Seattle, WA – The debut of 6-4 freshman guard Markelle Fultz’s college career got off to a rocky start as the Yale Bulldogs, without their own star Makai Mason, knocked off the Washington Huskies 98-90. The smaller Bulldogs bludgeoned the Huskies on the glass, securing an outlandish 21 offensive rebounds, eight of which were “team rebounds” where the Huskies deflected the ball out of bounds, leading to 19 second chance points and 15 more shot attempts. The Huskies front line secured seven total defensive rebounds, as many as Fultz had himself.
Yale’s offensive attack was methodical, as they capitalized on Washington’s overaggressive help defense and undisciplined pick and roll coverage with a motion-based offense. 6-6 freshman guard Miye Oni was the primary benefactor on the perimeter of Yale’s ball-movement, utilizing his quick release to hit four threes in route to a team high 24 points. When Washington’s defense started to overplay his shooting, Oni used his plus athleticism in space to back cut perimeter defenders and finish at the rim, a trend that saw Yale get numerous uncontested shots around the basket. 6-7 sophomore forward Blake Reynolds complimented Oni’s spot up shooting in the pick and pop game, taking advantage of Washington not switching guard to big pick and rolls and Washington’s bigs not getting out to the perimeter time. A minus athlete who gets little elevation on his shot, Reynolds has smooth mechanics and excellent range when he has the space to get his shot off, which he did consistently on his way to 22 points and seven rebounds. 6-9 senior forward Sam Downey was able to provide Yale interior scoring to make their attack well rounded. Playing as an undersized center, Downey was able to exploit Washington center Sam Timmins’ inferior mobility with a quickness advantage, freeing up Downey’s jump hook game with either hand around the basket in route to 22 points.
As for Washington, Fultz led the charge with 30 points on 17 shots, seven rebounds and six assists. Able to get to the basket at will with his shiftiness and advanced handle, Fultz scored at all three levels efficiently. The only blemish was Fultz’s foul shooting, going only 6-of-10 and being a microcosm of his shooting inconsistency. Fultz shot the ball on the way down at times as well as drifting on some attempts, which is something to monitor moving forward.
6-5 sophomore wing Matisse Thybulle offered Washington a legit #2 option, scoring an ultra-efficient 20 points on seven shots. Thybulle showcased NBA level talent, hitting threes with a high, quick release off the catch over closeouts. Defensively, Thybulle amassed six blocks with his length, an incredible number for a guard, and got numerous other deflections harassing passing lanes. If Thybulle consistently displays the aggressiveness he showed with the ball, especially drawing fouls, he could garner second round consideration should he declare. Rounding out Washington’s attack was 6-8 225-pound forward Noah Dickerson off the bench, who generated 12 points on six shots with his solid inside-out approach. Dickerson isn’t the best athlete and doesn’t possess an athletic frame, but he’s powerful and showcased a plus face up game with the ability to knock down a midrange jumper and possessing the footwork to get around interior players for layups. Defensively, Dickerson isn’t a rim protector and really struggled to box out Yale’s smaller frontline, which was a catalyst for the loss.
Overall, Washington shot 33-of-56 (58.9%) from the field and still lost by eight, which should provide an indication of how poor their defense was. Getting outrebounded on the offensive glass 21-4 by a team with inferior size and athleticism calls into question effort level, as Thybulle noted postgame. The Huskies will look to rebound Thursday against Cal State Fullerton.
This article was written by Cole Zwicker, a correspondent and scout for NetScouts Basketball. You can subscribe to our RSS feed from the upper right corner of our home page, follow us on Facebook, or on twitter.
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