Last week the Washington Huskies played at home against a team that was winless in conference. The Dawgs were a double digit favorite and figured to stay undefeated while showing the Utah Utes who was boss. It didn't work out that way. Utah slapped the Huskies on the nose with a virtual newspaper and got win number one. Tonight the Huskies travel to conference winless Oregon State to see if the outcome can be different.
Though the Huskies have the far superior record, a look at the numbers gives one pause. The Beavers are 45th in the nation in points, 39th in rebounding, 45th in assists, and 82nd in field goal percentage. Every one of those numbers are better than Washngton's.
Oregon State features a balanced attack with five active players (excluding the injured Angus Brandt) averaging in double figures, and 6'10" sophomore forward Eric Moreland hitting the boards at a 10.2/rpg clip. Moreland's rebound total is good for second in the conference.
Where the Beavers struggle is on the defensive end of the floor. They are yielding 74.8 points per game in conference play. Contrast that with Washington, who is giving up only 59.6 points per conference outing. The Huskies, with greater athleticism, should do well if the game turns into a shootout.
Washington guard C.J. Wilcox will try to bounce back after a sub-par effort against the Utes. His 19.1 points per game is third in the Pac-12 and leads the Huskies by a considerable margin. Wilcox, Scott Suggs, and Abdul Gaddy look to spread the Beavers out for scoring chances from the perimeter and with slashes to the hoop. Post presence Aziz N'Diaye will be expected to clog the middle and hold Moreland to a rebounding standoff.
Las Vegas lists the Huskies as a point and a half selection. The Dawgs burned me with their lackluster effort against Utah, but the view from here is to take the Huskies and use your winnings on a fast taxi out of Corvallis.
Tonight's game tips at 8:05 p.m. P.S.T. and can be seen on the Pac-12 Network. The Washington ISP Radio Network is your audio alternative. Sportsradio 950 KJR-AM is the flagship station for that network.