The Seattle Times — Three impressions from Washington’s latest win: Matisse Thybulle closing in on Pac-12’s all-time defensive greats
Percy Allen shares his conclusions from the Washington Huskies men’s basketball team’s latest victory (their 15th win in 16 games), which clinched for the Dawgs at least a share in the Pac-12 regular season title. They include Matisse Thybulle’s defensive dominance, an appreciation for the way that Dominic Green, Sam Timmins, and Jamal Bey stepped up in place of an absent Hameir Wright, and UW’s chance to clinch an outright conference championship with a next on Thursday against woeful California.
The Mercury News — Pac-12 hires independent firm to review football officiating process (the smartest move the conference could make)
Jon Wilner reports that the conference of champions is taking concrete steps to improve the quality of its officiating in the wake of a disastrous 2018 season that saw the Pac-12 become even more of a national punching bag than usual:
The Pac-12 has hired an outside agency to conduct an independent review of its football officiating, a vital step toward restoring credibility in the aftermath of the 2018 scandal in which an untrained official participated in the replay-review process.
The outside agency, Sibson Consulting, is a national firm that has reviewed officiating programs in the NBA and NFL.
Sibson is expected to begin work as soon as next week, according to the Pac-12, with the start of training camp as the targeting completion date. A summary will be made available to the public upon completion.
The Seattle Times — ‘Every game it’s a different guy’: Good luck trying to figure out who is MVP of Huskies
While the Huskies clearly have a couple of headliners in the form of Thybulle and Jaylen Nowell, Matt Calkins is most impressed with the team’s other players’ abilities to step up at a moment’s notice:
A tip-off at Hec Ed doesn’t just signify the start of a basketball game, it signifies the start of a mystery. When the Huskies take the floor, you never know who’s going to give the signature performance.
Sometimes it’s Nowell, the guard who came into the game averaging a team-high 15.5 points along with 6.2 rebounds. Sometimes it’s Thybulle, the forward who’s on pace to become the first player in NCAA Division I history to finish a season averaging three steals and two blocks. Sometimes it’s Crisp, who entered the game shooting 42.4 percent from deep in Pac-12 play and is basically playing without a backup. Sometimes it’s Dickerson, who dropped 21 points against USC and once drew 13 fouls.
It’s not rare to get a mixture of contributions from players at the college level. But it’s unusual to see it this diverse.
Unsurprisingly, Eamonn Brennan regards the Huskies as the only Pac-12 program (with the possible exception of Arizona State) deserving of a bid in the NCAA tournament:
However much ridicule we heap on the Pac-12, we reserve zero scorn for the Huskies for good reason: They refuse to be lured into the muck. It’s not hard to imagine this team at, say, 8-4 in the Pac-12, with a couple of damaging losses on its résumé, feeling much less assured of its eventual at-large status. Instead, Mike Hopkins’ team has steadfastly remained above the fray. Their lack of quality wins in the nonconference (and lack of chances to make up for it in league play) kind of meant they needed to all along. It’s one thing for some dude with a laptop to say so. Doing it is much more difficult, even if UW is making it look easy.
- ESPN’s Adam Rittenberg ranks Washington No. 11 in his quarterback future power rankings, trailing No. 5 Stanford and No. 10 Oregon.
- Byron Murphy checks in at No. 15 on Mel Kiper’s latest Big Board for the 2019 NFL Draft.
- The Athletic’s Michael Weinreb has a fun story about the 1895 introduction of the forward pass into college football’s offensive arsenal.
- UW’s No. 5 softball team improved to 10-1 with victories last week over Cal Poly San Luis Obispo and No. 16 Kentucky.
- The women’s basketball team finally snapped a 10-game losing streak with a 60-46 Sunday road win over Colorado.
- Former Oregon quarterback Braxton Burmeister has transferred to Virginia Tech.
- Budda Baker and Sidney Jones have some glowing words to share about Washington defensive coordinator and secondary coach Jimmy Lake.