The Huskies have a mammoth of a task ahead of them the Arizona Wildcats. After losing a pair of games to Cal and Colorado, the Wildcats bounced back slightly with a narrow win over bottom dwelling Utah. The Huskies should be fearful of Wednesday’s match-up as the the rivalry always brings out the best of both teams and the Wildcats are much more equipped than the Dawgs.
Last time around the Wildcats scrapped together a 4 point victory over the Dawgs despite a number of turnovers and overall poor shooting. Luckily for the Wildcats, the Huskies were even worse on both ends of the court with 1 of 12 shooting outside the arc and 17 turnovers for the game. Aziz N’Diaye was the lone “bright” spot for the Huskies with 10 points and 11 rebounds. Nick Johnson of the Wildcats locked down C.J. Wilcox the entire night and the star shooter struggled to find any success on the court.
The Huskies have not played well lately, but neither have the Wildcats. The Key to a UW victory is finding an offensive rhythm that can produce more than 70 points. It seems as though the Huskies can either play great defense and hold a team under 65 points, but commit numerous turnovers and lack any offensive conviction, or they can completely light up the court, but allow just as many points defensively. The Dawgs have not been able to put together a complete performance this season where everything falls into place. More often than not a high scoring game for the Dawgs has resulted in a victory thus the critical nature of Wilcox hitting shots early and guys like Shawn Kemp and Andrew Andrews also finding the bottom of the net during the early goings of the game.
Another big problem that has faced the Dawgs in these previous loses has been getting in a big hole during the opening minutes of play. The Huskies have found themselves down double digits within the first few minutes only to have to fight and claw their way back to an even score for the next 30 minutes leaving victory all but an impossibility. If the Dawgs want to take down Arizona on the road they cannot afford to let the game escape them during the first half. The Huskies must also quiet the crowd early on with offensive execution and perhaps a highlight play or two.
A victory over #12 Arizona on the road could be a nice resume booster for the Dawgs, but is most certainly not enough to guarantee a tournament berth. This game could also provide an excellent moral booster for a struggling squad with little to be proud of on the season. As things stand, the outlook for Wednesday’s game is grim, but there is always hope in college basketball.