Lorenzo Romar put it best when asked about today’s matchup between No. 17 Washington (7-0) and Eastern Washington (8-1).
“Up-tempo,” the UW coach said. “I would expect it to be up and down.”
Don’t expect the Huskies to shutdown the high-scoring Eagles like they did last week during a 49-36 beatdown over then-No. 13 San Diego State.
“Two totally different teams … San Diego State and Eastern,” Romar said. “It’s been well-noted the success San Diego State has had, but when we’re talking offense – two entirely different situations. And Eastern will present an entirely different challenge for us than San Diego State did.”
During last year’s 92-80 victory, the Huskies were able to subdue the Eagle with a relentless offensive attack that overcame an 11-point deficit (64-53) with 13:22 left. They blitzed EWU with wave after wave of dribble drives that got the Eagles in foul trouble. Washington went to the free throw line 34 times and made 31. It was a remarkable display.
The Huskies also surrendered 28 points and seven three-pointers to Eastern Washington guard Tyler Harvey. They’ll have to figure out a way to limit him and sharp shooters Ognjen Miljkovic and Parker Kelly. Washington has used the zone effectively, but the Huskies aren’t likely to use it very much against a good perimeter shooting team like EWU. Washington’s man-to-man defense should be effective on perimeter because the UW guards switch on ball screens and shouldn’t be caught in many disadvantageous situations.
As good as the Eagles are on the perimeter, the game could be decided in the post between EWU forward Venky Jois and UW big men Robert Upshaw and Shawn Kemp Jr. Vois leads the Eagles with a 21.1 scoring average while Upshaw leads the country with 4.7 blocks per game.
If the Huskies are unable to contain Jois and keep him off the offensive glass, it could be a long afternoon for the home team.
THE PICK: Washington 80-65.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
Eastern Washington (8-1) at No. 17 Washington (7-0), 5 p.m. …… Pac-12 Networks
GUESS THE UW SCORE WINNERS: PurpleNGold25 (55-54, UW) The Huskies beat then-No. 13 San Diego State 49-36. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to claim your prize. Thanks for playing.