The final road trip of the season begins tonight for the Huskies with a rematch with the Oregon Ducks.
In the first meeting with the Ducks, the Huskies had no answer for Malcolm Armstead and Michael Dunigan. Since then, two big things have changed:
1) Justin Holiday has moved to the starting lineup. The Oregon game was the last game he played in that he didn't start, and since becoming a starter his minutes have gone up, and he has been shutting down Pac-10 players weekly. It will be interesting to see if the much longer Holiday (6-6) draws the assignment on Armstead (5-10), as last meeting Venoy Overton had some trouble keeping him out of the lane. Overton will get his looks, but I'd expect Holiday to match up with Armstead the majority of the time.
2) Matthew Bryan-Amaning has arrived. MBA is playing the best basketball of his career, and as of right now you could make the argument that he's as good as any big man in the conference. Additionally, Michael Dunigan is nursing a hip injury, and won't be in the starting linuep. That's a huge swing in the Huskies favor.
Oregon is a dangerous team, but struggle to put whole games together, and don't play well for long stretches. If a couple of players get hot, they can beat better teams though. Tajuan Porter (perhaps the most overrated player in the conference) is one of those shooters who if he hits 2, he can hit 10, however he's more likely to shoot his team out of the game. He offers virtually nothing aside from shooting 3 pointers, and Isaiah Thomas needs to stay in his face the entire game. If he gets by, that's fine because Porter struggles to shoot inside the arc (.357 from 2 pt.).
Take the Huskies, 82-72.