Preview: Arizona vs. UW


Arizona Wildcats (27-6, 14-4) vs. Washington Huskies (22-10, 11-7)

Stars: F Derrick Williams and G Kyle Fogg

Location: Los Angeles, CA (Staples Center)

Time: 3:00 PM (PDT)


Radio: 950 AM

Arizona and Washington were expected to be the best two teams going into the season. Arizona has been solid all season long, while Washington has had many ups and downs, on the court and off, which led Lorenzo Romar to say that this was his most challenging year as UW’s coach. However, UW has seemingly corrected their issues and are riding a hot streak into the PAC-10 championship game against regular season champion, Arizona.

These teams split against each other during the year, and UW almost pulled off a huge upset in Tucson less than a month ago, losing by one point. Derrick Williams had a blocked shot at the end of the game that was later under scrutiny for possibly being goal-tending. In the first contest, when Arizona traveled up to UW, the Huskies were able to win by 17 points.

The strength of UW is that they have a far deeper team than Arizona. UW has three players averaging over 10 points a game, and Isaiah Thomas and Matthew Bryan-Amaning both average 16+. Their newest combination for starting lineup of Thomas, Bryan-Amaning, CJ Wilcox, Terrence Ross, and Justin Holiday seems to be working as Terrence Ross has had 17 and 13 points, Wilcox with 16 and 14 and Thomas has carried the team in assists with 11 and 12 in the past two games.

Arizona, on the other hand, has only Derrick Williams that averages over 10 points a game but it is a staggering 18.9 and is averaging over 20 points a game in the PAC-10 tournament. Though to be fair, there are guys on the Arizona roster that can score. For example Kyle Fogg scored 20 against Oregon to end the regular season. However, most of Arizona’s scoring goes through Derrick Williams and it has been that way all season long.

This game is going to be a hard fought game regardless of the fact that both teams should have a birth into the NCAA tournament. Arizona is showing that they do not want to share their PAC-10 title with anyone, and are ready to fight anyone that is trying to take it from them.

While UW is the defending PAC-10 tournament champions and are looking to repeat again this year, to launch them into the NCAA tournament with plenty of momentum. Could come down to the last basket, once again…

Keys to Success for the Huskies:

  1. Bench Points- Their success against the Ducks came off the bench, look for them to test Arizona’s depth.
  2. Create Opportunities- UW needs to find ways to score inside and out, and if it takes time off the shot clock, that is fine.
  3. Shut down Derrick Williams- They were able to limit EJ Singler from the Ducks, now they need to shut down Williams, which is a chore.