The Washington Huskies are atop the Pac 10 standings and will be traveling to Tucson to take on the Wildcats on Thursday, January 29, 2009 at 6:30 MST. The game will be televised by Fox Sports Arizona. The Huskies are 15-4, 6-1 Pac-10, while the Wildcats are 12-8, 2-5 Pac-10.
Washington is coming off of a sweep of the schools from Southern California after beating UCLA and USC last week. Isaih Thomas hit 24 points and Jon Brockman hit 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds against USC to come back from a 39-38 deficit at halftime.
UW has won four straight games and 13 of its last 14. Washington shoots 46.2 percent from the field, and boasts an impressive 34.2 percent shooting percentage from three-point range. Oh yeah, their rebounding aint too bad either. They have outrebounded the opposition by a +10.7 per game margin so far this year. Here are the stats for their players to date:
Washington has four players who average in double digits, led by freshman guard Isaiah Thomas, who rakes in 16.3 ppg. The leading rebounder for the Huskies is Jon Brockman, with 10.7 rpg.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning is the Huskies 2nd tallest player, though he is averaging 20 minutes a game, and will probably match up with Jordan Hill.
The Huskies are 3-0 on the road this year with wins at Oregon, Washington State, and Oregon State who are a combined 6-15 in the Pac 10. So, although they are atop the Pac 10 standings, they have played well at home and only beaten bad teams on the road. We'll see what happens when they travel to the desert to play U of A at McKale Center on Thursday.
The Cats are 12-2 at home this year, with one loss at the hands of UAB and one coming from Arizona State. Unfortunately, if you remember, both were due to a huge mental mistake from Jamelle Horne against UAB and a questionable moving screen by Jordan Hill in the Arizona State game on a possession in which we had a chance to tie the game. The Cats beat Oregon and Oregon State on January 8 and January 10, respectively. The Wildcats hope that home court advantage will be a big enough factor to take down Pac 10 leader Washington on Thursday night. Here are a look at the stats for the Wildcats to date:
Jordan Hill played out of his mind last Saturday against Houston putting up 30 points and 18 rebounds against Houston. Last Saturday was a team accomplishment with many players producing including Nic Wise with 23 points, 3 rebounds and 2 assists. Chase Budinger had 15 points, 9 rebounds and 5 assists in 43 minutes.
This is going to be a huge game for us. Washington is playing at their peak right now, but coming all the way down to Tucson has never been easy for them.
Keys to the game for Arizona
- TEMPO: I think that Arizona has to limit their turnovers to less than 15 in order to get solid possessions against UW. Washington averages 78.9 points per game and will be running the whole game. If Arizona can pressure UW into our style of play, we could come out on top. I see this happening by setting up good half court plays, getting the ball to Hill, and letting him dictate the game. If they double, dish. If they don't, make a move.
TO THE HOOP: I think one of Arizona's weak points against ASU was their strong points against Houston and that was cutting to the basket. Too many three pointers against ASU when we were off and not enough moves to try to get easy buckets, or get to the line. Budinger, Onobun, and Wise all made great efforts last week to move to the basket. Let's hope for it more on Thursday.
- BENCH: We got solid minutes last game from Horne, Fogg, and Lavender. With the tempo from Washington, we are going to need to get some of our guys some rest at some point. Even Onobun may have to play for more than his 4 minutes last week. The one area of the Cats that worries me is their bench. We need another solid performance from these guys like they gave us last week.