Washington (4-1) vs. Minnesota (4-0)
Wednesday, November 21st @ 3:30 p.m. PST
Vancouver Convention Center (Vancouver, Canada)
Line: Washington –1.0
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 1000AM KOMO/97.7 FM
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
Forward – Noah Dickerson
Noah Dickerson returns for his senior season and is currently averaging 16.2 points and 8.2 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 6.2 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 19.4 points and 2.2 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: MINNESOTA
Guard – Gabe Kalscheur
Gabe Kalscheur is a freshman guard who sank seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 25 points, adding three rebounds with one assist vs. Santa Clara (11/20). He is currently averaging 15.0 points and 2.5 rebounds per game this season.
Guard – Amir Coffey
Amir Coffey is a junior guard who led the team with 18 points, adding four assists, two rebounds and two steals vs. Omaha (11/6). He is currently averaging 13.8 points and 3.8 assists per game this season.
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 battled back and erased a 13-point deficit en route to their comeback 71-67 win over the Texas A&M Aggies. The night belonged to senior forward Noah Dickerson who simply dominated the second half with 24 points and 17 rebounds. “He just kept playing and he didn’t get frustrated if he didn’t make it. It was just keep battling, keep going at it and he did,” 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 Minnesota Golden Gophers head coach Richard Pitino is in his sixth season as the 17th head coach of the University of Minnesota’s Golden Gopher men’s basketball team. Last game, the Golden Gophers struggled to shake the Santa Clara Broncos on the second day of the Vancouver Showcase, but finally pulled away in the final 4 ½ minutes for an 80-66 victory. Minnesota had a 18-4 advantage in offensive rebounds and scored 17 second-chance points. Minnesota is currently 4-0 and undefeated on the season and will look to finish the Vancouver Showcase tournament with a win against the Huskies and finish with a perfect 3-0 record in the tournament.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
• Senior Noah Dickerson posted his sixth career 20/10 double-double against Texas A&M leading the team with 24 points and 17 rebounds … his 11 offensive rebounds were a career high and most by a Husky since Jon Brockman had 12 on Jan. 8, 2009 against Stanford.• As a whole, UW had 23 offensive rebounds, its most since it posted 29 at Gonzaga on Dec. 7, 2016.
• Against A&M, sophomore Hameir Wright tied his career highs in rebounds (8), blocks (4) and steals (2) while playing in a career-high 36 minutes.
• In the two Vancouver Showcase games, Dickerson is averaging a double-double with 17.5 points and 11.0 rebounds while sophomore Jaylen Nowell is averaging 23.0 points on 62.5 percent shooting.
• Sophomore Jaylen Nowell was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Nov. 19, 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.
• Following his 32 points against Santa Clara, Nowell became the fastest player in UW history to reach 600 career points … he now has 642 points in just 38 games played … NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas was next, as he reached 600 in 39 games.
• Nowell once again leads the Huskies in scoring as he has not scored below 14 points in a game this season … he’s averaging 19.4 ppg over the first five 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 9.6 points in 19.2 minutes per game.
• Matisse Thybulle is the first player in Pac-12 history since 1992-93 with the career stat line of at least 100 blocks (116), 200 assists (207), 200 steals (218) and 300 rebounds (319), via SportsReference.
• Thybulle, UW’s career steals leader at 218, has now recorded at least one steal in 51-straight games.
• Nowell has shot over 50 percent from the field in 17 of his 39 career games (43.5 percent) … Nowell is 35-of-59 (59.3%) this season and for his career is at 46.8% (238-of-509).
• UW has two 1,000 point scorers on the team with the potential to add a third as Matisse Thybulle is 54 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 1,246 career points which ranks 26th while Crisp has 1,112 career points which ranks 33rd.
• Three Huskies are in the 100 games club now as seniors Thybulle and Crisp are at 104 career games while Dickerson is at 103 … additionally Thybulle has started in all 104 career games while Dominic Green is just three games away at 97.
• Dickerson is 250 rebounds away from becoming only the 15th member of the Pac-12’s 1,000 career rebounds club. Dickerson, who has 750 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 218 career thefts following 101 as a junior in 2017-18, would join OSU’s Gary Payton (321) as the lone members.
GOLDEN GOPHERS NOTES
• The Minnesota men’s basketball team concludes play in the TCL Vancouver Showcase when it faces off against Washington on Wednesday afternoon.
• Senior forward Jordan Murphy became the program’s all-time leading rebounder on Tuesday in the win over Santa Clara. Murphy pulled down 17 rebounds to move to 961 in his three-plus years with the Maroon and Gold, passing Mychal Thompson’s record of 956 which stood for more than 30 years.
• Sunday’s win over Texas A&M marked the first regular-season game in program history for the Gophers to be played in Canada, and the first international regular season game since 2012’s trip to Battle for Atlantis in the Bahamas – which was the first international games for Minnesota.
• Through three games, the Gophers starting five is each individually averaging double figure scoring, including 10 or more points from the entire quintet on Nov. 12 against Utah. Minnesota’s last game with all five starters scoring in double figures was on Jan. 3 last year in the win over Illinois. The Gophers’ leading returner from last year, Jordan Murphy, ranks third on the team in points per game (12.3).
• Senior forward Jordan Murphy has earned some impressive accolades leading into the start of the season. The San Antonio, Texas native was a Preseason All-Big Ten Team selection as well as named to the Naismith Trophy (top college basketball player) and Karl Malone Award watch list for the top power forward in the country.
• The Gophers have amassed a record of 42-27 (.609) against the current membership of the Pacific-12 Conference. MInnesota has faced every Pac-12 school at least once.
• Series records are as follows: Arizona (3-0), Arizona State (4-1), Cal (2-2), Colorado (2-0), Oregon (5-3), Oregon State (6-1), USC (4-2), Stanford (5-1), UCLA (1-5), Utah (2-2), Washington (7-9), Washington State (1-1).
• Wednesday is the second Pac-12 opponent for the Gophers this season after defeating Utah, 78-69, on Nov. 12.
• Prior to this year, Minnesota had not faced a Pac-12 opponent since the 2012-13 season, when they faced Stanford and USC in the regular season and UCLA in the NCAA Tournament.