The last time the Washington Huskies played the Oregon Ducks the standings told a quite different story. Oregon was riding the crest of the Pac-12 wave, on their way to a protected top four seed in the NCAA tournament. All that was before point guard Dominic Artis went down with an injury. Since then the Ducks have lost three of four and are teetering on the edge of being left out of the big dance altogether. Washington hopes to grease Oregon's slide when they play Wednesday night at Hec Edmunson Pavilion.
The Huskies come into Wednesday's game having split their trip to Los Angeles. The Huskies took care of UCLA before losing to USC. The loss to the Trojans dropped Washington to ninth in the Pac-12, as the regular season begins to wane. It is up to Lorenzo Romar and his staff to blend the Huskies' strong and deep backcourt with an emerging frontcourt. A spot of defense would be in order too, as Washington trails the conference in field goal defensive percentage.
Oregon is not without talent, even without their starting point guard. Senior forward E.J. Singler leads the Ducks in scoring and is joined by guard Damyean Dotson, center Tony Woods, and forward Carlos Emory in averaging double figures. Johnathan Loyd, a 5'8" junior, will attempt to fill the shoes left vacant by Artis' injury.
Lorenzo Romar is expected to continue with Shawn Kemp Jr. in the starting lineup. He has been effective there and Desmond Simmons (who Kemp replaced in the starting five) has shown flashes coming off of Romar's bench. Coach Romar hopes that leading scorer C.J. Wilcox comes back strong after a disappointing trip to L.A. Wilcox was averaging 20 points a game earlier in the year, but has dropped to a season low 17.7 points per outing coming into Wednesday's game.
Las Vegas lists the Dawgs as a 2 1/2 point favorite. Since few players in the league appear to matter as much to their team as Dominic Artis, and he isn't available, the view from here is to take Washington and give the points. Use your winnings on a six game plan with the Mariners.
Wednesday's game will be carried on ESPN2 nationally with Dave Pasch and Bill Walton on the call. Locally, the game will be broadcast over the radio by IMG College Sports Network and KJR Sportsradio 950 AM and 102.9 FM with Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton calling the action. Tip is scheduled for 8:05 p.m. P.S.T.