The Washington Huskies ( 19-5, 10-1) are looking to be their old selves Saturday afternoon when they travel to Pullman to take on cross-state rivals Washington State Cougars (10-4,8-4) for a 5 p.m. start. The Huskies are looking to rebound from their first conference loss suffered at the hands of the Arizona State Sun Devils
In the loss to the Sun Devils, the Huskies were outrebounded, outshot and outhustled. The Huskies brought no energy and were void of their familiar ball-hawking defense and ball movement on offense. The situation was so bad Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins called a time one minute into the second and could be seen pounding his chest and yelling ” Show some heart.”
The Cougars are on a season-best two-game conference win streak after sweeping the Arizona schools and are looking for a season split against the Huskies after a 79-71 Jan 5th loss in Seattle. If the Huskies are to snap the Cougars win streak and start one of their own, they will need to bring energy, hustle, and determination against the Cougars.
The Cougars are led by senior Robert Franks who is scoring 26.6 ppg and pulling down 7.7 rebounds per game and freshman C.J Elleby who is averaging 15.5 ppg and 6.8 rpg. Elleby scored a career-high 26 points in the Cougars loss to the Huskies. Franks was named the Pac-12 and NCAA Nationa Player of the Week.
Sophomore shooting guard Jaylan Nowell leads the Huskies with 16.4 ppg and 5.5 rpg followed by Senior Noah Dickerson who is averaging 12.8ppg and 6.7rpg per game. Dickerson believes the team is ready to bounce back from the ASU loss and is expecting a tough game from the Cougars.
UW has forced double-digit turnovers in 15-straight games, including a season high 24 forced at Arizona State, which was the most by an opponent since 24 against Dec. 19, 2017 against Bethune Cookman
• Washington is second in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 6.0 per game as a team and are 12th in steals per game … only UW and Duke rank in the top 15 nationally in both categories
• Matisse Thybulle, a candidate for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, has a career total of 440 takeaways (blocks and steals combined), which is the most by any of the previous Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year winners, which has been awarded 14 times in conference history
• Nowell was selected as one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award
• Nowell is shooting 51.6 percent from the field in 24 games, its up from his 45.1 percentage a year ago … he is also shooting 44.9 percent from 3, up from 35.1 a year ago
• Nowell is the first player since Isaiah Thomas (2010-11) to earn three Pac-12 Player of the Week Awards in the same season
• Crisp has scored in double figures in 12-straight and is shooting 45.0 percent from 3 during that span (36-80)
• Thybulle’s 79 steals this season rank second at UW in single-season history … Thybulle holds the UW single-season record already at 101 set a year ago … his 3.3 steals per game also lead the nation
• UW has shot 50 percent or better from the field in 6 of its 11 Pac-12 games including 5 of the last 9 and is shooting 48.4 percent from the field overall in those 11 outings, which is first in the Pac-12
• UW is holding its opponents to just 64.5 points per game, which leads the Pac-12 and is 28th nationally … 19 teams have been held to 70 points or less and UW has won 18 of those games