Driving away from practice at Gill Coliseum today I bumped into a local station that was interviewing Oregon State assistant Doug Stewart about the challenges of facing Washington.
Here's some of what he had to say:
"Their pressure is something we really have to negotiate on the offensive side. We did a really nice job working the ball around up in Seattle. But some turnovers that were kind of chronic for us in that middle part of the season allowed them to get a lot of run-outs and Venoy Overton was certainly testy against us.
"To me, we need to take care of the basketball, we need to get good shots. On the defensive end, obviously with guys like Quincy Pondexter and Isaiah Thomas you really have to give them a little bit of extra attention. But I think Pondexter is the guy that probably concerns us the most because he can just get the ball and make a play of his own and just jump over you.
"Isaiah Thomas is a terrific one-on-one player, a very streaky shooter who can get on a roll and make a lot of shots or get in the middle and make the other guys better. Hopefully against the 1-3-1 (zone) we can force him to dribble into those one-on-three situations where we can trap him a little bit. Finishing on the boards is going to be key as well with (Matthew) Bryan-Amaning in there and Darnell Gant and (Tyreese) Breshers they have some tough guys. They crash the boards very hard."
Now, here's our preview story. And below is a quick look ahead to the game:
WASHINGTON (20-9 OVERALL, 10-7 PAC-10)AT OREGON STATE (14-15,8-9)5 p.m. Saturday, Gill Coliseum, Corvallis, Ore.TV: FSN. Radio: 950-AM.
Series: UW leads 150-136 overall. OSU leads 95-47 at home. The Huskies have won five straight in the series, most recently 76-70 on Dec. 31 in Seattle.
Statistical leaders: For UW – F Quincy Pondexter, 20.3 ppg and 7.9 rpg; G Venoy Overton, 3.2 apg. For OSU – G Calvin Haynes, 13.1 ppg; F Seth Tarver, 4.7 rpg and 2.4 apg.
Scouting report: This concludes the regular season for both teams. And both are still playing for seeding in the Pac-10 tournament. Washington also still has hopes of an NCAA at-large bid, while OSU can move to .500 in conference and overall. … UW leads the league in scoring, scoring margin, rebounding margin and turnover margin. OSU in steals (8.3) and three-point percentage defense (30.3) and ranks third in scoring defense (60.4) and field goal percentage defense (42.2). … Individually, Pondexter is second in the league in scoring and offensive rebounds and third in rebounding. Tarver leads in steals. OSU guard Jared Cunningham had 20 points and a school record-tying eight steals Thursday against Washington State. … This will be OSU Senior Day: Calvin Hampton, Roeland Schaftenaar, Josh Tarver and Seth Tarver will be honored. … OSU’s average home attendance is 6,172, second-lowest in the league behind USC.
Next: Thursday, Pacific-10 Conference tournament, Staples Center, Los Angeles. Opponent and tip-off time to be determined Saturday.