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Pac-10 Men's Basketball Preview - Washington Huskies

TwistNHook:  So, this should be rough.  We gotta watch out for the OTHER Isaiah Thomas:

• 2010 pre-season Wooden Award candidate.
• Enters the season with 1,134 points in first two seasons, the most by a UW player to start a career.
• 2010 First Team All-Pac-10 and 2010 Pac-10 Tournament Most Outstanding Player.
• Ranks 16th in UW history double-figure scoring in 59 of 69 games, including 18 games with 20+ points.
• 2010-11 UW team captain with Justin Holiday.

What do you guys think about UW this year? 

NorCalNick: I think the Washington will try to do the same thing they tried to do last year:  Run Cal off the court.  It worked once, when the Bears were weary after a tough win in Pullman.  It didn't work quite as well on a Thursday night in Berkeley, but stamina may have been a factor in the Pac-10 tournament championship game.  In any case, Washington's speed and depth will likely be even more effective against a Cal team that is just as lacking on the depth chart as last year, but with significantly less experience and shooting ability.  Last year's Cal team could always stay with Washington because for all of UW's running, Cal's shooting kept things even.  That won't be the case this year.

Even one win against UW would be a pretty big upset.

Kodiak:  UW is the clear frontrunner and favorite to win the league this year.  They have an experienced PG(Thomas), a lock-down defender (Overton), a glue guy (Holiday), returning talent (Gaddy), and a big guy with serious skills (Bryan-Amaning) and touted recruits.(N'Diaye, Ross)  Romar has built this program into a juggernaut.  He recruits athletes, plays an up-tempo style, and lets his guys play fast.  The only X-factor is perhaps their outside shooting and execution in the half-court set.  Otherwise, they have a quick defense that can gamble because of their shot-blocking, a deadly transition game, and plenty of depth on the wings to wear you down.

Unlike last year when we had the experience and scoring to keep up with them, we simply don't match-up very well.  Beating them would require a mind-numbingly improbable upset.  I'd be okay with that - but really don't expect it.

TwistNHook:  KenPom has Washington as the 5th best team in the nation. We're 84th!

If you look at their team page, you'll see that he has them only losing 1 game this year, at Arizona.
He thinks there is an 81% they beat us at home and a 94% chance they beat us up in Seattle.  LET'S BEAT THE ODDS!

Do you guys think there is any team that can beat UW for the Pac10 crown and, if so, whom?

Kodiak:  In the Pac-10 tournament, I think that either Arizona or WSU could get hot and manage an upset.  However, as we saw last year, that only gives a token title to an undeserving usurper.

The _real_ Pac-10 champion is the team that wins the regular season title.  It's hard for me to see any other team being able to put together a sustained run to rival the Huskies this year. 

Avinash:  Ehhh, I'm not quite as sold on Washington as everyone else. Romar's teams never play as good as their talent (they lost to some HORRIBLE teams last season), and I really think they had to ride Quincy Pondexter on their big run in the tournament. So far this season they've lost to every premier opponent they've faced (Kentucky and Michigan State in Maui and Texas A&M in College Station), and I think they'll have similar struggles against elite teams. That up-tempo style works great for blowing the doors off of inferior opponents, but when they have to grind a game out, they look bad, Thomas especially.

Despite our defensive grit inside, the weakness of our perimeter players means they'll probably sweep us--they shoot threes way too well. But don't be surprised if Arizona or if Washington State mucks up their dreams of a Pac-10 title.

They'll win only one of two of the Pac-10 regular season and tournament. And lose in the first round of the NCAAs!