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Idaho State Game Preview & How to Watch

Washington tries to finish strong before an intimidating 5-game stretch starting next week with Auburn

NCAA Basketball: Idaho State at Utah Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports

How to Watch (and bet)

Date: Saturday, 12/17/22

Tip-Off Time: 7:00 pm PT

TV: Pac-12 Networks


Radio: 950 AM

Location: Seattle, Washington

DraftKings Betting Line: Washington Huskies -16.5


Idaho State Bengals 2022-23 Statistics:

Record: 3-8 (1-8 vs. D1 teams)

Points For per Game: 67.3 (249th)

Points Against per Game: 70.7 (182nd)

Adjusted Offensive Efficiency: 94.3 (332nd)

Adjusted Defensive Efficiency: 106.4 (267th)

Strength of Schedule: 313th


Idaho State’s Key Players:

G- Miguel Tomley, So. 6’3, 200: 14.5 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.3 apg, 40.9% FG, 37.9% 3pt, 83.9% FT

Tomley is leading the Bengals in assists but that’s not saying much with 2.3 apg. You can be sure though that Tomley will have the ball in his hands as he’s 18th in the country in usage rate which isn’t a terrible thing since he shoots a good percentage from 3-point range. There’s also a big discrepancy between his fouls drawn per game and his actual free throw attempts which suggests a lot of those are drawing hand checks on the perimeter.

G-Brock Mackenzie, Sr. 6’2, 185: 13.5 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 1.4 apg, 52.0% FG, 50.0% 3pt, 77.8% FT

The real challenge for the Husky defense is Mackenzie who is one of the best shooters in the country. The Sammamish, WA native transferred in from Point Loma Nazarene where he was a career 39% 3-pt shooter so there may be some regression to the mean coming there which plays in UW’s favor. As it stands he’s 6th in the country in 3-pt% among those with at least as many total attempts. He’s not exactly an intimidating presence on the other end of the court though with 3 total steals against D-1 competition and no blocks.

G-Austin Smellie, Sr. 6’5, 200: 5.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 2.1 apg, 44.2% FG, 30.8% 3pt, 83.3% FT

An unfortunate last name for the 5th year senior. He is definitely going to defer on the offensive end where he prefers to do the dirty work as a screener and rebounder. He can occasionally hit a 3-pointer but for the most part his range extends to about the free throw line where he’s an excelling foul shooter. He’s also leading the team in steals although his steal rate is double his previous career high so that might be a bit inflated.

F- Jared Rodriguez, Sr. 6’8, 215: 10.5 ppg, 4.4 rpg, 0.9 apg, 45.7% FG, 38.5% 3pt, 73.3% FT

This is Rodriguez’s second year with Idaho State after previous stops at Idaho and San Diego. He leads the Bengals in defensive rebounding rate and is second on steals so he’s a solid interior defender. On the offensive end he prefers a stretch 4 role as most of his shots have come from 3-point range rather than at the basket. He’s shooting a career high on 2’s (55%) when he does go down low though.

F- Jay Nagle, Sr. 6’9, 215: 3.7 ppg, 4.5 rpg, 0.5 bpg, 28.3% FG, 16.7% 3pt, 84.6% FT

The UC Santa Barbara transfer has struggled so far in his new home. He was a career 37% 3-pt shooter but has made just 2/17 against D-1 competition so UW has to hope he doesn’t finally start to heat up tonight. Overall though Nagle is a Milford man, he prefers to be neither seen nor heard. He doesn’t like to shoot, or block shots. UW should have an advantage any time he’s on the court which so far has been almost 2/3rds of Idaho State’s minutes.


The Outlook

This is the last “gimme” on Washington’s schedule and you could argue it’s also the only such one. Idaho State ranks 313th at KenPom and the only other Husky opponent who projects as anywhere close to as bad was season opening Weber State at 285th. Even when the Huskies have played what were supposed to be easy wins (North Florida, Utah Tech, Cal Poly, Oregon State) those teams have been in the 200-230 range. The Bengals are a whole ‘nother level of bad. Their lone win against D-1 competition was over #288 UMKC and they have losses (albeit in overtime) to #348 Linderwood and #336 Bethune Cookman.

The strategy on offense for Idaho State is pretty clear: shoot a ton of 3-pointers and hope they go in the basket. Their percentage of points coming from behind the arc is 13th nationally. That’s a terrible idea since Brock Mackenzie has been a flamethrower to this point in the season and they don’t have many (possibly any) established low post scorers.

And while there are issues for Idaho State putting the ball in the basket, they also don’t do themselves any favors by earning extra possessions. They rank 210th or worse in both turnover rate and offensive rebounding rate. Against Washington’s zone they’ll likely get their fair share of offensive boards but it’s a rarity for them in general.

It’s the exact opposite on defense. Idaho State is 352nd in the percentage of points given up from 3-point range. They actually defend the arc pretty well at 30.6% (73rd in opposing 3-pt%) and they also limit attempts from deep. Of course the consequence of jumping out at shooters is they will give up drives into the paint and will bite for pump fakes. Expect Cole Bajema to have a field day getting Idaho State players in the air and then cruising past them for finger rolls at the basket.

And when Cole and other Huskies get there, they won’t find much resistance. Idaho State is 285th in block rate and allow opponents to shoot better than 50% on 2’s. Only 6’7 reserve forward Daxton Carr and 6’8 reserve forward Brayden Parker have anything approaching above average shot blocking abilities for Idaho state and the 250 lb Parker in particular may play more to have any chance of slowing down Braxton Meah.

There’s a chance the Huskies look past Idaho State like they clearly did at the start against Cal Poly on Tuesday. Washington has an impossibly daunting 5-game stretch coming up after this: #21 Auburn, #72 USC, #4 UCLA, at #11 Arizona, and at #37 Arizona State. They’re hoping to get back PG Noah Williams at some point during that run but need to start taking care of business against the Bengals. This is a matchup that slants heavily in UW’s favor and if they play at all focused this one shouldn’t be in doubt by the end.


Max’s Record this Year: 7-4 Straight Up, 6-4-1 Against The Spread

Washington Huskies- 73, Idaho State Bengals- 59