Eight scholarship players made their debut for the Washington Huskies in Thursday night’s exhibition game against Seattle Pacific, and four freshmen started. Because this was the first time those players took the court together in a game, here are a few notes and observations about each.
G Dejounte Murray, Fr., 6-4, 170
Describing his playing style during UW’s media availability on Tuesday, Murray said he wants to stuff the stat sheet. He did that at Rainier Beach, where he scored in bunches but also developed a reputation as a pretty good rebounder (especially for a guard). Against SPU, Murray looked like that player, finishing with 16 points, five rebounds, four assists and a steal in 24 minutes. He made 6-of-10 from the field, including 2-of-4 on 3-pointers, and made both of his free throw attempts. His outside jumper appears pretty smooth, and he made a few of those, including a catch-and-shoot off a curl in the first half. Murray also committed three turnovers, and he’s probably going to have a few more this season, because he’s going to handle the ball a lot. Like the rest of UW’s freshmen, he’ll need to continue to improve his defense, but he seemed pretty active and engaged on that end of the floor on Thursday night. UW coach Lorenzo Romar described Murray afterward as “a pretty versatile guard,” and that’s what the Huskies will need him to be.
G David Crisp, Fr., 6-0, 190
Romar says he’s the best shooter on the team, and he showed a pretty pure stroke on Thursday night, making 2-of-4 from 3-point range en route to scoring 10 points in 20 minutes off the bench. He also had three rebounds, three assists and two turnovers. Seems to have decent handles and quickness, but his most important asset will be his shooting ability.
G Matisse Thybulle, Fr., 6-5, 195
The former Eastside Catholic star says he’s a defensive-minded player, and he seems to have the necessary athleticism for it. Thybulle took only two shots and scored three points, but he also had three steals, three assists and two rebounds in 19 minutes. I could see him playing a similar role as Justin Holiday did when he was a freshman, though Thybulle might be a little more of an offensive threat than Holiday was at that point in his career. Thybulle is the kind of player who can use his length and his speed to disrupt the opponent’s passing lanes, and while that is inevitably going to lead to some easy baskets for the offense, Romar hopes it also leads to some turnovers and fastbreak points for the Huskies.
G Dominic Green, Fr., 6-6, 185
One of the late additions to UW’s recruiting class, Green looks like a fairly savvy scorer, another long-armed, skinny guard who could be a nice bench player. He scored 10 points on 4-of-5 shooting (2-of-3 on 3-pointers) in 14 minutes against SPU, first scoring on a left-handed flip shot and then making a couple jumpers from outside. Hard to really say what his defensive capabilities are, but he’s another player who is probably a better pure outside shooter than anyone the Huskies had on their roster last season.
F Noah Dickerson, Fr., 6-8, 235
Maybe the most impressive of the freshmen on Thursday, scoring 17 points (on 7-of-10 shooting) to go along with six rebounds and three steals in 23 minutes. He seems to have a nice touch around the basket, and looks truly comfortable with the ball in his hands under the hoop. The Huskies haven’t had many of those type of players under Romar, who says Dickerson is the team’s best low-post scorer. He looked like it on Thursday. And he was all over the place defensively, too, though he did pick up four fouls. He’ll have a harder time getting the shots he wants against taller, stronger competition, so it will be interesting to see how Dickerson fares against Texas. But he appears to be the kind of athlete Romar likes at that position.
F Marquese Chriss, Fr., 6-9, 225
There seems to be a growing belief that Chriss is the most intriguing talent the Huskies have. Romar says he’s the best athlete on the team. You could see some of that on Thursday night, particularly when Chriss stole a pass at midcourt, dribbled to the hoop, wrapped the ball behind his back and made a reverse layup. He’s a quick leaper and appears very nimble, and he makes it all look pretty effortless.. But like the rest of his young teammates, he had his sloppy moments, finishing with five turnovers in 22 minutes. He also picked up his third foul of the game going over an opponent’s back on a UW free-throw attempt, which is exactly the kind of mistake the Huskies need to avoid. But Chriss also had 11 points, five rebounds and two steals, and his potential is obvious. He’ll be a fixture in the starting lineup all season, and should be one of the team’s most important players.
F Malik Dime, Jr., 6-9, 220
It was a pretty quiet night for Dime, who finished with four points (and made only 2-of-5 free throws), one rebound, one block, one steal and two turnovers in 21 minutes. He’ll mostly be relied upon mostly for defense and rebounding, so Romar probably would have liked to see him grab more than one board -- though that was an issue for the entire team on Thursday.
F Devenir Duruisseau, Fr., 6-8, 225
Romar praised Duruisseau afterward for his physical style of play. That’s what stood out most in his 10 minutes -- he’s pretty raw, but maybe a little more willing to bang than the rest of UW’s bigs. He also grabbed five rebounds and had a pair of turnovers. Don’t expect Duruisseau to play big minutes this season, but the Huskies will definitely need him.
Christian Caple can be reached at email@example.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple