Washington Huskies (19-10)
- Latest BTD Pac-12 Power Rankings: 7th Overall (19-10)
- Head Coach: Mike Hopkins (1st Season)
- Top Performer: Jaylen Nowell (16.3 PPG, 4.1 RPG)
- Points For: 74.8 PPG (154th)
- Points Against: 72.6 PPG (T-185th)
- Last Game/Streak: 68-51 Win at California (1W)
As the regular season in college basketball winds down, it’s games like Thursday night’s showdown between Oregon State and Washington that begin to get lost in the bigger shuffle of things.
No, neither of these teams are likely headed for the NCAA Tournament (sorry Washington fans) and neither feature all that transcendent of talents. But still, there’s a lot to be fought for in the bigger picture, especially with the league likely opening up even more with the NCAA now hinting that something will come from the FBI scandal before Selection Sunday.
So maybe Thursday night’s clash between these two squads is about a bit more than seeding in the upcoming conference post-season tournament.
On the surface, the game will be another strong Pac-12 regular season outing, where two of the league’s more intriguing front-courts will have a clash of styles. The Beavers rely on more finesse talents, led by Tres Tinkle and Drew Eubanks, while the Huskies prefer the blue-collar and tenacious outputs from guys like Noah Dickerson (15.0 PPG).
And that’s not even considering the potential of Oregon State trying to attack Washington’s 2-3 zone defense all-night long.
The hype around this game may be low but don’t be surprised if this one ends up being one of the more enjoyable league games of the week.
Prediction: Washington 69, Oregon State 67
Players To Watch
Jaylen Nowell (FR - Guard): The freshman guard has been a pleasant surprise for Mike Hopkins’ squad and he’s slowly making his case as one of the league’s best newcomers (not named Deandre Ayton). In his 23-point showing in the team’s most recent win over California, Nowell got to the free-throw stripe a stunning fourteen times.
Noah Dickerson (JR - Forward): It’s amazing that Dickerson is only in his junior year with Washington, as it feels like the bruising forward has been frightening Pac-12 defenses for a decade now. Between Tinkle and Eubanks, somebody will have to find a way to keep the emotional big man off the boards.
Matisse Thybulle (JR - Guard): One of the league’s best defensive players, it’s important not to discount Thybulle on the offensive end as well, where the 6’ 5” guard now averages 10.9 points per game. However, never discredit his ability to change the game at a moment’s notice, with his 3 steals per game average.
- Date: Thursday, March 1st
- Time: 8:00 PM PT
- Location: Alaska Airlines Arena (Seattle, WA)
- Coverage: ESPN2