Huskies Open Men's Basketball Season Friday at 7 p.m.
Oct. 30, 2001
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 2 -
UW vs. Brisbane Capitals, Australia (Exhibition), 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 8 -
UW vs. Western Washington (Exhibition), 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
'We have the most athletic team that we've ever had at Washington. It's an athletic team that is more than capable of competing in the Pac-10 where athleticism has always been a necessity.'
- - Bob Bender, Washington head coach
A young team represents an old basketball program during the upcoming 2001-02 season. The Washington Huskies celebrate their 100th season of men's basketball competition this year with a collection of players the majority of which have never before worn a UW jersey. Nine new players fill the Husky roster, including a recruiting class that was ranked among the best in the nation. Only five athletes will play who were on last year's team that finished with a 10-20 record for the second straight season. The Huskies tied for ninth place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings with a 4-14 record.
The University of Washington began playing basketball in 1896, but did not field a team during seven seasons in the late 1800s and early 1900s, making the 2001-02 campaign the 100th season in school history. Over 700 athletes have worn UW jerseys in 2,369 games during parts of three centuries. The Huskies rank 16th among all-time NCAA competitors with 1,423 victories against 946 defeats. Washington has produced 21 conference champions, 10 NCAA Tournament teams, five National Invitation Tournament teams and 15 consensus All-Americans. The one constant for 73 of those seasons was Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Huskies moved into The Pavilion in 1927 and have played there ever since, with the exception of the 1999-2000 season during which the building was undergoing renovations and a name change to become Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion. The arena has been the site of 751 Washington wins, more than any other school has amassed in its current venue.
An infusion of talent that rivals any in Washington's history provides the spark that ninth-year Coach Bob Bender hopes will ignite a winning campaign. The Huskies are coming off back-to-back 10-20 seasons, but are just two years removed from a string of four consecutive postseason appearances. Two starters return for Washington, senior center David Dixon (4.7 ppg/3.2 rpg) and sophomore point guard Curtis Allen (7.0 ppg). Dixon, who has dropped more than 30 pounds from last season, now weighs 270. The lightning-quick Allen was an All-Pac-10 Freshmen Team selection in 2001. Sophomore C.J. Massingale, an honorable mention freshmen team pick, displayed his scoring ability in a 25-point outburst at UCLA. Sharpshooting senior forward Grant Leep is the team captain. Sophomore walk-on Sterling Brown is a capable scorer who will see more time.
Nine of the 15 players on the roster have never played a game at Washington ... The five returnees who will play this season have a combined 135 games of collegiate experience with 29 starts. The seven departed players combined for 456 games of collegiate experience with 197 starts ... Curtis Allen finished his rookie season ranked highly among the all-time Husky freshmen in steals (3rd, 29), assists (4th, 65) and points (11th, 209) ... Twelve of the 15 players on the Husky roster hail from the state of Washington ... o Husky newcomers Erroll Knight, Mike Jensen and Charles Frederick were among the 100 finalists for the 2001 McDonald's High School All-America Game ... Washington's 2001-02 schedule features at least 12 games against 2001 postseason competitors, including nine with NCAA Sweet 16 teams from last spring.
Washington opens the season on Friday, Nov. 2 with an exhibition game against the Brisbane Capitals of the Australian professional league. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. Admission will be charged, $16 for reserved seating and $6 for general admission. The Huskies host NCAA Division II power Western Washington on Thursday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m. The Vikings advanced to the division II Final Four last season, finishing with a 27-4 record. Washington has a 33-9 all-time record in exhibition games, including a pair of wins last season at Brougham Pavilion. UW recorded an 83-81 overtime win at Seattle Pacific and defeated Brewster Packing 84-80.
Two starters and six total lettermen return from last year's team, including All-Pac-10 freshmen team guards Curtis Allen and C.J. Massingale. Allen started at point guard last season and is the top returning scorer with a 7.0-point average in 2001. Massingale will move to shooting guard full-time this season after backing up Allen at the point at times last season. He averaged 5.9 points per game, topped by a 25-point outburst at UCLA. Senior David Dixon returns in the starting center role in which he averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 2001. He should be more effective this season while carrying 30 less pounds. Senior forward Grant Leep is arguably the team's best outside shooter. Another outstanding outside marksman is sophomore walk-on Sterling Brown who joined the team last season as a walk-on. Brown hit 38-percent of his 3-point shots in limited duty and should thrive with additional playing time.
Washington senior center Marlon Shelton re-injured his left knee and will miss the entire 2001-02 men's basketball season. Shelton suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee against USC on March 8 during the second-to-last game of the 2001 season. He had been rehabilitating his knee after undergoing surgery in April. Shelton re-injured his knee during mid-September had another surgery on Oct. 16 to repair his ACL and medial meniscus. Shelton is expected to utilize his red-shirt season and return next year as a fifth-year senior. A 6-10 product of Rochester (Mich.) High School, Shelton is a three-year letterman at Washington. He led the team with 38 blocked shots last season while averaging 4.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Shelton is planning to return for the 2002-03 season in what would be his fifth year with the program. He played 29 games last season and started 13 of them. Shelton shared the center position with 6-11 David Dixon who will now assume the starting role full time.
One of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in Husky history is that of sophomore Doug Wrenn, a supremely athletic 6-8 forward who red-shirted last season. A 1998 Parade All-American and Washington state prep Player of the Year, Wrenn sat out last season at UW after transferring from Connecticut. He was projected by Basketball News as the Pac-10's top newcomer. Wrenn, who prepped at Seattle's O'Dea High School, attended two East Coast prep schools in 1998-99 and played at UConn in 1999-2000.
'No school did a more thorough job of addressing its overall weakness and building for the future.'
-- Mike DeCourcy, The Sports News
Washington's recruiting class was ranked among the nation's best. Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News ranked the Husky class as the nation's best recruiting haul with one of his primary criteria being 'which teams got the players they needed.' The celebrated class features three players who were among the 100 national finalists for the 2001 McDonald's All-American Game -- Charles Frederick, Mike Jensen and Erroll Knight. The signing class also includes junior college standout Josh Barnard (Tacoma CC) and 6-9 forward Jeffrey Day from 2000 Washington state Class AAA champion Seattle Prep. Jensen was rated the top power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops which selected Knight as the No. 2 shooting guard. 'We accomplished what we wanted to do in a very big way,' said Coach Bob Bender. 'We are very proud of the fact they are all from right here in state. Every single player is a Washington player and that is our priority. We really emphasized how they could be the greatest class that we have ever had the opportunity to recruit and that coming in together would put them in position to be one of the top classes in the nation. They all are very, very talented, but collectively they're very special.' A consensus top-50 prep basketball player, Frederick signed a football scholarship and will join the basketball team after football season. He returns punts for the Huskies, including an 87-yard return for a touchdown against Michigan. Also joining the team is freshman point guard Will Conroy, a product of Seattle's Garfield High School. Conroy intended to walk-on, but was awarded a scholarship when one became available on Oct. 1. Two other walk-ons round out the roster, red-shirt freshman David Hudson and sophomore Ian Gibbs.
Seven players departed from last year's team, including five who were seniors. Those five left an indelible mark during the final game of the 2001 season as they all started and led Washington to a 96-94 home upset of 13th-ranked UCLA. Michael Johnson scored a career-high 29 points, including a 3-pointer as time expired. Johnson, Thalo Green and Will Perkins were full-time starters. Perkins led the Huskies in both scoring and rebounds in each of the last two seasons. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season with 10 double-doubles. Green ranked second on the team with 10.9 points per game and Johnson was third at 8.9. Bryan Brown started 21 games and led the team with 86 assists. Also gone are Ben Coffee and DeMarcus Williams. A reserve guard who averaged 1.6 points per game, Coffee transferred to Portland State. Williams was a red-shirt last year who never played at UW.
Home Sweet Home
For the first time in two years, the Huskies will play all of their home games in their on-campus arena, the newly renovated Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion. The pavilion underwent a 19-month renovation from March of 1999 to November of 2000. The interior was completely redesigned while the building's exterior went unchanged. Despite an increased seating capacity from 7,900 to approximately 10,000, the arena will be more intimate with a basketball-only configuration. Washington has won 751 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. The Huskies played their two exhibition games and the regular-season opener last year at different venues before playing the remaining games at The Pavilion.
The Huskies battled numerous injuries and the nation's 20th-toughest schedule en route to a 10-20 record in 2001. Eight losses came against teams that played in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Washington tied for ninth place in the Pac-10 with a 4-14 mark. The season was not without its highlights as UW had an 8-1 record in games decided by six or fewer points, posted three overtime victories and won four games on buzzer-beaters. The Huskies secured third place at the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic with an overtime win over Clemson that was capped by a last-second shot by Michael Johnson. Greg Clark hit the game-winning basket with 0:03 left at Florida International. Curtis Allen forced overtime with a last-second basket at Oregon and then nailed the game winner with 0:06 remaining in the extra session. Johnson hit another game-winner in the final game of the season, a 3-pointer from the right sideline that lifted UW to a 96-94 upset of 13th-ranked UCLA. Individually, Allen and C.J. Massingale were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team and senior forward Will Perkins ranked third among conference players with 10 double-doubles.
Letter of Intent Period
High school seniors can officially declare their plans to attend their selected college during the early letter of intent signing period. The fall early period lasts one week, from Nov. 14 through 21. Student-athletes not signed during that time must wait for the spring signing period that begins April 10. Since verbal or other agreements made prior to the official signing periods are not binding, university personnel are not permitted to talk about prospective signees until a letter of intent has been signed and received by the school. Signing announcements will be released upon arrival of letters.
The Husky roster features three players from Tacoma, Washington. Junior guard Josh Barnard (Bethel HS), a transfer from Tacoma Community College, joins sophomore guards Curtis Allen (Wilson HS) and C.J. Massingale (Mount Tahoma HS). Having three players from Tacoma is remarkable considering Washington went 21 years without a Tacoma native on the men's basketball roster. The last Tacoma native to play at UW was Steve Matzen (Lincoln HS) who lettered from 1977-80.
'Washington freshman point guard Curtis Allen is the latest technology in Pac-10 point guards. He's got a microchip that Earl Watson and Mike McDonald and Jason Gardner don't have. Hit the mouse and see nothing but blur.'
-- Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star