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Oregon State Basketball: Opponent Preview - Washington Huskies (Game 29)

The Beavers travel to visit the league’s best on Wednesday night.

NCAA Basketball: Washington at California Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Huskies (23-6)

  • Head Coach: Mike Hopkins (2nd Season)
  • Top Performer: Jaylen Nowell (16.2 PPG, 5.5 RPG)
  • Points For: 70.8 PPG (T-231st)
  • Points Against: 63.9 PPG (23rd)
  • Last Game/Streak: 62-61 Win at Stanford (1W)

The Skinny

After consecutive losses at the hands of Arizona and Arizona State, Oregon State has just about sent their chances of making the NCAA Tournament out the window, pending an unforeseen run to a Pac-12 Tournament crown.

However, there’s still much to play for in Corvallis, as the Beavers’ efforts this season have now clouded the fan support behind head coach Wayne Tinkle and threatened the team’s chances to earn a post-season birth of any value.

But the road won’t get any easier for the Beavers on Wednesday.

The class of the league who sits atop the Pac-12 standings, Washington welcomes in Oregon State at a trying time for this super successful team, as the Huskies haven’t been playing their best basketball as of late. Head coach Mike Hopkins’ squad dropped just their second conference game a week ago in a stunning upset at the hands of California and then barely squeaked in the final seconds against Stanford.

Yet, make no mistake about it, there’s nobody more feared on any given night in the league than Washington.

Led by star Jaylen Nowell (16.2 PPG), an absolute stat-sheet stuffer, the Huskies’ balance, maturity and chemistry is hard to not notice. Matisse Thybulle (9.7 PPG) could be the strongest defensive talent in all of college basketball, while other veterans like David Crisp (12.6 PPG), Noah Dickerson (12.5 PPG) and Dominic Green (6.5 PPG) are key pieces to a team with a winning formula.

The duo of Naz Carter (7.8 PPG) and Hameir Wright (2.8 PPG), two sophomore transplants from upstate New York, round out the group’s mix-and-match ability, which changes with the team’s regular defensive strategies within their daunted 2-3 zone.

For Oregon State to knock off the Huskies, the Beavers will have to find a way to cut apart that aforementioned defense, that allows just 63.9 points per game to opponents, a mark good enough for a Top 25 ranking nationally.

Player To Watch

Jaylen Nowell (Sophomore) - Call me biased, but if I had a vote for Pac-12 Player of the Year, Oregon State’s Tres Tinkle would be my selection on the ballot. However, if I couldn’t vote for the Beavers star talent, I’d easily select Washington’s Jaylen Nowell. There’s few players in the league that carry the clout that Nowell does (add Matisse Thybulle to that list) and play with the needed fire and energy on every single night. Oregon State will need to take Nowell out of the contest with unique defensive looks as much as they can on Wednesday night.

NCAA Basketball: Stanford at Washington Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

Game Info

  • Date: Wednesday, March 6th
  • Time: 7:00 PM PT
  • Location: Alaska Airlines Arena (Seattle, WA)
  • Coverage: Pac-12 Network