Showdown for Pride in Pullman as Dawgs meet Cougs

Feb 26, 2010, 3:34 PM | Updated: Apr 5, 2011, 11:20 am

The Washington Huskies travel to Pullman to meet their interstate rivals the Washington State Cougars on Saturday at 7PM (PST). The game is really the Huskies last chance at securing an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament without winning the Pac-10 Tourney. If the Dawgs (8-7 in league play, 18-9 overall) can win their last three games at WSU, Oregon and Oregon State, then go to the Pac-10 Tourney in LA and win two games they will finish at 23-10 overall, with an 11-7 record in the Pac-10.

Normally that would be a shoe-in for an at-large bid, regardless to where the Dawgs finished in the Pac-10 standings, but this is a very different year. I would think that a 23 win Husky team would get in, despite the pundits who feel that only ASU and Cal still have a chance at an at-large bid. With Cal beating ‘Zona last night and ASU coming back to beat Stanford, UW’s only hope really is 2nd place. At this point to Husky fans it doesn’t matter much who wins between the Bears and Sun Devils on Saturday, but the best they could hope for would be a tie with Cal and ASU.

That would require ASU and Stanford beating the Bears, while the Huskies win out and ASU losing both games to the LA schools next week in Tempe. USC would also have to lose to either Arizona or Oregon State, other wise they would be tied with UW and win the tie-breaker, having swept the Dawgs this season. To beat the tie breaker, can’t be done for UW, as even if they were to win out and see the Bears and ASU fall twice, there would only be a team above USC in the standings that UW swept if OSU beats the Trojans, Cougars and Huskies.

There is no way that Washington can be the #1 seed in the Pac-10 tournament and the chances of grabbing a piece of 1st place are slim, but winning all three games on the road to end the season and potentially playing their way into the NCAA Tourney by winning two in the Pac-10 would be a great accomplishment and I believe that it would be enough to get an invite. How UW is going to take the Cougars down on Saturday in very big question, as Washington has been horrible on the road this season.

Their last game against Stanford brought hope, but the loss to USC in Seattle last Thursday dashed those dreams. UW has to pick them selves off the mat and beat a hungry bunch of Cougs who really want to beat them and showed remarkable signs of life in their win over USC on Saturday. Keeping Klay Thompson from breaking out of his slump is going to be the key to victory for Washington. After that UW needs to keep Reggie Moore from exacting revenge from the embarrassment that he and the Crimson and Gray endured in Seattle.

Both teams have had 6 days off and plenty of time to game plan for each other. It is going to be a game in which not only will the players be competing hard, but the coaches in Lorenzo Romar and Ken Bone, will be tested as well. Which coach will game plan better? Bone knows Romar and Romar definitely knows Bone. WSU assistant Curtis Allen played for Lorenzo. Husky assistant Jim Shaw coached with Bone on the UW staff and Bone recruited Quincy Pondexter and has faced him in each of the last 4 years.

Reggie Moore wanted to go to UW and still has quite a chip on his shoulder, more than likely, that he was not able to. The same could possibly be said about DeAngelo Casto, who is another player that could provide WSU with a way to win. It’s going to be a classic UW/WSU slugfest and both teams would seem to have plenty to play for, despite being all but eliminated from Pac-10 title contention.

Yesterday we spoke about two 2013 UW recruits, D.J. Fenner of Seattle Prep and Maurice Kirby of Arizona. ESPN came out with their 1st feature on 2013 kids. Neither Fenner nor Kirby were listed in a top-15 that was compiled, but UCLA transfer Drew Gordon’s younger brother Aaron was on the list. Drew, who will continue his D1 career at New Mexico, was hotly recruited by Washington and it just may be that this time around UW might just get one of the Gordon’s.

GU Clinches WCC Title

Gonzaga clinched their 10th straight WCC title by beating Santa Clara in Spokane on Thursday 88-51.

Steven Gray went wild for the Zags with 26 points on 10-12 from the floor and outscored the entire SCU team in the 1st half. It was a complete blow-out by Gonzaga who face San Francisco in what Bulldog blog described as a “revenge date”.

Pac-10 Round Up

Cal is closing in on the Pac-10 title, its 1st conference title since 1960. The Bears took out ‘Zona on Thursday in Berkeley CA 95-71.

For Cal it was their 4 senior stars led by Jerome Randle with 24 points and 7 assists, followed by Jamal Boykin with 20 and 10 boards. Theo Robertson went for 18 on 6-9 from the field and Patrick Christopher added 14 with 7 rebounds.

The ‘Cats big guns were kept relatively quiet, except for Pac-10 Freshman of the Year candidate Derrick Williams who scored 17. Cal will now face ASU for conference supremacy on Saturday at 12 noon (PST), while ‘Zona will go to Stanford for a 4PM tip-off also on Saturday.

Randle with 1,726 career points at Cal needs 51 points to pass Sean Lampley (1998-2001) as the school’s all-time leading scorer.

ASU kept pace with Cal by coming back to beat Stanford 68-60 on Thursday in Palo Alto CA.

Eric Boateng was the story for the Sun Devils as the big 5th year senior center went 11-11 from the field, finishing with 24 points. Derek Glasser added 20 more and red-hot Ty Abbott had a sub-par 10 point outing in the win. For the Cardinal Landry Fields led the way with 19, while senior PG Drew Shiller, usually not a top scorer added 16.

Oregon surprised USC in LA on Thursday 54-44, as Tajuan Porter broke out of his miserable slump to lead all scorers with 16 points. LeKendric Longmire, back from academic suspension added 13 for Oregon, who have the talent to be a dangerous spoiler, as USC found out. The Ducks could be a sleeper team in the Pac-10 tournament, as they seem to play better away from famed Mac Court, where next week the Washington schools will make their appearances for the last time.

For USC it was a dreadful 5-17 shooting night by Marcus Johnson that led them with 12 points as the Ducks found a way to disrupt the explosive senior wing. Alex Stepheson chipped in 10 points and 13 rebounds for the Trojans, while Mike Gerrity delivered 6 assists while scoring nada on 0-7 from the field in another telling stat.

The Ducks will travel to Pauley Pavilion to meet UCLA on Saturday at 2PM (PST). Oregon beat the Bruins in overtime in Eugene earlier in the year. USC will host the Beavers at 4:30PM on Saturday. :

OSU lost to the Bruins on Thursday in Westwood, CA 65-56, as Tyler Honeycutt did everything but sell popcorn with 18 points to lead all scorers, 10 boards and more blocks than everyone else in the game combined with 5.

Nikola Dragovic scored 14 for UCLA followed by Malcolm Lee with 13. Calvin Haynes led the Beavers with 14 and freshman Joe Burton was very impressive off the bench with 13 points and 12 rebounds. Both teams were impressive, as UCLA is starting to get much better play from it’s young players in Honeycutt, Lee and Reeves Nelson (who say out with eye problems) of late and the Beavers have a very impressive defensive capability led by outstanding senior Seth Tarver.

Lathen Wallace also scored 11 for OSU, but missed some important open three looks down the stretch which could have given the Beavers a much better chance to squeeze out a win. Haynes and Wallace will combine with super prospect Roberto Nelson next year and Burton will take over well for senior post Roeland Schaftenaar as OSU should continue to improve as a program.

They may also be a very important player in this season’s Pac-10 race and will not be an easy out for Washington to end the year in Corvallis.

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