BY SPNW Staff 05:12PM 01/20/2012

Weary Huskies have to suck it up vs. Stanford

A home loss to Cal Thursday puts extra pressure on Washington for a win Saturday against Stanford, which is in a surly mood after losing in Pullman Thursday.

Aziz N'Diaye scored 14 points and had 12 rebounds in Washington's three-point loss to California Thursday. The Huskies host Stanford at 3 p.m. Saturday. / Drew Sellers, Sportspress Northwest

GAME: Stanford (15-4, 5-2, Pac-12) at Washington (11-7, 4-2 Pac-12). WHEN: Saturday, 3 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. MEETING: 137th (Cardinal leads 70-66). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ROOT Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.

With second-leading scorer C.J. Wilcox still unavailable and 15-win Stanford coming to Alaska Airlines Arena Saturday, Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies are facing the prospect of dropping consecutive conference games at home for the first time since the midpoint of the 2007-08 season when UW fell to Stanford (65-52), Cal (79-75) and USC (73-59).

C.J. Wilcox, Washington’s second-leading scorer (15.5) and best foul shooter (90 percent), didn’t play in UW’s three-point loss to Cal Thursday after X-rays taken Wednesday showed that the crack in his leg bone has yet to mesh. Romar said Friday there was a chance he could play against the Arizona schools next week, but his lack of conditioning will limit him to perhaps five or 10 minutes.

Better news for UW is that, despite its lofty record, Stanford has proven vulnerable on the road. The Cardinal fell to Washington State in Pullman Thursday, 81-69, and has just one road victory of note, a 103-101, four-overtime win at Oregon State Jan. 7.

Against the Cougars Thursday, Stanford blew a lead and fell out of first place in the Pac-12 regular-season race.

“I thought we mishandled some offensive possessions and had too many ill-advised shots,” said Stanford’s fourth-year head coach Johnny Dawkins. “Brock Motum made a couple big plays for them (WSU) during their run to help chip away at the lead. Then, Faisal Aden got it going, and it was tough trying to stop him. He was on fire. The young man had a terrific night (33 points).”

Josh Owens, a 6-8 senior forward/center, had 19 points against the Cougars, and is Stanford’s leading scorer at 13.1 ppg. Bellevue High graduate (2010) Aaron Bright is Stanford’s third-leading scorer (12.1) and leading passer (4.1 apg).

SERIES: Dates to Feb. 1, 1916, when Washington defeated Stanford 35-19 at Palo Alto, CA. The Huskies have won seven of the past eight, including the last meeting, an 87-76 victory at Alaska Airlines Arena Feb. 12, 2011. In that game, UW guard Isaiah Thomas scored 14 of his 22 points in a 2:28 burst before halftime that turned a close game into a rout. Washington has not lost to Stanford in Seattle since Jan. 31, 2008, when the-then No. 14 Cardinal won 65-51. Because of the addition of Colorado and Utah to the conference, the Huskies are not scheduled to play Cal and Stanford on the road this year. Next season the Huskies will play in the Bay Area, but the schools will not play in Seattle.

Romar said Friday of the Cardinal: “They can really shoot the three. On defense, they have great length and bother you around the rim and closing jump shots. They have as good a depth as anyone in the league.”

LAST GAME (Washington, Jan. 19): Darnell Gant’s 3-point shot with two seconds left fell just short, and the Huskies fell to California 69-66 at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington trailed by 13 points in the first half, but Terrence Ross scored 13 of his 15 in the second half to get the Huskies back in the game. The loss snapped Washington’s three-game winning streak. Aziz N’Diaye had 14 points and 12 rebounds and Tony Wroten 14 points and five assists. Cal walk-on Robert Thurman scored a career-high 16 points.

LAST GAME (Stanford, Jan. 19): Faisal Aden scored 33 points and Washington State beat Stanford 81-69 to snap a three-game losing streak. The loss knocked the Cardinal (15-4, 5-2) out of first place in the conference on a night where hazardous weather kept the crowd at an announced 3,119. Brock Motum added 16 points and Reggie Moore scored 13 for Washington State. The Cougars made 27 of 29 free throws, with Aden making all 13 of his attempts. Josh Owens scored 19 points to lead Stanford and Chasson Randle added 15.

UW STATS/NOTES: Romar said he would make “adjustments” in playing time and rotation after Wroten and Ross each played 38 minutes Thursday. He didn’t go into specifics, but newcomer and football refugee Austin Seferian-Jenkins may see his first game action against the taller, deeper Cardinal . . .  Despite scoring a relatively low 66 points against California Thursday, the Huskies continue to rank No. 2 in the Pac-12 in scoring at 78.1 ppg. They allow 72.8, next-to-last in the conference . . . Washington’s 3-point shooting percentage continues to drop. A month ago, UW made 40 percent of its threes. Now the Huskies are hitting just 36.7 . . . Wroten is the Pac-12′s second-leading scorer at 16.6 ppg. But Wroten makes just 55.5 percent of his foul shots and 20.6 percent of his 3-point attempts (7-for-34).

STANFORD STATS/NOTES: Stanford features the Pac-12′s No. 3 scoring offense (73.2) and No. 3 scoring defense (62.1), a differential that is second in the conference . . . Stanford makes 7.1 3-pointers per game while shooting 37.4 percent Stanford averages 37.5 rebounds per game (No. 2 in the conference) and leads the conference in rebound margin, +6.9  . . . Stanford features three double-figure scorers in Josh Owens (13.1), Chasson Randle (12.3) and Aaron Bright (12.1) . . . Stanford forces 15.6 turnovers per game . . . The Stanford roster features two Washingtonians, the aforementioned sophomore guard Aaron Bright and 6-9 F/C John Gage from Vashon Island. Gage, a 2010 Vashon High grad, scored nine points against the Huskies vFeb. 12.

COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washington’s head coach. His next win will be the 300th of his career, and the 100th in the Pac-12. 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.

Johnny Dawkins: A former All-America at Duke, Dawkins is in his fourth season as head coach of the Cardinal. After producing a 20-win season (20-14) in his first year, 2008-09, Dawkins’ last two teams have gone 14-18 (2009-10) and 15-16 (2010-11). Dawkins launched his coaching career as an assistant at Duke in 1998-99 and served as associate head coach of the Blue Devils from 2000-08, before taking the Stanford job. Dawkins played nine seasons in the NBA with San Antonio, Philadelphia and Detroit.

Art Thiel

ART THIEL’S TAKE: The loss to Cal makes trouble for Washington. Said Romar: “We don’t have much margin for error, that’s for sure.” Down to virtually a six-man rotation after injury absences of Wilcox and Scott Suggs, the Huskies can’t afford to have anyone in the first six in foul trouble or aimless. Gant was helpless offensively Thursday, and Ross was lost for a half. The second-half rallies often don’t work against the better teams. It may that Wroten has go crazy, as in 30/10/5.

Because of the thin bench, the Huskies, to save legs, have to play zone a lot more, which is not their strength. If Stanford hits from outside, game over early. Washington needs a fast start to take off the strain off the late-game rally that requires mostly flawless ball. Not gonna happen. Stanford 75, Washington 70.


Steve Rudman

STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: Washington has developed a disturbing pattern of snoozing through first halves. To cite four examples, it happened against Duke (Dec. 10), against South Dakota State (Dec. 18), against WSU last week, and again against Cal Thursday when the Huskies fell behind by 13 en route to a three-point defeat.

After the loss to Cal, Romar said, “We didn’t come out with the type of fire, the kind of concentration we needed.” Whether this is a consequence of a young roster or over-confidence, I’m not sure. But given the fact that UW is poor defensively and poor at the foul line, it cannot add first-half nonchalance and expect to succeed. Stanford 76, Washington 72.

COMING UP: Washington takes to the road for a pair at Arizona State (Jan. 26) and Arizona (Jan. 28). The Huskies return home Feb. 2, when they host UCLA.

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 21 L 79-77 4-3
12/10/11 vs. Duke 4 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. W 75-65 11-6
1/19/12 vs. California L 69-66 11-7
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



YourThoughts

  • jafabian

    It would help if the M’s got a good batting lineup behind him.  Ichiro’s best years were when he got decent protection, something last year’s team couldn’t give him.  Chone Figgins was to be the ideal #2 guy and he was anything but that.  The # 3, 4 and 5 hitters haven’t produced and that won’t happen this year. 

    Ichiro will be the new Dale Murphy.  Long time, MVP All Star career, not much of a playoff history to show for it.

    • Anonymous

      You make excellent points and I would like to thank you for weighing in. I hope Ichiro proves me completely wrong and has a tremendous season. Thanks for visiting the web site.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with you about Ichiro going after the longball a bit more, even at the risk of his batting average dropping…I’ve heard he’s got power in BP, too, although BP is a lot different than live pitching when they’re actually trying to get you out instead of grooving ‘em in.

    Still, as Rudman says, Ichiro isn’t going to change his approach.  He is the ultimate creature of habit, and (until last year) it’s worked extremely well for him.  He wants those 3,000 hits and uppercutting won’t get that done.  I’d love to see a rebound year because Ichiro’s the only one of four Hall of Fame players who has stayed loyal to Seattle and the Mariners: Griffey, Johnson and A-Rod all bailed one way or another, but Ichiro hasn’t. A happy medium will have to be reached between a team that won’t pay Ichiro what he’s been getting (I’m sure the M’s have gotten that money back through TV rights and merchandising in Japan) and a very proud player who doesn’t strike me as someone who’ll take kindly to lowball offers for 2013.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks for taking the time to post a comment. I like your points and it will be interesting to see what happens with Ichiro this season.

  • Anonymous

    Grover: Thanks for your response, and I appreciate your input.

  • One174

    ” faded, like a rotting melon, into an ordinary ballplayer”

    So Ichiro is a “rotting melon”, and when he rots he sinks to the level of an ordinary ballplayer? Steve, I think you have dipped into the simile bag once too often!

  • Anonymous

    if ichiro doesn’t go for 200 hits, what the hell will we mariners fans have to keep us interested after june?

    • Anonymous

      I take it you don’t collect bobble heads?

  • Max

    Dwayne Bowe was franchise tagged by the Chiefs

    • Artthiel

       Got it, Max. Thanks.

  • iowa seahawk fan

    my personal thoughts is our seahawks should sign matt flynn and jake loker and it couldn’t hurt to draft ryan tannehill   and its to bad we couldn’t pick up mario hes good but way to costly 

  • thekellygreenandwhite

    Hopefully in the future the referees will be wiser to Lenhart, and his performances will come back to haunt him.

    • Artthiel

       He is said to be a chronic manipulator, kelly, and his coach complains that the refs are too hard on him. I get the gamesnmanship, but the fans’ own eyes don’t lie, especially backed by replay. It’s a blight.

  • thekellygreenandwhite

    Hopefully in the future the referees will be wiser to Lenhart, and his performances will come back to haunt him.

    • Artthiel

       He is said to be a chronic manipulator, kelly, and his coach complains that the refs are too hard on him. I get the gamesnmanship, but the fans’ own eyes don’t lie, especially backed by replay. It’s a blight.

  • RadioGuy

    Flopping is something that’s been plaguing the game for years, and may do as much as anything to damage the sport’s quest for credibility with American sports fans who AREN’T into soccer.  Yes, you get flopping in basketball, too, but it’s a small annoyance in a game that routinely features a combined 200 points per game.  When a flop leads to the only score in a soccer game, what is a casual fan supposed to take away from that, especially when soccer proponents are trying to counter the perception that the sport is “boring” to many of these people by touting its artistry and intricacy?  How do you sell a flop as being “artistic?”

    Not to single out the Sounders or MLS for this because flopping happens at much higher levels of soccer elsewhere than what we get in North America, but stuff like this isn’t going to help win new converts to what IS a great sport.

    • Artthiel

      Exactly, radio, why cheapen the the game with cheap tricks designed to manipulate? Everyone last night ended up looking foolish — Burch for being baited, Lenhart for being the perp, and the official for being had.

  • RadioGuy

    Flopping is something that’s been plaguing the game for years, and may do as much as anything to damage the sport’s quest for credibility with American sports fans who AREN’T into soccer.  Yes, you get flopping in basketball, too, but it’s a small annoyance in a game that routinely features a combined 200 points per game.  When a flop leads to the only score in a soccer game, what is a casual fan supposed to take away from that, especially when soccer proponents are trying to counter the perception that the sport is “boring” to many of these people by touting its artistry and intricacy?  How do you sell a flop as being “artistic?”

    Not to single out the Sounders or MLS for this because flopping happens at much higher levels of soccer elsewhere than what we get in North America, but stuff like this isn’t going to help win new converts to what IS a great sport.

    • Artthiel

      Exactly, radio, why cheapen the the game with cheap tricks designed to manipulate? Everyone last night ended up looking foolish — Burch for being baited, Lenhart for being the perp, and the official for being had.

  • Brent

    It is disturbing when a game is decided by who is officiating.  You had the Lenhart flop leading to the game’s only goal.  You had another hard foul in the box in the second half that wasn’t called, and would have likely been the equalizer.  You had a red card that was retracted a few seconds later.  The officials should never be the difference in a match.  And yet, that’s what happened last night.

    That said, the teams were pretty even on the pitch.  The Sounders had their chances, and blew them.  San Jose blew quite a few chances.  San Jose played harder and smarter, IMHO.  I feel sorry for the ref who has to spend this week thinking about how it all came down to a call he shouldn’t have made, a call he didn’t make, and a red card he got suckered into retracting.  Hopefully, we pay the refs enough to become the best refs MLS can afford.  They work their behinds off, too, and make just as many mistakes as the players.

    • Artthiel

      Brent, while other sports have officiating miscalls that determine outcomes, a too-high percentage of soccer tactics are devoted to the deliberate manipulation of officiating. It’s one thing to try to get away with punching a player in a football pile-up, it’s another to deliberately commit a fraud seen by thousands in house and millions on TV.  Regarding the fines, they may be disproportionate, but obviously it had no effect on Lenhart. MLS has to go Goodell on this if it wants to retain credibility with its growing audience in the U.S.

      • Brent

        It isn’t just the wrongful results (though the Sounders obviously didn’t deserve to win last night).  It’s the growing injury list, as in another Sounder has gone onto the injury list every match so far this season.  A dozen more matches, and there may be nobody left on the roster.  That’s what really has to stop.

        It’s partially bad karma.  There are more than a couple Sounders who I’ve seen get kicked in the shin, fall down, and grab their face.  As a Sounders fan, I am repeatedly embarassed.  Yes, the other sides do it too, and get away with it.

        Lenhart once played under Coach Schmid at the Crew.  He played the same game then.

        Coach Schmid lamented that referees aren’t doing enough to protect star players, like Mauro, but when Mauro is known for some of the best acting in the MLS, he’s going to find less protection from the refs.

        They review films.  They learn the tactics.  They sometimes even notify the commissioner that some blatant and flagrant violations merit ex post facto punishments, such as happened to Flaco last week.

        Change starts at home.  Word to Coach Schmid:  I didn’t buy a season ticket to see hockey.  I bought a season ticket to see the beautiful game.  If someone engages in embellishment or violence, pull him out of the Starting Eleven.

        Show violence and embellishment the red card!

        And a parting plea to the ECS:  That song about the firing squad may be popular around the world, but it is really in poor taste after what happened in Port Saaid.  Can we give the songs promoting violence a rest, please?

  • Brent

    It is disturbing when a game is decided by who is officiating.  You had the Lenhart flop leading to the game’s only goal.  You had another hard foul in the box in the second half that wasn’t called, and would have likely been the equalizer.  You had a red card that was retracted a few seconds later.  The officials should never be the difference in a match.  And yet, that’s what happened last night.

    That said, the teams were pretty even on the pitch.  The Sounders had their chances, and blew them.  San Jose blew quite a few chances.  San Jose played harder and smarter, IMHO.  I feel sorry for the ref who has to spend this week thinking about how it all came down to a call he shouldn’t have made, a call he didn’t make, and a red card he got suckered into retracting.  Hopefully, we pay the refs enough to become the best refs MLS can afford.  They work their behinds off, too, and make just as many mistakes as the players.

    • Artthiel

      Brent, while other sports have officiating miscalls that determine outcomes, a too-high percentage of soccer tactics are devoted to the deliberate manipulation of officiating. It’s one thing to try to get away with punching a player in a football pile-up, it’s another to deliberately commit a fraud seen by thousands in house and millions on TV.  Regarding the fines, they may be disproportionate, but obviously it had no effect on Lenhart. MLS has to go Goodell on this if it wants to retain credibility with its growing audience in the U.S.

      • Brent

        It isn’t just the wrongful results (though the Sounders obviously didn’t deserve to win last night).  It’s the growing injury list, as in another Sounder has gone onto the injury list every match so far this season.  A dozen more matches, and there may be nobody left on the roster.  That’s what really has to stop.

        It’s partially bad karma.  There are more than a couple Sounders who I’ve seen get kicked in the shin, fall down, and grab their face.  As a Sounders fan, I am repeatedly embarassed.  Yes, the other sides do it too, and get away with it.

        Lenhart once played under Coach Schmid at the Crew.  He played the same game then.

        Coach Schmid lamented that referees aren’t doing enough to protect star players, like Mauro, but when Mauro is known for some of the best acting in the MLS, he’s going to find less protection from the refs.

        They review films.  They learn the tactics.  They sometimes even notify the commissioner that some blatant and flagrant violations merit ex post facto punishments, such as happened to Flaco last week.

        Change starts at home.  Word to Coach Schmid:  I didn’t buy a season ticket to see hockey.  I bought a season ticket to see the beautiful game.  If someone engages in embellishment or violence, pull him out of the Starting Eleven.

        Show violence and embellishment the red card!

        And a parting plea to the ECS:  That song about the firing squad may be popular around the world, but it is really in poor taste after what happened in Port Saaid.  Can we give the songs promoting violence a rest, please?

  • Brent

    Lenhart, though, is probably biting his nails more than the referee.  A red card is just time off the pitch.  Embellishment, as we heard last week, can come with a big, big fine, which is all the more of a punishment when the players are suffering under the yoke of a salary cap.

    If you ask me, the fines should be much smaller until MLS agrees to lift the salary cap.  The fines need to be in line with their pathetically small salaries.

    And as long as the MLS is the only professional football league in the world with a player salary cap, it will never be taken serious by soccer fans, regardless of how good or bad the officiating is.

  • Brent

    Lenhart, though, is probably biting his nails more than the referee.  A red card is just time off the pitch.  Embellishment, as we heard last week, can come with a big, big fine, which is all the more of a punishment when the players are suffering under the yoke of a salary cap.

    If you ask me, the fines should be much smaller until MLS agrees to lift the salary cap.  The fines need to be in line with their pathetically small salaries.

    And as long as the MLS is the only professional football league in the world with a player salary cap, it will never be taken serious by soccer fans, regardless of how good or bad the officiating is.

  • Gregorybrooks1019

    The Seahawks better get a QB this year, Or People will be looking for job next year.

  • C_chickens

     hill is old….. the dt for miami…flynn is a must…. then wimbley would b nice mayb add tolbert as a backup

  • Artthiel

     Nice Christmas list. Not sure Paul Allen’s stocking can handle it.

  • Artthiel

     Never forget Rick Mirer. He was supposed to be a long-term answer who ended up hamstringing the franchise until the Bears foolishly gave up a No. 1 pick for him.