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UW men vs. Washington State: Projected starting lineups and scouting reports

The Cougars enter Saturday’s Pac-12 opener riding a three-game losing streak while the Huskies are a perfect 7-0 at home this season at Alaska Airlines Arena.

Washington vs. Washington State
Time: 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Alaska Airlines Arena
TV/Radio: Pac-12 Networks/KOMO 1000 AM & 97.7 FM
Records: UW (9-4): WSU (7-6).

Projected starting lineups:

WSU
Player … Ht. … Yr. … PPG … RPG … APG
G Jervae Robinson … 6-2 … Jr. … 4.9 …. 1.6 … 1.6
G Marvin Cannon … 6-5 … So. … 6.8 …. 3.0 … 0.7
F Robert Franks … 6-9 … Sr. … 22.1 … 7.9 … 2.9
F CJ Elleby … 6-6 … Fr. … 15.6 … 7.5 … 2.3
C Jeff Pollard … 6-9 … Jr. … 3.5 …. 2.1 … 0.5

UW
Player … Ht … Yr … PPG … RPG … APG
G David Crisp … 6-0 … Sr. … 9.5 …… 3.0 … 3.0
G Jaylen Nowell … 6-4 … So. … 17.1 … 4.5 … 3.2
G Matisse Thybulle … 6-5 … Sr. … 9.2 …. 2.9 … 1.8
F Noah Dickerson … 6-8 … Sr. … 15.3 … 7.1 … 0.9
F Hameir Wright … 6-9 … So. … 3.0 …. 3.6 … 1.0

Scouting report: Washington has a seven-game home winning streak at Alaska Airlines Arena, including an 86-74 win over Cal State Fullerton its last outing on Tuesday. … Meanwhile, Washington State is riding a three-game losing streak following a 79-71 setback against Santa Clara on Dec. 29. … The Cougars are 7-0 in games at Pullman. WSU is 0-1 in a home game at Spokane, 0-2 in true road games and 0-3 in neutral-site games. … WSU leads the Pac-12 in scoring with 82.2 points per game. … UW ranks fourth in the conference in scoring defense while allowing just 66.5 points per game. … The Huskies are 8-1 when foes score fewer than 70 points. … WSU forward Robert Franks, who leads the Pac-12 with a 22.1 scoring average, missed the last outing due to hip contusion. He’s expected to play Saturday. … WSU freshman forward CJ Ellerby, who starred at Cleveland High, plays his first collegiate game in Seattle. … Washington has faced the ninth-most difficult schedule in the NCAA in terms of opponents’ cumulative .694 (118-54) win percentage (through Jan. 3 games). … David Crisp is on the verge to becoming the first player in UW history to record 1,000 career points (1,191), 300 assists (he has 298), 200 made 3-point FGs (he has 199) and 100 steals (101). … Matisse Thybulle, UW’s career steals leader at 244, needs to average 4.3 thefts during 18 regular-season games to break the Pac-12 all-time record of 321 that’s held by former Oregon State star Gary Payton. … Six of sophomore Nahziah Carter’s career 13 10-plus scoring performances have come in the last 12 games.

Key matchup: The Cougars lead the league in three-point attempts (26.2 per game) and 3-pointers made (9.5). Only two Pac-12 teams have allowed fewer 3-pointers than Washington, which surrenders an average of 6.6 per game. Washington State needs to convert around 10 three-pointers for its offense to work. Otherwise, the Cougars are doomed without much of an low-post attack.

Coach: Ernie Kent is 54-81 in his fifth season with the Cougars. In the previous four seasons, WSU hasn’t won more than 13 games overall and its best conference finish was an eighth-place tie at 7-11 in his first year (2014-15). Kent has 379-336 record during his 24-year career, which includes stops at Oregon (1997-2010) and Saint Mary’s (1991-97).

The series: Saturday marks the 288th meeting, as the Huskies hold a 183-104 edge all-time. Washington swept both games last year after Washington State won a pair in 2017. In the past 10 years, UW is 15-6 against WSU. Ten of the last 14 meetings have been decided by five points or less.

Last meeting: Thybulle scored 18 points and Jaylen Nowell added 14 points to lead Washington to an 80-62 win on Jan. 28, 2018 at Alaska Airlines Arena. WSU, which entered the game second in the nation with 11.9 3-pointers per game, was just 6 of 24 beyond the arc. UW was 11 of 25 from 3-point range, including three by Thybulle. Ahead 49-44, Thybulle’s four-point play – a three-pointer and a free throw – began a 12-0 run to go up 61-44 as the Cougars went scoreless for almost 6½ minutes left. The Huskies led by 24 points (76-52) with 4:49 left.

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