Washington (5-2) vs. UC Santa Barbara (6-1)
Sunday, December 2nd @ 5:00 PM PST
Alaska Airlines Arena (Seattle, Washington)
Line: Washington –13.0
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: 1000AM KOMO/97.7 FM
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
Forward – Noah Dickerson
Noah Dickerson returns for his senior season and is currently averaging 16.6 points and 7.3 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 5.9 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 18.1 points and 2.9 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: UC SANTA BARBARA
Guard – Ar’mond Davis
Ar’mond Davis is a graduate transfer who was named Big West Player of the Week after leading UCSB to a pair of wins at the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase last weekend. He is currently averaging 14.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game.
Guard – JaQuori McLaughlin
JaQuori McLaughlin is a sophomore guard who had 10 points in each of the games at the Vandal Holiday Hoops Showcase. He is currently averaging 12.0 points and 3.4 assists per game.
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 week, the Huskies returned home and won in a blowout 83-59 over the Eastern Washington Eagles and were able to get themselves right. Senior forward Dominic Green hit 7 three pointers and finished with 25 points. “The ball was popping, we had really good looks. Matisse (Thybulle) looked great. David looked great. The ball found the open man and unfortunately for them it was Dominic.” Washington head coach Mike Hopkins said. The Huskies will look for the win and sharpen their skills before they head on the road to face the Gonzaga Bulldogs.
On the other side, UC Santa Barbara is off to their best start in over a decade dating back to their 2007-2008 season. The Gauchos are currently off to a 6-1 start. in their last game, UC Santa Barbara won 75-58 over Sacramento State. “Before the game, I told our guys we are going to use this game to judge us against the rest of our conference and I am really proud of how good we played today,” UC Santa Barbara head coach Joe Pasternack said. The Gauchos will be cooing into this contest with a lot of momentum and with a winning mindset with the tremendous start to their season so far.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
• Against EWU, senior Dominic Green became the third Husky to post 20 points in a game this season as he scored a career-best 25 points … he went 7-of-10 from 3-point range and his seven made tie for the second-most in a single game in UW history, done just six other times, most recently by C.J. Wilcox on Jan. 12, 2014.
• Defensively over the last five games, Washington has kept all of its opponents under 70 points while EWU was the second team UW held to under 60 this season.
• Washington currently has 993 wins in Alaska Airlines Arena, which are the most by any Division I team at its current home arena.
• The Huskies are one of 12 teams nationally to have two 1,000 point scorers on its current roster and is one of four to potentially have three this season as Matisse Thybulle is 44 points away from joining Noah Dickerson (1,281) and David Crisp (1,134).
• Senior Matisse Thybulle is averaging 2.7 blocks over the first seven games … that’s up from 1.4 as a junior, 0.7 as a sophomore and 0.9 as a freshman … his career total of 122 blocks is fifth all-time at UW.
• Thybulle is the only player in Division I averaging at least 2.7 blocks and 2.3 steals per game.
• Joining Thybulle in the block party is sophomore Hameir Wright who already has 16 this year in seven outings … as a freshman Wright knocked away 36 blocks in 33 games.
• Dickerson posted back-to-back 20 point outings against Texas A&M (24) and Minnesota (28) … it is the third time in the senior’s career that he has had back-to-back 20 point games.
• 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.
• Nowell is shooting 58 percent from the field this season up from 45.1 a year ago … out of the 20 candidates for the Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year award, Nowell’s shooting percentage is the best by just under four percent.
• Nowell has shot over 50 percent from the field in 18 of his 41 career games (43.9 percent) … Nowell is 47-of-81 (58.0%) this season and for his career is at 47.1% (250-of-531).
• Nowell once again leads the Huskies in scoring as he has only scored below 14 points in one game this season … he’s averaging 18.1 ppg over the first seven games after leading the team with 16.0 ppg a year ago.
• Sophomore Naz Carter has been providing a spark off the bench for the Huskies as he is averaging 8.7 points in 20 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 (122), 200 assists (210), 200 steals (221) and 300 rebounds (325), via SportsReference.
• Thybulle, UW’s career steals leader at 221, has now recorded at least one steal in 53-straight games.
* Gauchos off to Best Start in More Than a Decade. UCSB’s 6-1 start to the season is the program’s best since the 2007-08 season when it also began the year with a 5-1 record.That Gaucho team ultimately went 10-1 before losing at North Carolina. The last time Santa Barbara jumped out to a better start than the current 5-1 was in 1992-93 when it opened the campaign with a perfect 6-0 mark.
* A Two-Headed Point Guard. Sophomores Devearl Ramsey and JaQuori McLaughlin are proving to be a ver y effective point guard duo. Ramsey starts at the point guard position, but McLaughlin gets his share of time there as well. Ramsey is averaging 4.1 assists per game, a mark that ranks him third in the Big West, and has had four or more four times in six games. McLaughlin is at 3.4 per game, eighth in the league, and he has also had four or more four times. In fact, he has had exactly five in each of the last three games.
* A Variety of Leaders. Through the first six games of the 2018-19 season, UCSB has had four different players lead the team in scoring and four pace the team in rebounds. Ar’Mond Davis has actually led the team in scoring in each of the last three games, but in the first three games the Gauchos were led by JaQuori McLaughlin (17 at Wyoming), Devearl Ramsey (13 at North Dakota State) and Ami Lakoju (16 vs. Cal Lutheran). In the rebound category, Amadou Sow and Jarriesse Blackmon have each led the way twice while Sékou Touré and Christian Terrell have each led in one game.