Jim O'Connor-US PRESSWIRE
Time to forget the last loss against Colorado State even happened. If you are asking "What loss?" then you have no need to worry because you are ahead of the curve with your amnesia. Thank goodness I missed it. I feel sorry for anyone who had the displeasure of sitting through the game. It really sucks for you. Good news! I had a date the other night! Good news for me, I really don't know why you would care but whatever, I like to brag about it. Bet you weren't thinking about the loss; you forgot it even happened for several seconds while you read the statement about my date. I had a date with a girl! A pretty girl! I gave her a stuffed husky!
Speaking of Huskies, the Washington Huskies basketball team takes on the Saint Louis Billikens at Alaska Airlines Arena Wednesday Night. Last season the two teams played in Saint Louis and the Charm Dolls won. I always thought Huskies were cuter than a fat dude sitting down but the judges sided with the Dolls, garnering a score of 77/100 versus a 64/100 for the Huskies.
The Dawgs come in reeling, having lost their last two and three of their last four. Their lone win of that stretch came in overtime against Seton Hall.
Taking a look at Saint Louis, they are 3-2 with half of their losses coming against the Kansas Jayhawks. The Jayhawks tend to be very good and it would have been a shocker had any sort of mid-major school knocked them off. The Billikens did defeat a power-conference team in the Texas A&M Aggies in blowout-fashion, winning 70-49. Texas A&M has a player by the name of Elston Turner. Turner was a player for the Huskies at some point in his collegiate career until he transferred.
Junior guard Mike McCall Jr. is a player who could cause the Huskies problems defensively. He is a 6' point guard who averages almost 37 minutes per game. He can shoot from deep and can also get inside, scoring 11 ppg while shooting an impressive albeit unsustainable 54% from deep. The Huskies have had trouble with small guards and this matchup has the potential to have the same outcome. He leads his team in assists per game at 3.8, but is second in assist percentage at 23.2%. Assist percentage (A%) is the percentage of his teammate's baskets a player assisted while he is on the floor.
The leading scorer for Saint Louis is Dwayne Evans, a 6-5 junior forward. Evans does most of his damage inside, as he has attempted only five three-point attempts this year with only a single one falling. He gets to the foul line at an impressive rate, notching 31 attempts to only 37 field goal attempts. He has a top-40 Free Throw Rate (FGA/FTA) which means he shoots a lot of free throws relative to his total shot attempts. Aziz N'Diaye is still better at getting to the line -maybe by accident considering his percentage once he reaches the line) with an absurd 121.4 FTR. That means N'Diaye attempts more free throws than shots from the field. Teams are fouling N'Diaye very, very frequently just because of his atrocious shooting.
Evans is a monster on the glass. He averages 7.4 per game, with close to three of them coming of the offensive variety. Look for him to have an impact on the glass similar to what DeShaun Thomas did for Ohio State. He is obviously not the equal of Thomas, but he could have a similar effect, though to a lesser extent.
The main big for Saint Louis is Rob Loe, a 6'11" junior. Offensively he floats around the perimeter, which will make the minutes of N'Diaye a major question mark. The best way to keep him on the floor with a three-point shooting big man on the other team would be to switch to a zone, but Romar likes his man-to-man defense and probably will not stray from that, so look to see how the team makes up for the loss of N'Diaye in the middle, whether he is on the floor or not.
Loe does not grab many rebounds for a guy his size, garnering only 2.2 rebounds total per game, with none of them coming on the offensive end, an obvious byproduct of his three-point shooting ways (7-20). He hasn't blocked a shot yet or gotten a steal yet, so he doesn't seem to be an impact player defensively.
Another forward for the Billikens is Cody Ellis, a 6-8 senior forward. He grabs over four rebounds a game and is the second-leading scorer on his team. He is another tall guy who can shoot, as he is 9-30 on the season from deep. Not great, but good enough for the coach to allow him to take six per game.
Saint Louis is an experienced team that is balanced and may pose some matchup problems for a struggling Washington team. Fans may be in for another long night Wednesday.