Northwest College Hoops Roundup – What To Look For This Weekend

Washington vs. Gonzaga

The Huskies can play zone defense! Against Kansas on Wednesday, the Washington Huskies played a very loose 2-3 zone dedicated to disrupting Kansas’ elite shooters, and it worked too well. Matisse Thybulle led the way defensively for the Huskies, notching a crucial steal down the stretch for a breakaway slam with 7:00 left to go in the game giving the Huskies a double-digit lead. If the Huskies can carry this momentum into the weekend, they could make the first half interesting against Gonzaga.

The Huskies got the historic win, and there’s no doubt that their hustle paid off against Kansas. However, Kansas was astonishingly cold on a neutral floor. If there were higher stakes, I doubt this game plays the same way again. Just this past Sunday, the Huskies had struggled to pull away from the Omaha Mavericks during the first half. The win against Kansas was extremely surprising.

Look for Gonzaga to bounce back from a tough loss against Villanova. This team just has too much firepower to lose against Washington. Junior guard Josh Perkins will look to get out of a three-point shooting slump as he’s been a little cold over his past two games. But, he’s been hot this year, and I don’t see the Huskies enjoying the same kind of breaks they caught against the Kansas Jayhawks.


Oregon vs. Colorado State

Oregon lost a heartbreaker against Boise State last week, suffering a game winning heave at the buzzer. While Payton Pritchard has been getting buckets at will, the team as a whole has been playing questionable defense at times.

The Ducks will bounce back here, as Colorado State haven’t been able to to get anything rolling on offense this year. Oregon also has bench that hustles, although it may take a couple of games to really grease the wheels for this potentially potent offense to smooth out. Duck fans should be excited heading into the coming weeks of non-conference play.


Oregon State vs. Arkansas-Pine Bluff

The Beavers are in the middle of a win streak heading into a game against a torrid Golden Lions team. Tres Tinkle leads a balanced, older group of kids that have been shooting almost too well. However, the team they face is anything but a reasonable opponent. It’s somewhat surprising that they’re allowed to play Division I basketball and I doubt they can pull a surprise here.

The Beavers might be able to extend their current win streak to over five games. After facing the Golden Lions, they face Jacksonville State and St. Louis. While these teams are more formidable, Oregon State is looking solid this year. They’ll be relying a lot on their veteran leadership to build momentum this month before conference play.


Washington State at UTEP

It’s really hard to make a judgement on this year’s Washington State Cougars team. Their three game winning streak over St. Joseph’s, St. Mary’s, and San Diego State had fans wondering if this team had some serious clout to their game. Then, the Cougars ran into basketball powerhouses UC Davis and Idaho, and it’s like their offense hit a brick wall. The team is led by Malachi Flynn and Robert Franks, both of whom have been having solid years on the offensive side of the ball.

There’s still not a ton of confidence in this Cougars squad. According to ESPN’s Power Index, they only have a 22.6% chance at winning the game. If Franks can get out running early then the Cougars can get a win down in El Paso.

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About Sebastian Pycior 54 Articles
Sebastian is an industrial professional, having graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in Political Science in 2013. He remains largely interested in the effects sports have on greater society. From Las Vegas, he’s moved on from the world of 'odds' and has embraced storylines and aspects surrounding Seattle sports.