When coach Lorenzo Romar agreed to renew the series with Seattle University, he cautioned someday the Redhawks are going to snap their losing streak to the Huskies. That was five years ago and the streak has extended to nine straight wins for Washington. The Huskies also hold a commanding 25-4 lead in the series.
The Redhawks, which made the transition to Division I, have never been more talented than they are this season. They have a player of the year candidate in high-scoring guard Isiah Umipig. They have shooters in Jarrel Flora and Emerson Murray. They have a solid three-man rotation in the post with Jack Crook, Shore Adenekan and Deshaun Sunderhaus. And the rest of the supporting cast is promising.
Here’s the results since the series was renewed in 2009.
Nov. 10, 2013 88-78
Dec. 13, 2012 87-74
Jan. 20, 2012 91-83
Feb. 22, 2011 95-74
Jan. 26, 2010 123-76
March, 3, 2009 87-60
Umipig said the Redhawks must contend with their emotions and the compulsion to re-write history when they play Washington.
Meanwhile, the Huskies have a few things to clean up from what was generally a fantastic performance in last week’s opener. They must prove they can shoot better than they have in the opener and the exhibition when they combined for 8 of 42 three-pointers. Romar blamed the frigid shooting last week on the chilly conditions at Alaska Airlines Arena. I think he he was joking. But Nigel Williams-Goss was somewhat serious when he talked about the cold temperatures adversely affecting UWs marksmanship.
It’ll be interesting to see how Washington performs behind the arc inside KeyArena.
It’s also going to be interesting to see what SU coach Cameron Dollar, the former UW assistant throws at the Huskies. He’s tried a little bit of everything in the past. The Redhawks have pressed. They’ve zoned. And they’ve gotten physical with the Huskies.
Dollar has a sizable front line so he doesn’t necessarily need to rely on a zone to combat UW’s massive big men who include Shawn Kemp Jr., Jernard Jarreau and Robert Upshaw. The trio was outstanding last week and they might be difficult to contain all season. We’ll see.
The back court battle is just as intriguing. Williams Goss and Umipig create headlines, but Flora and UW’s Andrew Andrews are capable playmakers and scorers.
The difference between the teams may come down to who has more depth. Aside from Upshaw, Washington’s reserves had a poor showing in the opener. And traditionally, backup players are unlikely to shine in road games.
Aside from Adenekan, SU’s reserves were less than spectacular as well in their last outing.
It appears as if both teams are evenly matched and if the game is decided in the final minute, then theoretically SU has the edge because it has Umipig.
I believe Romar is right. Seattle U will upset at some point. I just don’t think it’s going to be Friday.
THE PICK: Washington 85-82
FRIDAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
California (3-0) vs. No. 10 Texas (3-0), 4 p.m. PT ………….. ESPN2
Oregon (2-0) vs. Toledo (1-1), 4 p.m. ………………………… Pac-12 Networks
Stanford (2-0) vs. UNLV (2-0), 4 p.m. ………………………… No TV
UC Riverside (1-1) at No. 25 Utah (1-1), 6 p.m. …………….. Pac-12 Networks
Oregon State (2-0) vs. Oral Roberts (1-1), 6 p.m. …………. Pac-12 Networks
Idaho State (0-2) at Washington State (0-2), 6 p.m. ……….. Pac-12 Networks
PICKS: Texas, Oregon, Stanford, Utah, OSU and WSU
GUESS THE UW SCORE WINNER: Not Banned (78-57). Washington won 77-59. Contact me (email@example.com) to claim your prize. Thanks for playing.