Conference: West Coast
Pomeroy Rankings: 44rd Overall, 45th Offense, 141st Defense
Best Win: 61-56 vs. Minnesota (nuetral court)
Coach: Erik Reveno 43-61 (4th season)
Nik Raivio: 6-4 Senior Guard: 14.8 PPG, 6.4 RPG
T.J. Campbell: 5-9 Senior Guard: 14.6 PPG
Portland makes their money from long range. They're as good a 3 point shooting team as the Huskies will see this year, on the level of Cal. They play a deliberate pace and get their shot, and have some big bodies who are capable of getting offensive rebounds if not sealed off. Defensively they do not have the athleticism to shut their opponents down, and that side of the ball is their real weakness.
How to Beat Them:
People have been critical of Venoy Overton to this point in the season, but against a team that is as good on the perimeter as Portland is, he is going to need to crank up the intensity on defense. I wouldn't be shocked to see a healthy dose of Justin Holiday in this game as well, because his length on the outside will be useful in defending the three pointer. Quincy Pondexter will again be asked to match up against larger players on defense, and we can only hope that it resembles more closely the first half of last week's game (when he used his quickness to create turnovers) than the second (when he was overpowered for easy layups).
On offense the Huskies need to work on running more of a team style rather than Isaiah Thomas and Pondexter playing one on one all game. Both of those players should be drawing the defense in and yielding to the open man, be it another interior player for a layup (or foul) or kicking it out for an open look. Elston Turner needs to bounce back from his poor shooting night and knock down some shots. If either he or Scott Suggs can do that consistently it will space the floor and make Thomas and Pondexter all the more deadly.
Huskies win: 82-76
Kenpom says: 78-69 Huskies, UW with an 81% chance of victory.
Viewing: 7:00 PM, FSN