While late-season fatigue continues to challenge Washington, head coach Mike Hopkins is tasked with rallying the Huskies for their final three games of the 2017-18 regular season.
The Washington men’s basketball team wasn’t supposed to be in this position. Picked to finish 10th in the conference in the Pac-12 preseason polls, Hopkins’ first year at the helm in Seattle was meant to be a total rebuild.
Hopkins is rebuilding, but he’s managing to win while doing it. The Huskies sit at 18-10 overall and 8-7 in the Pac-12 — tied for sixth in the conference standings.
But, the Huskies have been trending downwards. Guards Matisse Thybulle and David Crisp briefly discussed the impacts of fatigue this late in the season, especially as Washington has played so far above expectations until now.
Hot start to the season
Washington’s momentum was rolling beginning in non-conference play and lasting through the halfway mark of the Pac-12 slate. A huge road win over USC was followed up with wins over ranked Arizona State and Arizona teams at home in a three-day span.
Add that to a road win over Kansas back in December, and the Huskies have as competitive a tournament resume as any other bubble team.
It’s also easy to forget Washington’s first win of the year — 86-82 over a Belmont team poised to make yet another tournament appearance.