So far, so good for Washington.
The Huskies’ 75-67 win over Northern Kentucky on Thursday in Seattle gives the Huskies a 2-0 record and allowed them to start a stretch of back-to-back games against NCAA Tournament teams from last year on the right foot.
Washington should step up a little bit in class Sunday night when it welcomes Nevada to town. The Huskies will probably hope for a little more balance than they got against Northern Kentucky. Keion Brooks and Sahvir Wheeler combined for two-thirds of their points Thursday.
Brooks scored 19 of his career-high 32 points in the second half and grabbed 10 rebounds. Wheeler, the Kentucky transfer, added 18 points and seven assists.
“It was a tough test,” Washington coach Mike Hopkins said. “I thought our guys fought. We will learn from our mistakes, watch tape and get better.”
Brooks is averaging 27 points per game and Wheeler is scoring 18. Koren Johnson is contributing 13.5, although he managed just two points in 20 minutes against Northern Kentucky. Rutgers transfer Paul Mulcahy is averaging six points with 5.5 rebounds and 5.5 assists.
Meanwhile, Nevada (1-0) opened its season Tuesday night with a 77-63 home win over Sacramento State. Steve Alford’s Wolf Pack limited the Hornets to 37.1 percent shooting from the field and featured four players in double figures, with Jarod Lucas pumping in 18 points.
Alford was looking ahead to the Washington matchup before the season. He played a secret scrimmage against Oregon where media or fans weren’t permitted, wanting his team to get a taste of what a good Pac-12 team looks like.
“We didn’t want Washington to be the first Power 5 experience of the year because sometimes that can be a bit of a shock because of the body size,” Alford said. “It’s a big, physical team. A very athletic team.”
–Field Level Media