We have our first repeat winner in the Guess the UW Score contest. Congratulations to stockboi, who won last Saturday when he predicted Washington would beat Northern Illinois 69-52. The Huskies ran their winning streak to four games after a relatively easy 67-57 victory.
Anyone who needs to collect past winnings, please contact me via twitter or email (firstname.lastname@example.org). You can always find me at UW home games on press row, which is at the top of the lower bowl opposite from the Dawg Pack. I sit near midcourt next to the TV guys.
Alright let’s move on.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
Coppin State (3-10) at Arizona State (10-2), 11 a.m. …. P12N
Hartford (7-5) at Colorado (9-2), 11 a.m. …………………. P12N
Towson (4-8) at Oregon State (9-2). 1 p.m. ……………… P12N
Idaho State (1-9) at Washington State (8-4), 1 p.m. ….. P12N
Washington (8-4) at Connecticut (9-2), 4:30 p.m. ……. ESPN2
Harvard (6-4) at California (8-3), 5 p.m. …………………. P12N
Lafayette (5-9) at Stanford (8-4), 7:30 p.m. …………….. P12N
AND THE UW-UCONN WINNER IS …
It would be a significant achievement if Washington can travel across the country and topple a Big East powerhouse in its building. Washington has found a successful formula the past two weeks that requires C.J. Wilcox and Scott Suggs to shoot well from the wings, while Abdul Gaddy directs the offense and Aziz N’Diaye and Desmond Simmons fight for rebounds.
It remains to be seen if UW can be successful with the strategy on the road. The 87-74 win at Seattle University is technically a road victory, but it was a split crowd and Washington didn’t have to leave the city. The last time UW faced quality competition on the road, it needed overtime to beat Seton Hall 84-73 and never seriously threatened Ohio State in a 77-66 defeat.
Washington didn’t have backup forward Shawn Kemp Jr. in those games. It’s not as if he’s the key to the season, but the 6-9 big man gives UW another body to throw at UConn, which struggles in the paint. It will be important for Washington to win the rebounding battle and limit Connecticut to just one shot on each possession.
Still the key to the game will be UW’s ability to defend guards Shabazz Napier and Ryan Boatright. This could be a big game for reserve guard Andrew Andrews, who was considered one of UW’s best perimeter defender before he badly sprained his ankle. He missed three games, but has played in the past two. Coach Lorenzo Romar said he’s still a bit hobbled, but is improving. A healthy Andrews could take some of the defensive pressure off of Wilcox, Suggs and Gaddy, who will need to be effective on the offensive end.
This matchup is a fascinating contrast in styles. UW is a jump-shooting team with big guards while UConn is a dribble-drive team that likes to get to the rim or draw fouls.
Today’s game is the start of a four-game road stretch for Washington. A victory bodes well for the near future and would signify it’s ready to defend last season’s Pac-12 regular-season title. A defeat would be a serious setback for a team that believes its made gains the past two weeks.