Washington (21-5, 12-1) vs. Colorado (16-10, 7-7)
Saturday, February 23rd @ 7:30 PM PST
Alaska Airlines Arena (Seattle, Washington)
Line: Washington -8.0
TV: Pac-12 Networks
Radio: 1000AM KOMO/97.7 FM
KEY PLAYERS: WASHINGTON
Guard – David Crisp
Guard – Matisse Thybulle
Guard – Jaylen Nowell
KEY PLAYERS: COLORADO
Guard – McKinley Wright IV
The Washington Huskies Basketball team enters this contest after pulling out a dominating 62-45 home victory against the Utah Utes. The Colorado Buffaloes are coming off a tough 76-74 road loss to the Washington State Cougars. The Huskies will be looking for a 13-1 conference start and remain in first place in the Pac-12 standings. With a win over the Buffaloes tonight, the Huskies would sweep their season matchup with a scrappy Colorado basketball team. The Huskies are currently unbeaten at home this season and the magic number is two more wins to clinch the Pac-12 Conference Championship.
ESPN MATCHUP PREDICTOR
• Thybulle is the only player in the country this season that has produced a single-game stat line of 10 points, 7 rebounds, 6 steals and 4 blocks, which he did against Utah while only having one turnover.
• Thybulle, who was named a semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year this week, has averaged 11.3 points, 5.5 steals, 2.3 blocks and 4 rebounds in his last six outings.
• Hopkins has led UW to back-to-back 20 win seasons in his first two years … the last UW coach to record 20 wins in their first two seasons was Tippy Dye (1951-52, 1952-53).
• Washington’s senior class has combined for 4,642 points, in 488 career games played.
• Against Colorado, sophomore Jaylen Nowell is averaging 16.3 points, seniors Matisse Thybulle and David Crisp are averaging 13.3 and 10.9 points, respectively.
• UW is the only Pac-12 team that is undefeated at home, boasting a 13-0 mark in Alaska Airlines Arena, additionally, the Huskies have 1,003 program wins in Hec Ed, the most by any Division I school at its current arena in the nation … UW last went undefeated at home for a full season during the 2004-05 campaign.
• UW has recorded six conference road wins and hold a 6-1 mark on the road in league action … UW last had six road wins in conference play during the 2011-12 season.
• Thybulle is the only active player in Division I to be in the top 25 career rankings in both steals (1st – 295) and blocks (T24th – 160).
• UW has reached 12 conference wins for the first time since the 2011-12 season and it’s also the first time since the 2010-11 and 2011-12 that the team has won at least 10 games in league action in back-to-back years.
• Eight of UW’s 12 Pac-12 wins have been by 10 points or more, its most double-digit wins in league action since the 2010-11 season (11).
• Crisp is now second all-time in made 3-point FGs in UW history with 235 … the record of 301 is held by C.J. Wilcox (2011-14) … meanwhile Thybulle is now second all-time in UW history in blocks with 160.
• UW has forced double-digit turnovers in 17-straight games, including a season high 24 forced at Arizona State, which was the most by an opponent since 24 against Dec. 19, 2017 against Bethune Cookman.
• Washington is second in the nation in blocked shots, averaging 5.8 per game as a team and are 14th in steals (8.9) per game … only UW and Duke rank in the top 15 nationally in both categories.
• Thybulle, a semifinalist for the Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, has a career total of 455 takeaways (blocks and steals combined), which is the most by any of the previous Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year winners, which has been awarded 14 times in conference history.
• Nowell was selected as one of 10 finalists for the Naismith Jerry West Shooting Guard of the Year Award.
• Nowell is shooting 50.8 percent from the field in 26 games, it’s up from his 45.1 percentage a year ago … he is also shooting 44.0 percent from 3, up from 35.1 a year ago.
• Thybulle’s 90 steals this season rank second at UW in single-season history … Thybulle holds the UW single-season record already at 101 set a year ago … his 3.5 steals per game lead the nation .. he also owns UW sophomore (65) junior (101) and senior (90) steals records.
• UW is holding its opponents to just 63.9 points per game, which leads the Pac-12 and is 22nd nationally … 21 teams have been held to 70 points or less and UW has won 20 of those games.
• UW’s scoring margin in league action of +10.2 leads the conference by almost six points as ASU is at +4.4.
• In the last 20 seasons, Thybulle is one of just four players to average 2.0 blocks and 2.0 steals in a season, joining Shane Battier – Duke (1999-2000, 2000-01), Nerlens Noel – Kentucky (2012-13) and Zion Williamson – Duke (2018-19).
• Nowell has shot at least 50 percent from the field in 30 of his 59 career games (50.8 percent) … in those 30 games, UW has a 25-5 record.
• In Pac-12 play, UW has had five different leading rebounders and five different leaders in steals as well.
• Nowell has 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 71 (3.4 per game) which is up from an average of 2.7 a year ago.
• Thybulle is the only player in Division I averaging at least 2.1 blocks and 3.0 steals per game.
– Colorado saw its five-game winning streak come to an end with a 76-74 setback at Washington State but has still won six of its last nine. The Buffaloes have already matched their regular season win total of 16 from 2017-18. Colorado finished 17-15 after going 1-1 at the Pac-12 Tournament.
– The five-straight wins are the Buffaloes’ most in conference regular season play in the Pac-12 era and most in a conference season since claiming five in a row during the 2005-06 Big 12 schedule.Colorado did win four-straight games over conference foes to win the 2012 Pac-12 Tournament.
– For the first time in team history, the Buffaloes have climbed back to even, or better, after being four games under .500 in conference play at any point during the season. The Buffaloes were 2-6 after eight games and reached 7-6 before falling to Washington State.
– Included in that five-game run are a pair of wins at UCLA and USC,the Buffaloes’ second-ever sweep of a Pac-12 road trip. The other came at Oregon (48-47) and Oregon State (72-68), Feb. 7 & 10, 2013.
– Colorado is averaging 75.1 points per game while shooting 46.1percent from the field. Defensively the Buffaloes allow 68.9 pointsa contest while opponents shoot 43.6 percent.
– Colorado leads the Pac-12 in rebounding defense at 31.7 allowed per game while ranking second in free throw percentage (.738), 3-point defense (.321), rebounding margin (+5.3) and scoring margin (+6.2), third in defensive rebounds (27.0 drpg) and overall rebounding (36.9rpg), fourth in scoring defense and fifth in field goal percentage.
– Sophomore guard McKinley Wright IV paces the Buffaloes at 13.5 points, 5.0 assists and 1.1 steals per game. Wright is second on the team in field goal shooting (.521) while ranking third in rebounding(4.9 rpg).
– Wright is averaging 17.8 points, 5.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds while shooting 58.3 percent (28-48) over the last four games. He scored a season-high 24 points in the win over Arizona State, his 11th career 20-point effort and fifth of the season. Wright had 20 points and eight rebounds at USC and had 13 points, seven rebounds and seven assists at Washington State.
– Wright is third in the Pac-12 in assists while also ranking ninth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.6), 12th in field goal percentage and 13 thin free throw percentage (.775) and scoring. He is the top shooter among guards in the Pac-12 as his 52.1 percentage leads all backcourt players who have enough attempts to qualify for the league leaderboard.
– Wright has scored in double figures in 47 of 57 career games while dishing out at least five assists in 35 contests. He has 792 points for his career (13.9 ppg), ranking 55th on CU’s all-time career scoring list.
– Sophomore Tyler Bey tops Colorado at 9.4 rebounds and 1.2 blocksper game while shooting 55 percent from the field. He is second on the team in scoring (12.3 ppg) and steals (23). Bey is averaging 14.7 points and 11.0 rebounds over the last six games.
– He recorded his 10th double-double of the season, and 12th of his career, with 12 points and 12 rebounds at Washington State. It was his fourth double-double in the last six games. Bey just missed a double-double against Arizona finishing with nine points and 10 rebounds. He had 22 points with a team-season and career-high 17 rebounds against Arizona State.
– Bey’s 17 rebounds were the most by a Buff since Josh Scott had 17 at Oregon on Feb. 18, 2015. He had 16 on the defensive end, the second-most by a Colorado player since 1979-80, when those statistics were first tracked in the program. Andre Roberson had 17 defensive rebounds, 20 overall, against Stanford on Jan. 24, 2013. Bey’s nine double-doubles rank third in the Pac-12 and are the most by a Buffalo since Scott had 13 in 2015-16.
– On the Pac-12 leaderboard he is second in defensive rebounds (7.5 drpg), third in overall rebounding, seventh in blocks, ninth in offensive rebounds (1.9 orpg), 10th in field goal shooting and 20th in scoring.
– Junior forward Lucas Siewert is third on the team in scoring (10.9 ppg) and leads the Buffaloes in 3-point shooting (.382) and is second in rebounding (5.0 rpg) and 3-pointers made (39).
– Siewert led Colorado with 15 points against Arizona while grabbing nine rebounds, his best in a Pac-12 game and one-off his career-high. In addition, he dished out three assists and matched a personal-best with a pair of steals. Siewert had six points, four rebounds and matched a career-best with four assists against Arizona State.
– Siewert is 12th in the Pac-12 in 3-point percentage. He is averaging 3.2 assists over the last four games.
– Freshman forward Evan Battey is fourth on the team in rebounding at 4.2 per game and third in field goal percentage (.493). He has made his last 16 of 27 from the field over the last five games (.593).
– Battey had 13 points on 4 of 7 shooting at Washington State, his seventh game in double figures and third in seven games. It was his eighth game with at least four field goals. In those eight games with at least four field goals, he has shot 65 percent (39-60). He is tied with Bey for the team lead in offensive rebounds with 49, a mark that ranks ninth in the Pac-12 (1.9 orpg).
– Junior guard Shane Gatling is Colorado’s fourth-leading scorer at10.4 points per game and leads the Buffaloes in 3-point field goals(47). He is second assists (43) and third in steals (22).
– Gatling had a career and team season-high 28 points at UCLA. He was 7 of 9 from 3-point range; the seven 3-pointers tying for the third most in a single game in team history. It was the 14th time a CU player has made seven in a game, but the first since Richard Roby against Kansas State on Feb. 26, 2005. Much like the Utah game where he scored all his then-personal best 21 points in the second half, 22 of his 28 came after the intermission.
– Gatling is averaging 12.7 points over the last six games. He has multiple 3-point field goals in seven of the last 12 contests. On the Pac-12 charts, Gatling ranks fifth in free throw shooting (.824) and 11th in 3-pointers made (1.8 mpg).
– Sophomore wing D’Shawn Schwartz is fifth on the team in scoring at 8.1 points per game and in rebounds at 3.5 per contest. He averaged 14 points on the Southern California trip. Schwartz had 13 points at USC, including two clutch free throws with 14 seconds left.