Washington basketball will take on the USC Trojans in the quarterfinals of the Pac-12 tournament on Thursday, March 14 at 12:00 P.M. PST.
The week started out strong for Washington Basketball, with Jaylen Nowell being named Pac-12 Player of the Year, Matisse Thybulle and coach Mike Hopkins being named Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year respectively for the second straight year.
Washington basketball beat the USC Trojans in their only meeting of the season on January 30 at home in the Alaska Airlines Arena 75-62. Against the Trojans, the Huskies were led by senior forward Noah Dickerson with 21 points and 14 rebounds. On Thursday it will be important that Dickerson plays another game like in the first meeting and not get into foul trouble.
The Huskies have had problems scoring early in games recently. For example, against Oregon, they scored only 18 points in the first half. In this win or go home scenario, Washington will need to come out firing on offense, and not score eight points through the first twelve minutes.
Bennie Boatwright led the Trojans in the loss to the Huskies with 22 points. It will be important Washington keep the first team All Pac-12 player under wraps. Nick Rakocevic had 16 points against the Huskies in the first meeting, so he’ll be another player to keep an eye on. Derryck Thornton was the second leading scorer against Arizona with 12, and sometimes a game like that one is all it takes to heat up for the rest of the tournament, so it’ll be important the Huskies contain him again.
Washington basketball has a good chance to beat USC however they can’t take the Trojans lightly. Again it will be important they get off to a good start. They will need Nowell and David Crisp to step up and hit shots along with getting the ball down low to Noah Dickerson. The Huskies are going to want to bounce back after their loss to Oregon, and today has the possibility to be a great start to a deep Pac-12 and hopefully NCAA tournament run.