Huskies have another of their nightmare games Wednesday — a weak opponent. Just as was Utah when it beat Washington Saturday, Oregon State is 0-5 — but playing at home.
GAME: Washington (12-6 overall, 4-1, Pac-12) at Oregon State (10-8 overall, 0-5 Pac-12). WHEN: Wednesday, 8:30 p.m., Gill Coliseum, Corvallis. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 292nd (Washington leads 154-137). STREAKS: UW L 1; Oregon State L 5. RANKINGS: Neither ranked. COACHES: Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Craig Robinson, Oregon State. TV: Pac-12 Networks. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies went flat against Utah last Saturday, but have a chance to do something no UW team has done since Bob Houbregs and his teammates were en route to the 1953 Final Four: Begin conference play 4-0 on the road. That Oregon State is 0-5 in the Pac-12 isn’t much of an indicator of what might happen Wednesday night in Corvallis because 0-5 Utah thumped Washington in Seattle.
Despite that defeat, Washington has won eight of its past 10 and 10 of 13, and is in position to produce a 5-1 start for the fourth time in Romar’s 11 seasons. Washington started 7-1 in 2011, 6-1 in 2009 and 6-1 in 2005 and qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of those seasons.
Washington certainly hasn’t enjoyed relative success with its offensive play. The Huskies average 69.2 points per game, their lowest since the 2001 team averaged 67.6. This is also Washington’s worst field goal percentage team (43.6) since the 2003 club shot 43.4 percent.
That may not matter much against Oregon State. The Beavers are the worst team in the Pac-12 in scoring defense, yielding an average of 69.7 points. But two things will matter: While the Huskies allow 65.4 points, Oregon State averages 74.6 and has five players averaging in double figures (Washington has four).
The frontline of Eric Moreland (.612), Joe Burton (.542) and Devon Collier (.531) are third, sixth and seventh, respectively, in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage. No other school in the conference has three players in the Top 15.
Also, Oregon State is back at full strength after Moreland served a three-game suspension for violating team rules. So, according to Romar, the 0-5 league record is as deceptive as Utah’s 0-5.
“They will be a different team than what they showed in the past few games,” said Romar. “Their length bothers us. They beat us in the Pac-12 tournament (In March, the No. 9 Beavers knocked out the No. 1-seeded Huskies 86-84 in the first round). They were up 15 and we came back but didn’t take care of the ball and missed some free throws down the stretch.”
A key for Washington Wednesday night, according to Romar, will be keeping Aziz N’Diaye out of foul trouble.
“When Aziz went out of the game (Pac-12 Tournament), Oregon State went inside and there wasn’t a whole lot we could do with them,” Romar said.
In starting 4-0, Washington held all opponents to less than 40 percent shooting. Utah shot 60 percent Saturday, and Oregon State is the second-best 3-point shooting team in the conference (36.7 percent), trailing only Arizona’s 38.2.
“We weren’t the same team (against Utah) that played four other conference games,” Romar said. “The thing that scares me is when our guys see 0-5 (OSU’s Pac-12 record). But I don’t think focus is going to be an issue.”
SERIES: Dates to Feb. 11, 1904, when the Huskies lost to the Beavers 22-19 in Corvallis. Washington has won 10 of the past 12 meetings dating to 2008, but Oregon State took the most recent meeting in the Pac-12 Tournament in Los Angeles. In that game, Tony Wroten set a UW freshman record with 29 points as UW rallied from 13 points down at halftime, but couldn’t pull it out at the end. The loss proved decisive in Washington failing to make the NCAA Tournament despite winning the conference’s regular-season championship.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (323-207 overall, 230-117 UW) is coming off a year in which the Huskies won the Pac-12 regular-season title. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011). Romar, who signed a 10-year contract extension in April 2011, won his his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16, 2011. He had his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach on Jan. 21, 2012. Romar was selected the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Romar played for the Huskies under head coach Marv Harshman during the 1979-80 seasons (served as team captain his senior year), and had a five-year NBA career with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). He became a college head coach at Pepperdine in 1997, where he coached for three seasons, then spent three years (1999-02) at St. Louis University before taking the Washington job in 2002-03.
2012-13 Washington Statistics
OREGON STATE NOTES: After going 10-2 in non-conference play, the Beavers are 0-5 in the Pac-12 with losses to Oregon (79-66), Arizona State (72-62), Arizona (80-70), UCLA (74-64) and USC (69-68) . . . Oregon State ranks 4th in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (74.6), 12th in scoring defense (69.7), 6th in field-goal percentage (45.3), 11th in free-throw percentage (65.5), 2nd in 3-point shooting (36.7), 3rd in rebounding (38.7), 4th in blocked shots (4.72), 2nd in assists (15.33) and 4th in steals (7.11) . . . The Beavers have five players averaging in double figures, including Roberto Nelson (16.1), Devon Collier (14.4), Ahmad Starks (11.9), Joe Burton (11.1) and Eric Moreland (10.3). Moreland is the conference’s second-leading rebounder (10.9) and ranks third in field-goal percentage (61.2). Nelson ranks No. 2 in 3-point percentage (44.9) . . . The Oregon State roster does not have a player from the state of Washington.
OREGON STATE HEAD COACH: Craig Robinson, just returned from the inauguration of his brother-in-law, is in his fifth season as head coach of the Beavers. Last year, Robinson led the Beavers to their best season in more than two decades — 21-7 overall, 7-11 Pac-12. Robinson began his head coaching career in 2006-07 at Brown University, where he spent two seasons. He also served as an assistant coach at Northwestern from 2000-06. Robinson won 64 games in his first four seasons at Oregon State, more than Slats Gill (57) and Ralph Miller (58) in their first four years. Robinson is a native of Chicago and a Princeton graduate.
COMING UP: The Huskies play at Oregon Saturday and will return to Alaska Airlines Arena Jan. 31 to face the Arizona Wildcats.
University of Washington 2012-13 Schedule
(Rankings From Associated Press)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/11/12||@vs. W. Washington||—||—||W||88-78||0-0|
|11/17/12||*vs. Seton Hall||—||—||W||84-73||2-1|
|11/18/12||*vs. Ohio St.||—||4||L||77-66||2-2|
|11/24/12||vs. Colo. St.||—||—||L||73-55||2-3|
|11/28/12||vs. Saint Louis||—||—||W||66-61||3-3|
|12/13/12||at Seattle U.||—||—||W||87-74||5-4|
|12/15/12||vs. Jackson St.||—||—||W||75-67||6-4|
|12/20/12||vs. Cal Poly||—||—||W||75-62||7-4|
|12/22/12||vs. N. Illinois||—||—||W||67-57||8-4|
|1/23/13||at Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/13||vs. Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/6/13||#Final 4 Semi||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/8/13||#Final 4 Champ.||—||—||—||—||—|
@=Exhibition; *=Hall of Fame Classic; ^=Pac-12 Tournament; #=NCAA Tournament