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January 29, 2011Matchup: No. 18 Washington Huskies (15-4 overall, 7-1 Pac-10) at Washington State Cougars (14-6, 4-4)
Tip: Sunday, 7 p.m., Friel Court, Pullman
TV, radio: FSN-NW will broadcast the game locally, with Kevin Calabro and Ernie Kent calling the action. Sunday's game can be heard on the radio on KJR 950-AM with Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton on the call.
Coaches: Lorenzo Romar, Washington (ninth year); Ken Bone, (second year).
Series: The Huskies hold a 171-98 advantage in the all-time series, including four straight wins against the Cougars. Washington won at home against WSU last season, 92-64, and won a close one on in Pullman 59-52.
About the Huskies: The Huskies arrive in Pullman as the current leaders of the Pac-10 with only one loss coming in conference play. Point guard Isaiah Thomas is playing his best basketball right now and making his case for being the best player in the conference. Thomas is averaging 16.9 points per game to go along with 5.8 assists. Matthew Bryan-Amaning is coming off a career-high 30 points in the Huskies' latest win over Arizona State, and his ability to score inside is going to be key if Washington wants to leave Pullman with a victory. Justin Holiday will most likely get the intriguing matchup of defending WSU's leading scorer Klay Thompson, who is averaging 22.2 points per game, tops in the Pac-10. Adding fuel to the rivaly, Thomas recently questioned the motive behind those who choose to attend WSU by saying, "It's in the middle of nowhere, it's cold. I don't understand why people want to go there."
About the Cougars: Washington State guard Klay Thompson is another conference player of the year candidate. Thompson not only leads the Pac-10 in scoring, but he is second in assists (4.4 per game), first in made 3-pointers (3.1 per game) and fourth in steals (1.9 per game). To go along with Thompson, the Cougars rely strongly on the scoring of junior Faisal Aden (14.1 points per game) and backcourt mate, Reggie Moore (9.0 ppg). Moore, out of Seattle's Rainier Beach High School, returns to the Cougars starting lineup after serving a three-game suspension earlier in the season. Matching up with the Huskies' Bryan-Amaning is 6-8 junior DeAngelo Casto. Casto had a career-high 25 points against Arizona State last week.
Projected starters for Washington:
G Isaiah Thomas 5-9 185 Jr. Tacoma, Wash. 16.9 ppg, 5.8 apg
G Scott Suggs 6-6 195 Jr. Washington, Mo. 6.8 ppg, 2.1 rpg
C Aziz N'Diaye 7-0 260 So. Dakar, Senegal 4.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg
F Justin Holiday 6-6 185 Sr. Chatsworth, Calif. 12.5 ppg, 5.3 rpg
F Matthew Bryan-Amaning 6-9 240 Sr. London, England 16.2 ppg, 7.7 rpg
Projected starters for Washington State:
G Reggie Moore 6-1 180 So. Seattle, Wash. 9.0 ppg, 4.1 apg
GKlay Thompson 6-6 202 Jr. Ladera Ranch, Calif. 22.2 ppg, 4.4 apg
GMarcus Capers 6-4 185 Jr. Winter Haven, Fla. 7.0 ppg, 5.2 rpg
F Abe Lodwick 6-7 208 Sr. Bend, Ore. 3.0 ppg, 4.4 rpg
FDeAngelo Casto 6-8 255 Jr. Spokane, Wash. 10.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg
UDubSports.com pick - Washington 91-88.