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Huskies Finish Italian Exhibition Tour 4-0 with 97-38 Victory

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The Dawgs were led by Nahziah Carter’s 20 points

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

Washington was perhaps hoping for some higher level of competition but the Dawgs did what you’re supposed to do with an undermanned opponent in a 97-38 romp over the Siena All-stars.

The Huskies got off to another strong start against Siena and held an early 12-3 lead. Isaiah Stewart had 6 points and 4 rebounds in the first 5.5 minutes to go along with Carter and Tsohonis 3’s. But the offense stalled a bit from there despite the Dawgs rolling out a Hardy + Tsohonis lineup for much of the second part of the 1st quarter. That plus a couple of made contested 3-pointers allowed Siena to trim the lead to 22-15 at the end of the 1st quarter.

The malaise carried over to the 2nd quarter and Siena got within 4 points after starting the quarter on a 5-2 run. Marcus Tsohonis decided to become more aggressive offensively at that point and hit a couple of tough floaters plus pulled off Matisse Thybulle-esque steal and layup in the passing lanes at the top of the key. That helped Washington extend the lead out to 33-20 with 5:44 remaining in the second quarter.

To that point the Huskies had mostly played man-to-man but they went to a jumbo zone lineup featuring Carter and Bey as the guards and a combination of Wright, Stewart, Roberts, and Bryan Penn-Johnson for the rest of the half. There were some predictable ugly turnovers with no point guard out there but Siena couldn’t get anything done offensively against that much size and UW racked up the steals. Washington closed out the half on a 15-3 run despite a poor stretch from Isaiah Stewart in which he had 2 turnovers and a pair of missed 3-pointers to lead 48-23 at halftime.

For perhaps the first time all trip, Coach Hopkins left his starting lineup out there for a full 7 minutes to begin the 3rd quarter. It certainly paid off as Washington went on a 24-2 run and turned it into an absolute no doubt laugher. Nahziah Carter was the primary instigator during the streak as he knocked down a pair of 3-pointers and added a few steals and offensive rebounds to go along with it.

Hopkins began inserting walk-ons with 1:28 left in the 3rd quarter and continued adding them into the lineup with 7:50 left in the game and a 50-point lead.

Carter led Washington with 20 points and 7 rebounds while Jamal Bey (14 points), Isaiah Stewart (13 points), and Marcus Tsohonis (12 points) all scored in double figures as well.

The next time we’ll get to see Washington on the court will be the exhibition against Western Washington on Halloween night a full 2+ months from now. Luckily there’s at least one other college sport starting sometime soon to keep you occupied...

Double Bonus Dots (all stats unofficial)

  • If this is the worst things look for Isaiah Stewart then Husky fans will be pretty happy. The 5-star freshman had his worst game of the tour but still managed 13 points and 12 rebounds including 6 on the offensive glass. He struggled with turnovers though (4 of them) and was unable to make any of his jumpers except for a single free throw in 3 tries. Even if he has off nights from a scoring perspective it seems like he’s going to have a minimum of 7-9 rebounds every game.
  • The story of the first half was Marcus Tsohonis who looked spectacular. He didn’t end up scoring a point in the second half but tried to play the role of a defensive specialist/distributor and while he forced things a couple times he was effective in that role as well. Tsohonis finished with 12 points, 6 assists, 5 steals, and 3 turnovers in 24 minutes. Before the tour I thought there was a chance that he would redshirt but I don’t see any way that Tsohonis doesn’t force his way onto the court this season. It will be an interesting subplot to the season to see who plays more between Hardy and Tsohonis.
  • Jamal Bey missed his first 5 shots but recovered to make 6 of his final 7 and wind up with 14 total plus 4 steals. He’s struggled with turnovers at times on the trip but only had one today which was nice to see. Everything about Bey suggests that he’s going to be a poor man’s Matisse Thybulle this season minus the blocks. He’ll have his share of steals on the perimeter leading to fast break dunks and while he can occasionally make a higher level play most of his shots will either come cutting to the rim or on spot up 3’s.
  • Every game Hameir Wright has tried to make a play or two that he doesn’t quite have the skill level to execute but he continues to stuff the stat sheet. His final line: 4 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, and 1 block (with 2 turnovers). It’ll be hard to keep the young big men off the court but Wright is the clear cut glue guy on this team. If he is playing well it makes everything else look so much easier.
  • Elijah Hardy didn’t get a lot of playing time on his own but continued to look solid and quietly put up 4 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals with just 1 turnover in 17 minutes.
  • Nate Roberts continues to look like the winner of the him versus BPJ playing time battle but both were solid today. Roberts wound up with 7 points and 7 rebounds while BPJ had 5 points and 3 rebounds plus 2 blocks. I had been skeptical of the 2 playing at the same time long-term but next season without Stewart or McDaniels I wouldn’t be shocked to see that be the starting lineup with Roberts at the 4.
  • Riley Sorn got to man the middle for the final 8 minutes and ended up with 6 points, 2 rebounds, and 1 block. The lack of lateral agility was evident when he had no one between him and the rim while 10 feet away but couldn’t cover the distance to dunk before the help defender rotated to graze his elbow and cause a miss. The other walk-ons did their part in the 4th quarter as Jonah Geron had 5 points and Jason Crandall made a basket to go along with an assist and a steal.
  • I’m missing 2 points in my stat lines because Flo Hoops had the annoying habit of showing replays over live action and they completely missed a UW possession ending in a basket and the commentators neglected to even mention that there had been a score. Also my rebound totals appear to be much lower than the official Husky team account. I have no idea how they came up with another 4 rebounds each for Carter and Roberts but feel free to take my totals with a grain of salt.

I’ll have a wrap-up of my impressions based on the tour as a whole later this week so look forward to that.

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