Washington vs. USC Game Preview

Per The University of Washington Press Release…..

#1 Huskies (24-7, 15-3) vs #8 USC/#9 Arizona
UW heads to Las Vegas as the No. 1 seed for the first time since the 2011-12 season and will face the winner of No. 8 USC and No. 9 Arizona. The Huskies will play on Thursday, March 14 at 12 p.m. at T-Mobile Arena. The game will be televised on Pac-12 Networks with Roxy Bernstein, Don MacLean and Jill Savage on the call.  Additionally, fans can listen to Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton on the official Husky Radio Broadcast on KOMO 1000 AM/97.7 FM. Washington has only faced USC (home) and Arizona (road) once this season and won both meetings.
The Coach – Mike Hopkins (45-20)
Mike Hopkins is in his second year at UW, and second as a head coach after becoming the 19th head coach in UW history. In two years with the Huskies, Hopkins has led the Dawgs to back-to-back 20-win season becoming just the second coach in program history to do so in his first two years. Hopkins repeated as Pac-12 Coach of the Year this season after winning it during his first campaign and is one of just three coaches in Pac-12 history to repeat on that award. After spending 22 years as an assistant at Syracuse, he oversaw teams that reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times including the 2003 National Championship, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights and 10 Sweet 16s along with four NIT berths. Syracuse never dipped below a 55.0 percent record while Hopkins was on staff.
Quick Hitters
• Washington swept the Pac-12 Player of the Year (Nowell), Coach of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year (Thybulle) Awards becoming the first team in league history to do so.
• Both Hopkins and Thybulle won their award for the second-straight year making them the first duo to win both COY and DPOY in back-to-back seasons
• Nowell became the youngest Husky in program history to be named Player of the Year and is just the third Dawg to earn the honor joining Brandon Roy and Christian Welp
• In UW’s last two games, senior Noah Dickerson is averaging 18 points and 16.5 rebounds
• UW tied its most wins in Pac-12 Conference play as it finished the regular-season with a 15-3 mark … UW also reached 15 conference wins in 1983-84, 1952-52 and 1943-44
• UW won the Pac-12 Regular Season Championship and clinched the No. 1 seed in the Pac-12 Tournament
• Washington is ranked second nationally in blocks per game (5.9) and 10th in steals per game (8.9), joining only Duke as the two teams to be ranked nationally in the top 10 in both categories
Thybulle, a semifinalist for Naismith Defensive Player of the Year, not only broke the UW single-season record in steals, that he set a year ago, as he now has 110 on the year but his 110 steals are now tied for the most in a single-season in Pac-12 history … he also leads the NCAA at 3.5 per game and is the only Pac-12 player ever with two 100-steal seasons
Thybulle is averaging 5.9 takeaways per game this season between steals and blocks combined … that number did jump to 6.5 during Pac-12 action.
• UW has four 1,000 point scorers on its roster at the same time for the first time in program history … Dickerson (1,564), Crisp (1,458), Thybulle (1,210) and Nowell (1,050) … UW is the only team in the nation with four 1K scorers that have reached those points at their current school (no transfers), Nevada has seven 1K scorers on its roster with only one scoring all 1,000 points at Nevada
Nowell is the fastest player in UW history to reach 600 (38 gms), 700 (43), 800 (50), 900 (56) and 1,000 points (62)
• Washington has had a different leading scorer for nine straight games with five different players leading the team in that span —- order of leading scorers: Nowell (ORE) Crisp/Dickerson (OSU), Nowell (STAN), Crisp (CAL), Thybulle (COLO), Carter (UTAH), Nowell (WSU), Dickerson (ASU), Crisp (ARIZ)
Nowell has led the team in rebounding in 10 times this year and has seen his rebounding numbers jump to 5.4 per game from 4.0 a year ago … in league action he averaged 5.9 rebounds
Thybulle is the only player since 1992-93 to record both at least 110 steals and 70 blocks in the same season (via SportsReference).
Dickerson’s 5 rebounds at Stanford pushed him to 900 career boards … he is now just the sixth player at UW to post 1,500 points and 900 rebounds in their career
• Washington ranks 18th in the nation in turnovers forced per game, averaging 16.2 per outing
• UW is holding opponents to just 64.0 points per game overall which is ranked 26th in the NCAA
• 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)