November 21st, 7:00pm, JoeTV
The star of this team is PG Isiah Umipig (Sr., 6-0, 195). The Federal Way product scored over 19ppg and broke the school records for threes made (106) and threes attempted (287). He's a high-energy gunner that will get his shots against any team. He scored 24 points in last year's loss to Washington.
G Jarell Flora (Sr., 6-3, 180) started most of last year and averaged a hair under 10ppg. He hails from Bremerton HS. Rounding out the backcourt is G Emmanuel Chibuogwu Jr. (So., 6-6, 185) of Shorecrest HS in Shoreline. He came off the bench last season, averaging 16 minutes per game
Despite having larger options on the roster, F William Powell (So., 6-6, 210) started Seattle U's opener against Texas State. Given that guarding Washington's four will usually mean taking on either the versatile 6-10, 240-pound Jarreau and guarding almost out to the three-point line, or banging with Shawn Kemp Jr (when he's playing alongside Upshaw) in the low post, suddenly a more intimidating task than it was a season ago.
Powell's size seems more suited to dealing with Jarreau, though he gives up quite a bit of length to Washington's athletic stretch-four. If Upshaw and Kemp are both on the floor, it may be tough for Powell to contribute offensively or defensively. Look for him to play the least of the starting five, with Shore Adenekan (Sr., 6-9, 235) the first big off the bench (he played 19 minutes to Powell's 25 vs. Texas State).
The Redhawks have the luxury of a big body at the center spot. England's Jack Crook (Jr., 6-11, 255) has the type of size that Washington has yet to deal with this season. Upshaw has had the luxury of running around the paint blocking every shot that goes up, but that may change with Crook battling for offensive boards.
Early in the game, assuming Upshaw will come off the bench, Crook should also help to limit Kemp's easy looks underneath the basket. Crook is no world-beater (he averaged 5 points and 6 rebounds in 22mpg last year), but he'll provide an interesting opportunity to evaluate where Kemp and Upshaw stand this early in the year.
Overall, this does not appear to be an overly talented squad. The Redhawks will enter the game 1-1, with a 53-62 loss to Texas State and a 98-74 win against Nebraska Omaha.
Umipig is the only individual player that I see causing major headaches, but I think the length of Williams-Goss will give him some trouble. He'll likely score 20+ points but the key will be forcing him to take a lot of shots to get there.
I'm curious to see if Seattle U will play zone. South Carolina State found early success in a 2-3, as they stood by and watched the Huskies settle for missed jumper after missed jumper. Quevyn Winters is really the only player on the roster that views three-point shooting as a specialty. NWG and Andrews have taken the bulk of the shots from long range, and it has not worked out over an extremely small sample size.
If I'm Coach Dollar, I play zone to start off the contest to make the Huskies either prove it via the three or actually show that they can work the ball inside against a 2-3. It's worth a shot.
I expect a sloppy, up-tempo game that will have a fair share of runs before settling in Washington's favor. Seattle U just doesn't have the same level of talent, so unless the Huskies beat themselves with poor defense and shenanigans against zone defense, it should be their game to lose.
Washington 81, Seattle U 69