Huskies Open 2020-21 Season vs. No. 2 Baylor in Vegas
UW officially opens the 2020-21 season on Sunday, Nov. 29 as it faces No. 2 Baylor in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. The game will be broadcast on FloHoops at 3 p.m. PT with Tony Cordasco on the call. Additionally, fans can tune into KJR 950 AM to hear Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton on the official Husky Radio Broadcast. This is the second-straight year that Washington will open the season in a neutral site contest and the second-straight year opening against a ranked Baylor squad. The last time UW opened back-to-back seasons with the same non-conference opponent was in 1994-95/'95-96 when it faced Eastern Washington.
The Coach (63-39 at UW/4th Year)
Head Coach Mike Hopkins is in his fourth year at Washington, and fourth as a head coach after becoming the 19th head coach in UW history. During his 22 years as an assistant at Syracuse, Hopkins was a part of teams that reached the NCAA Tournament 16 times including the 2003 National Championship, four Final Fours, five Elite Eights and 10 Sweet 16s along with four NIT berths. Syracuse never dipped below a 55.0 percent record while Hopkins was on staff. Hopkins is a two-time Pac-12 Coach of the Year, winning the honor in each of his first two seasons with the Huskies as he led UW to back-to-back 20 win seasons with postseason appearances each year. (2018 NIT, 2019 NCAA Second Round).
• Washington is opening its season on the road and at a neutral site for the second-straight year after facing then-No. 16 Baylor a year ago in the Armed Forces Classic in Alaska ... additionally the Dawgs are playing in the same arena where they concluded the 2019-20 campaign
• Under Coach Hop, UW has faced seven top 20 non-conference opponents and has travelled to New York, Alaska, Toronto, Kansas, Las Vegas, Hawaii, Atlantic City, Auburn, Vancouver (B.C) and to No. 1 Gonzaga all in the non-conference.
• Washington returns just 35.0 percent of its scoring and 31.1 percent of its rebounding from a year ago with Quade Green leading the charge at 11.6 ppg and Hameir Wright coming in at 4.2 boards.
• Additionally, UW has only one player returning that averaged over 30 minutes/game a year ago (Green, 30.4)
• Green is the team's leading assist returner from last season as he dished out 79 in 15 games for a 5.2 per game average
• Green shot 51.4% from the field, 44.7% from 3 and 83.7% from the FT line while dishing out 5.2 assists per game a year ago making him the only player in the country to reach those numbers regardless of number of games played
• Transfers Erik Stevenson (Wichita State) and Cole Bajema (Michigan) each received a waiver from the NCAA to be eligible immediately for the 2020-21 season
• UW has four transfers this season that are eligible and all hail from the state of Washington, J'Raan Brooks (USC/Seattle, WA), Erik Stevenson (Wichita State/Lacey, WA), Nate Pryor (North Idaho College/West Seattle, WA) and Cole Bajema (Michigan/Lynden, WA)
• Junior Jamal Bey, averaging 24.3 minutes per game last season, led the team in steals with 48, which was the third most by a sophomore in UW history and was up from just the six he had during his freshman season
• Under Coach Hopkins, the Huskies' 2-3 zone defense has helped the Dawgs record the top two FG% defense marks in the last 44 years (dating back to the 76-77 season) holding teams to 38.1% (2019-20) and 41.6% (2018-19)
• Wright currently has 107 career blocks which ranks seventh all-time at UW, he is just six behind sixth place (113, Aziz N'Diaye) and 79 behind the UW record of 186 (Matisse Thybulle and Christian Welp)
• UW's original opening slate of games, the Husky Classic MTE was cancelled due to COVID issues with three other participating teams (Cal State Fullerton, San Diego, Portland State)
• UW had two players selected in the first round of the 2020 NBA Draft as Isaiah Stewart went at No. 16 to the Detroit Pistons and Jaden McDaniels went at No. 28 to the Minnesota Timberwolves ... UW has had two first round picks in three of the last eight drafts (2012, 2016, 2020).