The Husky men’s basketball team continued their winning ways with a blowout victory over the California Golden Bears on Jan. 19. However, this was not an ordinary win for the Huskies — this win was the 1000th to come inside the team’s home arena Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the first Division 1 men’s basketball program to ever hit that mark. The milestone was the perfect way to cap off the first half of the season which, so far, has the makings to be a special one.
Through the duration of the game, the Huskies did what they have done best all season to pull off the victory: play an outstanding defense and score off forced turnovers. These more than impressive plays are exactly what they needed to overcome a slow start shooting the ball. The Dawgs were only up by one going into halftime against the struggling Cal team, who were on a six game losing streak at the time. However, the Huskies stepped up as they outscored Cal 42–24 in the second half and ultimately winning the game 71–52, led by UW senior Dominic Green’s 17 points off the bench. The win also marked the program’s best start since 2012 with a 5–0 start in conference play.
UW’s head coach Mike Hopkins had nothing but good things to say about Green after his performance versus Cal.
“He’s all heart and soul, he’s all team, and we wouldn’t be in the situation we are in this year or had the year we did last year without Dominic Green,” Hopkins said.
Hopkins also had positive thoughts on Senior Noah Dickerson’s play during that game, who finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
“The thing that I was really proud of today was that he kept working, didn’t get caught up into how many shots, into how many touches, he just kept working…most importantly he played really good defense,” said Hopkins.
After the final horn went off, the team made its way to center court where they posed with a sign that read “1000: Hec Edmundson Pavilion” in honor of the memorable victory. Hopkins then ordered the team to go through UW’s student section — nicknamed the “Dawg Pack” — to thank them for their loyalty and support. The team marched through the aisles of the section, handing out high fives to the Husky faithful. Hopkins has always been a strong advocate of the importance of the Dawg Pack to the team
and to the environment itself inside the arena. The praise from the UW coach continued after the game as he spoke about their boundless support from the student section.
“Those guys bring energy like no other,” Hopkins said in regards to the Dawg Pack. “They make it happen, they make that environment crazy and we’re lucky to have a student section like that.”
UW basketball also made a splash in the recruiting world recently by receiving a commitment from one of the top prospects in the country, Isaiah Stewart from Rochester, NY. This is the highest rated recruit Hopkins has brought to Montlake and is seen by most as a “program changing” recruit. Stewart mentioned his relationship with Hopkins as the main reason for his decision.
“I’m a relationship guy,” Stewart said in an ESPN interview.” At the end of the day, the head coach calls the shots. For me to have that type of relationship with the head coach, it was special.”
If Hopkins continues to bring in recruits like Stewart and they are up to the potential those athletes have, expect to see our Husky men’s basketball team to have success for years to come.
2/7: Arizona 6 p.m.
2/9: Arizona State 7 p.m.
2/16: Washington State 5 p.m.