January 20, 2010

Bruins to take on Huskies

The UCLA Bruins (7-10, 2-3) will face the defending conference champions Washington Huskies (12-5, 3-3) at 7:30 Thursday night in Pauley Pavilion. The Bruins are coming off an embarrassing loss to USC while the Huskies had a very successful weekend routing Cal and Stanford at home.

Although they played very well last weekend, the Lorenzo Romar coached Huskies have been somewhat a disappointment to their fans this year. They have lost at home to Oregon and were swept at Arizona and Arizona State. Nevertheless, the potential is there to still win the conference and make a run in the post season.

The Huskies are led by 6-6 senior forward Qunicy Pondexter who some consider the best player in the conference this year. Pondexter is the third leading scorer in the Pac10 at 20.3 points per game (ppg) and nearly eight rebounds per game. Pondexter is a hard worker who has gotten better each year. He had a total of 52 points in the two games last weekend. Accompanying Pondexter in the front court is 6-7, 250 pound, redshirt freshman Tyrese Breshers. Breshers is now starting and is outstanding rebounder with a large wing span.

Washington's strength this year, however, is its perimeter game. The current starters are 5-8 sophomore Isaiah Thomas, 6-3 freshman Abdul Gaddy and 6-6 junior Justin Holiday. Thomas is one of the most entertaining players in the league. He is fearless and will drive to the hope against anyone. He is averaging over 18 ppg. Although he is not really a point guard, he can be spectacular to watch. The much heralded Gaddy, after a slow beginning to the season, is now starting for the Huskies. Gaddy is a pure point guard with outstanding passing ability. He is only now beginning to show some of his immense potential. Holiday, the brother of Jrue, has started the last two games. He has improved the Huskies defense and is starting to be effective in the Washington up-tempo system.



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