Washington Huskies (15-12, 4-11) at USC Trojans (10-18, 2-14), Sat Feb. 28th, 7:30pm, Pac-12 Networks.
Kemp is apparently still out with a concussion. His absence on Wednesday against UCLA certainly correlated with, if not caused, one of Washington's weakest, most lethargic performances of the season.
Now, only a few days later, UW will play another road game with a starting five of NWG, Andrews, Anderson, Dorsey, and Jarreau. Whenever Jarreau needs to rest (or inevitably finds himself in foul trouble), it'll be the Gilles show alongside Dorsey, who should ideally either be playing on the perimeter or, even more ideally, taking a redshirt season.
The Huskies are simply not a well-built team as they stand today. Perhaps they appeared to be, back when Upshaw was a Husky, Kemp was not concussed, and the opponents were mostly of the non-threatening, non-conference variety.
Unfortunately, the roster as it stood at the beginning of the year lacked any margin for error, so that the departure of one player and a mild injury to another can leave us watching five guards on the floor for significant stretches.
If there is reason to be optimistic, it's rooted in the fact that USC does not equal UCLA. The Trojans have been downright bad, losing 11 of their last 12 games with a lone home win vs. Oregon State on Valentine's Day.
They are one of only two or three Pac-12 teams against which the Huskies, sans Kemp, can be expected to stay remotely competitive on the road. That being said, if we see the same lack of effort tonight that we saw on Wednesday, the quality of opponent will merely determine the margin of defeat.
You can read my full preview and prediction here.
As always, enjoy the game and Go Dawgs!