The Washington Huskies opened up their preseason with an 18 point win over Nevada on the road 81-63 in a charity exhibition. The official AP Poll has yet to be released but the Wolfpack are a consensus top 10 team in essentially every forecast.
All proceeds from tickets sold went to the Northern California Wildfire Relief fund. As a charity exhibition the game wasn’t available on television, radio, or live stream so the only people who actually got to see it were the folks in the building. But we have the play-by-play and box score from which to draw conclusions.
- Noah Dickerson didn’t play with an injury. Coach Hopkins didn’t bring it up during UW Media Day last week so either it occurred in the last few days or it’s minor and they were just being cautious in a game that didn’t count. Hopefully we’ll get an update soon.
- The absence of Dickerson meant that Dominic Green got the start and it definitely sparked the Washington offense. The Huskies made their first 6 shots including a pair of 3-pointers in getting out to a quick 14-9 lead. They trailed 39-40 at halftime before pouring it on and shutting Nevada down in a dominant 52-33 2nd half.
- We didn’t see a lot from the freshmen. Bryan Penn-Johnson was the only one to see more than a last minute garbage time appearance. He had 4 points and 1 rebound (with 3 fouls) in 9 minutes. Hopkins has said that we might not see much of the freshmen and that appears to be the case. Crisp and Nowell handled all of the PG duties and they played 74 of 80 possible minutes.
- Nowell’s stat line was perhaps the 2nd best of his college career behind his 1st official game against Belmont. He led the team with 26 points on 12/15 shooting with 6 rebounds, 3 assists, and 3 turnovers. Nowell obviously won’t average 26 on the year but the big thing for him and the team will be improving the A/TO ratio. If one of those turnovers becomes an assist and he average 4 and 2 then it will be big for this team.
- Matisse Thybulle is once again stuffing box scores. He finished with 17 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 3 blocks. As with Nowell the most encouraging sign is the assist numbers. He has really struggled with turnovers in his career but had none today to go along with those 6 assists. Only twice last year did Thybulle have 6+ assists and he had at least one turnover both times.
- And to complete the improved passing trifecta, David Crisp had 20 points with 5 assists and 1 turnover. I’ll take that stat line all year.
- Naz Carter is my pick for breakout player but he didn’t get a lot of run. It might have been related to foul trouble as he had 3 of them in 10 minutes so better days are ahead.
- The Huskies’ next game will be a home exhibition against SPU on Thursday November 1st at 7:00p on Pac-12 Networks. They begin the regular season at home against Western Kentucky on Tuesday November 6th at 7:30p on ESPNU.
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