Unless the Huskies can get their act together against nationally ranked Arizona, the Huskies are facing their first four-game losing streak since the middle of the 2008 season.
GAME: Arizona (17-2 overall, 5-2, Pac-12) at Washington (12-8 overall, 4-3, Pac-12). WHEN: Thursday, 6 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 73rd (Arizona leads 44-28). STREAKS: UW L 3; Arizona W1. RANKINGS: Arizona 8 AP, 8 USA Today. COACHES: Sean Miller, Arizona; Lorenzo Romar, Washington. TV: ESPN. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
Washington has not had a four-game losing streak since Jan. 26-Feb. 7, 2008, but is staring at one now after starting the Pac-12 season 4-0. Losers of their past three, the Huskies face a No. 8-ranked Arizona team that ranks third in the conference in both scoring offense (75.5) and scoring defense (62.0) and leads the league in scoring margin (+13.8).
A victory over Sean Miller’s Wildcats would be a big one for the Huskies, who are now projected by statsheet.com, among other college basketball analysis web sites, as a No. 3 seed in the NIT.
During its last four games, Washington registered a quality victory against RPI No. 19 Colorado, but also dropped one against AP No. 16 Oregon and had “bad” losses to RPI No. 159 Oregon State and RPI No. 156 Utah.
Washington struggles against tough competition, with a 5-4 record against the RPI Top 100, a 1-4 mark against the RPI Top 50 and an 0-2 record against AP ranked teams.
While the Huskies feature one quality win (Colorado), they also have four bad losses. In addition to losing to Oregon State and Utah, Washington lost to RPI No. 132 Nevada, and RPI No. 167 Albany, both at home.
This could be an extremely tough week for Washington. After playing Arizona, the Huskies contest Arizona State, the hottest team in the conference. The Sun Devils swept USC and UCLA, pinning a 78-60 loss on the Bruins.
“They really defend you and they have some guys that are really scrappy,” head coach Lorenzo Romar said of Arizona. “They have a perimeter full of junkyard dogs. They are physical and mentally tough.
“The pressure will be on us to make sure we come out and aren’t lethargic, and to make sure that we come out and execute. We have all the respect in the world for Arizona. It’s one of the top programs in the country. But if we don’t come out and do what we’re supposed to do , we can forget it.”
Arizona, which averages 75.5 points, is led in scoring by Mark Lyons (14.9), Solomon Hill (13.5) and Nick Johnson (13.3). In conference play, Lyons is averaging 17.4 ppg and had a season high 24 against Colorado Jan. 3. Brandon Ashley leads the Wildcats in rebounding at 5.8 per game and Johnson leads the conference in steals with 2.21 per game.
Washington has not lost more than six games in a row under Romar since he became head coach in 2002, the year the Huskies dropped six straight. UW also had five-game losing streaks in 2003 and 2004.
Washington has won its last four at home against ranked teams, but hasn’t played a ranked team in Seattle since Dec. 22, 2009 against No. 19 Texas A&M. UW’s last loss to a ranked opponent in Hec Ed was 65-51 vs. No. 14 Stanford Jan. 31, 2008. UW is 33-122 all-time against top-10 ranked teams (30-48 home, 1-53 away, 2-21 neutral), and has a six-game losing streak against top 10 teams, including a 77-66 setback to No. 4 Ohio State last Nov. 18.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 29, 1964, when Arizona won 77-63 victory in the Los Angeles Classic. Washington has won three consecutive games against the Wildcats, its longest winning streak in the series since 2004. In the last meeting, Feb. 18, 2012, Terrence Ross scored 25 points, Tony Wroten added 22 and UW victory cigar Brendan Sherrer started for the first and last time in his career as Washington defeated the Wildcats 79-70 at home.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (323-209 overall, 230-119 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
ARIZONA NOTES: The Wildcats began the season with a 16-game winning streak, which included a victory in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic, before losing to Oregon 70-66 in Eugene Jan. 10. Arizona won two more before dropping an 84-73 decision to UCLA. The Wildcats are coming off a 74-54 win over USC in Tucson. The Wildcats roared to a 29-7 lead and had four players in double figures, including Nick Johnson’s 14 . . .Arizona ranks 3rd in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (75.5), 3rd in scoring defense (62.0), 1st in scoring margin (+13.5), 1st in free throw percentage (75.4), 2nd in 3-point percentage (36.8), 2nd in rebound margin (+8.6) and 1st in 3-pointers made per game (7.74)
ARIZONA HEAD COACH: Sean Miller is in his fourth year as head coach of the Wildcats and is nearing his third 20-win season. Under Miller’s direction, the Wildcats went 30-8 two years ago and 23-12 last season. Miller began his head coaching career at Xavier in 2004-05 and coached there for five seasons, compiling a record of 120-47. He made four NCAA Tournament appearances. Miller is a 1992 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh.
COMING UP: The Huskies host Arizona State Saturday and travel to Los Angeles next week for games against UCLA and USC.
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.||—||—||L||74-66||12-7|
|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