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Scouting Report: Arizona vs. Washington

<B>No. 11 Arizona 16-3 (6-1) vs. No. 10 Washington 16-2 (6-1)</B><BR> <B>Date: Thursday, Jan. 27, 2005</B><BR> <B>Time: approx. 6:30 p.m. MST</B><BR> <B>Location: Lute and Bobbi Olson Court at McKale Center (14,500), Tucson, AZ</B><BR> <A href="">In-Game Chat: </A>

Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
Pregame: 3:30 p.m. on 1290 a.m. (Brad Allis, Pete Delgado, John Schuster, Ryan Radtke, Joe Nehls)
Postgame call-in show: 1290 a.m. approximately 30 minutes after the end of the game.
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc/Marques Johnson)
On-Line: Arizona All Access (subscription required)

Washington at a glance: Location: Seattle, WA
Head Coach: Lorenzo Romar
Leading Scorer: Tre Simmons (16.8)
Leading Rebounder: Tre Simmons (5.9)
Leading Assists: Will Conroy (6.5)
Last Meeting: Arizona lost to Washington 90-85 in the PAC-10 Tournament March 12, 2004.
Last Time Out: Arizona defeated Oregon State 92-83. Washington defeated Washington State 66-48.

OVERVIEW: This is a marquee game which will give the winner a leg-up in the race for the conference championship. Arizona is looking to get revenge against the Huskies who defeated them three times last season. Right now both teams are tied for 1st place in the PAC-10, and are clearly the class of the league. The winner of this game may very well be the conference champion.

Salim Stoudamire has been playing extremely well as of late following Lute Olson's permission to shoot when open. Stoudamire has averaged 19.1 point per game since his suspension against Marquette. In addition he is shooting 54.9% from the field and 57.1% from behind the arc. Arizona will need another strong performance out of the senior in order to win.

Stoudamire has been so good the past few games that the rest of the county has taken notice. Several national media outlets have done features on the lefty and ESPN named him player of the week. Even Dick Vitale gave Stoudamire love, a rarity for a player out West.

Washington is loaded with talented guards. Senior Tre Simmons has been putting up monster numbers for the Huskies averaging 16.8 points and 5.9 rebounds a game and has been a key threat to Washington's game.

Lute Olson called him the Huskies best player earlier in the week.

Alongside Simmons is Arizona's primary threat in Nate Robinson. Robinson nearly single-handedly beat the Cats last year and is having an excellent year to this point. He is averaging 16.7 points, 5.2 assists, 1.8 steals, and 4.3 rebounds a game. For Arizona to win this game, containing Robinson will be essential.

Robinson is so tough because he is both quick and strong. Some call him the nation's swiftest player and not many can match the former football player's strength.

Don't be fooled however, Washington is loaded in all aspects, and Robinson is not the only threat on the court.

Arizona may have the big advantage inside. Arizona is taller, deeper and more talented in the post. Arizona has four players over 6-9, led by 6-11 Channing Frye, arguably the best center in the PAC-10. The Huskies tend to go with a smaller line-up and their big men are better outside players. Arizona needs to exploit the inside advantage to win.

Arizona needs to be ready to play. They need to be excited and play up to the level of their competition for this game. It will be hard, but Arizona stands a very good chance at pulling off the big win.

The Wildcats will need to win the battle of the boards. Washington is a fine, not great, rebounding team. If Arizona can get many second chance points, they should be able to hold of the Huskies enough to come away with the victory.

Arizona needs to play intense defense. They need to deny Washington's looks all over the floor and see to it that they do not get any easy buckets.

Washington is one of the few teams who can run and score with Arizona. They may actually be quicker. Neither team can afford a scoring slump. Even a few scoreless minutes could doom one team or the other.

KEY MATCH-UP:Salim Stoudamire and Chris Rodgers vs. Nate Robinson. Both Stoudamire and Rodgers will have the duty of defending the dangerous Robinson. Robinson must be stopped in every aspect of his game, and it is up to them to do it. These players will need to be ready for this game and prevent Robinson from getting hot. If they can contain him, Arizona has a great opportunity to win this game.

OUTLOOK: This one should be worth the hype. These are clearly the two best teams in the PAC-10 and the winner will control their own destiny as they head towards the conference title. It will likely come down to which team is the most consistent throughout. The team that makes the least mistakes, wins.

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