- Colorado has won four in row behind Pac-12 Player of the Year candidate McKinley Wright IV
- Five Colorado players have recorded double-doubles this season, and four have had multiple double-doubles
- Depleted Washington has lost eight in a row since its only victory against cross-town rival Seattle U. of the WAC
Colorado senior point guard McKinley Wright IV leads a balanced Colorado (11-3, 5-2 Pac-12) team that has equalled its best start since 2015-16, the last time the Buffaloes made the NCAA tournament, despite a taxing schedule that included four of irts first five league games on the road.
On Wednesday (9:00 pm ET), the Buffaloes will visit the Washington Huskies (1-11, 0-7 Pac-12), a team in disarray, at Alaska Airlines Arena in Seattle.
Colorado vs Washington Odds, Lines and Spread
|Colorado Buffaloes||-1350||-12.5 (-118)||Over 140.5 (-110)|
|Washington Huskies||+810||+12.5 (+104)||Under 140.5 (-110)|
Odds from FanDuel Jan. 19.
Barring unforeseen circumstances, Wright will soon become the first player in Pac-12 history to reach career totals of 1,600 points, 600 assists, and 600 rebounds. He has 1,582 career points, 582 career assists, and 568 career rebounds.
A Numerical Mismatch
Colorado leads the Pac-12 in scoring margin (plus-13.7 points per game), scoring defense (62.2 points given up per game) and 3-pointers (8.1 per game). It has been a group effort. Five players, including freshman reserve forward Jabari Walker have double-doubles, and four have two double-doubles.
The Buffaloes also have been foul-proof, leading NCAA Division I in free throw percentage at 84.55.
Colorado is 9-4 against the spread and has won its last four, three at home and all but one as a small favorite. The Buffaloes are 6-1 when favored by eight points or more. They are 6-8 against the total but gone over in three of the last four.
Washington (1-11, 0-7) is 3-9 against the spread and has lost six of its last seven against the number, four of those as an underdog of at least nine points. Colorado ran past the Huskies 92-69 in the first round of the Far West Classic in Las Vegas on Dec. 20 this season, a game that does not count in the Pac-12 standings. The Buffaloes took leads of 21-5 and 47-21 and never were threatened.
Washington has won eight of the last nine against Colorado in Seattle.
Finding Mr. (W)right
McKinley Wright IV does not have the gaudiest numbers in NCAA Division I, but his overall game has made him one of the most efficient players in college basketball. Wright has a “win shares” rating of 3.0 as calculated by Sports-Reference.com, tied for fourth among Power 6 players behind Iowa’s Luka Garza (3.8), Coastal Carolina”s DeVante Jones (3.7) and Gonzaga’s Corey Kispert (3.3).
Wright, 6-foot, is averaging 15.1 points, 5.8 assists and 4.5 rebounds a game. He had 12 assists in an 89-60 victory over California last Thursday, a game in which he broke former Colorado and NBA guard Jay Humphries’ 37-year old school career assists record. Wright is shooting 59.3 percent from the field and has two double-doubles and 14 steals. His assist:turnover ratio is 3:0.
Washington Feeling the Losses
The departures to the NBA of one-and-done freshmen Isaiah Stewart and Jayden McDaniels, the latest in a line of Washington players who left school early, have been difficult to overcome, as has the suspension and subsequent withdrawal of senior Naz Carter.
Stewart, a 6-foot-9 post player, led the team in scoring (17.0 points per game) and rebounding (8.8) last season and 6-9 small forward McDaniels — perhaps the most athletically gifted player in the Pac-12 last season — was right behind at 13.0 and 5.8. Carter, who averaged 12.2 points and 4.9 assists as a junior, left after an investigation by the school upheld two allegations of sexual assault. He is a nephew of pop star Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter.
#CUBuffs move up to No. 7 in NCAA’s NET rankings. (That’s good) pic.twitter.com/900CjgqhtW
— Neill Woelk (@NeillWoelk) January 17, 2021
Wichita State transfer Erik Stevenson and Michigan transfer Cole Bajema have been unable to fill those large shoes. The Huskies are shooting 40.3 percent from the field, worst among Power 6 teams and 302nd in NCAA Division I schools. Their 29.3 shooting percentage from three-point range is third-worst in the Power 6.
Since 2016, guards Jaylen Nowell, Markelle Fultz and Dejounte Murray and forward Marquese Chriss have left school early for the NBA. Fultz, Murray and Chriss were freshmen.
Six-foot senior point guard Quade Green is averaging 15.4 points per game, the only Washington player averaging more than 7.5 points. Green is shooting 41 percent from the field, 28 percent from three-point range.
Walker Emerging as Pac-10 Play Continues
Colorado freshman Jabari Walker has established himself as a solid presence off the bench. Walker, 6-foot-8, had his first two career double-doubles in victories over Utah on Jan. 11 and California on Jan. 14, and he finished an eventful week with 11 points and eight rebounds in a victory over Stanford last Saturday.
He is the reigning Pac-12 freshman of the week after averaging 16.7 points and 9.7 rebounds in 20.7 minutes in that stretch while shooting 18-of-30 from the field. A late bloomer in high school, Walker was not highly recruited. He had scholarship offers from St. Mary’s, Duquesne and Tulsa, among others.
The pick: Colorado (-12.5)