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Citizen Staff Writer



Arizona vs. Washington: Steve Rivera’s breakdown of the game • Wildcat notes • Players to watch


Advantage: Washington

Arizona’s Nic Wise found out Thursday what the future could hold when he faces bigger, taller guards. He’ll have it tough getting shots off and running the offense against longer, rangier players. UW’s Isaiah Thomas isn’t one of the big guards, but he is the team’s leading scorer. Good luck stopping him. And Husky Justin Dentmon is playing as well as any guard in the league.


Advantage: Even

The battle between UA’s Jordan Hill and Jon Brockman is worth the price of admission. Two tough guys who play hard every time down the court. Expect a double-double from both, with no one budging. A key will be Chase Budinger’s ability to score. He can and will. But can UA stop Brockman, Quincy Pondexter and the rest?


Advantage: Even

What defense? This is going to be a high-scoring affair, and the first one to 80 will win. Entertaining? Yes. Defense? No. Love these types of games because so many things happen. UA’s zone defense hasn’t been what it was earlier.


UA couldn’t beat WSU on Thursday. Will the Wildcats be down against the first-place Huskies after that defeat, or will they get up for this one emotionally? It could be close at the half, but UW should be able to stretch the lead late in the second half.

Prediction: Washington by 11


All-time meetings: UA leads 42-22

Pac-10 meetings: UA leads 41-22

Longest UA win streak: 10 (1986-90)

Longest UW win streak: 6 (1982-84)

Current series streak: Arizona, 1 in a row

Earlier this season: UA 106, Washington 97 (Jan. 29 in Tucson)

Last season: UA 84, Washington 69 (Jan. 26 in Tucson); Washington 75, UA 66 (Feb. 2 in Seattle)

First meeting: UA 77, Washington 63 (1964 in Los Angeles)


Budinger, Wise ready to go

SEATTLE – Arizona interim coach Russ Pennell said juniors Chase Budinger and Nic Wise are ready and healthy to go Saturday against No. 21 Washington.

Budinger suffered a thigh injury late in Thursday’s loss at Washington State. Wise fell to the floor late in the game on a drive to the basket, suffering an injury to the lower back/tailbone. But he played through it.

“They’re good and ready to go,” Pennell said.

The team did not practice Fridayx but it wasn’t because the two couldn’t go.

“We always watch ourselves anyway on Friday,” Pennell said.

Thomas for MVP?

If given a vote, Pennell would likely pick UW freshman Isaiah Thomas as the most valuable player for the Huskies.

He makes them go. He also thinks Thomas’ abilities and media attention may help Wise play well.

“I like Nic when he goes up against guys he hears a lot about,” Pennell said. “He usually raises his game a notch, too.”

Wise said playing against guys like Thomas isn’t new to him because “I’ve been doing that all my life.

“In AAU and in high school you play guys that you know and when they are good it makes it that much more fun.”

Thomas is averaging 15.9 points per game, but Wise outscored him 29-15 in the Wildcats’ 106-97 win over Washington on Jan. 29 in McKale Center.


Arizona (18-10, 8-6) at No. 21 Washington (20-7, 11-4)

When: 1 p.m. Saturday


Radio: 1290 AM, 107.5 FM

How teams match up

Arizona UW

71.4 Points per game 79.2

47.3 Field goal % 45.9

66.8 Points allowed per game 69.7

42.9 Foes’ field goal % 42.4


‘They do play an aggressive tempo. It’s going to be a fun game.’


UA junior point guard, on Saturday’s game at Washington


Thursday’s games: Washington State 69, Arizona 53; Washington 73, Arizona State 70, OT; UCLA 76, Stanford 71; California 81, USC 78, OT

Saturday’s games: Arizona at Washington, 1 p.m.; Arizona State at Washington State, 3 p.m.; USC at Stanford, 6 p.m.; UCLA at California, 7 p.m.

Sunday’s game: Oregon State at Oregon, 8 p.m.



1. James Harden, ASU 21.1

3. Jordan Hill, UA 17.9


1. Jon Brockman, Washington 11.3

2. Jordan Hill, UA 11.0


1. Jerome Randle, California 5.0

3. Nic Wise, UA 4.7


1. Taj Gibson, USC 2.7

2. Jordan Hill, UA 2.0


School Conf. Overall

Washington 12-4 21-7

Arizona State 10-5 21-6

California 10-5 21-7

UCLA 10-5 21-7

Arizona 8-7 18-10

USC 7-8 16-11

Oregon State 7-8 13-13

Washington State 7-9 15-13

Stanford 4-11 15-11

Oregon 1-14 7-20

It wasn’t a surprise he had a hard time against Washington State. He’s long had trouble in a slowdown game where possessions are crucial. That will change Saturday where the game will be played at a breakneck pace.

He too thrives in a up-tempo game. But when was the last time he had any type of impact in a Wildcat game that wasn’t a negative impact? He has to start playing harder if UA wants to go to the NCAA Tournament.

Few in the Pac-10 are tougher than Brockman. He’s the conference’s top rebounder and is 10th in field goal percentage. He’s one of the many reasons why Washington is atop the conference race this late.

A senior who has come on the scene and done a great job in the backcourt. He ranks sixth in the conference in scoring and can shoot it from 3-point range. He’s quick and steady and very underrated.

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