The Washington basketball team, now 6-0 in conference play, is in Corvallis, Oregon to play the Oregon State Beavers (4-2 in conference) on Saturday, January 26. The Huskies lead the Pac-12 by two games in the loss column.
Washington basketball has an opportunity to prove themselves against Oregon State. Playing the Beavers at home will be tough, as the Huskies haven’t done so since the 2013-14 campaign. However, if the Huskies do win, they would have won all four road games along to stay undefeated. Regardless of the final score, they will remain in first place.
Besides being 6-0 in conference, the Huskies have an overall record of 15-4. They have 12 remaining games on the Pac-12 schedule. Even if they win just half of those remaining games, they will end the season with an overall record of 21-10, potentially enough to get them into the NCAA tournament in March.
The Pac-12 will, at most, be a two bid conference. Washington’s strength of schedule, despite there best non-con win coming over an unranked Western Kentucky team, coupled with their dominance in conference has set them up to get a bid even if they don’t capture the Pac-12 tournament bid.
Jaylen Nowell and Noah Dickerson have been the Huskies two top scorers over the season. Nowell is averaging 16.8 points a game while Dickerson is averaging 13.1 points per game along with 6.5 rebounds per game. During the non-league season, they were the only Husky players in double figures. David Crisp, however, has stepped up his game when the Pac-12 conference play started. He is averaging 16 points a game in conference play. This has helped the Huskies to get off to the tremendous start.
The Huskies to continue performing at this high level these three will have to keep playing this way. They will win against the Beavers if they are able to continue playing good defense. The Huskies are giving up 60.3 points per game in conference play while scoring 73.8 points per game.
The Oregon State Beavers have a conference record of 4-2 with an overall record of 12-4. It will be important for them to win Saturday against the Huskies to stay in the race for the conference championship.
The Oregon State Beavers are led in scoring by junior forward Tres Tinkle at 20.4 points per game. He is the top scorer in the Pac-12. He also leads the Beavers in rebounding with an average of 8.2 per game. Stephen Thompson Jr. is second on the Beavers in scoring at 15.2 points per game. His brother Ethan Thompson is third on the Beavers in scoring at 13.8 points per game. Those three will have to continue doing their job to be sure to beat the Huskies at home on Saturday.
The Beavers also have one of the most dominant defensive players in Division I basketball. Giving Matisse Thybulle competition for his second Pac-12 DPOY award , Oregon State freshman Kylor Kelley is leading the NCAA in blocks per game, and will look to shut down the Huskies inside the paint.
Last year, the Huskies and the Beavers split the series with the Huskies winning at home 79-77 while the Beavers won at Corvallis 97-94. The Beavers though beat the Huskies in the Pac-12 tournament 69-66. It showed these two teams are evenly matched so this should be another exciting game to see for sure.