Coach Craig Robinson has his best team at Oregon State, while the Huskies grope for leadership as Pac-12 play opens.
GAME: Oregon State (10-2, 0-0, Pac-12) at Washington (6-5, 0-0 Pac-12). WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. MEETING: 291st (Huskies lead 153-137). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ROOT Sports: RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
After a disjointed non-conference effort — Washington mounted a massive rally against No. 7 Duke but lost at home to South Dakota State — the Huskies open Pac-12 play against the team with the Pac-12′s best record, for whatever that’s worth this season.
Oregon State has a four-game winning streak after beating Illinois-Chicago, Howard, Portland State and Chicago State. The Beavers also have road win at Texas (Nov. 19) to their credit.
RIVALRY: Dates to 1904, when Oregon State won 22-19 in Corvallis. The Beavers won the last meeting between the schools, 68-56, on Feb. 3, but the Huskies have won eight of the past nine. Washington’s longest winning streak over Oregon State was from 1951-53, when the Huskies won 10 in a row. Oregon State’s longest win streak is 11 games, from 1978-83.
LAST GAME (Washington, Dec. 22): Washington rebounded from a shocking 19-point loss to South Dakota State by scoring 16 of the game’s first 18 points and romping to a 75-51 victory over Cal State Northridge. The Huskies particularly impressed defensively, holding Northridge to 24 percent shotmaking. Desmond Simmons came off the bench to lead the Huskies with 13 points. Tony Wroten and Terrence Ross each scored 12.
LAST GAME (Oregon State, Dec. 21): Oregon State ran past Chicago State 92-66 in Chicago to conclude its non-conference slate 10-2, its best start since 1989-90 when the Beavers last advanced to the NCAA Tournament. Five scored in double figures for the second time in a game in 2011-12 with Devon Collier’s 19 points leading the way. Roberto Nelson (16), Jared Cunningham (15), Ahmad Starks (13) and Angus Brandt (10) also reached double digits.
COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. Romars Huskies have won 166 games since 2004-05 (entering the 2011-12 season), most in any seven-year span in school history. Romar signed a 10-year contract extension last April. He won his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16 when the Huskies defeated UC Santa Barbara.
Craig Robinson: Robinson is in his fourth year as head coach at Oregon State. Prior to joining the Beavers, Robinson spent two years as head coach at Brown, leading a revival of the Bears program that he guided to a school-record 19 victories in his final season. A 1983 graduate of Princeton with a BA in sociology, Robinson is considered one of the top players in Ivy League history. He ranks fourth on Princeton’s all-time scoring list with 1,441 points and led the Ivy in field goal percentage in 1982 (.577) and 1983 (.642). Robinson’s first win at Oregon State over a Top 25 opponent last year when the Beavers beat No. 20 Washington.
UW STATS/NOTES: The Huskies are averaging 79.7 points per game and allowing 74 . . . UW is hitting 38.2 percent of its 3-pointers, and giving up a slightly higher percentage, 38.3 . . . Washington has a substantial rebound edge over its opponents (41.0-35.5) . . . Washington’s most negative statistic: The Huskies are averaging 14.5 turnovers (opponents 14.3) . . . True freshman Tony Wroten continues to lead Washington in scoring at 16.0. He has scored 27, 23 and 12 in his past three . . . Terrence Ross (15.1) and C.J. Wilcox (14.5) are the only other Huskies averaging in double figures.
OREGON STATE STATS/NOTES: The Beavers are 7-1 at home, 2-0 away and 1-1 on neutral courts . . . Oregon State averages 83.4 points per game and allows just 64.8 . . . The Beavers are hitting 36.7 percent of their 3-pointers and have a slight rebound edge, 35.8 to 33.9. . . The Beavers block a lot of shots — 61, for average of 5.1 per game.
ART THIEL’S TAKE: Will someone step up to take charge of this team besides Wroten? The freshman is a great talent, but he shouldn’t be filling the leadership void yet. Makes too many mistakes, even beyond turnovers. Your move, Abdul Gaddy.
Against Northridge, it appeared as if there was some acquaintance with Romar’s priority of defense. It helped that N’Diaye was back, but the opponent was so weak that drawing much from that outcome is dubious. And let’s give a tip of the hat to the NCAA thinkers who scheduled a bowl game at the same moment as the hoops game. I know, it’s a freak coincidence, but can the Pac-12 say anything at all to the TV rightsholders? Oregon State 77, Washington 74.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: The Huskies launch Pac-12 play against what appears to be the best Oregon State team Robinson has produced. While a few of those wins have come against the likes of Hofstra, Towson and Illinois-Chicago, the Beavers do have a big neutral-court win over Texas, and they are 2-0 on the road.
Washington is tough to figure. The Huskies had a notable comeback against Duke, but seemed uninterested in losing to South Dakota State at home. Which UW team will show up? We’ll make the assumption (maybe foolishly) that the Huskies learned a lesson by overlooking the Jackrabbits of South Dakota State. Washington 85, Oregon State 82.
UW TO HONOR ANDREW MORITZ: The Huskies will honor former player Andrew Moritz prior to tipoff. Moritz, a walk-on at UW from 1997-2000, passed away Nov. 26 after a three-year battle against cancer. The Huskies will play the OSU game with a decal on the floor by their team bench displaying the initials A.M. and the years of his life, 1978-2011. “Andrew was a dedicated Husky,” said Romar. “He was someone that would inspire anyone that came into contact with him and we want to make sure that we acknowledge how great of a Husky and a person that he was.” Moritz was part of two NCAA tournament teams and earned a scholarship for his senior season. He played in 34 games over his four-year career and logged 76 minutes and scored 17 points.
ALAMO BOWL CONFLICT: The basketball game in Seattle and the Washington-Baylor Alamo Bowl football game in San Antonio both start at 6 p.m. For fans attending the basketball game, the athletic department will offer live “look-ins” at the Alamo Bowl during selected timeouts and at halftime on Husky Vision. After the game, fans are invited to remain and watch the completion of the football game.
COMING UP: Washington concludes a five-game home stand Saturday with a 7 p.m., New Year’s Eve contest against Oregon. The Huskies travel to Colorado (Jan. 5) and Utah (Jan. 7) for their first basketball match-ups with the new Pac-12 members.
University of Washington 2011-12 Schedule/Results
(Rankings Are Current)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/4/11||vs. Seattle Pacific||—||—||W||77-60||0-0|
|11/12/11||vs. Georgia State||—||—||W||91-74||1-0|
|11/13/11||vs. Florida Atlantic||—||—||W||77-71||2-0|
|11/20/11||at Saint Louis||—||—||L||77-64||3-1|
|11/25/11||vs. Houston Baptist||—||—||W||88-65||4-1|
|12/2/11||at Nevada||—||—||L||76-73 (OT)||4-2|
|12/16/11||vs. UC Santa-Barbara||—||—||W||87-80||5-4|
|12/18/11||vs. South Dakota St.||—||—||L||92-73||5-5|
|12/22/11||vs. Cal-State Northridge||—||—||W||74-50||6-5|
|12/29/11||vs. Oregon State||—||—||—||—||—|
|1/10/12||vs. Seattle U.||—||—||—||—||—|
|1/15/12||vs. Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|1/26/12||at Arizona St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/12/12||at Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|