GAME: Oregon (10-3, 1-0, Pac-12) at Washington (7-5, 1-0 Pac-12). WHEN: Saturday, 7 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. MEETING: 290th (Huskies lead 185-104). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ESPN 2: RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
There ought to be a law against holding a college basketball game at 7 p.m. on New Year’s Eve, but Washington (7-5, 1-0) will play its second Pac-12 game of the season at that time at Alaska Airlines Arena, marking the first of two matchups with long-time rival Oregon, a winner of six of its past seven games.
In compiling a 10-3 record against the likes of SE Missouri State, UTEP and Prairie View A&M, Oregon’s most notable win occurred on Nov. 23 when the Ducks defeated Nebraska in Lincoln, 83-76.
Oregon sports the Pac-12’s sixth-best offense (70.8 ppg), but the ninth-worst defense (65.8 ppg). While the Huskies are the No. 2 scoring team in the conference, they also have the worst defense in the league, allowing 74.5 points per game. Among Pac-12 clubs, only Utah (73.8) and Washington permit more than 70 points per contest.
Garrett Sim, a 6-2 senior guard from Sunset High in Portland, is Oregon’s best scoring threat. Although his 12.8 points per game average ranks second on the team, Sim makes more than 55 percent of his shots.
In the preseason media poll, scribes/talking heads picked Washington to finish fourth and Oregon fifth.
RIVALRY: Dates to 1904, when Washington defeated Oregon 19-16 in Eugene. Washington has won five of the past seven between the schools, including a 69-51 victory over the Ducks in last spring’s Pac-10 Tournament. Washington’s longest winning streak in the series is 16 games from 1929-33. Oregon’s longest winning streak is eight games, from 1938-39.
LAST GAME (Washington, Dec. 29): Freshman Tony Wroten scored 26 points with nine rebounds, four assists and just two turnovers, powering Washington (7-5, 1-0) to a 95-80 victory over Oregon State at Alaska Airlines Arena in the Pac-12 opener for both schools. Washington controlled the game early, weathered an Oregon State rally that saw the Beavers cut UW’s lead to 83-80, then raced away for the win. C.J. Wilcox scored 15 points for Washington. Joe Burton led Oregon State with 18. Jared Cunningham, the Pac 12’s leading scorer (entering the game) finished with 15 points, but had just two in the second half.
LAST GAME (Oregon, Dec. 29) At Washington State: Olu Ashaolu scored 23 points and three other Oregon player tallied double figures as the Ducks overwhelmed Washington State in Pullman 92-75. Oregon connected on 69.4 percent of his 2-point tries and on 56.3 percent of its 3-point attempts.
UW STATS/NOTES: By scoring 95 points against Oregon State, Washington is now averaging 81.0 points per game (No. 2 Pac-12) and yielding 74.5 (last Pac-12), a differential of +6.5 . . . Washington is shooting 47 percent overall and 36.9 percent from 3-point range . . . Although Washington commits an absurd amount of turnovers — 14 per game — the Huskies have forced 170, an average of 14.2 . . . With 26 points against Oregon State, Tony Wroten has increased his team-leading scoring average to 16.8, also (as of Thursday night) the top figure in the Pac-12 Conference and just ahead of Jared Cunningham of Oregon State (16.7). Two other Huskes average in double figures, Terrence Ross at 14.7 (No. 6 Pac-12) and C.J. Wilcox at 14.6 (No. 7 Pac-12) . . . Despite coming off the bench exclusively, Desmond Simmons is averaging 6.2 rebounds per game . . . Washington is the 11th-worst free throw shooting team in the conference, making just 63.9 percent (only USC is worse) . . . Washington is the No. 1 rebounding team in the Pac-12, averaging 40.8.
OREGON STATS/NOTES: Oregon produced a 9-3 record during the non-conference portion of its schedule, going 8-1 at home, 1-1 away and 0-1 on a neutral court . . . Brett Kingma is the only Washingtonian on Oregon’s roster. A native of Mill Creek, WA., Kingma attended Jackson High School and led his team to a 23-4 record by averaging 25 points and four steals per game. Kingma, the 2011 Class 4A Player of the Year, selected Oregon over Arizona State, BYU and Washington. Kingma has yet to start a game for the Ducks . . . Oregon sports three double-figure scorers in 6-4 senior guard Devoe Joseph (14.7), 6-2 senior guard Garrett Sim (12.8) and 6-6 junior F E.J. Singler (12.2) . . . Oregon scores 70.8 points per game (No. 6 Pac-12) and allows 65.8 (No. 9 Pac-12), a differential of +5.0 . . . The Ducks make 36.5 percent of their 3-pointers . . . Oregon’s most negative team statistic: 14.0 turnovers per contest.
COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. Romars Huskies have won 166 games since 2004-05 (entering the 2011-12 season), most in any seven-year span in school history. Romar signed a 10-year contract extension last April. He won his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16 when the Huskies defeated UC Santa Barbara.
Dana Altman: Altman is in his second season as head coach of the Ducks and in his 23rd as a head coach with other stops at Creighton, Kansas State and Marshall. In his first season at Oregon, Altman led the Ducks to just the 12th 20-win season in the history of the program. Oregon went 21-18 overall and 7-11 in conference play. Altman posted the second-highest win total of any first-year UO head coach. Only John Warren (30 wins in 1944-45) posted more in his first year on the sidelines. Altman has been a Coach of the Year in three conferences: Missouri Valley, Big Eight and Southern.
ART THIEL’S TAKE: Whoa. Tony Wroten. Has he added some cool to his adolescence? Mature, poised, smart, controlled. That’s how he looked against Oregon State Thursday. His role in the Pac-12 opener for Washington was a breakthrough moment in his brief Huskies career.
Because he’s so talented, Wroten’s every move is under scrutiny. Probably too much, but it comes with the talent. Now he’s pulled it together for one in a row. Let’s see if two in a row comes as easily against the Ducks. Washington 83, Oregon 77.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: The Ducks don’t rebound much (no player is even averaging five per game), but they shoot effectively, evidenced by the manner in which they lit up Washington State in Pullman on Thursday.
Statistically, the Ducks also play better defense than Washington, although, like the Huskies, Oregon has played several less-than-stellar opponents. Discounting Washington State, Oregon has one quality win — at Nebraska. I don’t think they’ll get another one Saturday night at Alaska Airlines Arena. Washington 85, Oregon 72.
COMING UP: After Washington plays Oregon, the Huskies travel to Colorado (Jan. 5) and Utah (Jan. 7) for their first basketball matchups with the new Pac-12 members. The Huskies return to Alaska Airlines Arena on Jan. 10 to host Seattle University.
University of Washington 2011-12 Schedule/Results
(Rankings Are Current)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/4/11||vs. Seattle Pacific||—||—||W||77-60||0-0|
|11/12/11||vs. Georgia State||—||—||W||91-74||1-0|
|11/13/11||vs. Florida Atlantic||—||—||W||77-71||2-0|
|11/20/11||at Saint Louis||—||—||L||77-64||3-1|
|11/25/11||vs. Houston Baptist||—||—||W||88-65||4-1|
|12/2/11||at Nevada||—||—||L||76-73 (OT)||4-2|
|12/16/11||vs. UC Santa-Barbara||—||—||W||87-80||5-4|
|12/18/11||vs. South Dakota St.||—||—||L||92-73||5-5|
|12/22/11||vs. Cal-State Northridge||—||—||W||74-50||6-5|
|12/29/11||vs. Oregon State||—||—||W||95-80||7-5|
|1/10/12||vs. Seattle U.||—||—||—||—||—|
|1/15/12||vs. Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|1/26/12||at Arizona St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/12/12||at Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|