By: Dan Buchfink, who you can follow on twitter here: @chicagohawks6
Estimated read time: 2 minutes
Let’s be honest. KU has played a pretty garbage non-conference schedule so far. The only top 50 KenPom team they’ve faced is Kentucky and they are a team almost entirely of freshmen that doesn’t know who they are yet. While Washington at least presents a challenge versus a major conference team, KenPom has them ranked at #140 right now. To give you perspective, South Dakota State (a team KU beat by 34) is currently #111.
Quick side note – have you ever seen more dejected humans than the two UC Davis players in the picture above this article??? Number 5 looks like he’s questioning every decision he’s ever made and the other guy just looks downright sad.
Moving to the actual game though….
Washington is coming into Wednesday nights matchup in the Sprint Center with a 6-2 record, but first year coach Mike Hopkins has his hands full. While their record may seem good for a team coming off of a 9-22 record where they boasted the 1st overall pick in last years draft, KU should make quick work of them. To go back to KenPom, Washington is currently ranked 211 in defense and 97th on offense. For comparison KU is currently ranked 2nd overall, 6th on offense and 2nd on defense. To this point Washington’s best win was an 86-82 win over Belmont, but there is next to no chance they beat KU on wednesday where the Jayhawks are favored to win by 20.
Who to watch for (there isn’t much):
Jaylen Nowell is one of the better freshmen in the nation. The 6’4 guard is averaging 17.9 ppg while shooting 52% from the field.
Noah Dickerson is another player to watch. The forward is averaging 16.4 ppg to go along with 8 rebounds per on 67% shooting.
Lastly, looking down their roster, they only have one player over 6’8 so it’s shaping up to be a battle of small ball lineups. Look for Doke to eat tomorrow.
Outside of Nowell and Dickerson, Washington doesn’t have many players that can hurt us. Look for Bill Self to focus his defensive efforts on shutting them down while coasting to another big win in Kansas City.
Look for another preview coming a little later this week when there’s actually some more to talk about on our matchup with ranked Arizona State.