Junior guard Xavier Johnson is serving a one-game suspension and junior forward Josh Scott is questionable due to back spasms that forced him to miss four of the past five games.
If Scott is out, obviously that’s favorable for Washington, which should be close to full strength with the return of backup guard Darin Johnson (quadriceps) who missed the past two games. The Huskies are still without junior forward Jernard Jarreau (knee) for at least another three weeks.
Scott is second on CU in scoring (13.8) and first in rebounds (7.2) while Johnson is third on the team in points (12.8) and rebounds (5.4).
That’s a lot of firepower for any team to lose. If Scott (6-10) doesn’t play, the Buffs are without their tallest player. Wesley Gordon, a 6-9 forward, is the tallest player in a five-man lineup that includes three guards. Washington should have a size advantage inside with 7-foot center Robert Upshaw and 6-9 forward Shawn Kemp Jr.
It’s imperative the Huskies keep close tabs on Colorado senior guard Askia Booker who is averaging 20.2 points in five Pac-12 games. Booker tallied a career-high 30 points last week at Arizona and he has the ability to make clutch shots.
It would be intriguing to watch Booker paired against UW’s Nigel Williams-Goss, who is also one of the top guards in the Pac-12. If Booker gets going offensively, the Huskies can also turn to their defensive ace Mike Anderson.
Fourth-year junior guard Andrew Andrews is coming off of one of the best games in his career. He tallied a personal-best tying 21 points on 8-for-15 shooting last Saturday during an 85-77 win over Oregon.
Coach Lorenzo Romar on Andrews: “His shot selection and his decision making in the last game was as good as it’s been ever. I thought he maintained his aggressiveness, but yet maintained a balance of taking good quality shots. I think that’s the difference. Sometimes less is more with some guys. He simplified the game for himself I thought in the last game.”
Washington is 0-2 in Pac-12 road games and the Huskies were crushed in their past two trips to Colorado.
The Buffaloes are riding a three-game losing streak, but they’re returning home for the first time since Jan. 4.
Even if Scott doesn’t return, CU is tough team to beat at home where it is 66-10 overall and 23-6 against Pac-12 teams during the past five seasons under coach Tad Boyle.
THE PICK: Colorado 71-67.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
|No. 7 Arizona (16-2, 4-1) at Stanford (13-4, 4-1)||6 p.m.||ESPN2|
|UCLA (11-7, 3-2) at Oregon State (12-5, 3-2)||6 p.m.||Pac-12 Networks|
|Washington (13-4, 2-3) at Colorado (9-8, 2-3)||6:30 p.m.||Fox Sports 1|
|USC (9-8, 1-4) at Oregon (12-6, 2-3)||8 p.m.||Pac-12 Networks|
|Arizona State (9-9, 1-4) at California (11-7, 1-4)||8 p.m.||Pac-12 Networks|
THE PICKS: Stanford, OSU, Oregon and ASU.
GUESS THE UW SCORE WINNER: tw427 picked Washington 83-78 and subwayalum predicted an 84-75 UW win. The Huskies prevailed 85-77 over Oregon. Contact me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to claim your prize. Thanks for playing.