The number # (25 USA Today Poll /24 AP Poll) ranked University of Washing ton Mens basketball team will conclude its exhibition season on Thursday (7p.m. PST ) with a home against Seattle Pacific University. The Huskies will have five days to fix out whatever bugs need fixing before net Tuesdays regular season home opener against Western Kentucky.
Washington started the exhibition season with an 81-63 charity exhibition contest over Nevada on October 21st. Proceeds from the contest were donated to the Northern California Wildfire Relief fund.
While the game was a relatively easy 18 point win, Husky head coach Mike Hopkins saw some areas the team could improve on.
On Thursdays, the Huskies will be putting their national ranking on the line when they take on the Falcons who are a Division II program. While the Falcons are a lower-division opponent, Hopkins is looking for his team to give its best effort.
Head Coach Mike Hopkins is in his second year at Washington, and second as a head coach as he is the 19th head coach in UW history. After spending 22 years as an assistant at Syracuse, Hopkins oversaw teams that reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times including the 2003 National Championship, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights and 10 Sweet 16s along with four NIT berths. Syracuse never dipped below a 55.0 percent record while Hopkins was on staff. In his first year at UW, Hopkins earned the 2018 Pac-12 Coach of the Year Award after leading UW to its first 20-win season since the 2011-12 season going 21-13 and advancing to the second round of the NIT.
• Washington enters the season with two 1,000 point scorers on the team with the potential to add a third as Matisse Thybulle is 85 points away. Only three rosters in UW history have had three 1,000 point scorers at the same time, 2008-09 (NCAA Round of 32) and 1998-99 (NCAA Round of 64). Noah Dickerson currently has 1,165 career points which ranks 29th while David Crisp has 1,067 career points which ranks 34th.
• Washington has representatives on three of the Naismith Starting Five National Award Watch Lists in sophomore Jaylen Nowell (Jerry West Shooting Guard Award), senior Matisse Thybulle (Julius Erving Small Forward Award) and senior Noah Dickerson (Karl Malone Power Forward Award). UW is one of 11 schools nationally to have representatives on three of the 11 awards joining Kentucky, Duke, Tennessee, Virginia, Kansas, Nevada, Auburn, Oregon and Gonzaga.
• The Huskies boast the highest percentage of returning minutes and scoring (95.9%) among Power 5 programs. UW returns all five starters and better than 95 percent of its rebounding, assists, threes, blocks and steals as well. Amongst active career leaders in the Pac-12 Conference, UW leads in rebounds (Noah Dickerson – 709), three-point field goals (David Crisp – 182), steals (Matisse Thybulle – 205) and blocks (Matisse Thybulle – 103)
• With 291 boards in his senior season, Noah Dickerson can become only the 15th member of the Pac-12’s 1,000 career rebounds club. Dickerson, who enters 2018-19 with 709 caroms, grabbed 284 boards as a junior in 2017-18.
• With another 100-steal season, Matisse Thybulle could become only the second member of the Pac-12’s 300 career steals club. Thybulle, who has 205 career thefts following 101 as a junior in 2017-18, would join OSU’s Gary Payton (321) as the lone members.
• Washington’s 2018-19 schedule features two non-conference road tests against teams ranked in the AP preseason top 25 (at Auburn, at Gonzaga). Additionally, Washington will face eight teams that advanced to the NCAA Tournament a year ago.
• Washington’s senior class of Dominic Green, David Crisp, Noah Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle have combined to play in 388 career games including 251 career starts which is the most by any four seniors at a Power 5 school
• With his 106 assists a year ago, junior David Crisp became the 40th player in UW history to record 100 assists in a single season … he is 58 away from entering UW’s career top 10 list as he has 259 total assists during his career
• Washington posted its first 20-win season since 2011-12 with its 21-13 record last season … it was the biggest jump win jump between seasons since 1936-37 to 1937-38 after UW went 9-22 the season prior (2016-17) … it was also the biggest jump (eight wins more) in conference play in UW history as UW went from 2-16 to 10-8 a year ago
• UW’s 20 wins in the regular season are its most since 2011-12 when UW won 21 games prior to postseason … it’s the 28th 20-win season in UW history
• UW has a 3-1 record over top 25 teams this season, defeating No. 2 Kansas on the road, No. 25 Arizona State and No. 9 Arizona with it’s lone loss coming against No. 12 Gonzaga … the last time UW had three wins over top 25 teams was the 2014-15 season
• Thybulle has had at least one steal in 46-straight games
• Out of his 205 career steals, which rank first all-time at UW, Matisse Thybulle is creating scoring on 55.1 percent of the direct next possessions … last season that number was 57.4 (58 of 101)
• Junior Matisse Thybulle set the UW single-season steals record last year with 101 … the previous record was held by Bryan Boston (67-1994-95, 27 games) … his 101 steals last season are the most by a returning player in the NCAA for the 2018-19 season … his 205 career steals are ranked third amongst active Division players for 2018-19
• Junior Noah Dickerson has five 20/10 double-doubles on his career
• Thybulle became the first Husky in program history to rank in the career top 10 in both categories … Thybulle has 205 career steals (1st) and 103 career blocks (6th).