BY SPNW Staff 07:00AM 01/14/2012

Huskies, Cougars Gear For Sunday Showdown

UW is 3-1 in Pac-12 play and WSU 1-3, but the Cougars have won four of the past six meetings between the teams at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Aziz N'Diaye ranks third in the Pac-12 Conference in rebounding at 7.9 per game. Washington meets Washington State at Alaska Airlines Arena Sunday at 4 p.m. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Washington State (9-7, 1-3, Pac-12) at Washington (10-6, 3-1 Pac-12). WHEN: Sunday, 4 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. MEETING: 273rd (Huskies lead 172-100). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ROOT Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.

Since Lorenzo Romar signed on as University of Washington basketball coach in 2003, no conference team has beaten his Huskies more times at Alaska Airlines Arena than Washington State, which has won four of the past six meetings in the building.

Given the 92-73 embarrassment South Dakota State hung on Washington at Alaska Airlines Arena Dec. 18, the difficulty UW had in dispatching Seattle U. there last Tuesday, and WSU’s recent success in the house of Hec Ed, oddsmakers might be generous in installing the Huskies as four-point favorites.

Ken Bone’s Cougars enter the first of two UW-WSU meetings having dropped their past two, 71-60 at Colorado (Jan. 7) and 62-60 at Utah (Jan. 5).

The three players who most concern the Huskies are 6-10 junior forward Brock Motum, 6-4 senior guard Faisal Aden and 6-1 guard Reggie Moore, the former Rainier Beach standout.

Coming off a 27-point effort at Utah,  Motum leads WSU and ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with 15.3 points per game. Motum has scored in double figures in 14 of the Cougars’ 16 games and has surpassed 20 in two of the last three.

The Pac-12 Player of the Week for the Dec. 5-12, Motum also ranks seventh in the league and 36th in the nation in field goal percentage. Motum is the only player in the Pac-12 to rank in the top-10 in scoring and field goal percentage.

The Huskies’ top two scorers are battling injuries. Tony Wroten has a sore tailbone and elbow after a hard fall in the Tuesday win over Seattle U. C.J. Wilcox has a sore hip that worsened after the SU game. Both were limited in practice during the week. Romar thought both were likely to play Sunday.

Washington is allowing 73.6 points per game, most in the Pac-12 and the fifth-worst, single-season mark in school history. Since the Cougars are the third-best shooting team in the conference at 47.5 percent, Romar’s Huskies might be in for a close one.

SERIES: Dates t0 Feb. 16, 1910, when Washington scored a 13-9 win at Washington State . . . Washington has won five of the past seven in the series, including the last meeting, an 89-87 win during the Pac-10 Tournament in Los Angeles . . . WSU took both regular-season meetings in 2010-11, winning 87-80 in Pullman and 80-69 in Seattle . . . WSU trails the series 99-35 in Seattle, but is 4-2 at Alaska Airlines Arena in the last six meetings . . . Washington State’s longest winning streak in the series is seven games, from 2006-09 . . . Washington’s longest win streak is 17 games, from 1923-30.

LAST GAME (Washington, Jan. 10): Wilcox tallied a career-high 25 points off the bench and Wroten added 24 points, six assists and four rebounds as Washington held off a frantic Seattle U. rally in a foul-filled, 91-83 win at Alaska Airlines Arena. Center Aziz N’Diaye had a season-high 14 points with 13 rebounds in 27 minutes for the Huskies, who blew all of a 14-point lead in the second half. Wilcox then made a pair of 3-pointers and two free throws to put the Huskies back in front for good. Five Seattle U. players fouled out as officials called 61 fouls. UW went to the line a season-high 59 times, making 37. Aaron Broussard led Seattle U. with 20 points.

LAST GAME (Washington State, Jan. 7): Moore scored 14 points and Aden had 12 for Washington State (9-7, 1-3), which lost 71-60 to Colorado in Boulder.  The Cougars went on an 11-1 run to pull within 65-57 with 2:42 left, but Colorado hit 6 of 8 free throws down the stretch to secure the win.

UW STATS/NOTES: Washington averages 79.1 ppg (2nd, Pac-12) and allows a conference-worst 73.6 . . . Despite ranking second in points per game, UW ranks only eighth in field goal percentage, 41.8, and 11th in free throw shooting at 62.8 . . . Washington continues to lead the Pac-12 in rebounding, averaging 40.5 . . . Two of the top five scorers in the Pac-12 are Huskies, Wroten at 17.0 and Wilcox 15.5. Wilcox also ranks second in the Pac-12 in free-throw shooting, converting 90 percent, and Wroten is fourth in steals at 1.94 . . . Aziz N’Diaye ranks third in the Pac-12 in rebounding at 7.9 rpg and Abdul Gaddy is third in assists at 4.75 apg.

WSU STATS/NOTES: The Cougars rank sixth in the Pac-12 at 71.2 ppg and seventh in scoring defense at 65.2 ppg . . . WSU is the third-best shooting team in the conference at 47.5 percent, and also the third-best at making 3-pointers at 38.3 percent . . . The Cougars make 6.75 3-pointers per game, same as the Huskies . . . WSU ranks just ninth in rebounding at 34.0 rpg . . . Junior Brock Motum is the conference’s 11th-best rebounder at 6.4. Motum is also WSU’s best shooter at 55.6 percent . . . Moore leads the Pac-12 in assists at 5.38 apg . . . WSU assistant Curtis Allen played at Washington from 2000-04.

COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washington’s head coach. His 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.

Ken Bone: Bone is in his third season as head coach of the Cougars and coming off a 22-13 year in which he led WSU to the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament. In his first year at the helm for WSU in 2009-10, Bone led the Cougars to a 16-15 overall mark and 6-12 Pacific-10 Conference record. Prior to his stint at WSU, Bone spent the previous four years as the head coach at Portland State, leading the Vikings to back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances in 2007-08 and 2008-09. Bone served under Romar on the UW staff from 2002-05. Bone is 2-6 vs. Washington. Bone also coached 12 seasons at his alma mater, Seattle Pacific.

Art Thiel

ART THIEL’S TAKE: With Wroten and Wilcox at less than full speed, Gaddy and Terrence Ross have to pick up some slack, as will Dez Simmons, who probably will get another start at forward, replacing Darnell Gant. Romar liked the energy Simmons brought in his first start against Seattle U.

The Cougars a year ago had their way with Washington in both regular-season games, but the difference-maker, Klay Thompson, is in the NBA. WSU’s deliberate pace bothers the Huskies, and Bone got a good look at UW’s clumsiness with the full-court press against Seattle U. At 6-10, Motum will be a matchup problem. So expect a slower, taut duel, and the Cougars to prevail. Washington State 68, Washington 65.

Steve Rudman

STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: Alaska Airlines Arena usually provides the Huskies with with plenty of energy and a hefty home court edge. But Washington State has beaten UW in the building four times in the past six meetings and can play with the sort of moderate tempo the Huskies loathe.

If the Huskies could convert a respectable percentage of their foul shots — they’re making just 62 percent — they would be an elite Pac-12 team (which, we concede, isn’t saying much). Since they can’t, they’re vulnerable no matter who they play. Washington 77, Washington State 69.

COMING UP: The Huskies play the Bay Area schools, California (Jan. 19) and Stanford (Jan. 21) at home before closing out January with road games at Arizona State (Jan. 26) and Arizona (Jan. 28).

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
11/14/11 vs. Portland W 93-63 3-0
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
12/6/11 vs. Marquette 25 L 79-77 4-3
12/10/11 vs. Duke 8 L 86-80 4-4
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 W 95-80 7-5
12/31/11 vs. Oregon W 76-60 8-5
1/5/12 at Colorado L 87-69 8-6
1/7/12 at Utah W 57-53 9-6
1/10/12 vs. Seattle U. W 91-83 10-6
1/15/12 vs. Washington St.
1/19/12 vs. California
1/21/12 vs. Stanford
1/26/12 at Arizona St.
1/28/12 at Arizona
2/2/12 vs. UCLA
2/4/12 vs. USC
2/9/12 at Oregon
2/12/12 at Oregon St.
2/16/12 vs. Arizona State
2/18/12 vs. Arizona
2/25/12 at Washington St.
3/1/12 at USC
3/3/12 at UCLA
3/7/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/8/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/9/12 Pac-12 Tournament
3/10/12 Pac-12 Tournament


  • mr bailey

    Not only did the M’s save millions, They helped me to save hundreds of dollars. Money I won’t spend going to their games. Professional sports are entertainment. I have not been entertained at an M’s game for several years. I quit going.

    • Artthiel

      Fans need to exercise the wallet option. Biggest weapon.

  • Super Charge

    Bert, like a lot of fans you miss the point.  It’s not even directly about Fielder, it’s about the philosophy of the Mariners. Okay, so we didn’t sign Fielder, but why not some of the earlier hitting available this season?  Fielder was an intentional distraction, on that worked out well for the Mariners.  A lot of fans are expressing relief at not signing Fielder and missing that we should have picked up another bat or two.
    And so what if we are building with youth?  What happens when that youth gets good and more expensive?  We end up trading them or not re-signing them.  Thus you continue the merry-go-round of building for the future.  If we’re lucky, enough of the young talent hits all at once and gets us to the playoffs for a year, maybe two, where we’re shown the door by teams that not only have young talent, but supplement it with offseason signings.  And that of course all bets on the big assumption that our youth is good.  Some certainly are, but enough to build a credible offense?  That’s a mighty big wager. 
    We’re supposed to believe in that wager, and that with signs of improvement the Mariners will add pieces to complete a contender.  Given the past decade color me dubious.  “Bare minimum” appears to be the team policy, which is to say do the bare minimum to be “competitive”, as in playing 500 ball.  Plenty of fans look to be happy with that, I mean, that’s “improvement”.  The rest of us, who want to win World Series are left jaded, knowing that the peak for a team like that is to have a few short playoff appearances before the window is shut yet again. 

    • Bert

      Supercharge, I never said anything about other potential signings. This article was about Fielder. And Art’s earlier posts concerning free agent hitters’ lack of interest in Safeco should apply to all those second tier sluggers, too. I’m not crazy about the way the team has been run – but you can’t say, on the one hand, hitters won’t sign with the Ms, while on the other hand, complain that the team doesn’t sign hitters. If you believe the park is that much of a disincentive, then that needs to be changed. Then we can talk about the cheapskate owners.

      • Jordan

        It wasn’t Art, it was Steve Rudman who wrote the article about Safeco being a deterrent.  And the risk of changing the field is they may have built their team based around how it currently is.  You would surely make a lot of star pitchers upset if you told them it is now a hitters’ park.

        • Bert

          You’re right about Art and Steve… Should have gone back and checked.
          As for altering the field – you could aim for a neutral park. But you don’t always know what you’re gonna get. The Kingdome had such short fences with the expectation that it would play like the Astrodome; and the original Ms roster was built with that kind of team in mind. And while I’m guessing Safeco was meant to be more of a
          pitcher’s park than the ‘dome, I’ll bet nobody expected it to be a graveyard for right-handed power hitters.
          So if the park stays the same, you gotta learn to live with it. The experience with Beltre and Figgins has made me a lot less eager to sign a big name hitter. (I leave Sexton out because I was never convinced that was a good pickup.)

          • Artthiel

            Learn to live with it. Yes, Burt. Steve was right however — even though lefties numbers will fractionally be better at safeco, it’s not enough to overcome other issues, such as Seattle’s distance from the rest of baseball as well as the players homes. 

        • Artthiel

          Exactly. And while changing dimensions could help some, they can’t change the cool weather through July 4, which retards the flight of the ball significantly.

          • Anonymous

            Art, I find myself agreeing with most of what you’ve been saying in this piece and thread.  I’m afraid…very afraid…

            The truth is, Safeco Field is a pitcher’s park, where cheap home runs go to die (on the warning track).  I’m glad to see the M’s didn’t cave in and spend $200 million on Fielder because although he’s a very good hitter, he’s not the kind of player that’ll make the Mariners successful.

            I look at the teams Whitey Herzog used to put on the field in KC and St. Louis, and that’s what will win in Seattle: Pitching, defense, line-drive hitters and speed-speed-speed.  Homers are great, but that cool marine air coming in off Elliott Bay will always limit power hitters here. 

            I’m a lot more enthused about watching the M’s this year (and believe me, after 2010, I was bashing them badly) because they have finally committed to the kids and started jettisoning the deadwood.  Building from within around your own young ballplayers requires patience, which a lot of us are running out of, but the rewards can be great if the youngsters pan out.

            The future is NOT now…you still have to wait for it.  But with the commitment to guys like Ackley, Seager, Liddi, Hultzen, Walker and now Montero, I’m willing to wait for them to grow up than sit through another band-aid season with retreads.

            See you in April.

      • Artthiel

        The Mariners won’t change the park, so they have to keep investing in pitching and defense, which can work. But they need two home-grown sluggers with six years until free agency. That’s why Montero is so large in their futures.

    • Artthiel

      Super, as I pointed out, the payoff with young guys is supposed to be that they bring you close to a championship with contracts under club control. But if you keep trading them in their primes, the team treads water at best.

  • Matt712

    You will eat your garlic fries and like it. The next closest MLB team is over a thousand miles away. And while you might be free to root for anyone in the league, you’ll have to tighten your sphincter at your cable bill even more to see ’em on a regular basis. Know where I’m going yet? It’s all about TV contracts folks. That is where the dough comes from. And that dough is only going to keep rising. You know why? Ever try ‘Tevo’ a game to watch it later? Yeah, me neither. …Don’t expect the M’s to do anything extraordinary, money-wise, until 2015 when they opt out of their current TV contract. In the mean time, head down to the ballpark on a breezy NW evening, watch some nice kids boot some balls around and whiff at some others, have a beer or two to go with those fries, and maybe even take home your very own Bobblehead. C’mon… Ya know ya wanna.

    • Artthiel

      Good points, Matt. But did you think about the possibility of consumer backlash against higher cable fees for sports might just put an end to ever increasing TV revs? It may be that the Rangers and Angels TV deals caught the last train that’s leaving the station. Think of it a bit like the housing bubble — everyone thought that the increase in value of housing was virtually infinite.

  • Anonymous

    These salaries is why I watch the games on TV, if at all. I don’t begrudge the players, but talk about a system out of whack!
    Also, until Armstrong and Lincoln are gone, the 2 common threads in the Mariner Mess, I won’t be attending any games.

    • Artthiel

      Last year’s attendance figures suggest you are part of a growing crowd outside the building.

  • One174

    When a guy like Figgins consistently hits .200 why not let him rot on the bench? I suppose someone with real baseball knowledge will just shake his head at my ignorance and give me some baseball wisdom to explain why, but I just don’t get it. So what if he has a big salary? So what if they can’t get rid of him? Why play him game after game when some kid is waiting in the wings? Why send a guy up to the plate with a bat in his hands when they KNOW he is not going to hit? It is a model that would not work in any other business.

    • Bert

      You are mistaken. You confuse ‘winning’ with economic success. Let me just remind you that George Argyros ran a profitable team while losing 95 to100 games per year.

      • Artthiel

        True enough about Argyros. Now that the bloom is fully off Safeco as the sole reason to attend, the revenue slump mandates success, just when success has reached a higher level in the AL West. Mariners are counting on all kids delivering at once in 2012. Tall order.

      • Artthiel

        True enough about Argyros. Now that the bloom is fully off Safeco as the sole reason to attend, the revenue slump mandates success, just when success has reached a higher level in the AL West. Mariners are counting on all kids delivering at once in 2012. Tall order.

    • Artthiel

      They have to play him some early to see if he has value to the Mariners or another club. If he can’t play, they probably will cut him, because a MLB season requires some production from all 25 roster spots. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Well, I saved the ame 214 Million by not signing Fielder. Fielder remines me of a great hitter that once played for the Mariners. At the last gasp, he got so fat he could whip the bat  around at warp speed like he used to. Fileder, if he puts on another 20 or so pounds will be the whale in the Detriot dugout. Plu, Fielder was never Junior.

    • Artthiel

      Quick responses, Herb: Yes, responsibility for the Mariners big decisions rests with CEO Howard Lincoln, who takes orders from Hiroshi Yamauchi, who doesn’t much understand American baseball. Zdurencik is often playing poker with a pair of treys.
      Regarding Penn State, the powers that were created a hush campaign to protect the brand, not kids.
      Regarding Fielder, he is an unusual, but great, athlete, and his career-peak time will be shorter than most stars. Dad Cecil was done at 32. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Re a subject that has been over worked, in the speech that the Nike president, gave at a service for Joe Paterno, he revealed that the information that was passed to Joe Pa reached the athletic director, the president of the University,AND the campus police. I(f you consider that the campus police had both the powers of arrest and was much larger that the small town the schol resided in, it would appear that the blame remains at the top. 

  • Herb Huseland

    Why, with Boeing, Microsoft and probably a few other billionaires in Seattle can’t we find enough money to buy the NBA team that is broke and the league is running. That could lso apply to the cash limited ownership in Japan of the mariners. I don’t blame the president of the team. It’s the Japanese owner that sets the budget. 

  • Jim

    Good luck to you guys, I truly hope it’s your year and you get 25-30 HRs out of Montero, and Ichiro gets back to 200+ hits. I will watch with interest from afar. I moved to DC in April last year, so I missed the 2011 season, though I did see a game on TV, with Pineda pitching, in a Gaithersburg MD brewpub with Roots sports on—that was some cognitive dissonance, for sure. Time for me to to get behind the other loser (i.e, winner) in the Princely sum sweepstakes, the Nats. Pitchers and catchers reporting in…

  • RadioGuy

    “One of the NFL’s most reliable players?”  Marshawn Lynch?  Really?  The same Marshawn Lynch that Buffalo was willing to let go with over a year on his contract because he was such an underachiever for the Bills?  The same Marshawn Lynch who was a dog in Seattle until he began his salary drive the last few weeks of the 2011 season?  That Marshawn Lynch?

    Hey, if he plays as hard now that he’s got $18 million guaranteed, I’ll come back here to SPNW and publicly make a mea culpa.  I’m just not as convinced as others seem to be that he’ll put up the same numbers now that he’s got the kind of contract he wanted.  Benoit Benjamin used to do the same thing:  Big Ben would sign a contract for 3 years and play like Fido for the first 2-and-a-half years, then play well enough down the stretch to get another big 3-year deal the following offseason.

  • Grover

    Running backs are a dime a dozen.  Giving any running back a big guaranteed contract is stupid, let alone an imminently ordinary running back like Marshawn Lynch.

    Spend your big bucks on linemen, receivers, and a quarterback.  Don’t waste money, especially guaranteed money, on a running back.

    Stupid mistake.