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Seattle Game Preview & How to Watch

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After 3 weeks off due to a COVID-19 pause the Huskies will be back on the court

NCAA Basketball: Seattle at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Saturday, 12/18/21

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks

Streaming: Pac-12.com/live

Radio: KJR 950 AM/KVI 570

Location: Seattle, Washington

DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies -5

Seattle 2021-22 Statistics:

Record: 8-3

Points For per Game: 74.7 ppg (65th)

Points Against per Game: 67.4 ppg (124th)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 100.3 (189th)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 102.4 (215th)

Strength of Schedule: 358th

Seattle Redhawks Key Players:

G- Darrion Trammell, So. 5’10, 165: 14.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 5.4 apg, 39.4% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 71.4% FT

It’s a little crazy that Trammell is averaging 14/5/3 and having a down year but that’s certainly the case. Last season he averaged 20.5 points per game on better all around shooting and a higher usage rate. Hopefully he doesn’t come out of his relative shooting slump tonight against the Huskies although it should be noted in 4 career games against Pac-12 teams he’s averaging just 10.8 ppg on 30% shooting so it may partly be strength of schedule based. Another thing to note is Trammell is 21st in the country in steal rate averaging nearly 3 per game so he can be a defensive pest as well at 5’10.

G- Cameron Tyson, So. 6’2, 190: 14.7 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.8 apg, 42.2% FG, 41.6% 3pt, 80.0% FT

It has been an interesting career arc for Tyson who averaged nearly 14 points per game at Idaho as a freshman out of Bothell then transferred to Houston where he only played 10 minutes per game for a Final 4 team almost exclusively as a 3-pt specialist. After transferring back down he’s putting up improved numbers so far for Seattle and leads the Redhawks in rebounding at 6 per game as a 6’2 shooting guard. For his career nearly 70% of his shots have been from behind the arc so expect for him to bomb away against UW.

G- Riley Grisby, Jr. 6’6. 220: 14.4 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.2 apg, 39.9% FG, 24.1% 3pt, 85.7% FT

Last year Grigsby averaged 17.8 points per game so his numbers are down a little bit although that’s partly due to just getting fewer minutes. He’s a career 30% 3pt shooter but made 38% from deep last year so he’s not very consistent. The one thing Grisby does really well is take care of the ball so he’s at least able to get a shot up even if it isn’t going in all that efficiently right now.

G- Viktor Rajkovic, Fr. 6’6, 210: 4.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg, 1.5 apg, 44.4% FG, 37.5% 3pt, 66.7% FT

Given the 3 headed monster listed above it’s not surprising that the rest of Seattle’s lineup doesn’t have a lot of scoring punch. Rajkovic has been a very solid 4th banana shooting efficiently while also serving as at least an average rebounder, passer, and defender. He’s a glue guy who won’t be the best player in any game but generally contributes toward winning.

F- Kobe Williamson, So. 6’8, 225: 5.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg, 0.6 bpg, 52.3% FG, 33.3% 3pt, 73.3% FT

There’s not really a true center on Seatle’s roster. They rotate a couple big men through but Williamson has played the most minutes and started last year. He’s a solid shot blocker for how many minutes he has played and is shooting 72.7% on 2-pt attempts so he has the potential to work Washington in the paint. The problem for Seattle is that he has taken more 3’s than 2’s and the Huskies should encourage that for a career 29% 3pt shooter.

The Outlook

Let’s start with the obvious. The last time Washington was on the court was all the way back in November in an 82-74 loss to Winthrop 3 weeks ago. Since that time Washington had a significant enough portion of the team contract COVID-19 that the Huskies halted practices and ultimately had to cancel their 3-game gauntlet of @Arizona, UCLA, and @Gonzaga. The LA Times reported that as many as 7 members of the team contracted the virus although it hasn’t ben publicly announced how many were players versus staff. We have no idea whether any of the players will be worse for wear although not being able to practice for 2 weeks at the very least almost certainly hurt conditioning and team cohesion. Last season national champion Baylor almost lost to 2-22 Iowa State after coming back from a 3 week pause so it can have a major effect.

We’ll focus though on what we know which is the Seattle Redhawks. It has also been a season of upheaval for Seattle given that their head coach resigned after the first game of the year for using a racial slur. Despite that Seattle has gotten off to a pretty good start record-wise and sit at 8-3 right now.

A big part of that however is the schedule. The Redhawks, per KenPom, have played literally the easiest schedule in the country so far of any D-1 school. Their wins so far have all come at home against #253, 290, 306, 311, 316, 326, 357, and D3 Pacific Lutheran. The losses have been at Wazzu, home against #233 VMI, and at #139 UNLV. Washington is not a good basketball team but they are still substantially better than any team that Seattle has beaten so far this season.

It’s pretty clear what the strategy is for Seattle on any given night. They rank 25th in the country in % of shots taken from behind the arc and are making 36.2% of their deep tries. They only have one player taller than 6’8 and do their best to space the floor and try to make as many 3-pt shots as possible. In Seattle’s 3 losses they’re a combined 30/92 from deep so if they aren’t making closer to 40% of their 3-pt shots then they’re likely going to be in trouble.

On the other end of the court it’s a solid but not spectacular defense for Seattle. They’ve been above average at forcing turnovers and securing defensive rebounds which has helped them amass a possession advantage. The problem is they’re extremely foul prone with their lack of size and expect Washington to attack the rim on most possessions to try to earn 30+ free throw trips and slow down the game.

This does seem like a good matchup for the Huskies. Even when Washington has played mid-majors this year it seems like every team they play has a dominant post option who can torch Nate Roberts 1v1 down low. That isn’t the case for Seattle as they don’t have a player taller than 6’6 averaging more than 6 points per game. A small ball lineup with Emmitt Matthews at the 5 will have a great chance to dominate Seattle athletically and not put the Huskies at much of a disadvantage defensively.

The wild card of course is how the Huskies react to the extended pause. If this game were happening 2.5 weeks ago and we were fresh off the Winthrop game with otherwise the same information then I’d still feel pretty good about this game. I’m a little worried though about the Huskies looking extra rusty which turns this into a last second affair.

Prediction

Washington Huskies- 67, Seattle Redhawks- 64