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Washington Wins Big in 1st Italian Exhibition Game, 94-35

The Huskies bludgeoned their first hapless victim of the trip

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Washington Huskies vs Utah State Aggies Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Huskies began their exhibition tour of Italy on a high note with a 94-35 victory over the Peak Warriors in what was a mismatch from the very beginning. The Dawgs will be one of the bigger teams in college basketball and that held true today as they appeared to have an average of 4-5 inches on their opponents across the board.

Washington began the game on a 21-0 run and held both a 40+ point lead at the half and a 60+ point lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. The Peak Warriors scored consecutive baskets for the first time at the beginning of the 4th quarter and were able to win the final period but it was a complete slaughter the rest of the time. UW actually began the game playing man to man defense but shifted to their normal zone about midway through the 1st quarter.

Seton Hall played the same team during their Italy exhibition trip and won by the exact same margin. The Pirates are widely viewed as a top-25 team in preseason rankings.

The Huskies achieved this lopsided win despite being without 5-star freshman Jaden McDaniels who did not make the trip to Italy with the team due to personal issues. Quade Green, Sam Timmins, and J’Raan Brooks were all also ineligible due to either having already played in an international trip or transfer guidelines. It certainly seems like the coaching staff made a clear effort to get every scholarship player somewhere between 15-20 minutes of playing time.

Rather than go through the rest of the game flow I’ll go player by player (all stats are by my own accounting since an official box score was not released).

Nahziah Carter- 18 pts, 7 rbd, 3 ast, 3 stl, 4 TO; 4/7 2pt, 3/7 3pt, 1/2 FT; 18 mins

Carter was the catalyst behind the Huskies’ superb start as he started 3 of 4 from deep and had 11 points in the first quarter. From there things got a little sloppy and he committed several careless turnovers and oddly twice got blocked by the rim on dunk attempts where he didn’t leap with his feet totally set. If he can shoot something close to 35% from 3-pt range this year it’ll be good enough

Nate Roberts- 16 pts, 8 rbd, 3 TO; 6/7 2pt, 1/1 3pt, 1/2 FT; 15 mins

Perhaps the biggest revelation of the game was Roberts who was fantastic on the offensive end and backed up Hop’s praise last week of his rebounding ability. Twice in the first half he showed great touch catching the ball near the free throw line and spinning to either hit a short floater or lay it in. He also had some easy dunks but showed the ability to hit a 3-pointer in his only attempt. He didn’t record any blocks or steals but could give the Huskies a big boost as a weakside defensive rebounder. Almost all of his turnovers were Roberts moving a little too fast and having the ball slip out of his hands unforced.

Isaiah Stewart- 16 pts, 9 rbd, 4 ast, 2 stl; 8/11 2pt; 16 mins

The 5-star freshman big man was as advertised despite missing 3 shots early. However 2 of those were on the same possession when he twice corralled his own miss and eventually laid it in. At least in this game Stewart didn’t attempt a shot more than a few feet from the rim but he does have the ability to nail a midrange jumper. The most encouraging thing was the 4 assists as the Peak Warriors tried to gameplan for him early and Stewart was able to pass out of double teams. Noah Dickerson never had 4+ assists in a game last season.

Jamal Bey- 12 pts, 4 rbd, 1 ast, 6 TO; 6/8 2pt, 0/4 3pt; 21 mins

Bey had a rough game when he was doing anything other than slashing to the basket/finishing alley oops. The coaching staff has insisted that Bey would be able to take on additional ball handling responsibilities this year but at least in this game he struggled on every entry pass attempt. He also wasn’t able to knock down on any of his jump shots. However, he had several nice up and under finishes around the rim as well as a few dunks in transition.

Marcus Tsohonis- 11 pts, 2 rbd, 2 ast, 3 stl, 2 TO; 4/4 2pt, 0/1 3pt, 3/3 FT

As the lowest rated recruit in the 2019 class there was understandably some skepticism about how well he might play but Tsohonis had a marvelous game. He showed really nice instincts in the zone to secure his steals and was the right mix of aggressive with the ball. He knocked down a few jumpers including a step back buzzer beater at the end of the half where his toes were just over the line. It’s hard to gather too much in a game like this but at least today he passed the eye test.

RaeQuan Battle- 8 pts, 3 rbd, 1 stl, 2 TO; 1/1 2pt, 2/8 3pt; 19 mins

Battle was advertised as a shooter without a conscience and that seems to be true. He had the green light and was content to pull up and take a 3 whenever the ball touched his hands. His 2 makes came on consecutive possessions the latter of which was way behind the line. He also showed off one very athletic dunk.

Bryan Penn-Johnson- 6 pts, 3 rbd, 1 ast, 2 stl, 2 TO; 3/4 2pt, 0/2 FT; 21 mins

At this point in time it looks like BPJ’s offensive arsenal is confined to dunking the ball but man can he dunk it. A powerful slam on one of his first possessions left the rim slightly bent and although it didn’t seem to bother the Huskies’ scoring, it was noticeable. He missed all of his non-dunks including a pair of ugly looking free throws. However, he did have a nice shovel pass when double teamed to Nate Roberts who took advantage for a wide open dunk that is encouraging for his hoops IQ.

Elijah Hardy- 2 pts, 7 ast, 3 stl, 1 TO; 1/1 2pt, 0/1 3pt; 21 mins

Hardy was a maestro in transition with the Huskies often beating their man down court and Hardy firing off a half court pass for either an easy layup or alley oop dunk (often to Jamal Bey). There were a few passes that got deflected and ultimately weren’t stolen or else the 7/1 A/TO ratio might look a little worse. Still, Hardy was clearly focused on getting his teammates involved and that’s what he’ll be asked to do when the regular season starts as well.

Hameir Wright- 0 pts, 7 rbd, 3 ast, 4 stl, 2 blk, 3 TO; 0/2 3 pt; 13 mins

It didn’t unfortunately look like Wright has made a massive leap with his offensive game. He did a nice job passing the ball but was called for a few travels trying to drive to the rim and also just had the ball slip through his hands twice. Wright was the clear MVP on defense however and did his best Matisse Thybulle impression albeit from the back line and ended up with 4 steals and 2 blocks.

The Huskies take on another team in Rome tomorrow at noon and also play games on Sunday and Tuesday before returning home.

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