… Heading to Seattle bright and early on Saturday, and if all goes well with flights and connections, I’ll meet up with the UConn Huskies after their practice at Alaska Airlines Arena. For now, here’s a few tidbits on the next opponent, the other Huskies, from Washington.
UConn and Washington met up last holiday season, Dec. 28, 2012, at the XL Center, on Kevin Ollie’s 40th birthday. It’s most notable, of course, for being the day Kevin Ollie got his long-term contract extension.
C.J. Wilcox, then as now, was Washington’s main scoring threat and UConn did a nice job of shutting him down in the game, a 61-53 win. Wilcox is again leading his team in scoring, and in the last game, a victory over Tulane, he passed 1,500 points for his career.
Wilcox is averaging 20.9 points per game, followed by Nigel Williams-Goss and Perris Blackwell, both 12.9, and Andrew Andrews at 12.5. Blackwell, a 6-foot-9 senior, is the top rebounder at 8.0; Washington has outrebounded its opponents 36.8 to 33.5.
Washington’s second leading rebounder? Mike Anderson, the 6-4 guard from Weaver High in Hartford, who played JuCo ball in Missouri. Anderson is averaging 7.1 rebounds and 9.2 points, playing 29.7 minutes.
Washington is 6-4, and like UConn’s last opponent, Stanford, comes out of the Pac-12, a league which includes top-ranked Arizona.
UConn and Washington nearly crossed paths at the 2K Classic in November. But Washington lost in the semifinals to Indiana, 102-84, and to BC, 89-78. Earlier in that tournament, they lost at home to UC Irvine. On Dec. 8, Washington lost to a ranked team, San Diego State, on the road, by seven.
On paper, based on the 2k Classic results, it looks like a favorable matchup for UConn – but Washington seems to be playing better lately and the game is a 3,000 mile road trip. In other words, it doesn’t look like anything is going to come easily for the UConn Huskies, who look to assess and rebound from their first loss.