Washington (3-1) vs. Texas A&M (1-3)
Tuesday, November 20th @ 8:30 p.m. PST
Vancouver Convention Center (Vancouver, Canada)
Line: Washington –3.0
Radio: 1000AM KOMO/97.7 FM
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
Forward – Noah Dickerson
Noah Dickerson returns for his senior season and is currently averaging 14.3 points and 6.0 rebounds per game this season. He is a dominant player in the paint and can also rebound the basketball. Last season, Dickerson was named to the All-Pac-12 First Team for his stellar play.
Guard – Matisse Thybulle
Matisse Thybulle returns for his senior season and is averaging 6.0 points this season and garnered 101 total steals last season. He is the spark plug and energy of the team with his elite play on defense. Last season, Thybulle was named the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year.
Guard – Jaylen Nowell
Jaylen Nowell returns for his sophomore season and is currently averaging 20.8 points and 2.5 assists per game this season. The talented all-court guard excels in the midrange game and is often the go-to-guy down the stretch. Last season, Nowell was named to the All-Pac-12 Freshman team.
KEY PLAYERS: TEXAS A&M
Guard/Forward – Savion Flagg
Savion Flagg is a sophomore who currently leads the Aggies in scoring at 15.5 and rebounding at 8.8 per game. He neared his second double-double of the season with nine points and nine boards against Minnesota.
Guard – TJ Starks
TJ Starks is a sophomore who is the only returner to have earned SEC postseason honors last season as he was named to the league’s All-Freshman Team. He is currently averaging 13.3 points and 3.7 assists per game.
Forward – John Walker III
The Washington Huskies came into the start of their regular season returning all five starters from last season, and that experience will prove to be the driving force to their success this season. Last game the Huskies earned a comfortable 82-68 victory over the Santa Clara Broncos. They looked much better with their effort in that victory, paced by the 32-point effort by sophomore guard Jaylen Nowell who simply couldn’t miss. “Special player, efficient, gets in the lane, tough to guard. Just lucky he is on our team,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. The Huskies are using the Vancouver Showcase tournament as a way to play multiple games in a short window, and train themselves for the NCAA Tournament.
On the other side, the Texas A&M Aggies are just one of two Power Five schools to return two-or-fewer scholarship student-athletes with more than one year of experience at that institution. In their tournament opener matchup against Minnesota, the Aggies dropped a hard-fought 69-64 contest which resulted in empty possessions down the stretch and a lack of execution. “We thought we had good momentum going down the stretch but we struggled scoring the last three, four minutes,” Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy said. “We didn’t get good shots or run good offense and you have to give Minnesota credit. I thought they showed a little more poise down the stretch than we did.” Texas A&M is currently 1-3 on the season and will look to right the ship against the Washington Huskies.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
• Sophomore Jaylen Nowell was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week after averaging 25.0 ppg, shooting 65.4 percent from the field, 54.5 percent from 3 and 76.9 percent from the FT line.
• Thanks to his 32 points against Santa Clara, Nowell now has 628 career points in just 38 games played making him the fastest player in UW history to reach 600 points … Isaiah Thomas was next, as he reached 600 in 39 games.
• Nowell is coming off of a career-high tying 32 points in UW’s win over Santa Clara.
• Nowell once again leads the Huskies in scoring as he has not scored below 16 points in a game this season … he’s averaging 20.8 ppg over the first four outings after leading the team with 16.0 ppg a year ago … both him and Noah Dickerson have yet to score below 10 points this season.
• Sophomore Naz Carter has been providing a spark off the bench for the Huskies as he is averaging 10 points in 19.5 minutes per game … additionally, against Santa Clara, he added a career high seven rebounds.
• Senior Noah Dickerson is averaging 14.3 ppg in 24.0 minutes over the first four games … he’s also shooting 82.6 from the FT line (19-23), up from 78.6 as a junior, 67.6 as a sophomore and 62.4 percent as a freshman.
• Matisse Thybulle is the first player in Pac-12 history since 1992-93 with the career stat line of at least 100 blocks (114), 200 assists (206), 200 steals (214) and 300 rebounds (319), via SportsReference.
• Thybulle, UW’s career steals leader at 214, has now recorded at least one steal in 50-straight games.
• Nowell has shot over 50 percent from the field in 17 of his 38 career games (44.7 percent) including his most recent outing vs. Santa Clara where he went 11-of-15 from the field for 32 points … Nowell is 20-of-35 (57.1%) this season and for his career is at 46.8% (234-of-485).
• UW has two 1,000 point scorers on the team with the potential to add a third as Matisse Thybulle is 61 points away. Only two rosters in UW history have had three 1,000 point scorers at the same time, 2008-09 (NCAA Round of 32) and 1998-99 (NCAA Round of 64). Dickerson currently has 1,222 career points which ranks 27th while Crisp has 1,105 career points which ranks 33rd.
• Three Huskies are in the 100 games club now as seniors Thybulle and Crisp are at 103 career games whileDickerson is at 102 … additionally Thybulle has started in all 103 career games.
• Dickerson is 267 rebounds away from becoming only the 15th member of the Pac-12’s 1,000 career re- bounds club. Dickerson, who has 733 boards in his career, grabbed 284 boards as a junior in 2017-18.
• With another 100-steal season, Thybulle could become only the second member of the Pac-12’s 300 career steals club. Thybulle, who has 214 career thefts following 101 as a junior in 2017-18, would join OSU’s Gary Payton (321) as the lone members.
• UW’s senior class of Dominic Green, David Crisp, Noah Dickerson and Matisse Thybulle have combined to play in 404 career games including 263 career starts which is the most by any four seniors at a Power 5 school • With his 106 assists a year ago, Crisp became the 40th player in UW history to record 100 assists in a single season … he is 45 away from entering UW’s career top 10 list as he has 272 total assists.
• Brandon Mahan led the Aggies with 17 points Sunday night, marking the first time he has reached double figures in the category in an A&M uniform.
• Christian Mekowulu also reached double figures for the first time as he put up 16 points.
• Savion Flagg currently leads the Aggies in scoring and rebounding. He neared his second double-double of the season with nine points and nine boards against Minnesota.
• A&M has seen at least three players score in double figures in each of the team’s four games so far. Savion Flagg, TJ Starks and John Walker III have hit double-digits in three of the team’s four games.
• Tuesday marks the seventh all-time meeting between the Aggies and Huskies, with the Aggies leading the series 4-2. The two teams last met in 2010 as Texas A&M topped then-No. 21 Washington, 63-62, in College Station. The two teams have met three times in the post season (A&M leads, 2-1) and on one other occasion, Dec. 26, 1963, on a neutral floor. The Aggies came out with a 61-53 win in the game played in Oklahoma City.
• The Aggies fell to Minnesota, 69-64, Sunday night in their first game at the Vancouver Showcase. They were led by Brandon Mahan, who put up a team-best 17 points, all coming in the second half.
• Texas A&M trailed until there was just inside six minutes to play, going on a 14-2 run to take its first lead since the opening minutes of the game.
• Sophomore Isiah Jasey sparked the run with a big block on the defensive end and then he ran the length of the floor to throw down a dunk.
• Five ties and five lead changes followed the rally, but Minnesota was able to close things out from the free throw line.