Washington St. Cougars
@ Arizona Wildcats
Saturday, Jan 31, 2009, 10:00 AM PST
Location: Olson Court, McKale Center (14,545), Tucson, Ariz.
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen
TV: CBS (Craig Bolerjack/Bill Raftery)
Ken Pomeroy prediction: 57-54 Arizona
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
The Washington State Cougars are coming off of a monstrous upset in Tempe last night defeating Arizona State 65-55. That win put the Cougars in 6th place in the Pac 10 and a win over Arizona would put them in at least a tie for third place.
The Cougars are a talented team led by three main players, Aron Baynes, Taylor Rochestie, and Klay Thompson. Klay Thompson lit up Arizona State for 28 points yesterday and was 8-10 from beyond the arc. Aron Baynes added 22 points and completely dominated James Pendergraph all night. He also finished with 9 boards.
As C.W. pointed out in his pregame write up of the matchup between ASU and Washington State, Klay Thompson is 6' 6" and can get open looks just because of his size. If he is hitting 8-10 from three point land, Arizona is going to have to adjust to take him out of his rhythm, something Arizona State did not do. Hopefully, Budinger's 6' 7" lankiness can keep Thompson in check. Damn. All this talk for a freshman? He is that good. Here is a look at the Cougar stats:
As you can see above Aron Baynes, Taylor Rochestie, and Klay Thompson all average over 12 points per game. Those three guys scored 61 of their 65 points. Arizona needs to find a way for Washington State to make other guys beat them.
Washington State is 12-8 overall and 4-4 in the Pac 10. Their four Pac 10 wins came against Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, and yesterday's win at Arizona State. On paper, Washington's wins have been really weak except for the win against Arizona State. However, we know better than that. Arizona, on paper, is not that good. What we saw yesterday was total domination and anyone who looks at paper only is a fool. Get ready for the Cougars to be riding high after their first win in the desert yesterday.
Wow. What a difference a day makes. After the game yesterday, I feel like we can beat anybody. We are at a crucial period in Pac 10 play right now and a sweep of the Washington schools could not be needed any more. Next week we have to go on the road to Oregon (0-8) and Oregon State (3-5). If you haven't heard, Arizona is not too good on the road this year (0-6), so we need all of the wins at home we can get. Here are Arizona's stats for the season:
If we can get another performance tomorrow like the one we had yesterday, we should have no problem with Washington State. Actually, if we could get that performance every game, we would probably win out from here on out. Let's hope for another strong outing before we take to the road next week.
Keys to the game for Arizona
Defense: Like, how about we play some? Houston scored 90 and Washington scored 97. Let's buck up and do it. As stated earlier in the write up, the Cougars are led almost entirely by three guys. If we can make them try to beat us with other players, we are probably going to win as the Cougars aren't equipped to score with other guys. Get a plan Pennell. Double up. Zone. Box in one. I don't care. Figure out who is hot for them, and stick someone on them to deny the whole game.
Light'em up: Arizona State only scored 55 points yesterday on 21-49 shooting. They held the Cougars to 65, but couldn't make anything themselves. Let's get Nic, Chase, and Jordan some good looks and hope it all pans out. If we aren't getting good looks outside, we need to be cutting and driving to the basket to create more favorable and higher percentage shots.
Feed that man: Jordan Hill "only" had 18 points against Washington yesterday. That's kind of the way it works when Nic Wise is s s strokin like he was. If we get to a point where we don't have great outside shooting, let's dish to Jordan and let him go after Baynes. If we can get him in foul trouble, Hill will dominate.