Going to the ZZU: UW vs. WSU preview

USA TODAY Sports

The Huskies head to Pullman to take on the Washington State Cougars Saturday at 3 p.m.

The Matchup: Washington Huskies at Washington State Cougars

Game Info: 2/1/14- 3 p.m. tip off at Beasley Coliseum

TV Info: Pac-12 Networks Radio: Sports Radio KJR 950

Records: UW: 13-8 (5-3 Pac-12) WSU: 8-12 (1-7)

Coach- Ken Bone- Bone is in his ninth year as head coach at the Division 1 level, having spent four years as the head coach at Portland State before joining WSU. Before coaching Portland State he worked as an assistant under Romar from 2002-2005, and spent 12 years as the head coach of Seattle Pacific, where he compiled a record of 253-97. Bone is 155-126 at the D1 level. Don’t forget about his famous fall

Series: UW leads the all time series against the Cougars 177-100. Lorenzo Romar is 15-10 in his career against WSU.

Scouting Report

  • The Cougs are currently tied with USC for last place in the Pac-12. Their lone conference win came in a 49-46 victory over Utah.
  • To be fair they have been without their leading scorer, DaVonte Lacy, in eight out of the last nine games. After suffering from an appendicitis, Lacy missed two games before returning against ASU, where he suffered a rib injury that has sidelined him for six consecutive games. Ken Bone has said Lacy will return against the Huskies barring any setbacks. The junior from Curtis HS (Tacoma) is cousins with former UW point guard Isaiah Thomas.
  • WSU is one of the worst offensive teams in the country, ranking 336th out of 351 Division 1 teams in points per game. Their 62.1 points per game and 41% team shooting percentage makes them one of the worst offenses in the conference, and the nation. Against Arizona, the Cougs scored just seven points in the first half and 25 for the game. In that game, they shot 9-45 (20%) from the field, including 2-12 from three and 5-13 from the free throw line.
  • The Cougars hold six players on their roster from the state of Washington

Players to Watch

DaVonte Lacy- If he plays Lacy will be the player the Huskies have to worry about the most. He is their leading scorer at 17.7 ppg and is one of the few players who pose a real threat for the Huskies. Having never been recruited by the UW, Lacy always seems to have it out for the Huskies and isn’t afraid to take big shots. In his 12 games this season, Lacy has scored double digits in nine, and 20+ in six  If he is healthy enough to go Lacy will provide a big boost to a struggling Cougar lineup.

Que Johnson- A one-time UW recruit, Johnson was a partial qualifier and was forced to redshirt last season. He is the second leading scorer at 10.7 points per game. Johnson doesn’t shoot a great percentage (42%, 36% 3-point) but isn’t afraid to shoot, averaging just under 9 shots a game. He averaged 20 ppg during his senior season at Westwind Prep in Phoenix.  According to his bio he enjoys playing video games,  listening to music and ‘being Que Johnson.’

The Huskies Win If…

They avoid playing down to the Cougars level. WSU is clearly a struggling team and whether Lacy plays or not the Huskies should run away with this one. But it always seems like the Huskies fail to pull away from the Cougars, no matter how much more talented they are. The Cougars aren't a bad defensive team, giving up just 62.1 points per game, but the Huskies are just more talented, and should prove it Saturday. Not much more to it.

Closing Comments

A win today would put the Huskies at 6-3 in Pac-12 play, which would put  them no worse than third place in the Pac-12 . If the Husky want to make a run at getting into the NCAA tournament, this is an obvious must-win game and I think Lorenzo Romar will have his team ready to go. I will take the Huskies 72-57.

Leave your predictions for today’s game in the comments section below.

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