Wes Washpun continued his post-season heroics by leading Northern Iowa past Texas in a thrilling Round of 64 victory. Just as he has in other games against high-major competition, Washpun showed that his tremendous speed and lockdown defensive prowess translates against better opponents. He got to the rim in both the half-court and full-court, and was able to stay in front and even block the shot of Texas' guards, playing bigger than his 6'1 height.
Northern Iowa will need more of the same in what should be a much more difficult matchup against a deep and experienced Texas A&M squad. While Alex Caruso isn't quite as athletic as Texas' Isaiah Taylor, he's taller, a better defender and has a better feel for the game, which will make for a great scouting contrast.
Senior Wes Washpun is not the type of physical specimen you typically find in the Missouri Valley Conference, with his strong frame, long arms and explosive athletic ability. The left-handed Tennessee transfer almost single-handedly carried Northern Iowa to victory in the MVC Tournament, creating offense off the bounce repeatedly in highly impressive fashion, and nailing a pair of pull-up jumpers late to win the game. Just an average perimeter shooter, Washpun's skill-level and feel for the game is still catching up with his physical tools, but you can't teach the way he covers ground defensively, pushes the ball up the floor and creates space in the half-court. While he's had a number of big games against high-major competition, another strong outing in the NCAA Tournament certainly won't hurt his cause.