Printer Friendly

Stakes mount higher in tonight's rematch of UO-Huskies rivalry.

Byline: Bob Clark The Register-Guard

The current Oregon basketball team, which has some more pressing issues than whether a new arena is built for another team in another year, finds itself in the Bank of America Arena in Seattle tonight for a 7:35 tip-off against Washington.

The simple fact is the Ducks (11-6 overall, 6-4 in the Pac-10) could move into a tie for second place in the Pac-10 with a victory over the Huskies (10-9, 5-6). The bigger reward might come later in the season, as only winning will keep Oregon in the chase for an NCAA Tournament berth.

`We all know what's at stake,' UO coach Ernie Kent said, before the announcement of a delay in building a replacement for McArthur Court led to him cutting off interviews with the Ducks, so their concentration would be on playing and not other people's delayed plans.

What Kent and the Ducks were saying earlier in the week was that beating the Huskies in Mac Court a month ago was one thing, and tonight quite another task.

`With the exception of Stanford, they probably have been playing the best basketball' in the conference, Kent said. `They've won five out of six, and I felt they probably should have won the sixth.'

The Washington winning streak, of five games beginning after that 84-74 loss to Oregon, ended with an 80-75 loss at UCLA. Whether that broke the Washington momentum, `only time will tell,' UW coach Lorenzo Romar said, but he obviously doubts it.

`You can't get discouraged by one loss, even though I felt we could have played a little better,' the coach said. `The fact remains we've won five of six, and we got a split on the road.'

The Ducks have done that on their first two Pac-10 trips, each time by winning the first night of a two-game weekend. To at least continue that trend and have a shot at a sweep when it gets to Washington State on Saturday, Oregon is going to have to come up with an answer for Brandon Roy, who lit up UCLA for 30 points. And certainly Will Conroy, who had a 29-point outing himself this season.

And there's always Nate Robinson, the 5-foot-9 lightning bug who earned his moments on the highlights with a 31-point effort in Washington's upset of Arizona.

`We've faced that before,' Kent said of teams `with players who can score the ball like that. You cannot take everybody out, but you've got to make sure to slow a couple of guys down and make sure they don't have monster games on you.'

If it can be done, the Dawg who Oregon would most like to leash is Robinson.

`He's definitely an energizer guy,' UO senior James Davis said. `We think he's the key to their success. If he gets going the rest of the team follows. ... He's definitely a matchup problem.'

The Huskies cause a few of those. Roy, at 6-6, has size on either the 5-10 Davis or 6-3 Andre Joseph on the perimeter, and this could be a game where 6-7 Luke Jackson is used more as Oregon's second post player, with only one of the usual starters, 6-11 Ian Crosswhite or 6-10 Mitch Platt in the game. That's because Washington goes small inside, with 6-8 Mike Jensen and 6-6 Bobby Jones.

`It makes it a little harder for us defensively, and it makes it a little harder for them defensively,' Crosswhite said of the size, and quickness, mismatches among the post players.
COPYRIGHT 2004 The Register Guard
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2004, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Title Annotation:Sports; Oregon men could climb into second place in the Pac-10 race, but Washington has been one of conference's hottest teams
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Feb 12, 2004
Previous Article:WSU games historically good for Ducks.
Next Article:Delay catches coaches off guard.

Related Articles
Huskies loom as challenge.
Ducks are underdogs no longer.
Ducks, Dawgs ready to tangle one more time.
It's a Northwest test now.
Reinforced Huskies to challenge Ducks.
Huskies' recent swings puzzle UO.
Ducks promise they won't forget last year.
Qualification or elimination will be decided this weekend.
Cougars lay loss on Lane.
Duck women look to reverse UW trend.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2018 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters