With all the chatter going around a certain football game to be played, against a team of "They-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named," I realized that the UW was opening its basketball season tonight against SPU.
Washington owns the series at 12-0, and the Dawgs won 86-77 the last time these two teams met in 2007.
When it comes to height and athleticism, the Dawgs have the advantage. But this SPU team is scrappy, and they run their sets real well ... you can ask Arizona about that one, as SPU beat the Wildkittens last week, in Tuscon I might add, 69-68 ... talk about embarrassing. Apparently there was quite the SPU Alumni at that game. SPU likes to slow the game down on offense, running it mid-tempo, they like to get the ball inside to 6-11, Andy Poling, and score on the post.
Last week, the Falcons out-rebounded Arizona, and they look to do the same this week against the Dawgs. Under normal circumstances, the Huskies would have the height to compete with the likes of Poling, but Aziz will be sitting this game out, more than likely, as he suffered a concussion a few days ago. That leaves the job of stopping the Falcon's big man from picking up the garbage to Darnell Gant and r-shirt freshman, Desmond Simmons.
The Dawgs will also have to watch out for Falcon sophomore David Downs. The Bellevue Christian product was the GNAC freshman of the year last year, and does a great job running their sets. He can get it inside to the big guy, and can dish it to the Falcon's shooter Jobi Wall, who scored 24 points against the Wildcats last week, shooting 4-8 from behind the arc. If Abdul Gaddy and Tony Wroten Jr. can pressure Downs, get him out of his rhythm, they should be able to force some turnovers and score some points in transition.
If this game speeds up, there is no way the Falcons can keep up with the Huskies. They just aren't athletic enough to score fast. Look for them to slow things down early.
The game is a tough one to predict. The Falcons are no pushover. They have beaten three straight Division I basketball teams (Arizona, Eastern Washington, and Nevada). If the game is close, don't be surprised, the Falcons are a good team, with enough height to compete with anyone ... as long as they can run their offense. Look for the Dawgs to try and speed things up.
The Huskies should win this game easily. Dawgs win, 84-66.
***if you vote for "someone else" tell us who you're more excited to see!