Washington (12-4) vs. Stanford (8-8)
Thursday, January 17th @ 6:00 PM PST
Alaska Airlines Arena (Seattle, Washington)
Line: Colorado –10.5
Radio: 1000AM KOMO/97.7 FM
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
Forward – Noah Dickerson
Guard – Matisse Thybulle
Guard – Jaylen Nowell
KEY PLAYERS: STANFORD
Forward – KZ Okpala
The Washington Huskies Basketball team enters this contest with some momentum after a tough 77-70 road win over the Colorado Buffaloes. The Stanford Cardinal are coming off a 85-71 convincing home win over the Arizona State Sun Devils. The Huskies will be looking for a 4-0 conference start and moving into first place in the Pac-12 standings with a win over the Cardinal.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
• UW is the only Pac-12 school that is still undefeated at home as it enters Thursday’s game with an 8-0 mark • The Huskies are nearing 1,000 career wins in its current arena at AAA as they currently sit at 998, which already gives them the most wins in its current arena of any Division I school.
• UW picked up its first Pac-12 road sweep since the 2012-13 season when it defeated Cal (Jan. 9) and Stanford (Jan. 12) and just the fifth in the last 10 seasons.
• UW’s first half against Colorado was its best of the season as it shot 63.3 percent from the field (19-of-30) and 61.5 from 3-point range (8-of-13) … the Dawgs also had a season low nine turnovers against the Buffs.
• Sophomore Jaylen Nowell is one of three players on the initial Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award watch list to be shooting over 50 percent (52.0), averaging over five rebounds (5.2) and 3 assists (3.5) and scoring at least 16 points a night (16.7), joining Hofstra’s Justin Wright-Foreman and Texas Tech’s Jarrett Culver.
• Nowell has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 25 of his 50 career games (50.0 percent) … in those 25 games, UW has a 20-5 record.
• Washington has had six different players lead the team in scoring through 16 games in David Crisp (1), Noah Dickerson(5), Jaylen Nowell (7), Dominic Green (1), Naz Carter (2) and Matisse Thybulle (2).
• Crisp has had a standout start in Pac-12 play, averaging 18.7 points, on 50 percent shooting from the field (16-of-32), 66.7 percent from 3 (12-of-18) and dishing out 3.0 assists with 1.7 steals.
• Sophomore Nowell has really seen an uptick in not just his scoring production (16.7 ppg) but in his assists as well as he currently leads the team with 56 (3.5 per game) which is up from an average of 2.7 a year ago.
• Nowell has had four-straight games with at least five assists … he’s just the first player since No. 1 NBA draft pick Markelle Fultz to post at least five assists in four straight games as he did so in 2016-17 twice that season… Dejounte Murray did so as well his freshman campaign.
• Washington is holding its first 16 opponents to just 65.9 points per game, 13 teams have been held to 70 points or less and UW has won 11 of those games.
• With his 12 rebounds against Cal State Fullerton, senior Noah Dickerson became the ninth member of UW’s 1,000 career points/800 career rebounds club and first since Jon Brockman, UW’s all-time leading rebounder, did so during his career … Dickerson now has 1,388 points and 816 rebounds.
• Thybulle is 30-of-33 from the FT line this season, shooting at a 90.0 percent clip, up from 71.4 percent as a junior, 84.1 percent as a sophomore and 71.4 percent as a freshman.
• Thybulle, UW’s career steals leader at 247, is 74 away from first place all time in Pac-12 history (321, Gary Payton, 120 games, 1986-90) and is currently fourth all-time.
• Six of sophomore Naz Carter’s career 14 10+scoring efforts have come in the last 15 games.
• Thybulle is averaging 2.3 blocks over the first 16 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 139 blocks is fourth all-time at UW.
• Thybulle is the only player in Division I averaging at least 2.3 blocks and 2.6 steals per game.
OKPALA AMONG PAC-12’s BEST
Sophomore KZ Okpala ranks second in the Pac-12 in scoring (17.7 ppg) and three-point field goal percentage (.479), and ninth in rebounding (6.6 rpg). In conference play, the forward is averaging 21.0 ppg (second) and 8.3 rpg (fifth). He is 8-of-16 from three-point range in four Pac-12 games. He posted his second double-double of the year (22 pts., career-best 10 rebs.) at UCLA and matched his career-high with 29 points vs. Arizona during conference action.
BREAKING DOWN OKPALA’S PERFORMANCES
• Nine 20-point games this season is the most in the Pac-12 and is five more than all of last year.
• Averaging 21.0 ppg and 8.3 rpg in conference play.
• Averaging 19.9 ppg in seven home games, as opposed to 16.0 ppg in nine games on the road.
• Averaging 20.0 ppg in the last seven games, after averaging 15.8 ppg in the first nine contests.
• Of the 11 performances of at least 29 points in the Pac-12 this season, only Okpala (29 vs.
Arizona and Seattle) and WSU’s Robert Franks (31, 30) have achieved the feat more than once.
OKPALA’S IMPACT AS A SOPHOMORE
Sophomore KZ Okpala leads Stanford in scoring (17.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.6 rpg) in 32.6 mpg through 16 games this season. He averaged 8.8 ppg in 27.6 mpg in his first 16 games last season. The forward, who has recorded a career-best 29 points twice this season (vs. Arizona and Seattle), is second in the Pac-12 in scoring and three-point field goal percentage (.479) and ninth in rebounding. Below is a comparison of his first 16 games from this season and last season.
Eleven of Stanford’s 15 players are in their first or second year playing. Only senior Josh Sharma and juniors Marcus Sheffield, Trevor Stanback and Rodney Herenton have more than two years of playing experience. Through 16 games, first and second-year players have accounted for 83% of Stanford’s scoring (972 of 1,170) and 81% of Stanford’s rebounding (460 of 571).
Stanford’s starting lineup in seven games has been made up of freshmen and sophomores. In five games, sophomores Daejon Davis, KZ Okpala and Oscar da Silva have started alongside freshmen Cormac Ryan and Bryce Wills. Three freshmen – Ryan, Wills, Delaire – started at UCLA. The Cardinal is one of only four teams in Division I that have started all freshmen and sophomores this season, joining East Carolina, Incarnate Word and Mount St. Mary’s.
DAVIS DOES IT ALL
Sophomore Daejon Davis has averaged 16.3 points, 5.9 assists, 3.4 rebounds and 1.6 steals in his last eight games. The point guard has matched his season-high scoring total of 19 in three of his last eight games against No. 2 Kansas, Eastern Washington and San Francisco.
The point guard is fifth in the Pac-12 in steals (1.5 spg) and sixth in assists (4.4 apg). He leads the conference with seven assists during Pac-12 action.
Davis has posted at least four points, four rebounds, four assists and four steals in two games this season against UNC Wilmington and Middle Tennessee. He has posted at least four points, four rebounds and four assists in four contests.
The sophomore, who broke Brevin Knight’s school freshman assist record with 160 last season, has started 47 of 48 career games he has played in.
Stanford owns a 77-71 lead in the all-time series with Washington. The Cardinal swept the season series from the Huskies last season, also sweeping the Huskies in two regular-season game sin 2015. Stanford has won three straight overall and six of its last eight matchups with UW. The Cardinal has won two of its last three in Seattle.
CARDINAL PLAYERS AGAINST THE HUSKIES
Eight active Stanford players have faced Washington previously. Three sophomores have had standout performances in two games against the Huskies. Daejon Davis is averaging 10.0 points and 7.0 assists, KZ Okpala is averaging 9.0 points and 5.5 rebounds, and Oscar da Silva is averaging 9.5 points and 9.0 rebounds against the Huskies.
LAST GAME AGAINST WASHINGTON
Reid Travis scored 23 of his career-high 33 points in the first half as Stanford jumped to an early lead on the way to a 94-78 victory over Washington on Feb. 22, 2018. Dorian Pickens added 20 points, Michael Humphrey poured in 15, and Oscar da Silva scored 14. Travis, who also had nine rebounds, was 11 of 17 from the floor and as well as the foul line.
Jaylen Howell scored 18 points to lead the Huskies, who lost their third straight to Stanford and fell to 2-6 in their last eight games. Noah Dickerson added 14 points and 13 rebounds for Washington. Nahziah Carter added 17.
RYAN AMONG PAC-12’S BEST 3-POINT THREATS
Freshman Cormac Ryan is third in the Pac-12, averaging 2.3 three-point field goals per game. The guard has recorded at least four three-point field goals in a game in five contests (6 vs. USC, 5 vs. Seattle, 4 vs. North Carolina, 4 vs. Florida, 4 vs. Eastern Washington). He has multiple three-point field goals in seven games and is shooting 33.7 percent from three-point range (30-of-89). Ryan’s career-best six threes at USC (all in the second half) were the most threes in a game by a Stanford freshman since Chasson Randle (6) vs. Arizona State on March 7, 2012.
DA SILVA FINDS TOUCH FROM DOWNTOWN
Sophomore Oscar da Silva has connected on 15 threes in the last eight games after opening the season 3-of-30 on three-point attempts. He finished with a career-high six threes against San Jose State.
DA SILVA’S SECOND-HALF PRODUCTION
Oscar da Silva has scored 86 of his 132 points in the second half. Over the last 13 games, 89 of his 43 points have come after halftime. He posted all 12 of his points at San Francisco, all 11 of his points at North Carolina and all seven of his points against Wisconsin in the second half.
Of Josh Sharma’s 52 field goals on the season, 24 have been dunks. He has 17 dunks in the last 11 games. The center ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage, shooting better than 64 percent (64.2) from the field.
SHARMA’S LAST 11 GAMES
Josh Sharma is averaging 8.7 ppg over his last 11 games, after averaging 5.8 ppg in his first five contests of the season. He ranks fourth in the Pac-12 in field goal percentage (.642), eighth in blocks (1.3 bpg) and ninth in offensive rebounding (2.1 orpg).