Thursday, February 22, 2024
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Huskies Embark On California Road Trip

by Staff

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LOS ANGELES – Washington (10-6, 2-3 Pac-12) begins a three-game road trip on Sunday after winning two of three at home.
 
The Huskies take on the UCLA Bruins at 4 p.m. on Sunday on Pac-12 Neworks. Roxy Bernstein and Don MacLean have the TV call while Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton have the call on the Husky Sports Network and in Seattle on Sports Radio KJR 950 AM.

The team then begins it’s journey north for games against California and Stanford.

 

THE MATCHUP

UW faces its toughest historical challenge on Sunday at UCLA. The Huskies’ .300 winning percentage against the Bruins is the lowest against any current Pac-12 team. They have defeated the Bruins just eight times in Los Angeles, dating back to the first matchup in 1936. UCLA has won the last eight overall meetings and 16 of the last 19. The last time Washington won at Pauley Pavilion was 2016. The Bruins are just 1-4 in league play and 4-4 at home overall.

 

LAST TIME OUT

Sahvir Wheeler hit all five of his career-best five three-pointers and scored 24 points, Keion Brooks Jr. added 22 points and Washington handed Arizona State it’s first conference loss on Thursday. The Huskies shot 13 of 25 from three-point range. Moses Wood added 15 points and Braxton Meah had 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds.

 

NON-CONFERENCE RECAP

The Huskies won eight non-conference games for the second-straight season, which equals their most since winning 10 in 2019-20. UW scored at least 74 points in each of its first 10 games in 2023-24 after only reaching the 74-point mark three times in their first 10 games last season. All of the Huskies’ three losses were to top-30 NET teams (Nevada, CSU, SDSU).

 

TOP DAWGS

Keion Brooks Jr. is the only Pac-12 player to rank in the league’s top-five in points and rebounds. Paul Mulcahy and Sahvir Wheeler each rank in the top-ten in the Pac-12 in assists per game and combine for the most career assists of any backcourt in the country. Wheeler is the active DI leader in assists (755) which is top-75 on the all-time list. Mulcahy ranks 17th (516) among active leaders.

 

LEADING THE PAC

The Huskies rank 2nd in the Pac-12 in scoring (81.7), behind only Arizona. They average the second-most free throw attempts in the league. The team ranks 2nd in Pac-12 with 4.8 blocks per game after ranking in the top-10 in DI in blocks last season. They are also 3rd in the league in fastbreak points.

 

EXPERIENCED GROUP

The Husky roster has a combined 7,986 career points which is 11th-most in Division I. The 988 career games played are 13th.

 

THE RETURNERS

UW is one of three Pac-12 teams to return multiple All-Conference honorees, behind only USC. Preseason first-team All-Conference choice Keion Brooks Jr. headlines the core of returners as the leading returning scorer in the entire Pac-12. He averaged 17.7 points and 6.7 rebounds to earn Second Team All-Pac-12 honors. Braxton Meah is back for another season in purple and gold after shooting over 70 percent in 2022-23 to lead the league and set a new single-season Husky record. He was selected to the All-Defensive team after averaging 1.6 blocks per game.

 

Koren Johnson enters his sophomore season following a stellar freshman campaign in which he racked up 34 steals, which were tied for second on the team. Franck Kepnang adds depth to the frontcourt after missing the majority of the 2022-23 season due to injury.

 

THE NEWCOMERS

Kentucky grad transfer Sahvir Wheeler highlights an experienced group of newcomers. Wheeler twice led the SEC in assists, both times ranking in the top five in the NCAA with over six helpers per game.

 

Wilhelm Breidenbach (Nebraska), Nate Calmese (Lamar), Anthony Holland (Fresno State) Paul Mulcahy (Rutgers) and Moses Wood (Portland) also arrived in Seattle via the transfer portal. Four-star guard Wesley Yates III headlines the freshman class of four.

 

SIGNING DAY

Head Coach Mike Hopkins and the Huskies signed four-star guard Casmir Chavis to a letter of intent on National Signing Day Wednesday, the Huskies’ first commit in the 2024 class.

 

NEW AT ALASKA AIRLINES ARENA

New LED lights will not only greatly enhance gameday energy and the fan experience, but the technology also supports UW’s focus on sustainability.  Complete with instant on/off and color takeover capabilities, new LED lighting will enhance team entrances and create other special moments in the arena.

 

The Huskies will also be playing on a new surface with a redesigned court.

 

Follow the Dawgs all season long @UW_MBB on X and Instagram.

 

 

 

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