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Washington Opens as 5.5-Point Underdog vs Baylor in Armed Forces Classic; Bears Obliterated 27-Point Spread in First Game

John Perrotto

by John Perrotto in College Basketball

Updated Apr 6, 2020 · 9:36 AM PDT

Scott Drew talking
Scott Drew's Baylor Bears look to get to 2-0 against Washington in Anchorage, Alaska on Friday. Photo by United States Army. [CCLicense]
  • Washington and #16 Baylor meet in Anchorage, Alaska for the Armed Forces Classic
  • The Huskies have a top ten freshmen class headlined by 5-star recruits Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniel
  • Baylor opened their season with an easy win against Central Arkansas on Tuesday

The highly touted freshman forward duo of Isaiah Stewart and Jaden McDaniels makes its much-anticipated debut for Washington on Friday night when the Huskies open their season against Baylor in the Armed Forces Classic at Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage, Alaska.

Bettors certainly seem enamored by Stewart and McDaniels, who are both five-star recruits and 6-foot-9. Baylor, ranked 16th, opened as a 5.5-point favorite, but the spread quickly dropped to 4.5 as you can see at our Washington vs. Baylor odds page.

This is Washington’s season opener. Baylor, meanwhile, blitzed Central Arkansas 105-61 on Tuesday morning as a 27-point favorite in Waco, in the first college basketball game of the season before traveling to Alaska.

#16 Baylor vs Washington Odds

Team Moneyline Spread Over/Under
Baylor N/A -4.5 (-115) Over 138.5 (-105)
Washington N/A +4.5 (-105) Under 138.5 (-115)

Odds taken Nov. 7

Washington Counting on Freshmen

Stewart was the first to commit to Washington, deciding to attend school a long way from his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. Stewart then convinced McDaniels, a Seattle native, to stay home and play for the Huskies.

While Stewart is a force inside, McDaniels is more of a perimeter player. Both are considered potential lottery picks in next year’s NBA Draft.

Coach Mike Hopkins will count on Stewart, McDaniels and two other freshmen – forward RaeQuan Battle and Marcus Tsohonis. Washington returns only one starter from a team that went 27-9 last season and won the Pac-12 regular-season title before losing to North Carolina in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

The Huskies are hopeful junior guard Naz Carter (Jay-Z’s nephew) is ready to make a big contribution. He averaged 8.1 points per game in 2018-19 as a reserve while making 55.4 percent of his field goal attempts.

Baylor’s Butler Lights It Up

Jared Butler scored 30 points to lead four Baylor players in double figures against Central Arkansas. The sophomore guard knocked down eight 3-pointers after making a team-high 60 last season, when Baylor had a 20-14 record and lost to North Carolina in the second round of the NCAAs

Junior guard MaCio Teague had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his Bears debut. He sat out last season following his transfer from UNC-Asheville.

Tristan Clark played 16 minutes and finished with three points and four rebounds. The junior forward missed the final 20 games last year because of knee surgery after averaging 14.6 points and 6.3 rebounds while shooting a sizzling 77.3 percent from the field.

Washington’s zone defense could give Baylor problems. The Huskies were 18th in the nation in adjusted defensive efficiency last season, according to KenPom.com, though they lost Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year Matisse Thybulle from that team.

Transfer Green Should Boost Washington

Washington got good news last Friday when sophomore point guard Quade Green, a transfer from Kentucky, was cleared to play in the opener after his waiver was granted by the NCAA.

A five-star recruit in high school, Green averaged 9.3 points in 34 games during the 2017-18 season. He played nine games for Kentucky last season before transferring.

The NCAA originally ruled Green would have to sit out the first semester this season because of its transfer rule.

Baylor Tough on the Pac-12

Washington leads the all-team series 2-1 but the teams last played in 1955.

However, Baylor has been tough on the Pac-12 during Scott Drew’s 17 seasons as coach, going 11-4. The Bears are also 46-4 against unranked teams in regular-season non-conference games since the start of the 2014-15 season.

Washington has plenty of talent, but the freshmen are likely to show some nerves in their first collegiate game. Baylor already has a game under its belt and it hard to look past the Bears’ success against the Pac-12.

The pick: Baylor -4.5 (-115)

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