Finally, as if spurred by playing off the bench, Quade Green played up to his billing in the No. 22 Washington men’s basketball team’s 90-80 win over Eastern Washington.
For the first time this season, the sophomore Kentucky-transfer wasn’t in the starting lineup, and after the Huskies (7-1) struggled out of the gate, the point guard stepped up big.
“The thing that I get excited about is the eight assists and one turnover,” head coach Mike Hopkins said. “Controlling the game, delivering the ball on time and on target and finding guys. I was really happy the way that he shared it tonight.”
Along with a near masterful passing performance, Green finished with 20 points on 50% shooting from the field. The Huskies were a game-high plus-21 when he was on the floor.
Senior Sam Timmins said after the game that Green often doesn’t even look at his defender as he brings the ball up the floor. Instead, he’s talking with Hopkins on the sideline getting calls for the next possession.
“With a young team and a team still trying to find its offensive identity, having someone that’s like that aware and present and making sure he’s getting everyone to their spots, I think that’s a big reason why we’re making offensive strides,” Timmins said.
Hopkins said after the game that Green was brought off the bench because he wanted to experiment with a larger lineup, which did not work. The UW fell into an early 10-1 hole, something that it can’t do in its next game against No. 9 Gonzaga.
When Green came on the floor, all that changed quickly. The Huskies followed with a 20-3 run, manufacturing a large lead and going into the half up by 12 on the hot-shooting Eagles (4-3).
The second half wasn’t nearly as pretty, as the Huskies gave up 45 points in the second half and turned the ball over 11 times. Hopkins singled out that number in his postgame press conference.
“We lost a little bit of focus at the end,” Hopkins said. “They trapped, we threw it away, we were weak with the ball … we have to be better than that. When you play against the top teams you gotta be.”
So with a quality opponent coming to its doors this Sunday, Washington will be looking to play its first complete game of the season. Every game has had its fair share of triumphs and disappointing moments, just like today.
While Green played his best game of the season, Jaden McDaniels and Isaiah Stewart struggled with foul trouble all game long and both fouled out with at least four minutes left on the game clock. Despite the foul trouble, Stewart managed 12 points and six rebounds in 21 minutes and McDaniels scored 17.
While the starters struggled, the bench managed 34 points, largely due to Green, but also in part because of Timmins’ season-high 11 points. Jamal Bey, in his second consecutive start, scored 11 points and racked up five steals, a number that would make Matisse Thybulle proud.
Reach Sports Editor Alec Dietz at email@example.com. Twitter: @AlecDietz
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