Washington basketball upped their record to 3-1 with a win over the Santa Clara Broncos at the Vancouver Showcase in Vancouver, B.C. Here are our takeaways.
This was the Washington basketball team’s first game at the Showcase. The Huskies beat the Santa Clara 82-68. UW was again led by their top scorer, sophomore Jaylen Nowell with 32 points. He had 21 of his points in the first half where the Huskies led 42-32. He was three of three from the three-point line in the first half ending with four out of six for the game.
Senior reserve guard Dominic Green was second on the team with 13 points while Noah Dickerson rounded out players in double figures with 11. After this win, Washington has a record of 3-1 while Santa Clara dropped to 0-3.
Coach Mike Hopkins decided to go with three guards, one big forward and a small forward. In the prior three games, the Huskies had started the same lineup as they did all of last year with guards Jaylen Nowell, David Crisp, Matisse Thybulle along with big forwards Dickerson and sophomore Sam Timmins. This game they decided to start sophomore small forward/guard Hameir Wright.
In UW’s last game against San Diego, Wright didn’t start but he played 29 minutes and scored nine points. A reason for the change in the lineup was because the Huskies had gotten off to slow starts in the previous three games. Coach Mike Hopkins wanted to see his team get off to a better start. They did better this time out, getting out to a 27-20 lead with 13:20 left in the first half.
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After the game, Hopkins didn’t sound like he was enthused with the lineup change. I am sure he will review the game film before facing Texas A&M on Tuesday. He’ll decide then whether he wants to go back to his regular lineup with Timmins in or stay with Wright or someone else.
Outside of Nowell, Dominic Green and Noah Dickerson the offense again was inconsistent especially that the Huskies only outscored the Broncos by four in the second half. That isn’t a knock on Santa Clara, but rather it was a poor effort from a supposed top-25 team.
Washington had 14 turnovers for the game. Afterward, Hopkins was not hot happy about the giveaways, some were plain awful. Additionally, Washington struggled under the basket scoring only 24 points inside.
The 68 points the Huskies gave up to the Broncos was the highest total Santa Clara scored in their three games. Hopkins called the play of the defense “lackluster” which I call uninspiring. Washington didn’t have much of an inside presence giving up 30 points in the paint.
UW won the battle of the boards 30-24, but outside of Noah Dickerson and Hameir Wright, Wahington didn’t have a big impact down low. The key to the Huskies defense right now is to shut down the opposing team’s offense on the outside.
Matisse Thybulle, last year’s PAC-12 defensive player of the game leads the team in block shots with 11 on the season. That’s 42 percent of the team’s total. Most of his blocks though are out at the top of the key. He was initially a game-time decision due to a mild strain but still played 23 minutes. Thybulle usually plays 35 minutes a game so his absence was felt especially on defense because he sets the tone.
The Huskies play two more games this week at the Vancouver Showcase. They will be facing Texas A&M on Tuesday then Minnesota on Wednesday. Check on those two teams along with the Huskies in the next “week at a glance”.