Updated Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Listen to Washington coach Kevin McGuff describe Saturday's opponent and it's like his team is staring in the mirror. Washington plays UC Santa Barbara and then Idado in a rare back-to-back this weekend.
"Santa Barbara is really quick, athletic (and) they drive the ball really aggressively," McGuff said of the Gauchos. "They're small, kind of like we are. So, although it won't be a situation where we're overwhelmed with somebody's size, their post players are really aggressive. Like we have to do, they work really hard at rebounding. That will be a point of emphasis, trying to keep them off the glass."
UCSB (3-6) isn't off to a strong start like UW, however. Washington is off to the program's best start in a decade at 6-1.
And plunked inside the paint is a big, although small, reason: forward Aminah Williams. The 6-foot sophomore is averaging 11.7 rebounds, which ranks third in the Pac-12 and is tied for 15th nationally.
Teammates call Williams "Inspector Gadget" for her ability to stretch her lengthy arms or spring above opponents for rebounds. Teammates Jazmine Davis (18.6 points) and Kristi Kingma (12.9) have turned the boards into transition scoring opportunities.
In a win over San Diego State in its last game 10 days ago, Washington showed it didn't need Davis and Kingma doing all the scoring. Redshirt freshman forward Talia Walton (17 points) and junior guard Mercedes Wetmore (13) had their best offensive performances of the season.
But the Huskies' short bench due to injuries could be a bigger factor this weekend. Kingma (39.3 minutes), Davis (39.0) and Wetmore (38.0) lead the conference in minutes played. After Saturday's afternoon game against UC Santa Barbra, Washington will host Idaho (3-6) on Sunday at 1 p.m.
• Saturday's women's game is a doubleheader with the men's 4 p.m. matchup. A ticket to the women's game is good for a general-admission seat at the men's game.
Jayda Evans: 206-464-2067 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter @JaydaEvans
UC Santa Barbara @ Washington, 1 p.m.