At First Glance:
Washington: 5-0. AP: 12 ESPN: 10 BP: 8 RPI: 6 BPI: 51 Offense: 84.8 ppg Defense: 66.2 ppg
Texas Tech: 7-0. AP: NR ESPN: NR BP: 39 RPI: 39 BPI: 12 Offense: 75.1 ppg Defense: 58.7 ppg
Washington: Isaiah Thomas is the first half of the dynamic duo in Washington’s offense. Thanks to lockdown specialist Venoy Overton and super-frosh Abdul Gaddy, Thomas is mostly free to take advantage of every scoring opportunity available to him, and at 20.6 ppg it’s obvious he has. Elston Turner and Scott Suggs provide about nine points a game off the bench.
Texas Tech: John Roberson and Nick Okorie share the wealth more on offense than their Husky opponents but together can’t match Thomas’ output. Roberson makes very good decisions with the ball and Okorie is a defensive specialist. David Tairu provides instant offense off the bench.
Washington: Quincy Pondexter is the second half of the dynamic duo in Washington’s offense. Like Thomas he averages 20.6 ppg but also crashes the boards with alarming efficiency at 11 rebounds a game. Matthew Bryan-Amaning has improved his game and can provide a third option on offense. Tyreese Breshers and Justin Holiday are counterparts to Turner and Suggs in terms of productivity.
Texas Tech: It’s doubtful that Mike Singletary will score 25 consecutive points again or stand up to diva tight ends but he leads the Red Raiders in scoring and serves as the team’s leader. D’Walyn Roberts and Darko Cohadarevic are the other starters on the front line, though Cohadarevic only played nine minutes in their most recent victory against Samford. Brad Reese and Theron Jenkins provide almost double figures in points combined off the bench.
Washington: Lorenzo Romar came from St. Louis in 2002 to a program that was in pretty bad shape. In his second season the Huskies went back to the Dance. The next season, they got a number one seed in the Dance. Expectations are very similar this season and Romar has gotten them to respond.
Texas Tech: Pat Knight has gotten off the hot seat for the moment. Like his father he has Texas Tech playing man-to-man defense and running a motion offense. If the Red Raiders’ good start translates to an NCAA Tournament appearance that would ease the pressure.
Nobody has been able to stop Isaiah Thomas or Quincy Pondexter all season. Okorie and Singletary, your mission, should you decide to accept it, will be the first to do so. The Raiders will have the Lubbock faithful on their side but it’s not going to be enough.
Washington 80, Texas Tech 69.
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