Hoops Preview - Saint Louis

Saint Louis Billikens are coming to town!

SEATTLE - Back in action following a disappointing result against Colorado State on Saturday, the Washington Huskies will turn their sights on the Billikens of Saint Louis. The tip will be Wednesday at 9 p.m. at the friendly confines of Alaska Airlines Arena. It'll be aired live on the Pac-12 Network.

Finishing up the backend of a home-and-home series, the Washington Huskies are looking to even up the series against a different, but still good Saint Louis Billikens team.

Last year, with the help of graduated players Brian Conklin and Kyle Cassity, the Billikens upended the Huskies 77-64 at Chaifetz Arena in St. Louis.

The Huskies, who were led in scoring by Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten, mightily struggled in the first half, going into the break down 50-25. However, rebounded with a 39-27 advantage in the second half.

This year, with Conklin and his 25 points gone, the Billikens must turn to previously supporting cast players Dwayne Evans, Cody Ellis, Mike McCall Jr. and Cody Remekun. All four will have to pick up the slack with injured star Kwamain Mitchell still recovering from foot surgery.

Leading the pack will be undoubtedly junior forward Evans. Standing in at a solid 6-foot-5, 230 pounds, the Illinois native has averaged a solid 14.6 points a game on 65 percent shooting. He's also pulled in 7.4 rebounds, but has been foul prone with 2.8 per game.

With Evans their top rebounder, Saint Louis relies on six others averaging over two rebounds a game, but it is definitely a weakness of the Bllikens and something the Huskies should very well be able to exploit.

Under interim coach Jim Crews, who is replacing famed Rick Majerus, has gone 3-2 thus far including a big win over Texas A&M. Previously, the Bobby Knight deceitful spent time with Army and a long tenure with Evansville.

Historically, Washington is down 6-8 in the all-time series against Saint Louis. Between 1952 and 1958, the two played each other seven times, with UW gaining the early advantage of 4-3. The last win in Seattle was in 1955, when the Huskies had a starting five of Jim Coshow, Ron Olsen, Bruno Boin, Doyle Perkins and Ron Patnoe. Boin was the star with 17.2 points and 9.5 rebounds a game from the center poisiton. The first game of the series was in legendary Bob Houbregs last year. Those teams were coached by Tippy Dye.

Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar has a 0-1 record against his old coaching job and has never faced Crews. On the other hand, this is Crews' first trip to Seattle and his first game against Washington in his coaching career that started in 1985.

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