, they’ve won. It’s only happened twice. More often, Arizona State shoots well from beyond the arc, but struggles every where else on the floor. No one on the team is good enough to create their own shot and there’s a chance junior guard Trent Lockett – ASU’s best player – won’t play. If he’s out, the Sun Devils will be hard pressed to generate consistent offense. In their last out, they managed 43 points without Lockett.
Meanwhile, Washington’s defense is improving each outing. In their past four conference wins, the Huskies have held opponents to 63 (Stanford), 65 (WSU), 57 (Utah) and 60 (Oregon) points.
Hard to believe this is the same UW team that surrendered 92 points to Cal State Northridge at home.
Since that debacle, the Huskies have committed themselves to defense and rebounding – two traits that should help them overwhelm and undermanned Arizona State team.

Comments | Topics: C.J. Wilcox, UCLA

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