UW Plays in Top of the World Classic Semifinals

TOP OF THE WORLD CLASSIC
Carlson Center (5,703), Fairbanks, Ak.

SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 17 -
UW vs. Bowling Green, 1:00 pm PST (12 noon AST)

SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 18 -
Final Round Game vs. Opponent TBD, 2 p.m. PST or 8 p.m. PST

The Washington Huskies (1-0) will finally have their entire team intact when they meet Bowling Green (1-0) on Saturday, Nov. 17 in the semifinal round of the Top of the World Classic. Tip-off is 1 p.m. Pacific Time (noon Alaska Time) at the Carlson Center in Fairbanks, Ak. Washington won an 82-70 first-round decision over host Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday without the services of head coach Bob Bender or sophomore forward Doug Wrenn. During Thursday's game, Bender was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib while Wrenn was serving a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA violation. Both are expected back for Saturday's game as Bender arrived in Fairbanks on Friday afternoon while Wrenn is now eligible to play. Bowling Green advanced to the second round by virtue of an 82-78 overtime victory over Mississippi. The other four teams in the eight-team tournament play their first-round games Friday with Radford playing Butler and Wichita State meeting Delaware. The winner of the UW-Bowling Green matchup plays in Sunday's (Nov. 18) championship game at 8 p.m. PST (7 p.m. AST). The loser plays at 2 p.m. Sunday (1 p.m. AST) in the third/fifth-place game. Washington is in its 100th season of men's basketball competition. The Huskies' win on Thursday improved their record in all-time season openers to 73-27.

Bender is Back
Men's basketball coach Bob Bender will be back on the Washington bench Saturday when his team meets Bowling Green. He missed Thursday's regular-season opening game at Alaska Fairbanks due to a bruised rib that kept him in Seattle. Bender arrived in Fairbanks on Friday afternoon, during an off-day for the Huskies. Bender was scheduled to fly to Fairbanks with the team on Wednesday morning, but was at University of Washington Medical Center instead undergoing tests. He had another flight scheduled for Thursday that would have arrived in time for him to attend the game, but he was unable to fly due to pain from the rib injury. Bender slipped and fell outside his house on Monday and developed severe pain. He attended practice on Tuesday despite the pain that increased in intensity throughout that night. He was diagnosed with a bruised rib on Wednesday and released that afternoon. No internal organs were bruised as originally suspected. The team arrived in Fairbanks on Wednesday afternoon. Bender spoke to the team via speakerphone on Thursday afternoon and expressed his regrets about missing the game. He also offered encouragement and assured the team they are in capable hands with Associate Head Coach Byron Boudreaux in charge along with assistant coaches Al Hairston and Eric Hughes. Bender is beginning his ninth season at Washington, having compiled a 105-124 record. His 105 victories rank No. 4 among all-time UW coaches.

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.

The Bowling Green Series
> Washington won the only previous meeting with Bowling Green, claiming a 92-62 decision on Dec. 28, 1979 at the Blade-Glass City Classic in Toledo, Ohio.

> The Huskies have a 4-1 all-time record against Mid-American Athletic Conference members with single wins over Ball State (1985), Bowling Green (1980) and Toledo (1980). UW is 1-1 against Miami (Ohio) which was a 59-58 winner over the Huskies in the first round of the 1999 NCAA Tournament.

> Washington assistant coach Al Hairston lettered two seasons at Bowling Green, in 1967 and on the 1968 NCAA Tournament team. Hairston was selected by Seattle in the fifth round of the 1968 NBA Draft and played two professional seasons.

> Fourth-year Falcon coach Dan Dakich has never coached against Washington.

> In his ninth season at UW, Bob Bender has never coached against Bowling Green.

The Last Meeting
UW 92, Bowling Green 62 (Dec. 28, 1979, Toledo, Ohio) -

Reserve guard Alvin Vaughn led four double-figure scorers with 17 points and distributed six assists as Washington defeated Bowling Green 92-62 in the first round of the Blade-Glass City Classic at Centennial Hall. The Huskies raced out to an 11-2 lead in the opening five minutes. Bob Fronk scored 11 of his 13 points in the first half for UW which completed the first period with a 9-1 run en route to a 45-24 halftime advantage. The Huskies shot 64 percent in the first half (20-31) and finished the game with 57-percent accuracy (37-65) from the field. UW dominated the boards, posting a 53-38 advantage led by Petur Gudmundsson's 12 rebounds. Dan Caldwell scored 14 points for the Huskies who also got 10 from Stan Walker. Colin Irish led the Falcons with 16 points and Marcus Newbern added 10. Washington edged host Toledo 71-70 in overtime the following night to win the tournament title.

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 met and defeated the NCAA Division II host school in an eight-game tournament. UW beat the host Nanooks 82-70 on Thursday. Washington won 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.

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.

Notable
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 ... For the fourth straight season, Washington dispatched the host school in a tournament with Thursday's 82-70 win over Alaska Fairbanks. UW beat Hawaii-Hilo in the first round of the 1998 Big Island Invitational, defeated Alaska-Anchorage in the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout and topped American-Puerto Rico at the 2000 Holiday Classic ... Nine of the 15 players on the roster had never played a game at Washington prior to this season ... Point guard 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.

'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.

Last Husky Game
UW 82, Alaska Fairbanks 70 (Nov. 15, 2001, Fairbanks, Ak.) -
G
uard Erroll Knight recorded the highest-scoring debut by a freshman in Washington history as the Huskies opened the season with an 82-70 victory over Alaska Fairbanks at the Carlson Center in the Top of the World Classic. Coach Bob Bender, who suffered a bruised rib in a fall three days earlier, was not in Fairbanks for the opener. The Huskies were also without the services of Doug Wrenn who was serving a one-game suspension by the NCAA for his participation in an unsanctioned game in May. Knight scored 16 first-half points to help UW build a 41-37 margin. Knight's 23-point output was the best debut by a Husky freshman, eclipsing the 22-point effort of Deon Leon against BYU on Nov. 26, 1996. Knight underwent surgery in his left knee on Nov. 2 and did not play in either exhibition game. He returned to practice on Monday (Nov. 12). Trailing 5-2, Washington staged a 15-3 run to take the lead for good at 17-8 with 11:38 left in the first half. Knight had six points during the run and David Dixon had four. After trailing by as many as 15 points, UAF trimmed the deficit to 69-61. The Nanooks turned the ball over and Josh Barnard hit a 3-pointer on the subsequent UW possession to push the margin back into double digits. Dixon finished with 16 points for UW which also got 10 from Barnard. John Early paced the Nanooks with 24 points while Steve Towne had 16 and Joe Jones 15. The Huskies shot 58 percent (29-50) from the field, including 6-of-10 accuracy from 3-point range.

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.

Hoopsters Honor Erickson
The Washington basketball players are wearing a black patch on the front of their jerseys with the initials 'D.E.' They are wearing those in remembrance of Dick Erickson, a friend of the basketball program who died in July. Erickson was involved for nearly 50 years with UW athletics. He competed as an athlete then a coach with the Husky rowing team before serving as the Facilities Manager for the athletic department. Erickson was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame on two occasions, in 1984 as part of the 1958 national championship crew and in 1994 as the head coach of the men's crew from 1968-82.

Dynamic Debut
Freshman guard Erroll Knight's collegiate debut was delayed, but it was worth the wait. Knight amassed a team-high 23 points at Alaska Fairbanks on Thursday, the highest point total for a freshman in a debut game at Washington. He eclipsed the record of 22 points set by Deon Luton against Brigham Young on Nov. 26, 1996. 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 projected rehabilitation time was approximately three weeks, but Knight returned to practice on Monday (Nov. 12). He played 28 minutes in his inaugural collegiate outing, hitting 9-of-16 shots from the field that included 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. That was the collegiate debut for Knight who did not play in either of UW's exhibition games. 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.

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 did not participate in Thursday's regular-season opener while serving a one-game suspension due to a minor NCAA rules violation. He played in an unsanctioned competition during May in violation of an NCAA rule prohibiting Division I student-athletes from participating in non-sanctioned outside competition during the academic year. Wrenn played three minutes in the Emerald City All-Star Tournament at Seattle's Rainier Beach High School. Three players from other NCAA Division I school participated in the same tournament and were held out of one game as well. Wrenn had 12 points and eight rebounds in UW's first exhibition against Brisbane and finished a Curtis Allen lob with a devastating alley-oop slam dunk. He scored 12 points against Western Washington in the final Husky exhibition contest before being held out of the regular-season opener. 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.

Conroy Declared Eligible
Freshman guard Will Conroy was ruled eligible to play on Nov. 14, one day before the season opener. On Wednesday the school received written confirmation from the NCAA Clearinghouse that had approved Conroy's transcript. Conroy had been ruled ineligible on Nov. 1 by the NCAA Clearinghouse that was examining his high school transcript. He was unable to participate in games or practice with the team until the Clearinghouse determined that a course he took at Seattle's Garfield High School qualified under the 'core course' criteria.

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.

'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.

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 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.

Shelton SidelinedWashington 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 prod

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