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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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March 7, 2008 8:09 AM

Cursed by the Cougars?

Posted by Bob Condotta

UPDATE 12:45 P.M.--- HOLIDAY AVAILABLE TO PLAY: I don't want to interrupt the thread here with a new post, but wanted to pass along that UW coach Lorenzo Romar said today that Justin Holiday will be avaiable to play tomorrow against WSU. He hasn't played since the UCLA game Feb. 10 when he was emerging as a valuable reserve defender on the perimeter, suffering a sprained knee and ankle in practice. He went through a full practice Thursday for the first time. Romar said everything else with the team is status quo.

ORIGINAL POST --- I wrote today about Washington State's six-game winning streak over the Huskies.

Not a particularly fun topic for UW fans, I realize --- nor original --- but impossible to ignore.

UW doesn't have any other current losing streaks in Pac-10 play longer than two (USC and Stanford) and hasn't lost more than four straight games to any other team since Lorenzo Romar took over (UCLA during his first two years as coach).

The reason seemed obvious early --- WSU played a deliberate style that emphasized defense that frustrated the Huskies (though interestingly, in the first two wins of the series, WSU scored 78 and 77 points, two of its three highest point totals of the 2005-06 season, seeming to beat the Huskies at their game rather than the other way around).

But the styles of the two teams aren't so divergent anymore. The Cougars have increased their tempo under Tony Bennett and are averaging 64.2 points per game in Pac-10 play, while the Huskies have decreased theirs due to changes in personnel in the post-Brandon Roy era, and are averaging 69.1 points this year --- nowhere near the 20-plus difference in the two teams' scoring averages of years past. (There is a greater difference in points allowed, with WSU at 59 and UW at 70).

In fact, if you use field goal percentage defense as your main avenue for judging a defense --- and you should, as points allowed is as much about pace of play than defensive prowess --- the Huskies are statistically as good as the Cougars. In Pac-10 games this year, UW is holding teams to 44 percent shooting, while WSU is at 45.6 (the Cougars are better against the three, at 34.3 compared to 36.7 for the Huskies).

There also isn't as big a difference anymore in turnover margin as each of the two teams rank among the top four in the Pac-10 --- WSU at the top at plus 3.24, UW fourth at plus-0.82.

Instead, the biggest statistical differences between the two these days are in shooting categories --- specifically, three-point shooting and free throws. WSU is making 39 percent of its three-pointers in conference play compared to 31.3 for UW, and the free throw shooting is obvious --- WSU is at 72 percent to UW's 56.8 in Pac-10 play.

Of course, what's hard to measure in overall stats is how well teams play when games are on the line. As pointed out in the story, UW has led at halftime in four of the last six games against the Cougars. But when the games have hit their most critical juncture, the Cougars have shown an ability to make the plays that the Huskies haven't. That's what the Huskies will most have figure out how to improve to win Saturday.

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Posted by Cougfan

9:32 AM, Mar 07, 2008

The last predictions of the year. I gave Bob a gift last night by picking ASU over Oregon and now we are tied. Let's see what he picks for the rest of the weekend...

ASU over BHS: I actually think this might be a close one. The Beavs are desperate to get a win and ASU might be thinking about the PX tourney. Should be interesting. (65-57)

UofA over Oregon: Wise is back and had a pretty good game last night. Oregon is done and UofA gets to .500 in the league. (71-62)

UCLA over Cal: I don't think UCLA will look past Cal in this one. A #1 seed is on the line and to lose it against Cal would be devastating. Love's last game in Pauley should be a good one. (77-62)

USC over Stanford: OJ Mayo's last game in the Galen Center. USC desperately wants the #3 seed in the PX tourney and will be hoping for a Coug loss against the Huskies. Stanford will still be whining about the HORRIBLE call with 2.5 seconds left in their game that cost them the victory Thursday night. But, too bad, Card, WSU was hosed at your place. (64-60)

WSU over UW: I know people wanted an early prediction, but I was too frazzled by Mallory/condottarulz and his childish rantings. Yes, I think the UW has a legit shot at this game. They have been playing very well lately having beaten UofA, UCLA, and giving Stanford a game in Maples. Here are some negatives for the Cougs: 1) Senior Night! This is an overrated event. Sometimes kids get all caught up in the emotion of their last game and don't think about their opponent--see Appleby against Cal! 2) Brockman has his way with Baynes and gets him into early foul trouble. In fact the Cougs have had trouble in the fouling department as of late and witht the dogs playing better cannot afford to have their best 5 on the court. 3) 6 in a row: Bob gave the stats in his article that the Huskies have their longest losing streak against the Cougs. Conventional wisdom says the streak has to end soon. I am hoping it happens next year, but it very well could happen tomorrow night. 4) If I were a Husky I would want to stick it to the Cougs and ruin their seeding as much as possible.

Why the Cougs will win: 1) They really are the better team. They are more experienced and that should play a key role. 2) At this time they are a 6 seed in the Dance. A win tomorrow and a win in the PX tourney gets them a 5 seed or possibly a 4. Huge motivation. 3) PX officials will call the game in favor of the Cougs knowing that it is a home game and that it could only help the conference if WSU has a better seed. 4) The Crowd: The atmosphere should be electric and will cause problems for the Huskies. Although they played well at Maples, there is not the venom toward the Huskies like in Pullman.

With that said: (68-58)

Good luck to all!

Posted by MT Husky

9:37 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Cougfan, I appreciated and was impressed by your reasonable and balanced analysis of the UW/WSU game. Well almost got it right.

You will prove correct on 4 of 5 of your predictions.

Posted by Martin

9:55 AM, Mar 07, 2008

WOW, did Stanford get screwed last night or what? 2.5 seconds left and Collison gets ALL BALL blocked but is GIFTED a foul from the back court ref. Same guy who blows it everytime! Bob, what is that ref's story?


Truth be told, Collison thought the call — a foul on the shot — was a gift. "That was a complete block," he said. "We were fortunate to get that call."


Posted by Jason

10:19 AM, Mar 07, 2008


So you think Pac Ten officials rig games so their teams can have higher seeds in the Dance? Wow, what intelligent analysis!

Posted by Cougfan

10:33 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Jason: If you have been reading my posts throughout the year youknow I throw is sarcastic comments quite often. Kind of like Bob's comment in his updated standings blog about the refs. No I don't think the refs do that...hopefully you can understand go back into your hole!!!

Posted by Cougfan

10:39 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Here is some more analysis: Jason is really intelligent--hmmmmmm, sarcatic or real?

Posted by Jason

10:42 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Go back to your own blog. Oh...wait...

Posted by MT Husky

10:46 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Cougfan, you've done such a good job on your predictions that I wasn't sure where you went wrong on the UW/WSU prediction...but then I looked at your score and realized that in your point total you forgot to add in Dentmon's 13 points. No biggie, we all make mistakes.


I hope tomorrow's loss doesn't hurt your guys' seeding too much, I'm hoping you'll represent the Pac-10 well in the tourney.

Posted by uw dude

10:49 AM, Mar 07, 2008

cougfan, another analysis for you;
reasons the huskies will win
1. new secret weapon from perimiter takes pressure off appleby and they both light it up all night.
2. wallace has another huge game against cougs and frustrates baynes into foul trouble.
3. brockman is sick of losing to cougs.
4. overton's d frustrates the hobbit (rochestie)
5. stars align, prayers are answered, and the huskies shoot better than 75% at the FT line.
reasons the cougs will lose
1. too much hype around senior night
2. baynes cant make a shot unless he is dunking it
3. classy coug fans throw stuff onto the court again and ref's throw a few T's on them.
4. when all else fails, "coug it".

Posted by MT Husky

10:52 AM, Mar 07, 2008

uw dude, you forgot:

- Bennett is distracted because IU keeps text messaging him during the game

Posted by Dwight K. Schrute

10:59 AM, Mar 07, 2008

What better way to send the senior Cougs home than by having them "Coug It" against their rival. The Huskies will win this one. And Cougfan, this isn't your blog. Quit typing ridiculously long posts and acting like this is your forum to spew your idiotic thoughts. Go away Coug.

Posted by Tim

11:01 AM, Mar 07, 2008

What's wrong Schrute? Did someone put your stapler in jello?

Posted by Jason

11:08 AM, Mar 07, 2008

No, he's just shares my resentment that cougfan thinks he can be a member of the UW blog. Unfortunately for him, no wazzu grad understands HTML.

Posted by MT Husky

11:17 AM, Mar 07, 2008

Yeah, doggone that Cougfan! All he does is bring humor, balanced insight and good debates to this board.

We don't need that around here!

We need more Geno!

Posted by Joe

12:01 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Very disappointed with Pondexter's last comment in that article. I'd like to see a lot more emotion out of him heading into a rivalry game and Quincy I know you read the blogs and news so if you read this, (even though you shouldn't) IT'S NOT ALL RIGHT! IT'S NEVER ALL RIGHT! If you go into a series saying "we may have lost a lot but we'll win one eventually" then you're already handicapping yourself. Were the games played by creating % chances of winning for each game and just deciding the winner with a random number, sure you'd win eventually. But winning and losing doesn't follow the law of averages and being content with losing 6 in a row to the same team is not the right attitude to have to break that streak. That's the type of attitude that results in games like the home losses to USC and Arizona State, and if that's the type of attitude that other players on the team have towards losses then I can understand now why this season has been so up and down.

P.S. Is the Time's web guy ever going to make the "Captcha" or w/e it's called easier to read? Takes me 2 or 3 of these to even get it right sometimes.

Posted by Cougfan

12:16 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Let's see, would this be Couging it?

Ranked #7 in the country and losing to your last place in-state rival? Yep! 2 years ago--your team!

Ranked Top 10 at the beginning of the season and not even making the NIT? Yep! Was that last year or two years ago?

Losing 6 in a row to an "inferior" athletic program in BB and 3 out of the last 4 in FB? YEP!

You know, for being in a metropolitan area and having all the advantages you have in recruiting, you sure do Coug it a lot!!!

Win or lose on Saturday, we will be dancing and you can only watch!!!

Take a look at the TV next Sunday and watch WSU get put into the tournament...then you can go to some insignificant website to see if the Huskies make it.

Oh, and on "my" blog, there is Floridadawg, Dawgin Carolina, Jballa, and others. Funny, they are treated with respect.

Posted by wayupwaydown

12:34 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Love it when people think this is "their" blog and opposing fans should stay away.

I guess it must be bad when there is disagreement on opinions and views. Especially from dreaded Cougar fans who post intelligent, thoughtful, respectful posts.

I would much rather we all agree on everything, be Husky correct, and consider ourselves superior to everyone else for no other reason than we root for the Huskies.

Of course, in another reality, we may try to debate intelligently, thoughtfully, and respectfully with others, understanding that the best blogs and forums are meant to make people think and discuss divergent thoughts and opinions.

But maybe that is too tough for some folks to handle. For them I would suggest that they start their own private blog where they can invite whoever they want to join them.

Posted by Cougfan

12:48 PM, Mar 07, 2008

wayup: Thanks! You know, the last couple of days I have been very defensive and ugly. It's only for the reasons you stated. One thing I like about or Dawgfan is that people from other schools come on the site and talk basketball. YOu are grounded in your thoughts. I am making a pledge to stop the vitrial! Win or lose, hope to see a hard fought game tomorrow with of course the Cougs coming out on top. Like I sais in my prediction post and in EVERY prediction post I have made, "Good luck to all!"

Posted by Cougfan

12:49 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Oh, I have either 6 or 8 tickets to the Denver regional if anyone wants to buy them! 6 if the Cougs make it there, 8 if they play elsewhere. Let me know!

Posted by rawdawg

12:49 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Joe, maybe Q-Pon is getting ready to transfer.

Posted by Cougfan

12:51 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Oh, I have either 6 or 8 tickets to the Denver regional if anyone wants to buy them! 6 if the Cougs make it there, 8 if they play elsewhere. Let me know!

Posted by MT Husky

1:01 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Cougfan, you're great, I'm glad you haven't allowed yourself to be ran off.

Rawdawg, it would really surprise me if QPon transferred when he has NBA aspirations and a realistic up that year of PT would hurt him too much.

Posted by MT Husky

1:06 PM, Mar 07, 2008

But you're also going to be really ticked tomorrow night.


Posted by Splash

1:10 PM, Mar 07, 2008


Did you get a sense today of how much Holiday might be able to contribute? Having only one practice in almost a month doesn't sound too promising in terms of his ability to stay on the floor, not that he played that much before the injury anyhow though.


Posted by Splash

1:20 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I wouldn't think Quincy would have a desire to transfer:

1) He gets a lot of playing time. Most people considering transfers don't.
2)He's the X factor for this Husky team.

As far as I'm concerned, as Q goes, so does the team. Why would he want to transfer when he has the opportunity to be the most talented player on a good team. Yes, I think when Q plays well the Huskies are good, and when he doesn't, they aren't. The only one holding Quincy back is himself, and I think he realizes that.

Posted by matt

1:30 PM, Mar 07, 2008

You know cougfan you are pretty cocky considering your team has 1 tourney win in like the last 60 years, whereas the huskies have two sweet 16 appearances in the last 3 tourneys. How about you try beating some good teams before you talk about the tourney. Aren't you guys like 0-6 against UCLA, stanford, and arizona. that's not very good for a team that considers themselves in the elite of the pac-10. I hope you guys get a 5 seed so the inevitable 12 over a 5 will come against the cougs. Enjoy your 2 seasons of success because once bennett, low, and weaver leave you guys will be back in the bottom of the conference where you belong. And try having some post-season success before you can even consider the cougs a top program. you guys are a flash in the pan and your run is about to end.

Posted by Cougfan

1:59 PM, Mar 07, 2008

matt: you are as ignorant as the others who attack me. I have been stating all year that the Cougars were overrated. Ask MT! The only reason why I got caught up in the talk is because of the naive posts made by some of your comrades. I don't talk trash! Tell me, except for today when I have done such a thing. And really, so you made the Sweet 16 a few years--one good run and now the Huskies are terrible. Seems we are in the same boat, doesn't it? NICE TRY!

Posted by cougfan sucks

2:08 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I am reading through these comments and I have noticed that cougfan has posted 7 times in the last 2 hours and I thought for a moment how does this guy have the time to post 7 times during the middle of the work day in such a short period of time and then I realized that he is a cougar fan and probably doesn't have a job, or he works the graveyard shift at the local wal-mart.

Posted by wayupwaydown

3:23 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Concerning the Cougs wins and loses.

A coach in the Big Ten Conference once said it didn't matter who you beat or lost to in the conference race, only the amount of wins and losses you have at the end.

I would rather the Huskies lost all 6 games to AZ, Stanford and UCLA and ended up in thr NCAA's like the Cougars will.

Bobby Knight would agree.

Posted by Bob Condotta

3:33 PM, Mar 07, 2008

On Holiday --- I don't get the sense he'll play a lot, if at all, but he will be available if needed. He'll have had only two practices in three weeks, so I doubt he'd be in the plans for major playing time. He was only playing about eight minutes a game prior to that anyway. I think the big hope is that he'll be ready for the Pac-10 tournament. That he's available tomorrow, however, indicates no setbacks in his recovery after returning to practice, which is good news.

On Pondexter --- He has certainly given no indication of thinking about transferring. He has talked constantly in the last few weeks about his future here, how he's been encouraged by his play of late, etc. He's averaging 12 points a game over his last five.

Posted by grant

4:33 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Don't expect casual readers of this blog to have a sense of history with regards to your posts. Most people who are here know you don't talk trash...usually. All they see is what you posted today, and your Cougar friendly screen name, and they assume based on that narrow look on history that you are a jerk who talks trash (like some fans do). This reminds me of the very narrow history you've examined when comparing UW and WSU athletics. Sure when you look at the last two years of basketball, and the past 5 years of FB(the worst stretch in the history of our football program)you are right, but in the big picture, WSU has not come close to UW. So when someone who has never posted here before talks trash to you based on one post, it is the same as when you talk trash about the past few years of Husky sports and leave out all the successful years in your analysis.

Oh yeah, Dawgs win 77-73.

Posted by Go Dawgs Go

5:58 PM, Mar 07, 2008

Very well said Grant. Cougfan I am one of the Husky fans that does enjoy your comments. If you have time to comment 7 times in 2 hours type away dude. I will read it all later. We are all biased towards our teams but I like reading the different perspectives that you and Meatball bring to the forum. With that said I will put my purple colored glasses on and say UW 71 WSU 65.

Posted by Geno

6:29 PM, Mar 07, 2008

I am gonna enjoy this waxing the Cougars will put on your pansy boys in purple tights and blouses. The Huskies haven't been able to get it done when playing the Cougars for the past three years and it isn't going to change now.
I am gonna enjoy this waxing the Cougars will put on your pansy boys in purple tights and blouses. The Huskies haven't been able to get it done when playing the Cougars for the past three years and it isn't going to change now. Your rag tag team and lousy coach will once again go how wondering what could have been but simply wasn’t. They will go away with a Cougar headache.
WSU 75 UW 60

Posted by MattySimone

7:49 AM, Mar 08, 2008

The huskies just need to show up and then they got this dub!!! wolf plays cowgill well, brock an artem lock down baynes, our guards need to lock down TR and Q and holiday contain weaver. ALL BETTER talent on udub so just play your game fellas and hit some damn FTs! appleby hitting 4-5 3s will be key also. Good luck to Bennett as he moves on to bigger and better things at Indiana!!! Smack the cougs, GO HUSKIES!!!

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