Washington Women’s basketball is back in action this week.
Coach Tina Langley is facing a new challenge this season at the University of Washington by taking over a program that has been in the dark for years; and Langley needs to make a good on-court impression quickly.
However, the Huskies face a mixed bag of nonconference opponents that will challenge the program in multiple ways, beginning with:
SAN DIEGO (Nov. 12) @ 7pm
Washington’s first game of the regular season will come against San Diego this Friday night.
Last season, the San Diego Toreros had a 12-8 record overall, finishing 9-5 in the WCC for 3rd place, led by coach Cindy Fisher in her 17th season.
Fisher is an excellent mid-major coach and makes an interesting coaching matchup for the new Huskies head coach Tina Langley.
Fisher has led the Toreros to the WCC title game twice in the last four seasons.
San Diego returns all five starters, led by All-WCC preseason selections #23 Jordyn Edwards and #10 Myah Pace.
And after enrolling early last season to play in eight (8) games, San Diego freshman (#24) Kylie Horstmeyer is a talented big guard (6’0″) scorer that can be expected to be an impact player for the Toreros. Horstmeyer has PAC-12 level talent.
To make matters worse, San Diego comes to Washington already having a 33-point victory under their belt versus Hawaii (86-53).
Against Hawaii, the Toreros’s offense was a buzzsaw, scoring 86 points on 86 possessions.
The San Diego offense had an excellent average of one (1) point per possession (ppp).
The Toreros shot 50% from the field overall with 50% of San Diego’s offense coming from jump shots — from which they averaged a whopping 1.346 points per possession (ppp).
San Diego shot 60% from three-point range (9 for 15; 1.8 points per possession) which just continues their hot shooting from deep last season — they averaged 35% shooting from beyond the 3-point arc during the 2020-2021 season.
Most of San Diego’s jumpshots were catch-and-shoot so expect the Toreros’ offensive ball movement to be excellent. In other words, the perimeter defense of the Huskies is going to be severely tested.
PREDICTION:A very close game is expected.
But without any regular season experience, the new regime Huskies are going to experience some on-court growing pains, while San Diego should be a well-oiled machine in comparison.
The Huskies guards are untested in running Langley’s new scheme so expect some mistakes.
So if Washington wins, expect the defensive dominance of the Dawgs to be the difference.
However, San Diego will be shooting from outside which could neutralize the usual defensive dominance of Huskies center Nancy Mulkey.
Frankly, this is a really bad matchup to start the Huskies regular season schedule, so Washington will likely come up short, unless Washington can win the game with suffocating perimeter defense.