Saturday, January 12, 2008

BIG SATURDAY

Greetings Cougar Nation...

Welcome to what COULD be the biggest game in the history of the program. Win today and our Cougars will take--GET THIS--the inside track to a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament. Moreover, win today, and at minimum, OUR WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS will receive first place votes in both the coaches and AP polls. Yep, some will think that we deserve to be #1 in the country.

But before we get to the briefest of brief looks at today's contest, a quick revisit of Thursday's win at Troy.

In a word: WOW.

Yours truly, in a post earlier in the week, provided nearly two points:

1) Harmeling is a major X factor for this team.

2) Our offensive set WAS a mess.

Well, Harmeling showed how he really is a main cog in any hope we have of being Elite.

And, our offensive set was BRILLIANT on Thursday.

From these eyes, the main change was that we basically reversed everything that we had done in the previous 13 contests. Where we started with 3 guys on the strong side with Baynes in the low post, on Thursday, we had 2 guys on the strong side (in a quasi isolation set) with 3 on the weak side. Baynes, who spent most of his time on the weakside low-post, was a beast both flashing for the ball across the paint and setting MASSIVE screens to the shooter on the weakside.

It is/was a wonderful set.

And we played and won like a sure fire top 10--if not top 5 team.

Now, onto today.

Robbie Cowgill summed everything up pretty well in the fishwrap today when he said, "they (UCLA) do everything that we do, but with better atheletes."

And that pretty much sums it up.

As guys like NUSS will attest, basketball is a game of match-ups, and unfortunately for us, we don't match up well with UCLA.

One of the big reasons for our problems is Collison--the only point guard that I have seen that is quick enough to split our defense right down the middle. And, those who know our defensive scheme well know that ONE of the reasons why we are so dominant defensively is that we NEVER concede the middle of floor.

But Collison tends to break that central thrust of our defense.

However, Collison is saddled with a hip bruise and how that will affect him is unclear.

This much I know: IF Collison plays and plays to his potential, we lose. IF Collison does not play well, we will have our shot.

My sense is that we will stay close because we are just far too pesky for anyone to blow us out.

The key for us will be outside shooting and Collison's effectiveness. We're going to have to fill it early and Baynes MUST stay out of foul trouble.

While I would not be surprised if we won, I just don't see it in the cards.

UCLA 71 WSU 58

We fall to #11.

Enjoy our last game in the top 5, but this season still stacks up to be special. UCLA is the only team of its type in the country, and I wholly believe we match up wonderfully with just about anyone else.

4 comments:

Sedihawk said...

I can't disagree with the overall prediction, however the score will be lower. I'm thinking 61-56, something in that range. Think of how well USC shot the ball, and they still only got 58 on us. We're an absolute grind to play against, period. Still will be fun to watch us play at Pauley. The game is on HD, too, channel 664 if you have Comcast in the Seattle area.

Xavier Hicks got arrested yesterday. Apparently he harrassed Grady Maxwell, the young o-lineman and is supposedly his roomie? Kind of weird. Still trying to find ou the details, but here's the details from the Pullman police activity:


08-P00222
Harassment

Complainant: MAXWELL GRADY RICHARD JR
Incident Address : 2005 NE Terre View Dr
Responding Officers: Chris Engle
Disposition : ACT
Unit: 463
Time Reported: 13:03
Time Dispatched:

Time Arrived : 13:53
Time Completed : 14:43
Cad Comments:

Reporting that the roommate is harassing the Rp. Officer responded. Subject arrested, processed and released.

Rooster said...

Mornin' Fella's. BH, I'm with Hawk on this one the score will be lower and closer. Possibly an overtime that we lose because Baynes fouls out. And because we play them close we won't drop out of the top 10.

Did you guys see that Jonathon "Snoop" Stewart is foregoing his senior year and declared himself elgible for the NFL draft. It will be nice to not have him running over the top of us next year.

Cougar Lew said...

If UCLA plays today the way they did Thursday night, the Cougs should win. It's not likely that either team will reach 60 points for the game, but if one does, there's your winner. Is it possible that both Low and Weaver will struggle with their shot again today? Not likely. Turnovers and how either team reacts to them will be the key, as there will probably be more for both clubs than they are accustomed to. WSU 63 - UCLA 58
Cougar Lew

Sedihawk said...

This one's all but over. HR for BH on that score, man, great call there. Certainly higher scoring than I thought it would be. Love, man, he sure is the real deal. BH said it best, not only can he maul you underneath with power, hands and footwork, but he also has a perimeter game to go with it. Hello lottery pick for him.

Welcome to Cougar Lew, too. Nice site Cougar Lew.