Coming off a gutsy OT victory against the Colorado Buffaloes, the Washington Huskies Basketball team will host the very impressive Utah Utes today at 5:00 PM PT
The Washington Huskies basketball team, fresh off the overtime victory against the Colorado Buffaloes on January 18, now face what could be labeled their toughest challenge of the season.
The Huskies, with star guard Markell Fultz, must face the very competitive Utah Utes today, January 21, 2017.
The Utes are concluding a two game road trip amidst a rather impressive January 2017. So far this month, they have played 4-2, including victories over Colorado, Arizona State, Washington State, and then 25th-ranked USC. They have only lost to 17th ranked Arizona and to 4th ranked UCLA.
Utah Big Challenge
This will be a tremendous challenge for a Huskies team looking to climb into the NCAA Tournament. Utah is currently playing excellent basketball with a balanced offense and a defense that bends somewhat but never breaks. On one hand, the Washington Huskies must hitch their hopes to star guard Markelle Fultz. On the other hand, they must find a way to get other players involved in the scoring.
More from The Husky Haul
- Pro Husky Shaq Thompson out for season with leg injury
- Washington Huskies begin conference play against Cal in Week 4
- Jack Westover is a breakout star for the Washington Huskies
- Washington football: Negatives and Positives in win over Michigan State
- Huskies offense slices through the Spartans in 41-7 win
In conference play, the Huskies have struggled with three point shooting. They also struggle against strong front court centers. Hopefully, neither vulnerability will surface in their contest today.
3 Keys To Win
The Washington Huskies have an uphill battle on their home court, but they have the tools to win this game.
Key I – Hit Three-Point Shots
The Washington Huskies are not going to win many games in the paint. This team is all about spacing, ball movement, and the deep shots. In a recent loss against ranked Oregon, the team only hit on 4-16 three point attempts. In fact, it’s been a pattern in losses that the three point shot simply doesn’t drop.
Without that three, the Huskies must try driving to the basket. That spells doom for the team.
Key II – Get David Crisp involved in offense
The key to key I is to get David Crisp involved in the offense early. Crisp is hitting 45 percent of his three point shots. While Markelle Fultz grabs the headlines, and scores plenty, he will also draw double team and the defenses’ s attention.
Crisp, conversely, will have opportunities at clean shots that he must take advantage of. As Crisp sinks threes, that will draw out defenders and open lanes to the basket
The Washington Huskies can play an extreme small ball, placing five guards on the court simultaneously. That gives the Huskies the opportunity to play press defense, and cause turnovers. The team forced 15 turnovers against Colorado. The Huskies will need a similar effort to defeat the Utes.
The Huskies are currently 9-9. They have not finished better than .500 in the Pac-12 since 2011-2012.