RENO, Nev. – To suggest Washington’s much-anticipated three-game road trip will make or break the season is an overstatement.
Still, the 5,946-mile cross-country trek, which begins tonight at Nevada, might have postseason ramifications.
“If we do well, it will make it a lot easier at the end of the season for us to get into the (NCAA) tournament,” sophomore guard C.J. Wilcox said. “But if we don’t do well, it will be how the past couple of years have been. We had to win the (conference) tournament and get on a long winning streak.
“So hopefully we won’t have to do that. Hopefully, we can get it worked on early and get a couple of quality wins under our belt.”
Washington (4-1) needs a victory today at Nevada (4-3) to offset an embarrassing 77-64 defeat at Saint Louis two weeks ago.
However, another road setback might temper expectations before the matchups next week against No. 16 Marquette (Tuesday) and No. 3 Duke (Dec. 10) in New York’s Madison Square Garden.
“We’re about to be thrown into the fire,” coach Lorenzo Romar said. “We’re going on the road again. We told this to our team … the games coming up will be a lot like league play in terms of going on the road and the quality of opponents we will be playing.”
A year ago, Washington destroyed Nevada 90-60 in Seattle. The Huskies led 47-27 at the break and were up by 39 points in the second half while limiting the Wolf Pack to 28.3 percent shooting from the field.
Washington has a 31-game winning streak against nonconference opponents at Edmundson Pavilion, but it hasn’t fared well away from home under Romar. The Huskies are 9-19 in nonconference, regular-season road games during his 10 years at UW.