After a successful trip to the mountain schools, the Washington men’s basketball team returns home to Hec Edmundson Pavilion looking to stay perfect in the Pac-12. Next up: Stanford and Cal, who have combined for just one Pac-12 win so far this season.
3 numbers to know
.366: Despite California’s struggles, its lone bright spot is its three-point efficiency. Its 36.6 percent three point field goal percentage is second in the Pac-12; for comparison, Washington is tied for ninth with Stanford and UCLA at 33.5 percent. However, California is selective with its three point attempts, only averaging 19 threes per game which is dead last in the Pac-12.
19.9: The Cardinal has a foul problem, committing 19.9 personal fouls per game. In five of the past six games it has played, the team has fouled 20 or more times, with senior center Josh Sharma (51) and sophomore guard Daejon Davis (45) leading the team. The Huskies shoot 71.8 percent from the free-throw line and converting from the stripe could give the Dawgs quite an edge.
100: The transfers of star power forward Reid Travis to Kentucky and sixth-man Robert Cartwright to UC Irvine, coupled with the graduations of Dorian Pickens and Michael Humphrey, means head coach Jerod Haase has lost a combined 100 starts from last year’s team. Stepping up to fill them has been a challenge for this young Stanford squad, as only sophomores Davis, KZ Okpala, and Oscar da Silva have much Pac-12 experience.
2 players to watch
Daejon Davis: As long as he plays in the Pac-12, sophomore point guard Daejon Davis will always represent a sort of “what if” for Washington fans. Part of the highly touted recruiting class Lorenzo Romar put together before he was fired in 2017, Davis opted to stay in the Pac-12 unlike fellow recruits Michael Porter Jr., Jontay Porter, and Blake Harris, and has become a star for the Cardinal.
Though he had some injury problems earlier in the season, Davis should be fine to play against the Huskies and is averaging 12.2 points per game and 4.4 assists per game.
Paris Austin: Austin is Cal’s second leading scorer and its starting point guard. On a team that is dead last in assists in the Pac-12 at 10.7 per game, Austin has 4.9 of those. A transfer from Boise State, he has adjusted to the Pac-12 competition well, averaging 13.6 points per game on an efficient 47.5 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range.
1 recap of last week
Searching for its first Pac-12 win last weekend after a rough trip to Los Angeles, Stanford hosted the Arizona schools at Maples Pavillion. In the first game of the weekend, the Cardinal lost a heartbreaker to the Wildcats, 75-70, despite a 29-point performance by Okpala. Another 20-point game by Okpala, plus a 21-point double-double from da Silva gave the Cardinal all it needed to upset Arizona State 85-71 and pick up its first conference win.
California is coming off a rough loss Jan. 12, falling 87-65 at home against Arizona. Besides Sueing’s 27 points, no other player scored more than nine. At one point, Arizona scored on 21 of 23 possessions bridging the first and second half, allowing the Wildcats to take a 12-point lead into the break and extended their lead to 22 in the second half. On the other hand, Cal shot a meager 34.5 percent and only had seven assists to 12 turnovers.
Reach reporters Andy Yamashita and Daniel Li at firstname.lastname@example.org. Twitter: @ANYamashita and @Daniel_Li7
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