Sunday, December 2, 2018

UCSB vs. Washington Game Preview, by Gaucho Freg

Game 8
UCSB @ Washington Preview
Sunday, December 2, 2018, 5PM PST
The Gauchos ride a five game win streak into the home of their first power conference opponent in the University of Washington Huskies.  The Huskies will also be their first opponent ranked above 200 in the computer rankings. 

By the Numbers                                                             
Record (D1 only) 5-2 5-1
Home/Away vs D1 4-0 (H) 1-1(A)
Composite National Rankings
DCI 1&2, BPI, KP, Massey, NET, RPI, Sagarin 65 145
NET 69 177
SOS 77 335
CBS Preseason Rank 22 203
SI Preseason Rank 28 185
Preseason Poll Pick 2nd - 3rd 1st – 6th
Efficiency Rankings (Pomeroy) 
Offense 62 151
Defense 46 180
Scoring 72.0 76.0
FG% 44.8 47.7
3Pt % 32.1 31.6
PPG Allowed 66.9 61.6
FG % Defense 39.6 36.2
3Pt % Defense 33.8 22.8
The Arena:  Alaska Airlines Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion, referred to as Hec Edmundson or Hec Ed was originally built in 1927 and was renovated in 1999.  Having attended a game there I can say it is a nice balance of relatively modern comforts housed in classic field-house shell.  Great place to see a game.  Capacity is 10,000 and they are averaging 6k per game this season.  It hosted the Final Four in both 1949 and 1952 and Seattle Supersonic Playoff games in 1980 and 1987.
Best win:  San Diego
Worst Loss:  Minnesota

UW-UCSB History
UCSB All-time record vs. Huskies:  1-3
Last game (2015):  UCSB defeated the Huskies 83-78, in Seattle behind 17 points from Bryson and 14 from Vincent.  Mitch Brewe had a big game in front of his hometown crowd as well.
Head Coach:  Second year coach Mike Hopkins was the long-time associate HC (and a former player) for Jim Boeheim at Syracuse and many were surprised to see him take the UW position when he was in line for the Syracuse job when Boeheim retired.  Like Joe Pasternack, Hopkins made a hugely positive impact on his program, taking the Huskies from a 9 win season the year previous to 21 wins last year.  On his staff are two former head coaches, Cameron Dollar (Seattle) and Dave Rice (UNLV).

Roster  The Huskies have an experienced roster with upperclassmen and sophomores who garnered significant playing time last season making up the regular rotation.    So far, no freshmen are playing significant minutes.
Probable Starters
Guard- Jalen Nowell  #5 6’4”, 188 lb, Sophomore 18.1 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.9 apg.  A superstar in the making, Nowell is averaging a ridicules .580 from the field including .478 from three. Led the Huskies in scoring last season and was a 4* recruit.  Freshmen first teamer.  Tall order for Jaquori to cover. 
Guard David Crisp  #1  6’0”, 185 lb, Senior 9.6 ppg   Tied for team lead with 2.9 assists pg.  Third in three point makes with 10 at a .313 clip
Guard Matisse Thybulle #4  6’5”, 200 lb, 5.9 ppg (.349),  Senior  Pac 12 Defensive POY, leads team in blocks (19) and steals (16).  Expect to see him covering Davis.
Forward Hamier Wright #13  6’9”, 215 lb, 4.1 rbg  Sophomore.  Leads team in fouls per game and is shooting a paltry 22% from the field. 
F/C- Noah Dickerson #15  6’8”, 245 lb, Senior- 16.6 ppg on .528 shooting, 7.3 rpg.    Teams leading rebounder and second leading scorer does all of his damage inside the paint. Gets to the FT line A LOT, 55 attempts, making 73% of them.   He is sloppy with the ball, 22 TOs—a lot for a non pg position.  First Team All P12 last year.

Posssible Key Reserves
F/C Sam Timmins  #33  6’11”, 265 lb, 5 rbg  Junior.  Has started 5 games but averaging less than 10 mpg. 
Forward  Nahziah Carter   #11  6’6”, 205 lb, Sophomore 8.7 ppg while playing 20 mpg. 
Wing Dominic Green  #22  6’6”, 200 lb, Senior 7.9 ppg, playing starter minutes, 24 per game.  Leads team in three point shooting with 14 makes on .452 from behind the arc
Match-up overview:   The Huskies present a massive bump in competition for the Gauchos and are a team, like UCSB, experiencing a revival under a second year coach.  Going by the computer rankings the Gauchos have played one of the softest schedules in the country and have yet to face a team remotely in the top half.  Now they face Washington which has been picked to finish in the top three of the Pac 12.  The Huskies will defend better than any team UCSB yet to face, employing the vice-like zone defense that Hopkins learned at Syracuse under Boeheim.  Sow & Idehen will have to work to stay out of foul trouble while trying to contain Noah Dickerson.  On the other hand, the Huskies have a mediocre A/TO ratio and haven’t defended the three so well (opponents are shooting 34% against them) so if the Gauchos get hot from outside, they have a shot (can we have us some Heidegger please?)

Keys to the game for the Gauchos
·       Sow & Idehen stay out of foul trouble.  Tough match-up as our inexperienced bigs take on a proficient & athletic senior in Noah Dickerson.
·       Three point shots fall.  As UW has been mediocre in defending the three, it would be a great game for our shooters to get going.   Having an effective Max Heidegger could really make a big difference but that is probably too much to expect.
·       Jaquori to continue his success on defense.  Pasternack has been singing the praises of McLaughlin and rightly so, he limited the nations assists leader to one assist vs 5 TOs in the game against the Hornets.  He’ll likely be matched up on Jalen Nowell  Can’t expect an identical performance but keeping him well below his averages will help give the Gauchos a shot.

Prediction:  As excited as I am by the Gaucho’s  6-1 start, I do recognize its come against an extremely weak schedule and this will be such a massive bump in competition.  Gauchos are talented and are improving but not enough yet to knock off a team the caliber of Washington. 
UW 75  UCSB 68

Official Site
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How to Watch:   Pac12 Network

UW Pre-Season Preview LinkS: ... l-preview- ... ll-105878/
Fun facts about UW:
The Huskies have made one Final Four, in 1953.  They’ve made it to at least the Sweet-16 7 times, the last in 2010.  They also made the tournament in 1943 and 1948 when only 8 teams total were entered, losing in the first round both times.  The university is one of the oldest on the west coast, founded in 1861, long before Washington statehood (1889).

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