December 29, 2011

Scouting report: Oregon State at Washington

Matchup: Oregon State Beavers (10-2) at Washington Huskies (6-5)

Tip-off: Thursday, Dec. 29, 6 p.m. Pacific Time, Alaska Airlines Arena, Seattle, Wash.

TV, radio: ROOT Sports will telecast the game regionally; Kevin Calabro, Lenny Wilkens, and Jen Mueller will provide sideline commentary and analysis. The game will be broadcast on KIXI 880-AM and Mike Gastineau and Jason Hamilton will add play-by-play and commentary.

Coaches: Lorenzo Romar, Washington (10th year); Craig Robinson, Oregon State (fourth year)

Series: The Oregon State-Washington series is the longest continuous rivalry for the Huskies. Washington leads the series 152-136 since the teams first played each other in 1904. Recently, the Huskies have won eight of the last nine against the Beavers, dropping their most recent game 68-56 on Feb. 3 in Corvallis. Lorenzo Romar is 14-5 against Oregon State and the Beavers haven't won in Seattle since 2003.

About the Beavers: At 10-2, Oregon State is off to its best start in more than 20 years. Led by junior guard Jared Cunningham, the Beavers are eighth nationally in scoring (83.4), sixth in assists (18.3), and fifth in steals (10.4). These strong stats showed against tough opponents; the Beavers' most noteworthy win came against Texas in the Legends Classic semifinal. Likewise, in the ensuing championship game, they lost to Vanderbilt on a last-second jumper. Oregon State comes into Seattle on a four-game winning streak.

About the Huskies: Washington entered the season as the team to beat in the Pac-12, but has been anything but that. At 6-5, led by young guards Tony Wroten, Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox, they've lost to the likes of Duke as well as Nevada and South Dakota State. The Huskies are 18th in the nation in points scored (79.7); however, they turn the ball over 14 times per game and allow the most points for a team in a major conference (76.3).

What to look for: In his fourth year, coach Craig Robinson and his Princeton offense is finally running efficiently at Oregon State. Washington will need to keep tabs on the Beavers' pass-happy guards; their decision-making is the reason why this team is 13th in the nation in field-goal percentage.

Washington welcomed back 7-foot center Aziz N'Diaye back on the court last week against Cal State Northridge. His size will provide issues for Oregon State on both sides of the court.

UDubNation pick: Washington 87-81

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