I'm about to head over to Cox Arena for today's round of interviews. My hunch is that there will be three main topics of interest in the UW interviews.
First, how will the Huskies be able to keep the much bigger and very athletic Illini off the boards after being soundly outrebounded by Utah State.
Second, there will be lots of questions directed to UW freshman point guard Justin Dentmon, who grew up in Carbondale, Ill.
Third, there's the matchup of UW guard Brandon Roy and Illinois guard Dee Brown. (My guess is that most questions will be about how Roy feels about facing Brown, rather than vice versa, even though I have little doubt Roy is the better player.)
However, I'm sure Roy would understand the nature of those questions, especially in light of his remark from last night: "We've been watching Illinois the past two or three years. I'm a big fan of their point guard, Dee Brown. He may not know that, but I think he's a great player and the heart and soul of that team. He's the first guy we're going to have to try and stop. We're just excited for the opportunity to play against a big-time program."
As for the rebounding, I have a hunch that won't be a major problem. The Huskies are actually a terrific rebounding team. They had a world of trouble last night because Utah State was so amazingly sound. More than any team I saw this season, when a shot would go up, the Aggies would box out, basically creating a fortress around the hoop and repeatedly limiting UW to a single shot.
Illinois also is a very good rebounding team, but they do it by flying to the ball. If it's a matter of athleticism vs. athleticism, I would expect the Huskies to do OK.