Is it a disadvantage that Oregon State is having to play Saturday Pac-10 games against teams coming off big Thursday victories over the Ducks?
Oregon has lost all three of it's weekend-opening games this season, and this week was no different. The Huskies, who the Beavers square off with tonight at 7:00 pm at Gill Coliseum, defeated the Ducks 84-67 on Thursday night at MacArthur Court. Last week, the Ducks lost by 15 to Arizona on Thursday, and the week before that, the Ducks lost by 21 to USC on a Friday.
Anyway, the Ducks seem like a team on the decline, while the Beavers seem to be on their way up.
"I was hyped up to see what they've got,'' said Washington freshman Isaiah Thomas of the Ducks. "They didn't really have anything.''
In the shadows of their largest margin of victory in a win at Mac Court since 1984, the Huskies must regroup in time to play the Beavers today at Gill.
Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar has already said that "discipline" will be the key to succeeding against Oregon State's modified-Princeton offense (Romar: "We've got to be prepared to be strong mentally to guard them for the entire time because you fall asleep on them, that's when they score.'') and ther 1-3-1 zone defense (Romar: "We've got to be prepared to play against zone for 40 minutes.").
Like usual, let's take a closer look at UW's key contributors:
If you think of Washington basketball, Jon Brockman is probably the first name that comes to mind. The 6'7", 255 pound senior from Snohomish, Washington averages 15.8 points per game and leads the team with 10.8 rebounds per game. However, he's not the Huskies leading scorer, and has been struggling a bit, in part due to a sore ankle. "I probably won't be 100 percent until the season is over, because I won't have time off needed to get to that level". Despite averaging lower numbers than a year ago, Brockman is still a big reason why is team leads the Pac-10 and is among the national leaders in rebounding. He's pulled in an average of 15.3 in his last three games, and he became Washington's all time rebounding leader Thursday night against Oregon, surpassing Doug Smart's record of 1,051. Brockman now has 1,054 rebounds, and 1,554 points, good enough for sixth on the UW all-time scoring list.
The man who now leads the Huskies in scoring is freshman Isaiah Thomas, the 5-10, 170-pounder. He's the top freshman scorer in the Pac-10 with 16.2 per game, and 20.5 in Pac-10 play. He's scored in double digits in 14 of Washington's 16 games, and is maturing quickly in Romar's system. Says Coach Romar: "What I like about it is that I th ought early in the season he was forcing the issue a little too much. It took him a while to adjust to college defenses and realizing that they are hanging out in there and I've been impressed that he is letting the game come to him a little more. He's not playing like some gunner going out trying to get 40 a game. He's playing within himself.''
Senior Justin Dentmon is averaging nearly 14 points per game on the season, but he's upped his average to 18 per game in Pac-10 games. Dentmon may be best remembered for his 20-point effort in a 71-61 win over UCLA last season. Dentmon's senior leadership at the point guard position is also a reason why the Huskies have been mentally tough on the road. Washington has won their last two Pac-10 road games (Washington State , Oregon) by an average of 19 points. His fifteen points in the second half against Oregon was a big reason why the Huskies turned a three-point halftime lead into a 17 point victory.
Remember, game time is 7pm tonight on FSN. Feel free to join in on the game-thread here on BtD before, during, and after the game.