UW Opens Men's Basketball Season at Top of the World Classic

Nov. 13, 2001

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o Top of the World Classic o
Carlson Center (5,703), Fairbanks, Ak.

THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15 --
UW at Alaska-Fairbanks, 8:00 p.m. PST (7:00 p.m. Alaska Time)

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 --
UW vs. Bowling Green or Mississippi, 1:00 pm PST (noon AST)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18 --
Final Round Game vs. Opponent TBD, Time TBA

The Washington Huskies begin their 100th season of men's basketball competition this week at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Ak. Washington meets host Alaska Fairbanks in the opener on Thursday, Nov. 15. Tip-off is 8 p.m. Pacific Time (7 p.m. Alaska Time) at the Carlson Center. The trip north marks the Huskies' second visit to Alaska in the last three seasons. UW finished fifth in the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage during November of 1999. The Huskies have visited Fairbanks only once before, sweeping a pair of games from UAF in January of 1971. Washington gets Friday off before resuming the eight-team tournament with a second-round matchup on Saturday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m. PST (noon AST). The winner of the UW-Fairbanks matchup meets the winner of the Mississippi-Bowling Green encounter. The other side of the bracket features Radford against Butler and Wichita State versus Delaware. Washington won both of its exhibition games, defeating Brisbane of Australia 87-43 (Nov. 2) and Western Washington 81-76 (Nov. 8).

Season Openers
Washington has a 72-27 all-time record in season-opening games. The Huskies lost their 2000-01 season opener 73-61 to UTEP at KeyArena, snapping a string of six straight victorious debuts.

TV/Radio Coverage
All Husky men's basketball regular-season games are broadcast live on KOMO Radio (AM 1000) and its affiliates. Paul Duckworth will call the first four games before regular play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau returns. Rondeau also calls UW football games. Please not that due to conflicts with Husky football broadcasts, the next two Saturday games (Nov. 17 and Nov. 24 vs. Santa Clara) will air live on KVI (AM 570). The broadcasts can be accessed via the internet at: http://www.audionet.com/schools/washington/ The first scheduled television appearance for Washington is Dec. 11 against Gonzaga. That game airs at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.

Top of the World Classic Field
Joining Washington in the Top of the World Classic field are 2001 NCAA Tournament participants Butler and Mississippi along with Alaska-Fairbanks, Bowling Green, Delaware, Radford and Wichita State. The Ole Miss Rebels advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament last spring. For the fourth straight season, the Huskies will meet the NCAA Division II host school in an eight-game tournament. The host Nanooks and UW square off on Thursday. Washington won all three previous tournament openers, defeating Hawai'i-Hilo 81-47 (Nov. 27, 1998), Alaska-Anchorage 86-70 (Nov. 24, 1999) and American-Puerto Rico 67-47 (Dec. 20, 2000).

Tournament Tested
The Top of the World Classic marks Washington's fourth regular-season tournament in as many years. The Huskies won the 1998 Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hi. with a 76-60 victory over Georgia Tech. They finished fifth at the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage and placed third last year at the 2000 Puerto Rico Holiday Classic by posting a 77-76 overtime win over Clemson in the final game. Michael Johnson hit the game-winning shot in the lane at the buzzer against the Tigers.

The Alaska Fairbanks Series
> Washington won all three meetings with Alaska Fairbanks, including victories on consecutive days during the Huskies' only previous visit to Fairbanks. UW won 85-73 on Jan. 15, 1971 followed by a 90-62 win on Jan. 16.

> The Huskies claimed an 89-58 decision over UAF in the last meeting on Dec. 10, 1991 in Seattle.

> The Nanooks are an NCAA Division II member who had a 10-17 record last season, including a 64-61 win over Division I competitor Jackson State in the second round of the 2000 Top of the World Classic.

> Sixth-year Fairbanks coach Al Sokaitis served as a part-time assistant coach on Andy Russo's Washington staff in 1986-87. Sokaitis has never coached against the Huskies.

> In his ninth season at Washington, Bob Bender has never coached the Nanooks.

The Last Meeting
UW 89, Alaska Fairbanks 58 (Dec. 10, 1991, Seattle) -

Rich Manning scored 13 of his game-high 19 points in the first half as Washington built a comfortable halftime lead en route to an 89-58 win over Alaska Fairbanks at Edmundson Pavilion. The Huskies raced out to a 18-3 lead during the opening seven minutes, including six points from Bryant Boston. That margin grew to 54-26 by halftime on the strength of 63-percent field goal shooting (24-38) by UW which finished the game at 51 percent (36-70). Mark Pope contributed 16 points for the Huskies and Boston finished with 12. Maurice Woods had 10 points and led a 52-32 UW rebounding advantage with nine boards. Reserve Mark Hadden paced the Nanooks with 11 points while Matt Thompson and Tony Adams each had nine.

Frequent Flyers
The Huskies have accumulated thousands of air miles on lengthy road trips during the last four years. This year is no different as they will log over 10,000 miles during their non-conference schedule for the fifth straight season. Washington's non-conference slate includes a 3,336-mile round trip to Fairbanks, Alaska for the Top of the World Classic along with single-game tips to San Diego, Texas-El Paso, New Mexico State and St. Louis. Last season, the Huskies embarked on a 10-day, 7,758-mile round trip to Puerto Rico with a stopover in Miami, Fla. for one game against Florida International. Washington traveled nearly 10,000 air miles during a two-week span during the 1999-2000 season, flying from Seattle to Moraga, Calif., from Moraga to Anchorage, Ak. and from Alaska back to Seattle. After two days at home, the Huskies boarded a plane for Wilmington, N.C. where they took a bus to Norfolk, Va. and flew back to Seattle. During the 1998-99 season, UW amassed over 8,000 miles during a 10-day stretch, traveling from Seattle to Hawai'i to Chicago and back to Seattle. In 1998, Washington traveled to South Alabama for a single game. Later that year the Huskies criss-crossed the country twice during the 1998 NCAA Tournament. UW flew from Seattle to Washington, D.C. for the first two rounds, returned to Seattle for one day and flew to Greensboro, N.C. for the Sweet 16.

'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.

100th Season
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.

Season Preview
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.

Bender Bio
Bob Bender has participated in the NCAA Tournament at every school with which he has been affiliated, including back-to-back berths with Washington in 1998 and 1999. He has an eight-year record of 105-124 with the Huskies. The UW tied for ninth place in the Pac-10 with a 4-4 record in 2001 and had a 10-20 overall record. In 2000, the Huskies tied for eighth in the Pac-10 with a 5-13 record in 2000 and had a 10-20 overall record that snapped a string of four consecutive winning seasons. In 1999, Washington was 17-12, capped by an NCAA Tournament appearance. The 1998 Huskies posted a 20-10 record that marked the school's finest winning percentage since 1985. Among the 1998 Husky highlights were their first 20-win season since 1987, their first NCAA berth since 1986 and their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1984. The 1997 UW team posted a 17-11 record, capped by the Huskies' second straight National Invitation Tournament appearance. Washington's record improved four straight seasons under Bender, including a 16-12 mark in 1996 after which he was voted the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. The UW was 5-22 in 1994 and 10-17 in 1995. His 105 victories rank fourth among all-time Washington coaches. Bender, who began his career with a four-year stint at Illinois State (1990-93), has a 12-year career record of 165-181. His Illinois State squads were 60-57, earning two Missouri Valley Conference championships, one conference tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth in 1990. Prior to his inaugural head coaching assignment at ISU, Bender served as an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski's Duke staff (1983-1989). The Blue Devils qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of Bender's six seasons on the staff, including four trips to the Final Four. Bender, 43, is the only individual to play on two different teams in the NCAA Championship game. He was a freshman on Bobby Knight's undefeated 1976 Indiana team and played point guard at Duke from 1977-80, including an appearance in the 1978 title game against Kentucky.

Century Mark
Ninth-year coach Bob Bender posted his 100th win at Washington on Dec. 20, 2000 with a 67-47 decision at American-Puerto Rico. He has led the Huskies to 105 victories. Only Hec Edmundson (488), Marv Harshman (246) and Tippy Dye (156) have won more games as the head coach at Washington.

Coaching Staff
Bob Bender's staff is comprised of associate head coach Byron Boudreaux along with assistant coaches Eric Hughes and Al Hairston. Boudreaux begins his seventh season on the staff, his third as the associate. Hughes has been with Bender during his entire eight-year tenure at UW. Hairston, a former Seattle Sonic and legendary prep coach at Seattle's Garfield High School, is in his second season.

Husky Tickets
Good seats are available for all Washington home games, including season tickets and other special packages. The Pepsi 'Fun for Four' Family Pack is perfect for quartets of all ages. Get four general admission game tickets, four Pepsi drinks and four hot dogs for only $25. Reserved seats for individual Husky games are $16 while general admission seats are $6. University of Washington students with current student identification can purchase individual game tickets for $3 or buy a student season pass for $30 that is also good for women's games. Visit the Husky Ticket Office, located in the Graves Building, or call (206-543-2200) for information. Individual game reserved tickets will also be available on-line via the athletic department website: www.gohuskies.com

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. The spring signing period begins April 10.

Last Husky Game
UW 81, Western Washington 76, exhibition (Nov. 8, 2001, Seattle) -

Reserve Reserve guard Josh Barnard scored 15 of his 17 points in the second half, including seven inside the final 5:16 to rally Washington to an 81-76 exhibition victory over Western Washington at Bank of America Arena. An NCAA Division II semifinalist last season, Western Washington led by as many as seven points in the second half at 62-55 with 6:07 left to play. The final Viking lead was 69-67 on a 3-pointer by Darnell Taylor with 3:00 remaining. Washington answered with eight straight points capped at 0:53 by a 3-pointer from Grant Leep who had missed the second of two free throws seven seconds earlier. That four-point play pushed the UW margin to 75-69. Five Huskies scored in double figures, including senior center David Dixon who had 15 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the field. Curtis Allen tallied 12 points as did Doug Wrenn who fouled out with 4:15 left in the game. Leep finished with 11 points along with a team-high nine rebounds for the Huskies who posted a slim 40-39 edge on the boards. Center Mike Palm had 15 points and 12 points to pace the Vikings. Taylor led WWU with 17 points while Diggs pitched In 16 and Nehemiah Campbell 13. Barnard hit one of two free throws with two minutes remaining to put UW ahead 71-69. On the ensuing Western possession Campbell was whistled for a charging foul while ramming into Husky freshman Jeffrey Day. The Huskies capitalized on the turnover with Leep's free throw and 3-pointer.

First Exhibition
UW 87, Brisbane 43, exhibition (Nov. 2, 2001, Seattle) -

Reserve guard C.J. Massingale led four double-figure scorers with 14 points and center David Dixon registered a double-double as the Washington men's basketball team opened the 2001-02 season with an 87-43 exhibition victory over the Brisbane Capitals at Bank of America Arena. Brisbane, a member of the Australian professional league, led by as many as six points six minutes into the contest. After UW took a brief lead, Capital guard Brendan Beak converted one of two free throws with 6:14 left in the first half to tie the score at 19. Washington outscored its foreign guests 23-6 the rest of the period to claim a commanding 42-25 halftime advantage. The run included points from eight different Huskies. Washington had a pair of 11-point runs along with a 10-0 surge to stretch the lead to as many as 46 points (85-39) after intermission. Dixon scored 10 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Huskies who had a 53-31 advantage on the boards. Sophomore Doug Wrenn, a transfer from Connecticut, totaled 12 points in his much-anticipated Husky debut while senior Grant Leep added 11 points. The Huskies shot a stunning 91 percent from the free throw line, hitting 21-of-23 attempts. That is a stark contrast from last year's squad that had the poorest accuracy rate in the Pac-10 at 58 percent. All eleven available players saw action for UW and 10 of them scored. Brisbane was led by Scotty Lloyd's 17 points and Rowan Gray's seven rebounds.

Returning Talent
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 spot duty and should thrive with additional playing time.

Shelton Sidelined
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.

Doug's Debut
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. Wrenn had 12 points and eight rebounds against Brisbane and finished a Curtis Allen lob with a devastating alley-oop slam dunk. 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 Sporting News

Newcomers
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 sharpshooter Josh Barnard (Tacoma CC) and 6-9 forward Jeffrey Day from 2000 state 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, 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. Rounding out the roster is sophomore walk-on Ian Gibbs (Sehome HS).

Departures
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, a red-shirt last year who never played at UW, transferred to Cal State Riverside and is no longer playing basketball.

Knight Returns
Freshman guard Erroll Knight underwent arthroscopic surgery in his left knee on Nov. 2. He had swelling in his knee during preseason practice and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on Oct. 30 that revealed a loose fragment of cartilage. The surgery to remove the fragment was successful and Knight is now rehabilitating. The anticipated rehab time was approximately three weeks, but Knight returned to practice on Monday (Nov. 12). He is listed as probable for the regular-season opening games at the Top of the World Classic. 'It's disappointing that Erroll will miss the early part of the season because he has worked hard in practice and put himself in position to possibly start for us,' said Coach Bob Bender. 'This is certainly a setback, but the surgery is something we have to do now to correct the problem so that he will be ready for the rest of the season.' Knight was one of the nation's premier prep shooting guards last year. The athletic 6-7 swingman averaged 19.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Seattle's Chief Sealth High School. He was a consensus top-100 national prep pick by the recruiting services, including Pac-West Hoops which ranked him as the No. 2 shooting guard in the West.

Conroy Awaits the Clearinghouse
Freshman guard Will Conroy will be ineligible for an undetermined time period until the NCAA Clearinghouse approves his high school transcript, Coach Bob Bender announced Nov. 1. The clearinghouse is examining a course that Conroy took at Seattle's Garfield High School to determine if it qualifies under its 'core course' criteria. Conroy was ineligible to practice for one week, but returned Saturday (Nov. 10) when the NCAA received a waiver application from Washington. Conroy will not be allowed to travel or participate in games until the clearinghouse makes a ruling on the course. 'We are working with the Clearinghouse to clear up this matter,' Bender explained. 'There is one class he had in high school that they are looking at and we are sure that once they review the information we presented they will approve the class and he will be back with the team.' A 6-foot-1 guard, Conroy intended to walk-on with the Huskies, but was awarded a scholarship when one became available on Oct. 1. He was rated the No. 15 point guard in the West by Pac-West Hoops. Conroy averaged 14.5 points, 3.6 assists and 2.0 steals per game during his senior season, helping Garfield to a 27-2 record.

Notable
Nine of the 15 players on the roster had never played a game at Washington prior to this season ... 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 ... 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.

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.

Tacoma Trio
The Husky roster features three players from Tacoma, Washington. Junior guard Josh Barnard (Bethel HS), a transfer from Tacoma Community College, joins sophomore guards

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