Last time Washington played Oregon, the result was a sloppy, (by both teams) close loss to the Ducks. Washington is looking to turn the tides this time around, defending its home court tonight at 8:00 PST on ESPN2.
If UW is to beat the Ducks, they cannot expect to have Oregon turn the ball over 23 times, a number that is eight above their season average. Meanwhile, arguable Oregon's best, and smartest, player, E.J. Singler had seven of those turnovers. This won't happen again, and UW needs to be prepared for that eventuality.
This could be an up and down game, as Oregon has the second-fastest pace in the PAC-12, trailing only the blistering UCLA in possessions per 40 minutes. This could actually be a bonus for the Huskies, as all the time spent in transition could help to get open looks from deep for Washington's best player, C.J. Wilcox, or for Scott Suggs, coming off of the best half of his career when he scored 16 points in the second half of UW's loss to USC.
If the game is up and down, look for Andrew Andrews to be manning the point guard position, as his quickness and burst getting to the rim is better suited for a fast-paced game, and has proven to be better for Washington's transition offense than Abdul Gaddy, who relies on strength and deception to get where he wants on the floor and to open passing lanes.
Another thing to look for if the game is fast-paced, is the play of OU's Arsalan Kazemi. Kazemi has the ball-handling skills and smarts to make plays in the open court, which causes some trouble for teams at his size. Something to pay attention to is how well UW picks him up in transition, as he excels in finding open cutting lanes and finding where the ball needs to go.
Every Oregon player mentioned so far has been a senior, and that trend continues with center Tony Woods. Woods will be matched up with Aziz N'Diaye all game long, and it will be an interesting battle between the two athletic big men to see who can grab more boards and finish around the rim, as neither of these players have a semblance of a jump shot. Surprisingly Woods grabs very small amount of rebounds for a 6-11 center, so UW should expect N'Diaye to come out with a large number of rebounds at the end of this game.
Yet another senior contributor (recognizing a pattern?) for Oregon is Carlos Emory, a 6-5 forward. Emory comes off the bench for Oregon, but he has more than the abilities to start, and is third among the Ducks in minutes average. He is the reigning Statsheet PAC-12 Sixth Man of the Week, which goes to show that he has plenty of ability to help his team off the bench.
This will be a difficult game for Washington, one that they could very well win. It will be instrumental to keep any hopes alive for the NCAA tournament, so you all should be watching, as it could turn into a very entertaining up-and-down game.