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Washington throttles Peak Warriors in first exhibition game in Italy

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Junior forward Nahziah Carter dribbles the ball down court against Washington State last season. Carter will be one of Washington's offensive leaders this season after the departure of Jaylen Nowell and others. 

In a game that was never close, the UW men’s basketball team torched an undersized Italian A Series squad 94-35 in their first exhibition game in Rome. 

The game featured the debuts of highly-touted freshmen Isaiah Stewart, Marcus Tsohonis, and Raequan Battle, and the trio gave viewers a peek of what might be in store for 2019 in their first action. But the Huskies also returned a variety of contributors from last season, including sophomore Jamal Bey, 2018 starter Hameir Wright and junior spark plug Nahziah Carter. 

Below are some of my notes and analysis from Thursday’s game in Rome after watching the game on FloHoops. 

The starters

Elijah Hardy, Jamal Bey, Nahziah Carter, Isaiah Stewart, and Hameir Wright started the game for the Huskies, with Wright being the only returning starter from last season’s squad. 

The headliner, 2019 five-star recruit Stewart, showed why he was a consensus top-10 recruit in the country, scoring 16 points and pulling down seven rebounds against an undersized Italian team with ease. Stewart’s ability to create space and shots in the post is already advanced for being just a freshman, and it’ll be interesting to see him down low against a similarly-sized and skilled opponent.

Aside the freshman, Carter embraced a shot-taking role early on in the game with good results, especially from distance. He finished with 18 points and looked good from range after only shooting 31% on three-pointers in 2018.

Bey also stood out for the Huskies after limited playing time behind Matisse Thybulle last season, scoring 12 points and capitalizing on a lot of opportunities in transition. 

The new faces

We knew that the UW had to replace a lot of their scoring and production from a season ago when they lost four of their five starters, and key contributor Dominic Green off the bench, so how did the new cast look off the bench?  

Despite being one of the Dawgs' lower-ranked recruits (just three-stars) in 2019, Marcus Tsohonis had one of the stronger performances on Thursday. He finished with 11 points and two assists, and showed good shot-making ability, knocking down a stepback three at the halftime buzzer after a series of dribble moves. 

Raequan Battle was another top recruit for UW, a four-star wing from Marysville, who showcased some shot-making ability and a lack of fear in attempting difficult shots, finishing with eight points. 

Scarcely-used bigs Bryan Penn-Johnson and Nate Roberts also had good outings (albeit against a very undersized Peak Warriors team), with both showing off their athleticism and developed post skills throughout the game. Penn-Johnson scored six points, while Roberts dropped 16 points and nine boards. 

Jaden McDaniels not present, and other contributors sitting out 

Before the game, several reporters including Tim Booth of the AP and Lauren Kirschman of the Tacoma News Tribune reported that 2019 five star recruit Jaden McDaniels was not with the team in Italy due to personal reasons

Along with McDaniels, former five-star Kentucky transfer Quade Green did not play due to the NCAA’s foreign travel tour rules (he played last year in the Bahamas for Kentucky) and Sam Timmins could not play for the same reason. However, both made the trip to Italy. 

Next up

The Huskies will play their next game at the same venue, the Centro Sportivo Tellene in Rome at noon on Friday.

Reach Sports Editor Alec Dietz at Twitter: @AlecDietz

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