Hoops Preview - San Francisco

Looking to put a discouraging loss behind them, the University of Washington return home Saturday night to face the Dons of San Francisco, with a tip time set for 7 p.m. PST at Hec Ed. These two teams played last year, and the Huskies easily handled the Dons by a score of 86-71. However, that was when the Dons had Dior Lowhorn, one of the top players in the West Coast Conference last season.

This year, San Francisco is struggling out of the gates, with just a 4-5 record overall and 0-4 on the road to their credit. The Dons have also split with the two major conference foes they've played - a win over Colorado and a massive loss to Louisville.

Traditionally a program with a rich history, San Francisco is going through a rebuilding year. With just one senior and four juniors, the Dons just might be the youngest team Washington faces this year.

Leading the charge so far this year has been Michael Williams, a 6-foot sophomore guard who is averaging 15.9 points on 47 percent shooting from the field. The Van Nuys, Calif. native is also pulling in 4.8 rebounds a game. In the last contest against Montana, he put up 23 points and pulled in 13 boards.

The only upperclassman in the starting five for the Dons is Angelo Caloiaro. A 6-foot-7 junior forward, Caloiaro is averaging 10.3 points a game on 42 percent shooting. He also makes his presence known on the glass, with 6.3 boards a contest. As of late, his shooting touch has been off, but the Huskies will have to continue to be wary, as he is one of the top three-point shooters in the WCC when he is on.

Perris Blackwell will start at the four, and so far this season he has been the most effective shooter for the Dons. The 6-foot-9, big-bodied sophomore is averaging 10.3 points on 64 percent shooting from the field. He is also leading the team with 7.1 rebounds a game.

Expect freshman Cody Doolin to get the nod at the point. The 6-foot-2 Austin, Texas native is averaging 7.3 points on 38 percent shooting, 2.7 rebounds and 2.2 assists per game.

Starting at the five for Rex Walters' team is up in the air, but Justin Raffington could very well get the go-ahead. A 6-foot-9 freshman, Raffington is averaging just 2.4 points and 2.3 rebounds per game. However, since being inserted into the starting lineup four games ago, he has averaged nearly five points and 3.5 boards per game.

Beyond his developing college experience, Raffington, a German national, played in the U-18 European Championship, where he was considered to be more of a wing player than a center.

Off the bench, 6-foot-10 senior Moustapha Diarra will add a shot-blocking presence, as well as productive rebounding.

A side note to this game will be Cole Dickerson making his first trip home. The Federal Way native is averaging 2.9 points and 10.8 minutes a game off of the bench during his first season with USF.

Rounding out the non-conference schedule for the Dawgs following this game will be Nevada on Wednesday at 6 p.m. PST. So far this season, the Wolf Pack has been bite less with a lowly 2-7 record.


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