With a nice win over Saint Louis under their belt, the Huskies can feel a little better about the way their non-conference has gone thus far. The Dawgs should be far from satisfied as the back to back losses at home is a first since 2000, but winning a game with zero bench points is an impressive feat.
The Titans are coming off a loss to Eastern Washington and are 3-3 on the year with their other losses coming to Stanford in their season opener and Nevada in their second game. What is interesting to note is that the Titans are one of the most prolific offenses in the nation. Sure, their opposition has not been top tier, but the Titans do rank 1st in points per game with just under 89 a night, 4th in assists with 19 per game, and 9th in field goal percentage at 51%. Their biggest weakness is their rebounding and that is where the Dawgs must assert themselves to take home the W.
The Titans have three players average 15+ points, 4+ rebounds, and 3+ assists per night. That is an unbelievable line. All three players are around 6-4 and 195lbs. It’s like they are clones. The Huskies can expect a guard centric attack and in someways that is an advantage for the Dawgs who certainly lack frontcourt depth this season.
Kwane Vaughn, 6-3 195lb, has been a scorer since day 1 with the Titans (originally from San Fransisco). Averaging 11+ points per year, one must respect his shot and cannot leave him open on the court. Vaughn’s 3-point shooting has only improved every year since his arrival from 31% to 48% currently. Last season, Vaughn shot just over 39% from deep with 59 makes on 151 attempts. Vaughn is even more dangerous when allowed to step up on the foul line where he is an excellent 86% with 37 makes on 43 attempts.
D.J. Seeley, 6-4 195lb, has stepped his game up the past two season. In his first two years, Seeley averaged a paltry 2-3 points a game. After transferring from Cal, Seeley has been allowed to blossom and since then has averaged over 17 points per game. As with Vaughn, Seeley is an excellent 3-point shot with a 39% average and a very solid 82% from the charity stripe.
Sammy Yeager, 6-4 190lb, has been in college basketball since the ’08-’09 season, yet various situations have prevented Yeager from playing all but one season prior to ’12-’13. Yeager has the best shot on the team with an amazing 53% from deep, yet only 69% at the foul line. Yeager also leads his squad in rebounds with over 6 per night.
I am going to be frustrated throughout this game for one very specific reason. The biggest active player on the Titan roster is 6-7. If Aziz N’Diaye does not score 15 points and pull in at least as many rebounds, I will be upset. The Huskies should expect a fast attack by the Titans, but should counter with a patient and effective attack through the paint where N’Diaye should have an easy time taking the ball to the hoop. Until such a time that the Titans double or triple team N’Diaye, the Dawgs first look should be inside. Once the defense adjusts to N’Diaye, the Dawgs can then open the court for their outside shooting attack.