The Huskies are off for their first of four straight road games that will go a long way toward telling how good they really are.
A week ago, I figured three straight splits — the LA schools at home last week, the Arizona trip this week and the Bay trip next week — would be pretty good. But after sweeping the Trojans and Bruins, this team’s upside may have risen a bit.
In any case, this opener in Tucson should be intereting because 2-5 in league says one thing about Arizona, while a lineup including Chase Budinger, Jordan Hill and Nic Wise says something else.
A quick scouting report:
NO. 23 WASHINGTON (15-4 OVERALL, 6-1 PAC-10)
AT ARIZONA (12-8, 2-5)
5:30 p.m. Thursday, McKale Center, Tucson, Ariz.
Series: Arizona leads, 41-22. The teams split last season, each winning at home.
Statistical leaders: For UA, F Jordan Hill, 18.4 ppg and 11.9 rpg; G Nic Wise, 4.6 apg. For UW, G Isaiah Thomas, 16.3 ppg and 3 apg; F Jon Brockman, 10.7 rpg.
Scouting report: Washington has won 13 of its past 14 games, is ranked for the first time since January 2006 and is alone atop the conference standings for the first time since January 2005. … The Huskies are one win shy of their total victories from last season. … This is the first of four straight road games for UW. As of now, the Huskies are 3-0 in Pac-10 road games for the third time in school history. … Arizona’s last game was a 96-90 overtime win over Houston on Saturday. The Wildcats trailed by 10 in the final minute of regulation. … Arizona is last in the Pac-10 in turnover margin (minus-2.1). … UW is the conference’s highest-scoring team, averaging 78.9 ppg. Arizona is tied for sixth at 69.8 ppg. UW also leads the league in rebounding margin; Arizona is third, and Hill is the Pac-10′s rebound leader. He also is second in the conference in blocked shots (2.3 bpg). Forward Chase Budinger leads the league with an average of 36.8 minutes played per game.
Next: 2:30 p.m. Saturday, at No. 14 Arizona State, Wells Fargo Arena, Tempe, Ariz.; FSN.