Mike Hopkins assumed control of the Washington basketball program before last season. He took them to the second round of the NIT. This season the Huskies could go further.
Last year Mike Hopkins took over the University of Washington basketball program. The Huskies surprised everyone in the Pac-12 by finishing sixth in the conference. They ended up having an overall record of 21-13, and 10-8 in the PAC-12. Their splits were 16-4 at home, 5-6 on the road and 0-3 at neutral sites.
Washington may have made the NCAA tournament if they hadn’t lost to Oregon in the last game of the regular season in Seattle 72-64, and to the Oregon State Beavers 69-66 in overtime at the Pac-12 tournament.
The biggest non-league win for the Huskies in 2017-18 was a win over the Kansas Jayhawks in Kansas City, Missouri 74-65 on Dec. 6, 2017. Non-conference losses included Providence and Virginia Tech in New York City.
The last time the Huskies were in the NCAA tournament was 2011 when they lost to North Carolina in the second round 86-83. This year the experts are predicting the Huskies to be in the top three of the Pac-12 and a return to the big dance. Analyst Andy Katz even predicted a UW conference title.
UW’s turnaround last year has them headed in the direction of the 2019 NCAA tournament. What makes this year different is that the Huskies won’t surprise other teams like last year. In their favor, Washington has talented players who will have the benefit of a year in Hopkins’ system.
This season the Huskies will have seven non-league games with three on the road. Those three road games will be against Auburn, UC Santa Clara, and Gonzaga. They will be a good measuring stick to see how good the Huskies will be.