Dec. 20, 2006
SEATTLE (AP) - Glen Davis raised his eyebrows with a look of surprise when told that Washington's front court was looking forward to the bloody noses and fat lips that may ensue on Wednesday night.
But it's nothing new for Davis to hear.
"I think I bring that out of a lot of people," Davis said. "They want to battle me. It's all good though."
Davis and No. 12 LSU will venture into its most challenging road test thus far when the Tigers play at No. 17 Washington on Wednesday night and face a set of Washington big men that are awaiting the banging, physical play that Davis and the Tigers bring. The Huskies will become the third ranked team LSU has already played, part of a difficult and impressive non-conference slate the Tigers put together.
"They say they want you to play a tough early schedule and this is about the fourth one we've played," LSU coach John Brady said. The Tigers beat Texas A&M and lost to Wichita State and Texas already. "We've done our part in meeting the criteria of a tough early schedule."
Because of his build -- 6-foot-7 and 260 pounds -- Brockman is likely to get most of the minutes trying to slow down Davis, who is averaging a double-double, 20.1 points and 10.3 rebounds. Davis dropped about 50 pounds in the offseason, improving his conditioning and keeping him on the floor longer. He's playing almost 35 minutes per night, up from the 31 minutes he played last year.
Brady has also brought Davis away from the basket within the Tigers offense, trying to force bigger, slower defenders to mark the nimble forward, who can take defenders off the dribble and shoot the 3. Brady sees Davis and forward Tasmin Mitchell, the Tigers' second-leading scorer, as somewhat interchangeable parts, sometimes switching their roles on the floor.
Even when Davis is pulled away from the basket, it doesn't mean that he and his teammates are giving up banging around the rim, something the Huskies are anticipating.
"The way they play and the way I've seen them play, there are going to be some bodies flying around, some fat lips, some bloody noses maybe," Brockman said. "But it's going to be fun. They're not a dirty team and we're not a dirty team, we're just both really aggressive and we're both going to go at each other."
The Tigers represent the second ranked team Washington has faced and the Huskies had better hope for a far different performance. In their only road game to date, the young Huskies were overwhelmed in a 97-77 loss at Gonzaga on Dec. 9.
The loss to Gonzaga revealed the inexperience in Washington's lineup, which has started three freshman in the last four games. Now comes an opponent with more overall talent than Gonzaga and the experience of playing in last year's Final Four.
"It's a big stage and a chance for us to test ourselves and show where we're at," Hawes said.
This matchup was put together in part by Washington president Dr. Mark Emmert, who was formerly the president at LSU. Brady then scheduled a road game at Oregon State last Sunday to make the trip more than just a one-game stop.
The Huskies will play at LSU next year.
"They are going to be the most physical team we have played this year," Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said.