Hoops Preview - Arizona

With two in-state rivals past them, the Washington Huskies (14-7, 4-5) will now take on the Sean Miller-led Arizona Wildcats (12-9, 6-3) Thursday at Bank of America Arena. Game time is 7:30 p.m. PST. UA leads the all-time record at 42-23 since their first meeting in 1965. UW will be trying to erase some painful memories from the last time this bi-annual bash between the 'Cats and Dawgs took place.

In the last meeting between the two teams on Jan. 10, the Wildcats upended the Huskies 87-70 at McKale Center in Arizona. Arizona was led by the strong play of Jamelle Horne, who finished with a career-high 22 points on 8 of 14 shooting, and six rebounds. He also came up with two steals.

Derrick Williams, potentially the best freshman in the conference this year, contributed with 12 points of his own on 3 of 6 shooting from the field and he pulled in nine rebounds.

After a slow start to the season, the Wildcats have been coming on as of late, winning their last four games. So far this season their wins have come against Northern Arizona, Rice, Colorado, Louisiana Tech, Lipscomb, North Carolina State, UCLA, Washington, Oregon, Arizona State, Stanford and California. Their losses have come to Wisconsin, Vanderbilt, UNLV, Oklahoma, San Diego State, Brigham Young, USC, Washington State and Oregon State.

Though they have showed well this season, Arizona has done so with only two upperclassmen: Horne, a 6-foot-7 junior forward, and star senior Nic Wise, a 5-foot-10 senior point guard. They have a total of eight freshmen and four sophomores dotting their current roster.

Wise had led the way for UA so far this season, averaging 16 points per game on 41 percent shooting, as well as dishing out 3.8 assists and gobbling up 1.9 steals a game. On top of all that, he's also hitting 90 percent from the free-throw line.

Starting at the five will be Williams, a 6-foot-8 forward out of La Mirada, Calif. He has been the Wildcats' most effective player this season, contributing 15.9 points per game on 57 percent shooting from the field. He is also averaging a sound 7.3 rebounds a game. Williams is getting better as the season has gone on, averaging 19.6 points a game in his last five.

Horne, who was once a highly-touted recruit, is starting to live up to expectations this season, averaging 10.8 points on 44 percent shooting, 6.2 rebounds and 1.2 blocks per game. Unlike Williams, Horne is only averaging 6.8 points a game in his last five.

Although Kyle Fogg had a slow start this year, he has warmed up to the idea of conference play. Since Pac-10 play has begun, the sophomore guard has averaged 15.1 points per game on 45 percent shooting from the floor, and 1.1 steals.

As a team, Arizona is averaging 72.6 points per game and allowing 70.7 points. They are shooting 44 percent from the field, 75 percent from the charity stripe and 36 percent from beyond the arc.

Former Husky star center Todd MacCulloch will be honored at halftime as the inaugural Husky Legend. It will take place during the under-12 minute timeout in the first half.

Next up after the Wildcats, the Huskies will square off against the Arizona Sun Devils (15-7, 5-4) on Saturday. It will be a 7:30 p.m. PST start at Bank of America Arena.

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