SEATTLE – I’m sitting up at the mezzanine level at Alaska Airlines Arena, which is inside a neat old Art Deco style building, the Edmundson Paivilion, here at the University of Washington.
Sitting up here with the guys from WHUS, who made the trip out to call the game … It’s about an hour before the game, both teams are out on the floor as we set the scene.
There will be a change in the UConn lineup, I hear. Amida Brimah is in for Phil Nolan up front. Shabazz Napier, Ryan Boatright, DeAndre Daniels and Omar Calhoun will start with Brimah, the 7-foot freshman who has shown flashes, especially on defense. Maybe we’ll see a little of that jump hook?
UConn had used the same starting five for each of the previous 10 games.
You may see some more of Lasan Kromah today, if Omar Calhoun gets off to a slow start.
Washington may also have a change. Desmond Simmons, 6-8, one of its top front court players, has been out since having knee surgery in early November. He has been practicing, and has been out shooting around. It’s a game-time decision.
No one is expecting a big crowd. It’s the holiday, students are not on campus and the Seahawks are playing a big game across town.
But, as Niels Giffey was saying yesterday, this is the first true road game for UConn’s freshman, playing on the opposing campus. The opener Nov. 8 was technically a home game for Maryland, and the Barclays Center was mostly filled with Maryland fans, but it was close enough and split enough to feel like a neutral site game in a big building. This could feel more like playing on campus at Pitt or Rutgers, depending on the crowd size.
This is one of the many cities Kevin Ollie called home during his NBA career. He played for the SuperSonics in 2003.
Here is our advance from the Sunday Courant, and our capsule look at the game.