SEATTLE -- Washington women's basketball (0-1) hosts Portland (1-1) for the home opener on Friday, Nov. 15, for an unusual noon tip. The Dawgs will face a second-straight West Coast Conference school as they try to pick up their first win of the season.
Friday's game will be available on radio at 1150 KKNW AM in the Seattle area or http://1150kknw.com/listen. Steve Sandmeyer will be on the call for KKNW with Eldridge Recasner doing the color, filling in for Elise Woodword who is in Los Angeles with the Husky football team. The game will also be available via webcast via the Pac-12 site at the link above.
What To Look For
- Washington was outscored by Saint Mary's 28-8 over the final 8:01 of the opener. The Dawgs made 11 3-pointers in the game, but were outrebounded, 50-34.
- The Dawgs got 23 points apiece from Jazmine Davis and Kelsey Plum in the opener.
- Mike Neighbors took over as the Washington head coach this season. This is Neighbors first head coaching position after working as Kevin McGuff's lead assistant for two seasons at Washington and before that at Xavier. Previously, Neighbors had been an assistant coach at Arkansas, Colorado and Tulsa.
- Washington is coming off a second-consecutive 20-win season and back-to back trips to the WNIT. The Dawgs last won 20 games in back-to-back seasons in 1993-94 and 1994-95.
- The Dawgs return four starters, including two-time First Team All-Pac-12 honoree Jazmine Davis. The other returning starters are Pac-12 All-Freshman Team member Talia Walton, Pac-12 All-Defensive Team meber Aminah Williams and Mercedes Wetmore who led the conference in assist to turnover ratio.
- Washington welcomes four newcomers, three freshmen and Colorado transfer Alexus Atchley. The three incoming freshmen are Kelsey Plum, Chantel Osahor and Brianna Ruiz who is expected to miss the entire season with a knee injury. Plum was a McDonald's All-America point guard, while Osahor is a do-everything forward that helped St. Mary's HS in the Phoenix area to a national title.
- The Dawgs also welcome the return of F/C Katie Collier who missed all last year with a knee injury. Collier was a 2012 McDonald's All-American and will play as a redshirt freshman this season. Collier and Plum will be the first two McDonald's All-Americans in Washington program history.
- The Huskies placed in the fifth in the Pac-12 last season and their 11 conference wins were the most since 2006-07.
- The Dawgs lost two players to graduation in All-Pac-12 First Teamer Kristi Kingma and Jeneva Anderson. Kingma broke her own record for 3-pointers in a single season and is second all-time at UW with 223 3's.
- Washington received votes in the AP Poll for the three-straight weeks last February, but were never ranked in the top-25. The Huskies have not been ranked in the AP Poll since March 3, 2003.
- Jazmine was second in the Pac-12, scoring 19.3 points per game last season. Only two Dawgs have ever averaged 20 points per game in a season. Davis became the second-fastest Husky to reach 1,000 points, needing just one more game than Jamie Redd. She sits at 1,113 points entering her junior season.
- Aminah Williams finished with 356 rebounds last season, the second-best all-time for a single season at UW. The record is 399 by Margie Nielsen in 1978.
- The Huskies had four players in the top-10 of the Pac-12 in minutes played last season, including Davis and Kingma finishing first and second.
- Washington was last in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin a year ago, but makes up for it by leading the conference in turnover margin and 3-pointers made.
- Jazmine Davis became the first player in Washington history to score at least 500 points in each of her first two seasons.
The Pilots are 1-1 with a narrow win over Eastern Washington and a loss at Oregon. They are led by Alexis Byrd who is averaging 17.0 points per game and Cassandra Thompson who is averaging 12.5 rebounds per game. Washington beat the Pilots last season, 64-44, behind 28 points from Jazmine Davis. Overall, the Dawgs are 10-0 against Portland.
Washington fell in the opener, 91-81, to Saint Mary's. The Gaels used a 28-8 run over the final eight minutes to turn a 10-points Husky lead into a 10-point defeat. Jazmine Davis and Kelsey Plum each had 23 points to lead the Huskies, although Davis left the game for the final eight minutes with a head injury.
The Dawgs opened the season with an exhibition win over Concordia, 87-40. Washington dominated the game from start to finish, getting 32 points from freshman Kelsey Plum and double-double from both Aminah Williams (13p, 19r) and Katie Collier (13p, 12r).
Jazmine Davis was one of 30 named to the John R. Wooden Preseason Top 30 List. The Husky junior is one of five Pac-12 players on the list of the best players from around the country. Davis was second in the Pac-12 in scoring at 19.3 points per game, while leading the conference in minutes. She is Washington's all-time leading scorer through two seasons with 1,113 points, also becoming the second-fastest Husky to reach 1,000 points last season, needing just one more game than Husky legend Jamie Redd.
The Huskies were picked fourth in the Pac-12 by both the coaches and the media. The top of both polls were identical with Stanford being picked to win the conference, followed by California, Colorado and the Dawgs. UCLA was picked fifth, USC sixth and Utah seventh in both polls. The Pac-12 Media also picked a five-person preseason all-conference team with Jazmine Davis being one of the selections.
New Head Coach
Mike Neighbors was hired to take over as the new head coach for Husky women's basketball on April 21, 2013. Neighbors is in his third season at Washington, previously working as the lead assistant under former head coach Kevin McGuff. This is Neighbors first head coaching job at the D-I Collegiate level, previously working as an assistant at UW, Xavier, Colorado, Tulsa and Arkansas.
Washington returns four starters off last year's 21-win team. Guards Jazmine Davis and Mercedes Wetmore are back, as well as forwards Aminah Williams and Talia Walton. Davis was an All-Pac-12 Player, while Wetmore led the conference in assist to turnover ratio. Up front, Williams was fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounding, while Walton was the conference's second-leading scorer among freshman. In addition, each of Davis, Wetmore and Williams were in the top-10 in the Pac-12 in minutes played.
Washington welcomes a three-person recruiting class, along with redshirt freshman Katie Collier and transfer Alexus Atchley. The three true freshmen are Kelsey Plum, Chantel Osahor and Brianna Ruiz. Plum was a McDonald's and WBCA All-American and played with Team USA at the U-19 World Championships last summer, winning gold. Osahor is a well-rounded post player that played for the HS National Champion St. Mary's in the Phoenix area. Ruiz injured her knee over the summer and will redshirt, but will be back next season as a shooter. Collier was also a McDonald's All-American who is now fully recovered from a major knee injury. Finally, Atchley transferred from Colorad and will be eligible immediately, providing depth to the Husky bench.
Postseason in Seattle
For the second straight season, Seattle will host the Pac-12 Tournament at KeyArena. In addition, Washington is hosting the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Dawgs will participate in the Pac-12 Tournament, which takes place March 6-9. Last year, the Dawgs were the No. 5 seed, defeating Oregon in the first round, before falling the No. 4-seeded Colorado in round two. The NCAA Tournament has not been in Seattle since 2009, while Washington has not played in the NCAA Tournament since 2007. This year's NCAA Tournament will be March 23-25.