Oregon (7-7, 0-2) at Washington (10-3, 2-0)
5:30 PT, Bank of America Arena
Media: Fox Sports Northwest
|F||Matt Bryan-Amaning (14.8 ppg, 6.9 rpg, 0.8 apg)||Joevan Catron (16.4 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 apg)|
|F||Aziz N'Diaye (5.3 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 0.2 apg)||Jeremy Jacob (8.3 ppg, 4.7 rpg, 0.7 apg)|
|F||Justin Holiday (12.2 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.8 apg)||E.J. Singler (12.1 ppg, 6.4 ppg, 1.5 apg)|
|G||Venoy Overton (5.8 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 3.9 apg)||Johnathan Loyd (5.3 ppg, 1.9 rpg, 2.0 apg)|
|G||Isaiah Thomas (15.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 4.2 apg)||Malcolm Armstead (6.9 ppg, 2.6 rpg, 3.7 apg)|
Its Happy I Hate Washington Day! We all remember last year's unexpected win in Seattle and how, for a brief week, it made us think that we were actually all good again and stuff. This year, a win would be more than unexpected, it would be a borderline miracle, as this matchup increasingly looks like a matchup between the best and worst of the conference. That said, stranger things have happened. And it the midst of another lost season, nothing would be more satisfying than somehow stealing a win from the Huskies in Seattle.
Washington is hands down the most talented team in the conference, and the talent gap alone will cause Oregon fits. Washington averages almost 90 points a game, while shooting near 50% from the field. They shoot 41% from three, outrebound opponents by five and a half a game, and average only 11 turnovers while forcing 17. If they have one weakness, its from the charity stripe where they hit only 66%.
Washington is lead by guard Isaiah Thomas, who is both their leader in scoring and assists. The offense runs completely through the guards, and they have started two point guards all season. However, Abdul Gaddy tore his ACL in practice this week, so UW will turn to senior Venoy Overton who, while not a great scorer, is one of the best defenders in the conference and was named to the All Pac-10 defensive first team last season. He gets a ton of steals, so we have to do a good job taking care of the ball.
Inside, they rebound the ball really well. Aziz N'Diaye is a banger, while Matthew Bryan-Amaning has emerged as a very good low post playerp getting almost fifteen a game. Justin Holiday is more of a prototypical small forward, and spends a lot of time on the outside. However, all three forwards rebound very well, all at over six boards a game.
The only thing we really have going for us is that Washington's depth really takes a blow with Gaddy's injury, leaving them with only for reserves who play regularly. That said, they are still unquestionably deeper than Oregon, so its likely to have little affect. For example, Portland product Terrance Ross is Washington's seventh man. He would probably be Oregon's best player.
KEYS TO THE GAME:
PRAY: Seriously. I could say that we have to shoot the ball at a 45% clip, but are we even capable of that? To make up for not doing that, we have to get significantly more shots than Washington, meaning we must cause a ton of turnovers in the press AND win the rebounding battle decisively. And Washington is great at both rebounding and not turning the ball over. Even if our defense is great, and theirs is poor, they are still a better offensive team than we are. The fact of the matter is that if we win this game, its much more likely to be about how poorly Washington played. We simply don't have the talent to take a game from them otherwise.