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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UW ready for another grind

    Washington guard Ryan Appleby tries to get around Arizona forward Chase Budinger in the Wildcats 84-69 win in McKale Center on Jan. 26. Appleby has been very hot shooting 3-pointers lately, but his long-ball game tends to be hit or miss.
    Washington guard Ryan Appleby tries to get around Arizona forward Chase Budinger in the Wildcats’ 84-69 win in McKale Center on Jan. 26. Appleby has been very hot shooting 3-pointers lately, but his long-ball game tends to be hit or miss.

    Opponent Analysis

    Having beaten UCLA and Oregon State, the Washington men’s basketball team has shown its strength against the Pacific 10 Conference’s best and worst teams, respectively. And still, both wins were equally important.

    When the Huskies walked out of Gill Coliseum on Saturday they didn’t feel bad for pounding the Beavers by 38 points. The fact that OSU is in the Pac-10 cellar – behind ninth-place Washington by five games – didn’t downplay the win at all.

    “”I think it means a lot anytime you can get a win against anybody in this conference,”” said Washington guard Ryan Appleby, who drained 9-of-15 3-pointers en route to a career-high 32 points that afternoon in Corvallis, Ore. “”The conference is so tough, top to bottom, that it’s tough to get a win, night in and night out.””

    The Huskies have won five conference games thus far – three against the Oregon schools, an 11-point win against then-No. 24 ASU on Jan. 24 and a 10-point victory over then-No. 5 UCLA on Feb. 10 to wow America.

    Appleby said that the win against the Bruins was the best game all year for the Huskies but added that the team didn’t actually play up to their full potential in that game.

    Which means there’s always another possibility of a second nation-wowing performance.

    “”That’s the type of team we are, to come out and win games like that,”” Appleby said of the UCLA game.

    Though the team has been up and down all season, Washington head coach Lorenzo Romar said that with the recent wins against UCLA and OSU – even with a loss to Oregon in between – the team is currently “”a little bit more up than down.””

    Part of the incline on the rollercoaster ride comes from forward Jon Brockman’s conference-leading 11.5 rebounds per game – third in the nation – and his 17.8 points per game.

    But as of late, Appleby is the one giving the rollercoaster uphill momentum, though his game is often hit or miss. Literally.

    He did drop nine 3-balls last game, but sunk just 12 of 39 in the five games before that.

    “”I have a lot of confidence in my shot,”” Appleby said. “”I go out there and shoot the same way every time.””

    Appleby said that when his long ball is off target it’s because of players face-guarding him or using a box-and-1 defense.

    “”I’ve had a tougher time this year at getting looks,”” he said.

    Appleby was 4-of-6 from 3-point land against Arizona when the teams last met Jan. 26. He said that the Wildcats face-guarded him a lot with their man-to-man defense and added that he expects to see even more this time around.

    On the defensive

    I have a lot of confidence in my shot. I go out there and shoot the same way every time. I’ve had a tougher time this year.

    – Ryan Appleby,
    UW guard

    end, Romar said the Huskies have made defensive strides since they allowed the Wildcats to shoot 62.2 percent from the floor in their last matchup.

    Appleby said the player that needs to be focused on the most this time around is UA guard Jerryd Bayless, who scored a game-high 26 points against the Huskies and is fresh off of three 30-point games.

    “”If you can just not let him get to the basket – try to contest his shots – that’s about all you can do with him,”” Appleby said.

    And maybe say a prayer?

    “”Yeah, but I don’t even know if that will work,”” Appleby said.

    In regards to the Arizona team as a whole, Romar said that the Pac-10 contest will be a challenge on both ends of the court. The Wildcats aren’t the Bruins, nor are they the Beavers but they are part of the Pac-10, nevertheless.

    “”We know it is going to be a difficult game,”” Romar said, “”as there are so many of those difficult games in the Pac-10 this year.””

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