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Texas Southern Game Preview & How to Watch

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Washington looks to move to 2-1 in this young season

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Texas Southern at Michigan IndyStar-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Monday, 11/15/21

Tip-Off Time: 6:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Washington

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Radio: KJR 950 AM/KVI 570

Location: Seattle, Washington

DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies -9.5

Texas Southern 2021-22 Statistics:

Record: 0-2 (losses at Oregon and at Saint Mary’s)

Points For per Game: 62.0 ppg

Points Against per Game: 75.0 ppg

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 96.9 (226th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 101.9 (232nd)

Strength of Schedule: 18th

Texas Southern Tigers Key Players:

G-PJ Henry, Jr. 5’10, 175: 11.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 4.0 apg, 45.0% FG, 60.0% 3pt, 66.7% FT

It looks like Henry has leveled up this season as he averaged just 4.5 points last year as a backup point guard for Hartford before transferring to TSU. The Tigers’ leading scorer last year was PG Michael Weathers and Henry has stepped in and been a revelation for them in his stead shooting 60% from 3 with a 4:1 A:TO ratio.

G- John Jones, Sr. 6’0, 165: 3.5 ppg, 1.0 rpg, 0.5 apg, 18.2% FG, 14.3% 3pt, 100.0% FT

It’s been a rough shooting start to the year for Jones but he’s a career 33.2% shooter from beyond the arc and averaged 8.7 points per game 2 years ago so he has it in him. When you’re shooting 2/11 from the floor with 0 steals and 0 blocks through 2 games though it’s a sign that you better play better if you want to stay on the court.

G- Justin Hopkins, Sr. 6’5, 205: 3.5 ppg, 1.5 rpg, 1.0 apg, 40.0% FG, 0.0% 3pt, 100.0% FT

Similarly Hopkins averaged 10 points per game 2 years ago but this year has been a non-factor on offense with a miniscule 9.8% usage rate. He’s shooting a little better than Jones from the floor (2/5) but also hasn’t recorded a block or steal. If you’re looking for a weakness on the Tigers it’s definitely the wing duo as they have gotten almost no production from the 2 or 3 spots.

F- John Walker III, Sr. 6’9, 200: 17.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 bpg, 45.8% FG, 55.6% 3pt, 77.8% FT

Now we figure out who’s scoring the points. Walker III actually started his career at Texas A&M but after one season moved on in search of more playing time. He definitely looks to have taken a leap as a senior. Last year he averaged 12.2 points per game and was a career 24% 3-pt shooter. It’s still early but against 2 likely NCAA tournament team he’s averaging 17 ppg and has made 5 of 9 3’s at 6’9. He’s got 0 assists so far so when he has the ball UW should fell comfortable trapping knowing he doesn’t want to give it up.

F- Joirdan Karl Nicholas, Sr. 6’9, 220: 12.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.0 bpg, 58.8% FG, 71.4% FT

It’s been an effective big duo so far with Walker III and Karl Nicholas. On a per minute basis he’s doing about what he did last season when he was the Tigers’ 3rd leading scorer and leading rebounder. He’s a well above average offensive rebounder and could give Washington problems when they’re in their zone getting extra possessions for Texas Southern.

The Outlook

We’ve still got a parade of mid-majors coming into Hec Ed at this point in the schedule but Texas Southern definitely raises the competition up a notch. The SWAC is one of the worst basketball conferences in the country but Texas Southern won it last year and got into the tournament as a #16 seed. This year they have an 0-2 record but have already played 2 of the best few teams in the West with road losses to Oregon and Saint Mary’s.

This is an extremely veteran Tigers squad with only one underclassman in the rotation and only 2 non-seniors. KenPom has them 4th in the country in his experience metric at 2.78 average years played. You can be sure that they won’t be intimidated by what has been a pretty lackluster home crowd through the first few games and will surely be late arriving with a 6p tip on a weekday night.

Washington will see an offense that mirrors their own in a lot of ways (which is good news for the UW defense and not for the offense). Both teams rank near the bottom nationally in % of their attempts that come on 3-pointers as well as % of field goals that come from an assist. We’ll see a lot of isolation basketball and attempts to drive into the paint which is generally not the most successful strategy against a zone defense where ball movement is necessary to find open holes. Expect UW to only break away into man-to-man if Texas Southern is really doing better than planned on that end.

Defensively the only 2 players who have a block are the starting big duo of Walker III and Karl Nicholas. So far the Huskies have been able to get opposing bigs in foul trouble with their brute force offense and that might be a good strategy tonight. The Tigers haven’t shown they’ve got depth behind them. Houston transfer Brison Gresham had 7 points and 4 rebounds against Oregon but didn’t play against Saint Mary’s and if he’s out again then no one else on the bench is taller than 6’7.

It’s likely that Texas Southern is the best team that Washington will have faced so far this season. And given that the Huskies aren’t undefeated it means they absolutely could lose. However, this seems like a good matchup for the Dawgs playing against a team that’s reliant on getting the ball inside and which doesn’t have great wing play. It’s tough to think UW will fare better than Oregon or Saint Mary’s but I still think the Dawgs get it done.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 72, Texas Southern Tigers- 67