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Good News, Bad News, No News: UW Huskies crack AP preseason hoops poll at No. 25

Jaylen Nowell, Matisse Thybulle and the UW Huskies enter the season ranked 25th. (AP)

It’s a good time to be a fan of the sports teams over on Montlake.

Not only is the UW Huskies football team ranked 15th and in the driver’s seat to win the Pac-12 North and get a shot at playing in the Rose Bowl, but Washington’s men’s basketball team has joined them as a Husky squad ranked in the top 25 of its sport.

Gonzaga No. 3, UW Huskies No. 25 in AP preseason college hoops poll

Entering the second year under head coach Mike Hopkins, the Huskies are No. 25 in the Associated Press’ preseason hoops poll that was released Monday. Combine that with the fact that Chris Petersen’s football Huskies were also in the top 25 before their season and it makes for an eye-opening piece of trivia that shows just how rare it has been for both UW programs to be this successful at the same time.

Focusing specifically on the basketball program, it’s been rare for the Huskies just to be ranked on their own for quite some time. They last made the NCAA Tournament in 2011, a drought that would assuredly end if they keep themselves in the AP poll through the end of the regular season.

On Tuesday’s episode of 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk, Brock Huard and Mike Salk tackled the Huskies’ No. 25 ranking on their “Good News, Bad News, No News” segment. Here’s what each host had to say.

Brock Huard

“It’s great news. Pretty incredible, too, from where Mike Hopkins was when he inherited this program. Bunch of guys that didn’t necessarily fit into his scheme and his style. Getting Jaylen Nowell and keeping him aboard was enormous, as well as the return of Matisse Thybulle and Noah Dickerson for their senior year, and even getting David Crisp to play his kind of basketball. … I know this – it’s going to be a fun team to watch. It’s going to be a team that knows who they are, that knows what they’re not. The conference will be better this year but I don’t think the Huskies are going to be outclassed and out-coached.”

Mike Salk

“I’m going to say no news. I’m looking forward to watching this team – kudos to Mike Hopkins, kudos to (athletic director) Jen Cohen, kudos to a group that should be fun to watch. But until you make the tournament, no news.”

In an earlier segment on the show, however, Salk was optimistic that Hopkins will lead the Huskies to that elusive NCAA Tournament berth.

“It has taken (Hopkins) just one full year and now into his second to get his team into the preseason top 25, which means they have the possibility of being a tournament team. I mean, if you’re going to start the year in the top 25, my expectation is that you find your way into the NCAA Tournament when it’s all said and done, and I’m looking forward to watching. He’s got a veteran team, a team that should be really exciting and fun to watch and should play some smart basketball. Yeah, I’m pretty excited about what he’s done in a short amount of time.”

To hear the full segment, listen to this podcast from Tuesday’s show (starts around the 35:25 mark). You can catch “Good News, Bad News, No News” at 8:45 a.m. each day on 710 ESPN Seattle’s Brock and Salk.