Ushering out the last day of January, the University of Washington and Washington State basketball teams meet on Sunday at 5 p.m. at Alaska Airlines Arena in a curiously named match-up.
Somewhere along the way, someone somehow decided this game, or this series of games, needed to be called the Apple Cup.
How wrong on so many counts.
Is nothing sacred anymore?
Not only should the November football game that has carried this label for nearly 50 years be offended, someone needs to peruse the basketball starting lineups to accurately portray what’s going on here.
Apple Fritter is more like it.
There’s only a hint of the Northwest among the manpower that will gather for the opening tip in this one.
Each side offers just one Washington state-bred guy when the ball goes up.
Lacey, Washington’s Erik Stevenson, home for just a UW quarter and change from the Kansas heartland, brings his 3-point shot and the only local representation to the Huskies (3-11 overall, 2-7 Pac-12), who are experiencing a turnaround after a dismal start.
Maybe more local guys on scholarship might have avoided that earlier 1-11 angst.
Instead, Husky coach Mike Hopkins pairs Stevenson with a New Yorker (Hameir Wright), a Pennsylvanian (Quade Green), a Nevadan (Jamal Bey) and a District of Columbian (Nate Roberts).
Luckily, he brings the Apple giant Riley Sorn from Richland, Washington, and the Apple gunner Raequan Battle from Marysville, Washington, off the bench to better match the promotional efforts.
From the Palouse, coach Kevin Smith’s second WSU team sports just one guy who can readily relate to the homegrown fruit in Seattle’s Noah Williams.
He teams with a Nigerian (Efe Abogidi), a North Macedonian (Andret Jakimovski), a Californian (Dishon Jackson) and an Oregonian (Isaac Bonton).
Maybe the game’s promoters should have called this one the Road Apple Cup considering how bad everyone has played this season.
After all, the UW only recently ended an eight-game slide while WSU (9-7, 2-7) is mired in a six-game flop.
These neighborhood teams, far from the orchards, are tied for 10th in the Pac-12 standings.
Deciding who’s really any better is, well, apples to oranges.
Pac-12 Networks will televise things, with former Husky basketball players Elise Woodward and Eldridge Recasner calling the action.
Please don’t refer to it as the Apple Cup.
At least they didn’t call it the Super Bowl.
Follow Dan Raley of Husky Maven on Twitter: @DanRaley1 and @HuskyMaven
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