Things couldn’t be going much better for the Husky basketball team. We’re 9-0 in Pac-12 play, we’re on an 11-game winning streak, we’re as close as we’ve been since the pre-season from being ranked in the AP Top 25, and if the season ended today, there are various Bracketologists who would have us as a 7-seed!
These are truly uncharted waters. I’ve been following Husky basketball pretty steadily since the turn of the century, and nothing about this team resembles any previous Husky team I’ve ever seen. The Huskies have been notorious slow starters, both in games and in conference play. A 9-game winning streak to CLOSE conference play would be more in line with my experience, but never to open!
And, the way the Huskies are jumping out to huge leads in individual games is unprecedented! Take a look at the last nine games:
- 29-16 lead over the Cougs (43-38 at half)
- 38-30 halftime lead at the Utes
- 12-0 start at the Buffs (48-35 at half)
- 25-12 lead over the Cardinal (37-24 at half)
- 29-28 halftime lead over the Golden Bears
- 17-5 start at the Ducks (27-19 at half)
- 22-7 start at the Beavs (40-27 at half)
- 15-4 lead over the Trojans (36-25 at half)
- 31-23 halftime lead over the Bruins
The only games where the Huskies somewhat struggled in the first half were against Cal and UCLA, but both times we were able to pull away eventually.
I’ll be the first to admit, I didn’t think the Huskies would beat both of the L.A. schools, but here we are after yet another sweep. We’re now 12-0 at home, which is big. We’re 6-4 on the road or on a neutral court, which might be even bigger. Especially if we can push that out to 8-4 against the Arizona schools this week.
Nowell, Crisp, and Thybulle led the way against UCLA on Saturday, scoring 15, 15, and 14 points respectively. They combined to go 14/32 (8/14 from long distance) and really kept this game on track, when it could’ve gone off the rails at any point. Getting 22 points from our bench really helped as well, considering what Noah Dickerson had to endure.
Normally, when you see Dickerson being held to 14 minutes, that means he’s in foul trouble from the opening tip. But, he finished with 0 fouls, and two pretty serious-looking injuries. He had to leave the game early with what appeared to be a shoulder issue. After returning to the game, he landed awkwardly on another player’s foot, rolling his ankle in the process. When they had to help him off the court – not to return – things appeared to be pretty dire. Sam Timmins came in there and settled things down, especially defensively (finishing with 6 boards, 3 blocks, and a whopping 9 points – including 3/3 from the free throw line!), but I was speculating the worst case scenario. The good thing was that it didn’t appear to be a high-ankle sprain, which can land you on the shelf for weeks and weeks. Regardless, it didn’t look very likely that he’d make the trip to Arizona this week; however, after listening to Coach Hop on the Mitch Unfiltered podcast, he made it sound like Dickerson will be a game-time decision.
The fact that he actually has a CHANCE to play is great news! I still don’t know if I’d expect him in there on Thursday, but I’ll keep my fingers crossed for the Sun Devils on Saturday morning.
The schedule gets considerably easier after this week. The Huskies should be able to coast from here on out. Just need to bring their lunch pails for two more games before gorging on dessert.