Pac-10 Opener: Vs. Oregon State

About Oregon State

Record: 6-5

Pomeroy Rankings: 134th Overall, 192nd Offense, 96th Defense

Best Wins: 64-57 at George Washington

Coach: Craig Robinson, 54-51, 24-23 at Oregon State (2nd season)

Last Season: Huskies won both meetings, 85-59 in Corvallis and 79-60 in Seattle

Key Players:

Seth Tarver: 6-5 Senior Guard/Forward: 13.4 PPG, 5.2 RPG, 3.2 SPG, 2.2 APG

Calvin Haynes: 6-2 Junior Guard: 11.3 PPG, 1.9 APG, 46.3% 3FG

Scouting Oregon State:

Oregon State was a decent team, not great, last year and they returned all of their talent, so most thought they might have a shot at competing for the Pac-10 crown. The problem was that the majority of that talent simply wasn't very talented, at least not by Pac-10 standards. Sure they have some good players who fit the system very well (Tarver, Haynes, Roeland Schaftenaar), but as we saw last year when they played teams that outclassed them in terms of talent (Washington, UCLA) they couldn't keep from getting blown out. Even at home.

They play slow and deliberate, running a Princeton style offense, and play a lot of zone on defense. Luckily, they tend to play a 1-3-1 3/4 court trap and fall back into a 1-3-1 most of the time, and the 1-3-1 doesn't give the Huskies the problems that the 2-3 has. The 1-3-1 applies a lot more pressure on the perimeter, but opens itself up to diagonal passes which can lead to some very easy shots.

Offensively the Beavers do most everything above average, but they turn the ball over. A lot. 26.4% of the time to be exact, which is among the worst in the nation. By comparison UW turns the ball over 17.9% of the time, which is 44th best in the nation. Defensively is the same thing: above average at everything, but on defense they don't have the glaring weakness that they do on offense.

How to Beat Them:

If they play the 1-3-1 zone again, this could be Abdul Gaddy's coming out party. Maybe not in terms of having a big scoring game, but the diagonal pass is something that he's already shown he can do. He could very well have 5-7 assists in this game and force Oregon State out of that defense.

Whatever defense they do play, Quincy Pondexter is going to be the man for the Huskies, per usual. Like most every team the Huskies have played, he's a matchup nightmare for the Beavers. They just don't have a player with the speed, strength and lateral quickness to keep him from filling it up. Isaiah Thomas needs to bust out of his shooting slump soon, but after tweaking his ankle, he's not going to be 100% for this game. Expect Venoy Overton and Abdul Gaddy to get more minutes than usual, and with the Beavers' propensity to turn the ball over as much as they do, Overton may have a field day against them.

Prediction:

Huskies win: 82-65

Kenpom Says:

Huskies win: 74-59, 93% chance of a UW victory.

Viewing: 7:00 PM (Pacific Time) FSN, Bank of America Arena, Seattle WA

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