Today the University of Washington Huskies (14-7, 3-6 Pac-12) tipoff at the University of Oregon Ducks (15-7, 5-4 Pac-12) at Matthew Knight Arena , in Eugene (5pm pst ESPN2). The Huskies are coming off a disastrous road trip to the Bay Area losing a close one to the Cal Golden State Bears in a shootout (90-88) and earlier in the week to Stanford (84-74).
What earlier in the season had been a staunch Husky defense, took a cataclysmic turn in January when 7-foot, shot-blocker, extraordinaire Robert Upshaw was expelled from the team. The Huskeis gave been sorely lacking the inside presence on both ends the court from Upshaw, who lead the team in rebounding at 8.2 per game and lead the nation in blocked shots, at 4.5 per game.
Nowhere, is this more evident than the last 3 games where Utah, Cal, and Stanford averaged 83 points per game in wins over the Huskies. A once staunch defense has slipped in national rankings both in record and defensive stats since their first loss on December 22nd to Stony Brook–losing Upshaw converts that slip into full blown trip down the stairs (and standings).
The Huskies are 3-6 in Pac-12 play, and will need to reach deep inside to find the intestinal fortitude to repeat their performance against the Ducks. January 18th when they won in Seattle 85-77. In that game, they still had Robert Upshaw had his sixth double-double of the season with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
Oregon forward Dillon Brooks went 7-13 from the floor for 16 pts. Brooks was aided from the bench by Dwayne Benjamin who had 15 pts, 5 reb, and 4 asts.
In that game, Oregon had no answer for Huskies Andrew Andrews (21pts, 4 reb) and Nigel Williams-Goss (20pts, 4 reb, 5 ast.). The question will be who replaces the inside production of Upshaw (12reb, 5blk, 10 pts).
Pac-12 Conference Standings
|TEAM||CONF W-L||TOTAL W-L|