The Huskies have already left for Italy where they’ll be playing 4 games over the next week while also taking classes about Italian culture and doing some historical sightseeing. Here’s everything you need to know about the trip.
How to Watch
We’ll start with the essentials. When are the games and how do I watch them?
The Huskies will be playing 4 games and they’ll all be broadcasting at 10:00am PT*. The first one is tomorrow (Thursday 8/15), with games also on Friday 8/16, Sunday 8/18, and Tuesday 8/20.
*EDIT 5:42pm: The UW has announced that Thursday’s game will actually take place at 12:00pm PT instead. It is unclear at this point if that’s the only one or if others will have a later start as well.
The games will be streamed but unfortunately they won’t be free. All games will be shown on Flohoops.com. You can purchase a one month subscription to the streaming service for $30. It may look like it only costs $12.50 but that’s the per month price of the annual subscription. If all you care about is watching the Husky games then the cheapest option is going to be paying for the month and then making sure to cancel your subscription once you’ve seen all 4 of the games.
Obviously, many of us are going to be at work while those games are being played. Fortunately, Flo Hoops does have replays available on demand so you can watch the games after you get home at night if you’re unable to catch them live. That makes it a lot more palatable to shell out the $30 to watch the team.
If a player has already taken part in at least one international trip then they are not eligible to play in the event. That eliminates both Quade Green and Sam Timmins. Timmins went on Washington’s trip during his freshman year and Quade Green went to the Bahamas last year with Kentucky. Although Green has been spotted in a walking boot during Crawsover games this summer so he might not have been healthy enough to play even if he were eligible.
Players who are sitting out the season due to transfer rules also are not eligible to appear in a game. That means that we won’t see any of J’Raan Brooks.
A player getting on the court in Italy has no bearing on them being able to redshirt during the upcoming regular season though. That means that there is no reason why we shouldn’t see all of the incoming freshmen including Marcus Tsohonis and RaeQuan Battle.
EDIT 8/15/19: Rumors started popping up yesterday afternoon but Jaden McDaniels is officially not with the team in Italy. Tim Booth has reported it is due to “personal reasons” but once the reason is made public, I’ll pass it along. In the meantime this should mean more playing time for Jamal Bey and RaeQuan Battle.
What to Watch For?
The Big Man Rotation
During Hop’s first two seasons the Huskies have had a dearth of legitimate center prospects that they could roll out within the zone. Now suddenly the Huskies are loaded with big men. It’s not unreasonable to think that Isaiah Stewart, Hameir Wright, Sam Timmins, Nate Roberts, and Bryan Penn-Johnson (plus walk-on Riley Sorn) would all be capable of playing some minutes at center this season. With only 40 minutes to distribute per game it means that either some of them will need to play substantial time at PF or there will be some unhappy folks on the bench.
Sam Timmins won’t be able to play this trip so that leaves 4 scholarship players at 6’9 or taller in the big man rotation (plus Jaden McDaniels who we’ll get to later). My guess is that we’ll see at least two of them on the court at all times with Isaiah Stewart, Hameir Wright, and Nate Roberts being asked to play the corner of the zone at times as they rotate through.
Outside of the minutes distribution, the play of the redshirt freshmen will be the most interesting for me. It feels as if the Huskies could get by Stewart, Timmins, and Wright during the season if neither Roberts nor BPJ were ready for prime time. But it would be a big boost to the depth and a good sign for the future if both look capable of playing a solid 10-15 minutes come the start of the season.
The Stud Freshmen
Washington signed one of the best recruiting classes in their history with the additions of 5-stars Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels, top-100 recruit RaeQuan Battle, and Marcus Tsohonis.
Stewart is the sure thing. Literally everyone who has played with or against him has said that he should be a dominant college basketball player from day one. It’d be very surprising for him to be anywhere outside of the range from solid to spectacular at all times with a heavy lean towards the spectacular.
I’m more anxious to see how Jaden McDaniels performs as someone who has a much larger gap between his present and his potential then Stewart. McDaniels views himself as a wing and I hope the Huskies deploy him primarily as a jumbo small forward who can punish smaller defenders and overwhelm on defense with his length. I’m still skeptical about McDaniels’ shot and I’ll be looking to see if his offensive game skews more towards settling for shooting over smaller defenders or driving to the basket with his length despite needing to pack on muscle.
Still, I fully expect both to be well above average. I’d love to say the same about RaeQuan Battle who has the look of a more athletic C.J Wilcox coming out of high school. Wilcox redshirted but it seems unlikely given UW’s depth at the guard spot that Battle will do the same. It would plug a big hole in the offense if Battle can step in and play a role similar to Dominic Green as a spot up shooter capable of hitting 35-40% of his deep attempts, although in fewer minutes than Green played.
Who’s Going to Be Handling the Ball?
The Huskies will be without Quade Green in Italy just as they likely will be for the first month of the season (Coach Hopkins has said recently that if Green’s waiver for immediate eligibility isn’t approved then he’ll come back before the Diamond Head Classic).
That means we’ll likely get a heavy dose of Elijah Hardy as a Husky for the first time. Hardy has looked good this summer in the Crawsover but comments from Hop indicate he still can struggle with turnovers and too often making the flashy play over the right one. With so much scoring talent on the roster (add in Naz Carter to Stewart and McDaniels) I’m guessing that Hop would love for Hardy to focus more on nice and easy distribution. But if Hardy does have a rough stretchwhere will Hop go then?
If Quade were eligible right away then I think most people would expect Marcus Tsohonis to take a redshirt season given his relatively low recruiting ranking. We’ll get an early look to see whether Hop gives Marcus 10+ minutes per game as the only nominal backup point guard on the roster or if a combination of Jamal Bey, Naz Carter, and Jaden McDaniels are entrusted to stitch together that role.
Until we see otherwise the Hardy/Tsohonis combination at the PG spot looks to be the weakest part of the team heading into the Baylor game so it would be nice to see both play well to boost their confidence.
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