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Dot Dot Dawg: Nine Down, Nine to Go

MBB remains perfect in Pac-12 play thanks to a suffocating zone defense, a local five-star 2020 football recruit was on hand for Saturday’s game, and fewer high school football players could mean problems for the future of Pac-12 football.

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NCAA Basketball: UCLA at Washington Jennifer Buchanan-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Times — Impressions from UW’s win over UCLA: Can the Huskies keep winning if Noah Dickerson can’t play?

Percy Allen lists his takeaways from the Washington Huskies’ 69-55 win over the visiting UCLA Bruins, including Sam Timmins stepping up in place for an injured Noah Dickerson, the effectiveness of Washington’s zone defense, and UW’s struggle to play effectively against UCLA’s full-court press.

The Athletic — Indiana finds a pulse, Baylor goes streaking, my top 25 and lots more

Seth Davis is thoroughly impressed by the Huskies, with the Dawgs earning his vote for 19th in the latest AP poll:

I know the Pac-12 is bad, but it’s still impressive that Washington is undefeated in league play. The Huskies beat USC and UCLA at home last week by a combined 27 points, and this week they play at Arizona and Arizona State. Trust me, no one will want to see this team in the NCAA Tournament. You know how hard Syracuse is to beat in the tourney because of that zone, right? Well, former ‘Cuse assistant Mike Hopkins is using it to great effect in Seattle, and it will be even more lethal in March when opponents are unaccustomed to going up against it. Washington has held every Pac-12 opponent to 70 points or fewer.

The Seattle Times — Matisse Thybulle, Huskies’ defensive ace, is stealing the show (and lots of basketballs)

Matt Calkins shines a spotlight on the tremendous impact Matisse Thybulle has made on the court for the Dawgs this season, especially with regard to his six first-half steals:

Heading into Saturday’s game, Thybulle was averaging 3.0 steals and 2.14 blocks per game. The former was first in the Pac-12 and fourth in the country. The latter was tied for second in the conference. After Saturday, he’s at 3.2 steals per game, which should put him at No. 2 in the nation.

According to Washington’s sports-information department, only two players in the past 20 years (Duke’s Shane Battier and Kentucky’s Nerlens Noel) have finished a season averaging two blocks and two steals per game. Neither averaged three steals and two blocks, which Tybulle is on pace to do.

The Mercury News — The Pac-12’s primary talent pool is shrinking faster than those of other Power Five conferences

Jon Wilner has been an invaluable source of reporting regarding the Pac-12 position relative to the nation’s other power conferences, and his latest report regarding high school football participation represents potentially dire news for the conference’s long-term competitive viability:

According to data collected by the National Federation of State High School Associations, participation in 11-on-11 tackle football in California has dropped 8.8 percent in the past five years:

2013 season: 103,474

2014 season: 103,740

2015 season: 100,205

2016 season: 97,079

2017 season: 94,286

Numbers from the fall of ’18 won’t be available until this summer, but Roger Blake, executive director of the California Interscholastic Federation (CIF), expects the decline to continue.


  • Tony Castricone spoke to Nahziah Carter, Todd Tuetken and Mike Hopkins in the latest episode of the GoHuskies Podcast.
  • Pro Football Focus judged Greg Gaines to be the best interior run defender in the conference during the 2018 season.
  • A group of football recruits, including elite 2020 football linebacker Sav’ell Smalls, was on campus for Saturday’s basketball game against UCLA, and clearly enjoyed the environment that greeted them.
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