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GAME THREAD: No. 6 WSU (16-1) at Arizona (12-6)

Posted by Jeff Nusser on January 24, 2008

McKale Center (Tucson, Ariz.), 5:30 p.m. PT
TV: FSN

I don’t have a lot of time to write today, so I’m going to keep the preview short.

Arizona is ticked off that WSU has ascended to the levels it has. The Wildcats aren’t ranked, and they would like to do something about it. However, their chances of making this happen, to be frank, aren’t real good.

Yes, they have the fact that they are playing at home going for them. But this WSU squad has won three of the last six against Arizona and the last two in Tucson. There’s no fear factor there.

Arizona is a good offensive team most of the time … except when it plays good defensive teams. The ‘Cats have an overall offensive rating of 108.2 — 62nd in the country. But check their offensive ratings against quality defensive opponents: Kansas (93.5), Memphis (90.6) and Arizona State (89.0). Bodes well for the Cougars tonight.

Of course, the x-factor will by freshman sensation Jarryd Bayless. He’s precisely the kind of guard that can give WSU fits, a la Aaron Brooks last year. He’s clearly not as savvy as Brooks, but he possesses the same kind of jets and ability to penetrate and kick out. The Cougs will have to be careful not to let him find Chase Budinger on the perimeter, who can burn them with 3s tonight.

One more thing to note: So much rides on foul trouble. Arizona’s Jordan Hill gets in it as bad as anyone out there, and if Baynes shows as much discipline as he did against Oregon when he guarded Leunen, that could be a real advantage for the Cougs.

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40 Responses to “GAME THREAD: No. 6 WSU (16-1) at Arizona (12-6)”

  1. Eric said

    I friggin’ hate California. No TV coverage here, not even FCS. Bullsh*t.

  2. Longball said

    Harm gets the start and hits the THREE!!!! I like the changeup.

  3. Longball said

    Hey Nuss, any idea what our best rebounding lineup is? We are giving up a lot of 2nd and 3rd looks lately.

  4. Jo~Jo said

    Koprivica looks better every game, he is actually starting to contribute. That is going to be big time.

    Baynes is learning the two man game, that is big time.

  5. Longball said

    Wow, Baynes was absolutely mugged and the announcers are talking about the block. wow.

  6. Jo~Jo said

    that is a foul in every game I’ve ever seen.

  7. Jo~Jo said

    I think the announcers are drunk. Apparently, everytime a player misses a shot on a no-call foul it counts as a blocked shot.

  8. Duane said

    Low has been short with every shot he’s taken thus far and is yet to get on the board. It looks like we’re gonna have to count on another big second half from him.

    Surprising Arizona chose not to foul before the end of the half.

  9. Nuss said

    Sorry so silent here — taking care of the kid while watching the game. He’s got a few minutes with a bottle, so I’ll have some thoughts shortly.

  10. Duane said

    And you know it’s horrendous announcing when they dub him Nick “Get the pizza” Koprivica. I couldn’t believe it when the guy said that.

  11. Nuss said

    OK, I’m actually pretty all right with how the first half went. Arizona hit a lot of 3s, and that’s something that likely won’t continue. What I loved to see was the lineup change — paid off big time tonight and what we sacrifice in rebounding isn’t that big of a deal, because we’re a pretty awful rebounding team anyway. Why not trade for some offense?

    One thing I totally don’t agree with is the lack of aggression toward Jordan Hill. The guy is a foul machine, yet plays 20 minutes and picks up no fouls? That’s just not getting the ball to the big fella enough (as Hill picks up a block on Baynes as I write this).

    And pay no mind to the announcers. It’s just FSN’s rinky dink way of hiring local guys to do the games. They talk about what they know best, and it’s the team they watch most often. That’s just the way it goes. What do you expect from guys who can’t pronounce Koprivica?

  12. nyCOUG said

    Seriously, Worst. Announcers. Ever. And what a couple of homers!

  13. Nuss said

    Fouls are 10-6 overall. This is getting a little frustrating. Some of those outside shots have to drop, and I hope Low doesn’t go into his shell. He has exactly zero shot attempts in the second half. Don’t give ’em what they want, Derrick!

  14. Nuss said

    And what a couple of homers!

    Not sure how Bob Weiss ended up on this crew, but he’s at least trying to keep it somewhat balanced.

  15. Jo~Jo said

    I’m not sure who’s having the worse game, the announcers or the officials.

    I’m not saying that the Cougs aren’t fouling, but I think the difference in free throws tells it all. UA is all over the Cougs when they try to shoot. Why don’t the Cougs get free throws out of it.

    And as far as the announcers; I will never understand why announcers refer to the Cougs as “Washington.” Have these guys NEVER done a college game before that involved a State school?

  16. nyCOUG said

    And if they call him Darmeling again I’m gonna punch my TV.

  17. Nuss said

    Um, I’m pretty sure none of those were travels.

  18. Jo~Jo said

    This looks bad.

  19. nyCOUG said

    Wow, we look shaken. That doesn’t happen very often.

  20. Nuss said

    Might not be our night. When a team is hitting 7-of-13 from 3, it’s awful tough to stop anyone.

    As an aside, Robbie Cowgill is having an absolutely atrocious conference season. He just got the ball ripped away by Budinger, and I can’t remember the last time he had a real meaningful impact on a game.

  21. Jo~Jo said

    I hate being this guy right now, but I think the officials have completely taken the Cougs out of this game.

    Sure the officials aren’t raining down threes, but it is obvious that the fact that thay allow the ‘Cats to foul the Cougs repetitively when shooting has taken the Cougs out of sinc. Every time the Cougs go on offense and miss a baskett they get concelation free throws, the Cougs get nothing but the need for a home pregnancy test.

  22. nyCOUG said

    Are you kidding me? Officiating killing us. But we also can’t get anything going inside… and they are shooting lights out.

  23. nyCOUG said

    Come on DEFENSE!!

  24. Nuss said

    Our defense is fine. The shots haven’t been wide open, except for that last 3 by Budinger. They’re just on fire, and there’s not much you can do about that.

    This will be a game before it’s all said and done. I loved the little “Double digit lead! Sends a message to the opposition!” Except for this opposition. The Cougs are just patiently doing what they do, knowing that at some point those shots aren’t going to fall. Seriously, there’s this little thing called regression to the mean, and if Arizona insists on continuing to take difficult shots, they will go through a cold stretch. And we will begin to catch up.

    Will we win? I don’t know, this is a pretty big hole. But the Cougs are going to make this uncomfortable for Arizona, I guarantee it.

  25. Nuss said

    Wow, Bennett comes out with a no-offense lineup. What an interesting choice …

  26. nyCOUG said

    Hope you’re right Nuss… that regression can’t start soon enough as far as I’m concerned.

  27. nyCOUG said

    I’m amazed they didn’t call a foul on Weaver there. Great D Kyle.

  28. nyCOUG said

    Ok, I’ll shut up now.

  29. Nuss said

    How about the travel before the foul? Sheesh.

  30. Nuss said

    Already in the bonus. This sucks.

  31. nyCOUG said

    Surprised they didn’t call that on Rochestie.

  32. Nuss said

    Arizona now 11 of 18 from 3. Koprivica gets mugged all the way to the bucket, no foul. This is tough to watch.

  33. Nuss said

    Terrible, terrible shot by Rochestie. Get your head in it. There is still time if you take good shots and chip away.

  34. Longball said

    This is not watchable anymore. Its just unconcious 3 point shooting from Zona and nothing else to see here. Next game.

  35. Nuss said

    Fouls are now 15-10 overall, if you’re curious.

  36. Nuss said

    Oh, and free throw attempts are 19 to 4. This from a Washington State team that came into the game ranked 36th nationally in free throw rate.

  37. Nuss said

    OK, I give. This game is over. I’m going to start working on my postgame analysis. It might have a little bit to do with Derrick Low being a fraidy cat, if you’re looking for a sneak preview.

  38. Longball said

    Wow, Low and Cowgill were useless tonight. They better wake up quick or we are going home 0-2 on this road trip. Arizona will never shoot like that from 3 again. ever.

  39. nyCOUG said

    That has to be the first time in history the Cougs have been the recipient of an ‘overrated’ chant. Move on and win the next one Cougs, it’s a long season.

  40. Joshua N. said

    Great performance by the Cougs against one of the five teams I love to hate, Arizona. An old Waspy coach (I know he took a leave of absence) and their general condescension towards the rest of the conference earns my total animosity.

    Well, I hope the Cougs beat the Sun Devils tomorrow. Sendek is a nice guy, unlike Erickson.

    Guess who beat the Sun Devils??? Washington!!!!! Guess the Dawgs have some bite.

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