Huskies Return Home, Face Winthrop Saturday
The Washington men's basketball team returns to action on Saturday at Alaska Airlines Arena with a 7:00 p.m. game against Winthrop. It will be the Huskies fourth game of the week as they are coming off a 2-1 showing at the Crossover Classic in Sioux Falls, S.D.
The Huskies and Eagles have never faced each other. Winthrop is 2-3 on the season after starting 2-0. They most recently dropped a 92-86 decision to Washington State on Nov. 22. The Eagles have four players averaging double-figure scoring, led by D.J. Burns with 16.0 points per game. Number two scorer Patrick Good comes off the bench and averages 15.6 ppg.
The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Network with Rich Waltz and P.J. Carlesimo calling all the action. Locally, Gary Hill and Jason Hamilton will call the action on the Husky Sports Properties and KJR AM-950.
• Leading The Break:Terrell Brown Jr. averaged 24.7 ppg in three games at the Crossover Classic and was named to the All-Tournament team. He was 27-46 (.587) from the field and 17-22 (.773) from the free throw line ... The Huskies, Nevada and South Dakota State all finished 2-1 at the Crossover Classic. Nevada was crowned tournament winner based on score differential ... Brown Jr. is the only Husky to reach double-digit points in all seven games. He has scored 20+ points in five games, and 30+ in two, including a career-high 32 vs. South Dakota State. Tuesday was the 51st in 94 career games in which He has eclipsed double-digits 52 times in 95 career game, 20-plus 30 times and 30-plus six times ... The Huskies are 27-of-30 (.900) from the free throw line over the final 5:00 minutes in their four wins ... PJ Fuller equaled his career high with 21 points on Monday vs. George Mason ... Brown Jr. had all nine of the Huskies' assists vs. Texas Southern. He is the first Pac-12 player to have 9 or more assists and account for all his team's assists since Brevin Knight (9) of Stanford vs. Utah on Mar. 20, 1997 ... 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 .
• Coach Hopkins (72-63 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 Team: 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. 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. 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. 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.
• 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.
• 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.