UW’s Mike Hopkins sees offensive potential during three-game win streak, but defense must improve

With six nonconference games remaining, Hopkins says ‘We’ve got to be better with our scoring lineup in terms of defending.’

Washington men’s basketball coach Mike Hopkins has steered the Huskies to a 5-2 start and a three-game winning streak entering Sunday’s 4 p.m. nonconference game against Nebraska-Omaha at Alaska Airlines Arena.

It’s the final tuneup before UW big trip on Wednesday to Kansas City, Mo. to take on the No. 2 Kansas Jayhawks.

Hopkins addressed the things he liked and his concerns after seven games.

Here are a few comments and video from Friday’s press conference.

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(On Sam Timmins’ development) “I think Sam Timmins in the last stretch has been one of the most improved players. Defensively, he’s made a huge, significant impact on our team. He’s doing a lot better job offensively. They’re both making their foul shots, which is big. Noah (Dickerson), he’s an offensive force. He’s hard to guard. He’s got a ton of moves in the post and he’s making foul shots. That’s the biggest thing with big guys. A lot of times if you have a good big guy, they just foul you, force you to the line, you go one for two. That’s the odds. Now he’s automatic. That’s been a huge part of his development. They’ve made an impact. You’ve felt them when they play. I think that’s the most important thing, especially with your starting big.”

(On possible danger playing Dickerson and Timmins at the same time) “I think the hardest thing that we had earlier on in the season is how we were scoring. Sometimes we played a couple teams and they played a one-man zone off of Sam and made it hard for Noah, but Sam now is coming across, getting it, finishing it. If they’ve done that he’s gone and had great rebound numbers and got offensive put backs. He’s been able to capitalize on that. That’s where we weren’t earlier in the year. When he can do that and Noah can be as effective as he’s been, it helps you offensively because our offensive rebounding numbers have been greater. I think in our last two games, 52-percent of our missed shots we’ve gotten back. Also, when they double team, it’s kick out. We have a very high success rate on making shots or creating offense off of the double team.”

(On biggest takeaway from recent three-game…

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