Washington basketball took care of business in the first two games, but couldn’t come out of Vancouver with a win in the first-ever Vancouver Showcase.
It was the usual suspects in the championship game, as Washington Basketball fell in the Vancouver Showcase to the Minnesota Golden Gophers. Noah Dickerson was the team’s leading scorer with a career high tying 28. Jaylen Nowell came on strong in the second half and finished with 22 points. The game script was pretty typical for the Huskies, who had some hot and cold streaks from the floor, which is (hopefully) something that will right itself by the time Pac-12 play starts, because some of the conference’s better teams won’t give the Huskies as much leeway, and could pull away quickly.
Matisse Thybulle did nothing but improve his case for Defensive Player of the Year, with his strongest game of the tournament coming against Texas A&M, but every game does nothing but help his case. He’s such a force at the top of Mike Hopkins‘ 2-3 zone, and should be boosting his NBA Draft stock every day, showing scouts that he’s an experienced defender who can stick with anyone. As the season continues, he deserves major recognition not only in the Pac-12, but from national voters, and he should be a frontrunner for National Defensive Player of the Year.
Shooting and Turnover Woes
The Huskies need to keep working, and keep improving on their shooting, especially from the three point line. Sound familiar? It should.The Huskies are shooting just over 30% from beyond the arc on the season, and it feels like that’s a high number looking at the way the Huskies shot the three in this game. They were 3-14 in the championship, and 0-7 in the first half. The struggles from the field couldn’t bury Minnesota, and are what ultimately led to the Huskies’ downfall. That, and finding other key contributors on offense. Outside of Nowell, Dickerson and David Crisp, nobody scored more than two points for the Huskies. The Huskies have a great shot to win the Pac-12 this season, but they can’t do it with only two weapons. Dominic Green and Nahziah Carter need to find ways to contribute on the offensive end of the floor.
Turnovers helped keep the Golden Gophers in this game too, as the Huskies committed 17 of them, only one shy of their season high 18 which happened at Auburn. Nowell committed a cruical offensive foul with under 15 seconds to play, which led to a Gabe Kalscheur three pointer with two seconds to play.
Keep your heads up high though Husky fans, things aren’t so glum! This team is going to be just fine, and they’ll continue to grow together as the season. Some of the woes today could have been a result of fatigue, as this was the team’s third game in four days. The good news is the Huskies have six days off before their next game, as they return home on November 27th to match up with Eastern Washington.