Don’t look now but Husky basketball is poised to take control of the PAC 12

With a 71-52 blowout win over the Cal-Berkley Bears the Washington Huskies are now 5-0 in the PAC 12 and 14-4 overall. With 3 of those losses to top 15 teams, Dawg fans have to start feeling good about this team.

Saturday’s game saw coach Mike Hopkin’s zone defense frustrate the Bear defense to just 30% shooting on the night. Defense has been the trademark of this team all season long. Legacy players such as Noah Dickerson, Matisse Thybulle, and David Crisp will be rewarded with their loyalty as an NCAA tournament bid is looking likely.

Senior Noah Dickerson once again leads the team in rebounds. He is scoring 13 ppg and pulling down 6.7 rebounds per game giving a veteran presence in the paint. Thybulle also a senior, is still a defensive master with 49 steals on the season, looking to eclipse his UW record 101 from last year. And the 3rd senior Crisp is a consummate role player with 11 ppg off the bench.

Sole 2017 recruit, Jaylen Nowell, has taken the mantle of leadership yet again leading the team in scoring with 16 ppg. While 4 other recruits in his class bailed on the Purple and Gold when Lorenzo Romar was fired, Nowell maintained his commitment and it has paid off as he has led the team to one of their best starts in team history.

Speaking of recruits, the Huskies just landed 5 star recruit Isaiah Stewart. The 6’9 forward is considered the #5 overall recruit in the NCAA. His final schools included Syracuse, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Washington. The landing of Stewart comes from the relationship that Hopkins had with him from his Syracuse days.

“He came up a lot to see me,” said Stewart. “Him and I have a great bond. He moved out to Washington — I’m from Seattle — and it changed things. At first I wasn’t really leaning towards them, but as we started to talk (I realized) he is a different type of guy. He wanted to create his own legacy. I’m down with him, let’s do it — lets be different.”

Stewart is looking to help Hopkins land another top prospect in RaeQuan battle. Battle is the #93 recruit in the land and has intimated that he is a lock for UW. Of note, Stewart is trying to coax the #6 recruit in America, Jaden McDaniels to flip to UW.

“I’m recruiting him really hard,” said Stewart on McDaniels. “He knows what’s up. After this interview I’m going to text him. I’m definitely recruiting him hard.”

The 6’11 forward moves like a guard and creates a nightmare match-up for Pac12 foes.

“With me, I feel like I am the easiest player in the country to play with — I’m very unselfish,” said Stewart. “(McDaniels and I) together as a duo would be very hard.”

The future looks bright for the Huskies and that future is now. So as football winds down, get excited as the Huskies have a legitimate shot to get ahead of the PAC 12 this year and for years to come.

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News Reporter
Abraham DeWeese is an avid local sports fan and a “Man-About-Town” in the Seattle sports scene. He's a lifelong resident of the Seattle area, living in the beautiful Greenlake neighborhood.