Huskies Back In Action Thursday Vs. Northern Arizona
SEATTLE - The Huskies will look to rebound after a 71-64 loss in their home opener against Northern Illinois on Tuesday. It's a quick turnaround with a Thursday night matchup (7:30 p.m./Alaska Airlines Arena) against Northern Arizona, who started its season with an 81-52 loss at Arizona.
Nate Roberts opened the year with his third career double-double (10 pts/19 rebounds). His 19 rebounds are tied for 19th most in UW single-game history.
Terrell Brown Jr. debuted with 22 points, his 26th career game with 20-plus points.
Thursday's game will air on the Pac-12 Network with Rich Waltz and Eldridge Recasner on the call. Tony Castricone and Jason Hamilton will handle radio coverage on the Washington Sports Netwrork and locally on Sports Radio KJR-AM 950.
• Signing Day: The Huskies added 6-7 forward Tyler Lindhardt (Seattle, Wash./King's HS) and 6-2 Keyon Menifield Jr. (Mount Morris, Mich./Phoenix [Ariz.] Prep) to the roster for 2022-23. Lindhardt is the No. 1 rated player in the state of Washington and averaged 21.8 ppg, 12.3 rp and 3.5 apg as a sophomore. Menifield played four years at Beecher HS in Flint, Mich. and was the Michigan Division 3 POY in 2021 after averaging 26 ppg, 9.3 apg, 6.6 spg and 4.7 rpg. He is currently enrolled at Phoenix Prep.
• Coach Hopkins (68-61 at UW/5th Year): Head Coach Mike Hopkins is in his fifth year at Washington, and fifth 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).
• The Returners: The Huskies have two returning starters from 2020-21, Jamal Bey and Nate Roberts. Bey is the Huskies leading returning scorer at 10.3 points per game and shot a Pac-12 leading 50.8% from three-point range. Roberts average 5.2 ppg and was the Huskies' top rebounder in 2021, averaging 5.7 per game. Roberts grabbed 12 in 21 minutes during the Huskies exhibition win over Central Washington. Cole Bajema, a one-time transfer from Michigan, also figures prominently in his second season at UW. He averaged 5.9 points over the final 7 games after he averaged 1.9 ppg in first 17 games.
• Experienced Transfers: The Huskies return only 31.3 percent of their scoring and 42.4 percent of their rebounding from last year, but they are by no means left without experienced players. In fact the Huskies add four transfers from Division I schools -- Terrell Brown Jr. (Arizona), Daejon Davis (Stanford), PJ Fuller (TCU) and Emmitt Matthews Jr. (West Virginia) -- that bring with them 12 years of high-level playing experience. Combined, the foursome who all hail from the Seattle/Tacoma area, have played in 336 games (256 starts), scored 3,238 points, grabbed 1,295 rebounds and dished out 964 assists. Brown enters the year with 1,254 points in three seasons (1 at Arizona, 2 at Seattle U) and Davis has 1,064 career points and 429 assists.
• Freshman Additions: The Huskies have two freshmen that are expected to contribute immediately. The local connection is 6-foot-10 forward Jackson Grant from Olympia. He was the Gatorade Washington State Player of the Year and a McDonald's All-American. Also joining the fray is 6-foot-8 Samuel Ariyiba out of Lagos, Nigeria. He was part of the NBA Africa Academy.
• NBA Connections: Not only are there eight former Huskies currently active in the NBA, but there are two former players on the Huskies' coaching staff with NBA experience. Seventh-year coach Will Conroy spent part of four seasons in the NBA, while first-year coach Quincy Pondexter just wrapped up a nine-year career in 2019. The following eight players are currently on NBA rosters: Markelle Fultz (Orlando Magic), Justin Holiday (Indiana Pacers), Jaden McDaniels (Minnesota Timberwolves), Dejounte Murray (San Antonio Spurs), Jaylen Nowell (Minnesota Timberwolves), Terrence Ross (Orlando Magic), Isaiah Stewart (Detroit Pistons) and Matisse Thybulle (Philadelphia 76ers). Additionally, Marquese Chriss began the 2021 season with the Portland Trailblazers.