When everything is right and executed, the Washington Huskies are a good to great man-to-man defense team. With a slew of athletes and solid depth and conditioning, UW can play an aggressive man-to-man that gives teams defensive fits.
But this season, we've seen the Huskies play more 2-3 zone than in past years. Why? Well for a number of reasons.
From my story ...
“We’re better equipped to play zone now than in the past, and we’re playing zone better now than we have in the past,” Romar said. “I don’t know if we are better at the zone than the man-to-man.”
But it’s still only a change of pace for the Huskies. They still want to be a man-to-man team.
“If you looked at all our possessions all year, you’d see we’re still a man-to-man team,” Romar said.
There are a myriad of reasons for why or when Romar decides to use the zone, and it’s not just a function of poor man-to-man defense.
“Every team is different, and every part of the game is different,” he said. “I’ve seen teams this year where they went zone because they couldn’t stop a team in man and it got worse than man. And then they went back to man and it was worse than the first time they were in man. Sometimes teams get in a rhythm and it doesn’t matter what you try.”
It kind of sounds like Romar was talking about the loss at Oregon.
Still, the reason for the Huskies playing zone is more a matter of need, particularly with Scott Suggs redshirting and C.J. Wilcox missing some time with injuries.
“We were in foul trouble so we went with the zone just to try to keep guys in the game,” Romar said. “There were times when our depth was really down, and just to keep guys in the game longer without getting exhausted we went with the zone.
USC at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. Prime Ticket ... this should a real thriller. The Bruins are looking for a sweep over the decimated Trojans. The game will be a "home" game for UCLA, but the LA Sports arena is within walking distance of the USC campus.
Thursday, Feb. 16
Arizona at Washington State, 6 p.m. FSN ... The Wildcats have a plan for when they face WSU's 2-3 zone on Thursday - get the ball to Brendon Lavendar. The Wildcats are eligible for a foreign trip next season and they will be going to the Bahamas. Christan Caple has his "Tuesday's with Ken Bone" blog post. Howie Stalwick has this feature on Mike Ladd playing through a painful thumb injury.
Colorado at Utah, 3 p.m. FSN ... Here's a notebook from Bill Oram of the Salt Lake Trib
Oregon State at Stanford, 7 p.m. ... John Hunt of the Oregonian write about the first meeting between the two teams - a triple overtime thriller and he also has this blog post about playing in Maples Pavilion. Kevin Hampton of the Gazette Times writes about Jared Cunnigham getting beat up on his drives to the basket against Washington.
Oregon at California, 7:30 p.m. CSN CA/CSNNW ... Patrick Finley of the Arizona Daily Star takes a look at Cal's tourney resume. ... Bob Clark of the Register Guard writes that Jorge Gutierrez should be the league MVP ... and his notebook for the Register Guard talks to Dana Altman about playing non-conference games late in the year to help the league's tournament resumes, and also to EJ Singler about his hair. ... Lindsay Schnell of the Oregonian has this blog post about the Pac-12 being better than people thing. .. The Bay Area News Group has this area notebook
Also Stewart Mandel of SI looks at Larry Scott's vision of the Pac-12 network
Quickly ... read Pat Forde's " Forde Minutes" if nothing for this snippet of officiating...
Ted Valentine (3) and the fans. Who else would lead this list but a guy named Valentine? “TV Teddy,” as he’s known, is a basketball official. A high-profile, high-visibility, high-theatrics basketball official. Sometimes not content to simply call a game, Valentine has been known to hijack a game. At the least, he usually can be counted on to make at least one showboat callagainst the home team, just to show he’s in charge.
He likes the attention.
Contrary to many people out there, The Minutes does not think Valentine is a bad official. He is not the worst ref in the world, as some assert – in fact, he wasn’t even the worst one on the court Saturday for the Michigan State - Ohio State game. But he did have a “TV Teddy” moment.
In a heated, physical game between Ohio State and Michigan State that at times had both teams upset, Valentine made a fairly grandiose show of assessing a bench warning to the Buckeyes for having a coach (or coaches) out of the box. In fact, it appeared that Valentine assessed the same warning twice during a media timeout, just to get the point across. The Minutes suspects that Valentine specifically was peeved at Ohio State assistant Jeff Boals, whose habit of mockingly clapping after calls go against the Buckeyes does not endear him to the stripes.