The Huskies (2-1) take on Indiana for the first time since 1979 when the teams meet at Madison Square Garden in New York in the championship rounds of the 2K Sports Classic.
GAME: Indiana (4-0 overall, 0-0 Big Ten) vs. Washington (2-1 overall, 0-0 Pac-12). WHEN: Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Madison Square Garden, New York. TYPE: Non-conference, 2K Sports Classic. MEETING: 4th (Indiana leads 2-1). RANKINGS: Neither school ranked. COACHES: Tom Crean, Indiana; Lorenzo Romar. TV: ESPN2. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies will appear in New York’s Madison Square Garden for the third consecutive year Thursday night (6:30 PT) when they play the first of two in the championship rounds of the 2K Sports Classic. In two previous showings, in the 2012 NIT semifinals and 2011 Jimmy V Classic, the Huskies had three narrow defeats.
In March, the Huskies lost in overtime, 68-67, to Minnesota. The year before, Washington lost to Marquette, 79-77, and to nationally ranked Duke, 86-80.
But Thursday night might not be as close. UC Irvine defeated the Huskies handily at Alaska Airlines Arena last week, and UW struggled to overcome a 10-point deficit and defeat lower-tier Eastern Washington. Although evidence is emerging that this won’t be one of Romar’s better teams, especially with forward Jernard Jarreau out for the year (ACL), Indiana coach Tom Crean maintains a healthy respect for the Huskies.
“Their speed and transition game is the best we have watched on film and the best we will see in a long time,” Crean said. “They get the ball out of bounds really quick. They attack and do a great job off of one pass, getting the ball ahead and attacking the rim. They want to play fast. They don’t spend a lot of time in the half court. The ball gets swung a couple times and they are going to the rim or shooting a three.
“C.J. Wilcox is playing at a high level. Nigel Williams-Goss is an excellent freshman guard. He was a national level recruit and we saw him a lot. Their big guys are good inside. Shawn Kemp Jr. is playing well. Perris Blackwell is solid. They are scoring a lot of points. They have had some good games and some close games. They are an extremely fast team that is very aggressive in half-court defense as well.”
Indiana (38th in RPI) features four double-digit scorers, led by Kevin Ferrell, averaging 19.5, and Noah Vonleh, 14.8 points and 12.5 rebounds.
Although Wilcox leads Washington with a 20.3 average, the team’s newcomers, including transfers Blackwell, Mike Anderson and Gilles Dierickx, along with freshmen Nigel Williams-Goss and Darin Johnson, have made impacts.
Combined, the five have accounted for 62 percent of the Huskies’ scoring and 54 percent of their rebounding. Williams-Goss, Blackwell, Johnson and Anderson are four of the team’s top six scorers while Anderson and Blackwell are the top two rebounders.
After playing Indiana Thursday, the Huskies will take on the winner of Connecticut-Boston College Friday at a time to be determined.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 29, 1966, when the Huskies defeated the Hoosiers 81-79 in the Far West Classic in Portland. They also met twice in 1978 in back-to-back games, but in different tournaments. Indiana won 73-56 Dec. 19 in the Hoosier Classic and 71-57 Dec. 27 in the Far West Classic.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (332-218 overall, 239-130 UW) is coming off a year in which the Huskies finished 18-16 overall and ended the year with a loss to Brigham Young in the National Invitation Tournament. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011).
2012-13 Washington Regular-Season Statistics
University of Washington 2013-14 Schedule
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/6/13||@vs. Cent. Wash||—||—||W||95-65||0-0|
|11/10/13||vs. Seattle U.||—||—||W||88-78||1-0|
|11/14/13||vs. UC Irvine||—||—||L||86-72||1-1|
|11/17/13||vs. E. Wash||—||—||W||92-80||2-1|
|12/30/13||vs. L. Beach St.||—||—||—||—–||—|
|12/8/13||vs. SD State||—||—||—||—–||—|
|12/14/13||vs. Idaho St.||—||—||—||—–||—|
|12/27/13||vs. Miss. Valley||—||—||—||—–||—|
|3/18-19/14||NCAA 1st 4||—||—||—||—–||—|
|3/20-23/14||NCAA 2nd, 3rd||—||—||—||—–||—|
@=Exhibition; *=2K Sports Classic; ^=Pac-12 Tournament