GAME: Washington (12-7, 5-2 Pac-12) at Arizona State (6-13, 2-5 Pac-12). WHEN: Thursday, 5:30 p.m., Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe. MEETING: 73rd (series tied 36-36). RANKINGS: Neither team ranked. TV: ROOT Sports. RADIO: KJR 950 AM, 102.9 FM.
From a record standpoint, there is no team Lorenzo Romar likes playing more than Arizona State. Romar is 16-5 (.761) against ASU since becoming UW’s head coach in 2003, his best winning percentage against a Pac-12 team.
In its last 19 meetings with the Sun Devils, Washington is 16-3. That includes a run of 11 consecutive UW wins from 2004-08.
Arizona State has struggled this season, losing players and eight of its last 10 games. Not only are the Sun Devils offensively challenged — they average just 62.4 points per game (Washington averages 78.0) –they do not have a single scorer among the Pac-12’s top 10 (Washington has three).
Worse for ASU is that Trent Lockett, the team’s top scorer (No. 11 in the Pac-12) has a bad ankle and may not play.
The Huskies will be looking for their second road win of the season. Washington’s only away victory was Jan. 7 at Utah (57-53). ASU, like Utah, likes to slow down the tempo and will try to force Washington to beat them from distance.
C.J. Wilcox, UW’s best 3-point shooter (44.0 percent) won’t be available for the fourth consecutive game (stress fracture).
SERIES: Dates to Nov. 28, 1977, when Washington defeated Arizona State 68-62 at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. Washington has won the past three meetings in the series and five of the past seven. In the last game between UW-ASU, the Huskies won 79-62 in Tempe, as Matthew Bryan-Amaning scored 22 points and pulled down 12 rebounds.
LAST GAME (Washington, Jan. 21): Tony Wroten drove relentlessly to the hoop for 21 points, Terrence Ross added 18 and senior Darnell Gant 17 as Washington ripped Stanford 76-63 to give Romar his 300th career coaching victory and his 100th conference triumph. UW freshman Austin Seferian-Jenkins, a tight end on the football team, made his college basketball debut and grabbed seven rebounds before fouling out.
LAST GAME (Arizona State, Jan. 21): Carrick Felix led Arizona States with 13 points while Kyle Cain and Jordan Bachynski added 10 points apiece but it wasn’t enough in 64-43 loss to Utah. Arizona State (6-13, 2-5) scored its fewest points this season after shooting just 32 percent from the field in the second half. Cedric Martin scored 17 points and Chris Hines added 14 as the two combined to hit nine 3-pointers to lead Utah.
UW STATS/NOTES: Washington continues to rank No. 2 (behind Oregon State’s 82.7) in scoring offense at 78.0 ppg, but has slipped to 12th (last) in scoring defense, allowing 72.3, for a scoring margin of +5.7 . . . Washington has slipped to 11th in the conference in free throw shooting at 61.8 percent and to sixth in field goal percentage at 45.6 . . . The Huskies also continue to lead the conference in rebounding at 40.6 per game (only team in the league grabbing 40+ rebounds per contest . . . Tony Wroten (16.8 ppg) is the No. 2 scorer in the Pac-12, a full point behind Oregon State’s Jared Cunningham . . . Wroten has shot 33 percent of the UW’s free throws this season (144 of 434) . . . Aziz N’Diaye ranks No. 2 in the league in rebounding at 8.1 per game. Terrence Ross is No. 6 on that list, averaging 6.5 . . . Ross is also the only Pac-12 player ranked in the top 10 in both scoring and rebounding . . . The Feb. 2 game against UCLA will be Romar’s 500th as a college head coach.
ARIZONA STATE STATS/NOTES: The Sun Devils rank 10th in the Pac-12 in scoring offense at 62.4 and seventh in scoring defense at 65.6 . . . ASU is the No. 4 field goal percentage team in the conference at 46.8 . . . The Sun Devils also rank third in 3-point shooting at 37.2 percent . . . The Sun Devils are 12th in the league in turnover margin at 5.47 . . . ASU does not have a scorer ranked in the top 10 in the conference, Trent Lockett coming in at No. 11 with a 13.9 ppg average. The 6-4 Lockett is also ASU’s best shooter, making 54.7 percent, but may not play due to an ankle injury . . . Former ASU great Fat Lever will have his No. 12 jersey retired at halftime of the UW-ASU game.
COACHES: Romar is in his 10th season as Washingtons head coach. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times, and has won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011). Romar, who signed a 10-year contract extension in April of 2011, won his his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16, 2011, when the Huskies defeated UC Santa Barbara. He won both his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach when the Huskies 76-63 on Jan. 21.
Herb Sendek: A 1985 graduate of Carnie-Mellon (PA.), Sendek is in his 19th season as a college head coach and his sixth at Arizona State. Sendek has coached three 20-win teams at ASU, in 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10. In addition to his ASU tenure, Sendek has been the head man at Miami of Ohio (1993-96) and North Carolina State (1996-06). He has been the Mid-American Coach of the Year (1994-95), ACC Coach of the Year (2003-04) and Pac-10 Coach of the Year (2009-10). He was also a finalist for national Naismith Coach of the Year (2001-02).
ART THIEL’S TAKE: Romar said this week he never would have believed it had he been told at the beginning of the season that he would have a shortage on the perimeter. But with the continuing absences of Wilcox and Scott Suggs, Romar has been force to put Dez Simmons, a forward, on the perimeter for a few minutes lately. It hasn’t been fatal, but they have played a pure zone team like ASU that dares them to win.
But thanks to injuries, flunkouts and bad attitudes, ASU is far more shorthanded. And they will be shorter after Seferian Jenkins gets done with them. The Sun Devils will sit back in a zone and hope Washington freezes up. Not this time. Washington 69, Arizona State 58.
STEVE RUDMAN’S TAKE: Washington stayed in the Pac-12 race by toppling Stanford Saturday (UW is 1/2 game out of first), and now has a good shot af collecting its second road win. Arizona State (6-13) is plodding through a bad year and doesn’t have much offense.
On the other hand, Washington features the Pac-12’s worst defense and one of the worst free throwing shooting teams in the conference. After UW recorded its only road win of the year (at Utah), Abdul Gaddy said the Huskies “grew up a lot” with that victory and had learned how “to grind out wins.” We’ll see. Washington 82, ASU 78.
COMING UP: Washington returns to Alaska Airlines Arena to play the Los Angeles schools, UCLA on Feb. 2 and USC on Feb. 4.
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.||—||—||W||91-83||10-6|
|1/15/12||vs. Washington St.||—||—||W||75-65||11-6|
|1/26/12||at Arizona St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/12/12||at Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/12||vs. Arizona State||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/25/12||at Washington St.||—||—||—||—||—|