Tonight the Huskies host South Dakota in their last tune up game before facing Gonzaga on Wednesday.
Three Point Show
South Dakota leads the nation in three-point field goal percentage and that’s almost all you need to know about them.
Spot-up jumpers, particularly catch-and-shoot jumpshots, are the strength of the Coyotes.
South Dakota excels against halfcourt zone defense with an excellent average of 1.2 points per possession.
The Coyotes also excel at scoring off cuts towards the basket averaging 2.25 points per possession.
However, South Dakota is much less efficient against press defense, their points per possession dips to 0.9 — still good, but not great.
The Huskies need to limit three-point attempts with their length and quickness, not merely challenge shots.
The more three-point attempts by the Coyotes, the bigger the problem for the Huskies.
Given South Dakota’s style of play, the Huskies should look to employ a fullcourt or 3/4 court press back to man-to-man defense.
The Huskies have a length and athleticism advantage that could really disrupt South Dakota’s offensive flow in a man-to-man matchup.
Despite some experimentation by Coach Hopkins, the Huskies are still not a man-to-man defensive team, so falling back to an aggressive 2-3 zone is more likely.
South Dakota is not good at scoring off-the-dribble, so Washington can aggressively defend the 3-point line without worrying about South Dakota players driving past them.
Big Man On Campus?
The South Dakota player who is playing the best right now is #25 Tyler Hagedorn, a 6’10” 230 lbs Senior.
Hagedorn is shooting 58.6% on 2-point shots; making 75.0% of his three point attempts; and is responsible for taking 27.7% of the shots in South Dakota’s offense.
Hagedorn scores on spot-up jumpers, cuts to the basket and putbacks.
Expect an interesting matchup when Hagedorn is matched up with the Huskies active big man, Isaiah Stewart.
It will be interesting to see if Isaiah Stewart’s strength and athleticism overwhelms Hagedorn or will he rise to the challenge?
Dialed-In Long Distance
The (volume) offensive catalyst for South Dakota is #0 6’6″ Stanley Umude, averaging 16.4 points, 6.5 rebounds and 1.9 assists.
Umude is the only Coyotes player that shoots more than Hagedorn — taking 34.4% of South Dakota’s total shots.
Umude is also an excellent shooter averaging 16.4 points on 46.2% three-point shooting and 41.8% from 2-point range. However, the athletic Umude scores mostly on cuts to the basket.
#3 Triston Simpson (45.5% 3PTs) and #10 Cody Kelley (47.1% 3PTs) are the two other long distance snipers that the Huskies must keep track of defensively.
The Huskies should win this game easily, if they defend the three.
But the Coyotes potent attack is a big test of Washington’s three-point defense; and passing this test will go a long way in Washington’s preparation for Gonzaga.
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