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No. 2 Arizona (16-2, 8-1) vs. Washington (8-10, 3-6)
Date: Thursday, Feb 6th, 2003
Time: 7:30 p.m. PST
Location: Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson (10,000) Seattle, WA
Radio: Wildcat Radio Network (Brian Jeffries/Ryan Hansen)
TV: FSN (Steve Pysioc/Marques Johnson)
LAST MEETING: Arizona had trouble shaking the Huskies, but a 9-0 run in the first half gave them the cushion they needed for the 79-61 win.
LAST TIME OUT: Arizona played one of their best games of the season and beat Cal 95-80 to take sole possession of first place in the Pac-10. Washington crushed their in-state rival Washington State 81-67 behind a balanced scoring effort that saw four players reach double figures.
BACKCOURT: There has been a bit of a shakeup in the starting line-up for the Huskies. Lorezo Romar has decided to go with the youth movement. Nate Robinson is now a full-time basketball player after starring for the football team. He is one of the faster players in the Pac-10. Although he is just 5-8, he has football player strength and can score inside.
Will Conroy has made the leap from a decent contributor to a standout for the Huskies. The 6-1 guard leads the Huskies in scoring and assists and has been a key player for Washington. Conroy has earned a starting job after being a back-up all of last year. Conroy has been very good from three-point range, connecting on 43% of his threes. He leads the Huskies in scoring at over 13 ppg.
Curtis Allen looks to come off the bench after starting most of the season. Allen is very quick, as quick as anyone in the conference. He's a decent scorer and a pretty good passer, although his assists numbers are way down from a year ago.
Newly reinstated Brandon Roy is now a factor and getting spot minutes. He's a tall, athletic player who hits the boards well. The former Arizona recruit has not been a huge factor yet, but should be a key contributor by season's end.
Both Jason Gardner and Salim Stoudamire are on hot streaks. Both are playing as good as they have in their careers. Hassan Adams comes off the bench to provide a scoring and rebounding spark, while Chris Rodgers gets minutes due to his defensive tenacity.
FRONTCOURT: Doug Wrenn has moved to the bench, where he provides the team a spark. He gives the Huskies a very athletic small forward. Wrenn is a great scorer and the center of attention for every team's defense. He's seen his scoring drop from 19.5 ppg to 13.1 ppg. He's shooting just 38.8%, but is still hitting the boards well enough to lead the team in rebounding.
Bobby Jones has replaced Wrenn in the starting line-up and is an athletic freshman who gives the Huskies another good scorer from the wing. Jones is a slasher who does a great job getting to the hole.
Mike Jensen has started every game in the post and gives the team a reliable banger. Anthony Washington has filled in admirably after Jeffrey Day (who has been reinstated) was ruled ineligible. Day now comes off the bench and has given the Huskies another athletic player who is not afraid to hit the boards.
The Wildcat bigmen are superior to their Husky counterparts. Channing Frye and Rick Anderson have been playing very well in the post, with Dennis Latimore and Isaiah Fox and have been very good off the bench. Expect to see Luke Walton see some time at the four to allow the atheltic Andre Iguodala a chance to strut his stuff.
OUTLOOK: The Huskies are very athletic, but have not been very good. The Wildcats are playing very well and if they play well they should have little trouble in dispatching Washington. The Wildcats' biggest problem has been motivation, and a slow start could be the Huskies best shot at an upset. The Huskies need to limit mistakes and hope the Wildcats struggle from the field. If they don't, Arizona wins going away.
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