The high flying University of Washington Basketball team (14-4, 5-0 Pac-12 ) will take its undefeated conference record head south on I-5 with destination Eugene to take on the University of Oregon Ducks ( 11-7, 2-3) for a Thursday night (6 p.m. ESPN2) Nationally televised game. The Ducks have won the last six meetings between the two schools which is the longest Oregon win streak in the last 80 years. This will be the 305 meeting between the two rivals.
The Conference-leading Huskies will roll into Matthew Knight Arena feeling this is their best chance to snap the losing streak and push their conference unbeaten streak to six games.
The Huskies tenacious defense is the primary reason for the teams ascend to the conferences top position. Washington has held its opponents to just 65.0 points per game to lead the Pac-12 and rank 35 nationally in defense. While the Huskies have the well-publicized defense, the Ducks led by Ehab Amin the 2016-17 NCAA steal leaders play multiple defensive sets that are hard to break down.
Amin is not just a defensive specialist. The redshirt senior is one of two active Division I players with 1,000 career points, 500 career rebounds, 200 career assists and 200 career steals (John Konchar, Purdue-Fort Wayne).
The Huskies have been on somewhat of an offensive explosion winning four of their first five Pac-12 games by 16 points or more. The Huskies have shot 50 percent or better from the field in three of those five Pac-12 games. Sophomore Jaylen Nowell leads the Huskies with a 16.7 points per game which is fifth best in the league. Nowell is also averaging 7.6 rebounds per game. Noah Dickerson leads the team in rebounding with a 6.7 average and is second in scoring with a 13.2 average.
If the Huskies are to snap their losing streak against the Ducks they will need to come out of the gates ready to play as soon as the ball is tossed in the air to begin play.
Matisse Thybulle is one of 15 players nationally named to the watchlist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year he is the only player nationally to average 2.7 steals and 2.3 blocks
• In two games against Oregon last season, Dickerson averaged 16 points and 9.5 rebounds
• Dickerson is getting to the FT line on average seven times a game this season, which is up from 6.3 as a
junior, 4.6 as a sophomore and 3.1 as a freshman
• Sophomore Nahziah Carter has already passed his rebound total from a year ago as he is at 62 through 18 games
• Seven of sophomore Naz Carter’s career 15 10+scoring efforts have come in the last 17 games
• Nowell has recorded six 20-point scoring efforts this season, and three in the last five games … he now has
16 on his career … Nowell is 5th in the league in scoring averaging 16.7 ppg
• Nowell is one of three players on the initial Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award watch list to be
shooting over 50 percent (51.1), averaging over five rebounds (5.4) and 3 assists (3.4) and scoring at least 16
points a night (16.7), joining Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver
• Nowell has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 25 of his 52 career games (48.1 percent) … in those 25
games, UW has a 20-5 record.
• UW has had six different players lead the team in scoring through 18 games in David Crisp (1), Noah Dickerson (5), Jaylen Nowell (8), Dominic Green (2), Naz Carter (2) and Matisse Thybulle (2)
David Crisp has had a standout start in Pac-12 play, averaging 15.6 points, on 46.2 percent shooting from the field (24-of-52), 57.7 percent from 3 (15-of-26) and dishing out 1.6 assists.
Oregon freshman Louis King is the Pac-12’s No. 5 scorer (16.8 ppg) and No. 4 rebounder (8.2 rpg) in conference games. He’s scored in double figures in all five Pac-12 games, and opened Pac-12 play with back-to-back double-doubles against OSU and UCLA. He nearly got another double-double last Thursday at Arizona with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Sophomore forward Kenny Wooten came off the bench last Thursday night to spark the Ducks’ win in Tucson with five points, seven rebounds and two blocks. It was Wooten’s first appearance since fracturing his jaw Dec. 21 at Baylor.