The Pac-12 opener for Oregon State against the Huskies is almost here. To get ready I interviewed our sister site, The Husky Haul, and asked them to provide some insight for Thursday night’s showdown. UW has been one of the better Pac-12 programs recently and getting a win in Seattle would go a long way to setting the tone for a successful NCAA tourney bid run for OSU. Atleast splitting the series against the Washington schools is essential. OSU probably needs a 20-12 season and 2 wins in the Pac-12 tourney to be likely to get a NCAA bid. A much safer bet would be to get 12 or more wins in conference. Go Beavs! This week is a big opportunity to continue to build the program.
Q: What are the strengths of the UW basketball team?
A: That is still TBD, they have been all over the board in this early season that it is hard to tell exactly which version of the Husky team is the real team. They have been great on defense one night and then terrible another night. They have come out fired up and ready to go and other times it looks like they have forgotten how to play basketball. However, the depth on this team is a real strength, while there is so much youth on the team. There are guys that can play off the bench.
Q: What are the weaknesses?
A: No leadership. Isaiah Thomas left and they lost that veteran leader that helped carry them when the team wasn’t performing well or was needing a boost. There have been glimpses of it from different players this season but no one has really taken on that role yet. Without this, UW struggles with team-chemistry as if they are all waiting and hoping someone else leads the team.
Q: How can OSU win this game against UW?
A: Exploit this lack of leadership. Play disciplined basketball, contain Tony Wroten in the paint, CJ Wilcox from deep, and slow down the game. This would be a recipe for Beaver success.
Q: What are your feelings on how high UW will finish in the Pac-12 basketball standings?
A: This solely depends on which team shows up on the court. Is it the team that took Marquette to the wire? That team could win the Pac-12 without much of a problem. Or is it the team that was run out of their home gym by South Dakota State? That team couldn’t win a game in the Pac-12. This UW team will probably find a way in between those two extremes with a lean towards the better version as they grow and develop. Thus, the top 3-4 in the Pac-12.
Q: Would Lorenzo Romar be on the hot seat much if the Huskies only make the NIT this year?
A: No, he is too seasoned and the majority of the fan base understands he has a young team. Of course, there will be some fans that call for his job (like there are for most teams in that situation) but it won’t happen.
Q: What is your prediction for this game?
A: Washington comes out flat but stays in the game. They even go on a few runs to get ahead of Oregon State and barely scrape out a win. 82-80 UW.
Thanks Husky Haul! I have the game at 84-79 OSU. This should be a fun one to watch!