UW Renews Men's Basketball Rivalry With Gonzaga
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 11 -
UW vs. Gonzaga, 7:30 p.m. PST (Fox Sports Net TV)
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 20 -
UW vs. UCLA, 7:30 p.m. PST (Fox Sports Net TV)
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
Off to their best start in four years, the Washington Huskies (6-2) host cross-state rival Gonzaga (7-2) on Tuesday, Dec. 11 at Bank of America Arena. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. for the game that will be televised live on Fox Sports Net. Washington owns a 28-9 advantage in the all-time series despite losing the last three meetings against Gonzaga. The youthful Huskies, who have eight athletes competing for the first time at UW, are playing at home for only the third time this season. They played six of their first eight games away from home. Washington just completed a three-game road trip with a 2-1 record, capped by a 75-74 victory at New Mexico State on Saturday (Dec. 8). Doug Wrenn hit the game-winner with six seconds left. The Huskies split their first two games on the trip, defeating San Diego 98-94 (Dec. 1) before sustaining their second loss of the season by a 74-62 count on Thursday (Dec. 6) at Texas-El Paso. Washington's only other loss was a 67-64 decision against Butler (Nov. 18) in the championship game of the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska.
At 6-2, Washington is off to its best start since the 1997-98 team had a similar 6-2 record en route to an NCAA Sweet 16 appearance. That 1998 team won its next three games to improve to 9-2. The last time a UW squad had a better record after eight games was when the Huskies opened the 1990-91 season with a 7-1 mark.
Tuesday's UW-Gonzaga game will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. PST on Fox Sports Net. Barry Tompkins calls the action with color commentary from Dan Belluomini. All Husky men's basketball games are broadcast live on KOMO Radio (AM 1000) and its affiliates by play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau. The radio broadcasts can be accessed via the internet at: http://www.audionet.com/schools/washington/
The Huskies are shooting 46.4 percent (51-110) from 3-point range, a drastic improvement from last season's 30.6-percent figure. UW's 3-point accuracy is better than its 46.0-perecent total field goal percentage. Three Huskies are shooting better than 50 percent beyond the arc, including senior Grant Leep who converted 13-of-19 treys (68%). Freshman Erroll Knight is shooting 53% (9-17) from 3-point range and sophomore Curtis Allen is shooting 52% (15-29). Another dangerous long-range threat is junior Josh Barnard who had three treys at UTEP and is shooting 37% (7-19). The school's single-season 3-point shooting record is 40.1 percent, established by the 1988-89 UW squad.
Bender is Back
Men's basketball coach Bob Bender returned to the Washington bench Nov. 17 against Bowling Green and has been patrolling the sidelines for the last six games. He missed the Nov. 15 regular-season opening game at Alaska Fairbanks due to a bruised rib that kept him in Seattle. Bender arrived in Fairbanks on Friday afternoon (Nov. 16), 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 slipped and fell outside his house on Nov. 12 and developed severe back pain. Bender was diagnosed with a bruised rib on Nov. 14 and released that afternoon. The team arrived in Fairbanks on Wednesday afternoon. Bender spoke to the team via speakerphone on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 15) and expressed his regrets about missing the game. Bender is in his ninth season at Washington, having compiled a 111-126 record. His 111 victories rank No. 4 among all-time UW coaches.
Washington reached the 80-point plateau in three games this season, equaling last season's team that scored 80 points on three occasions ... The Huskies have a perfect 5-0 record in games when they have scored at least 70 points this season ... Texas-El Paso is the only opponent to register a superior field goal percentage to the Huskies who outshot their other seven opponents from the field ... Washington has held all of its foes under 48 percent shooting from the field ... UW topped the 50-percent field goal plateau in three games this season after shooting 50 percent on only five occasions all last season ... The Huskies are shooting 72.9 percent from the free throw line (159-218), a drastic improvement from last season's 57.5-percent figure (355-617) that ranked last in the Pac-10. Sophomore Curtis Allen leads all Pac-10 players, having converted 93-percent of his free throws (38-41) ... Allen was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3, the first time a Washington player received the weekly conference honor since Deon Luton was honored on Feb. 8, 1999 ... The Huskies' 98-point performance at San Diego (Dec. 1) was their highest scoring output in 109 games, dating back to a 101-86 win at USC on Jan. 29, 1998.
Projected Husky Starting Lineup
Washington Huskies (6-2, 0-0 in Pac-10)
Pos.-No. Name Hgt. Wgt. Yr. Hometown Points Rebs.
F - 24 Doug Wrenn 6-8 220 So. Seattle, Wash. 17.7 6.4
F - 31 Grant Leep 6-7 230 Sr. Mount Vernon, Wash. 7.9 3.6
C - 50 David Dixon 6-11 270 Sr. Houston, Texas 10.1 9.0
G - 20 Curtis Allen 6-0 170 So. Tacoma, Wash. 13.6 *4.6
G - 21 Erroll Knight 6-7 205 Fr. Seattle, Wash. 8.4 3.0
* = assist average
The Gonzaga Series
> Washington owns a 28-9 lead in the all-time series despite losing the last three meetings with Gonzaga.
> The Huskies have a 17-3 record against the Zags in Seattle.
> Gonzaga won the last three encounters, defeating UW 86-74 last season at the Kennel in Spokane (Dec. 2, 2000), 76-66 on Dec. 13, 1999 at Seattle's KeyArena and 82-71 on Dec. 8, 1998 at the Spokane Arena.
> Prior to the current three-game losing streak against Gonzaga, the Huskies had won 12 of the 13 previous meetings in the series.
> Starting at point guard for the Zags is senior Dan Dickau, a transfer from Washington. Dickau transferred following the 1998-99 season. He was a member of two UW NCAA Tournament teams.
> Third-year Gonzaga coach Mark Few won his only two meetings against Washington as a head coach.
> In his ninth season at UW, Bob Bender has a 2-3 coaching record against Gonzaga.
The Last Meeting
Gonzaga 86, UW 74 (Dec. 2, 2000, Spokane, Wash.) -
Casey Calvary tallied 21 of his career-high 29 points in the second half, leading Gonzaga to an 86-74 win over Washington at the Kennel. Calvary fueled an 11-0 Bulldog run, scoring nine points over the opening 4:20 of the second half. Gonzaga (4-1), which trailed 41-40 at halftime, took the lead for good at 51-41 on the surge that concluded on Calvary's layin with 15:40 left in the game. The Huskies (3-2) missed their first nine shots of the second half before Will Perkins hit a layin with 15:28 remaining. Perkins posted his fourth double-double in five games with 18 points and 11 rebounds. Michael Johnson scored 18 points for UW which also got 11 from Greg Clark. Freshman Blake Stepp had 17 points for the Bulldogs despite hitting only 1-of-8 shots from 3-point range. Gonzaga shot 54 percent from the field (31-57) while limiting UW to 40 percent (29-73).
The Huskies have blocked at least five shots in six of eight games this season after reaching the five-block plateau in only five games all last season. Washington has 43 blocked shots this season, an average of 5.38 blocks per game. The 1993 Husky squad averaged 4.37 blocks en route to the school's season record of 118. Nearly one in every four shots Santa Clara attempted on Nov. 24 was rejected as Washington shattered its school single-game record with 14 blocked shots. The Huskies bettered their record of 10 blocks established on Dec. 3, 1991 against Chico State. The leading shot blocker was senior center David Dixon whose seven blocks broke the individual UW record of six blocks accomplished twice by Chris Welp in 1986. Five different Huskies had blocks against Santa Clara. Dixon currently leads the team with 19 blocked shots and Jeffrey Day has 12.
Jensen Out for the Season
Freshman forward Mike Jensen, who dislocated his left shoulder Dec. 3, underwent surgery on Dec. 10 and will miss the rest of the season. Jensen was injured during practice and a shoulder specialist using an MRI discovered a torn labrum that required surgery. 'Having him continue to play is not worth the risk of re-injuring his shoulder or having it pop out again,' Coach Bob Bender said. 'Having surgery right now is in Mike's best interest and really, there was no other option. The most important thing is for Mike to get healthy.' Jensen participated in five of the first six games for the Huskies and will likely be granted a medical red-shirt season after the UW coaching and medical staffs request one from the NCAA. That should enable him to play four more seasons. Jensen averaged 2.0 points and 1.8 rebounds in 8.4 minutes per game. A product of Kentwood (Wash.) High School, Jensen was rated the No. 1 power forward in the West last year by Pac-West Hoops. He was the nation's 66th-ranked high school prospect by The Sporting News and was one of 100 national finalists for the 2001 McDonald's All-American Game. He is the second Husky big man to suffer a season-ending injury, joining 6-10 senior center Marlon Shelton who underwent surgery Oct. 16 to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee.
Tune in to KOMO (1000 AM) every Monday night at 6 p.m. for 'Husky Talk,' a half-hour call-in and interview show featuring head coach Bob Bender and KOMO Radio's Bob Rondeau who does play-by-play for all UW games.
Less is More
Fans will be seeing a lot less of 6-foot-11 senior center David Dixon this season. He shed over 30 pounds from last year and his current 270-pound weight enables him to be more active and average 29.5 minutes per game. Last season, Dixon played 14.7 minutes per contest and averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds per contest. He has been more effective this year, leading the team with 9.0 rebounds per game while ranking third with a 10.1-point scoring average. Dixon blocked a school-record seven shots against Santa Clara (Nov. 24), bettering the single-game mark of six set by Chris Welp during the 1986 season. Dixon tallied double-figure points five times. He has two double-doubles with a 15-point, 13-rebound performance against Butler (Nov. 18) and a 12-point, 15-rebound effort at New Mexico State (Dec. 8).
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 participated 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.
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 Nov. 15, 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 an MRI on Oct. 30 that revealed a loose fragment of cartilage. The projected rehabilitation time was approximately three weeks, but Knight returned to practice just 10 days later (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 started the last seven UW games and ranks fourth on the team with an 8.4-point scoring average. He was named to the Top of the World Classic all-tournament team. 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 Prep-West Hoops which ranked him as the No. 2 shooting guard in the West.
One of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in Husky history was that of sophomore Doug Wrenn, a supremely athletic 6-8 forward who red-shirted last season after transferring from Connecticut. Wrenn fulfilled expectations with a 19-point, nine-rebound performance against Bowling Green (Nov. 17) in his inaugural Husky game. He followed that with a 10-point, six-rebound effort against Butler (Nov. 18) and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Top of the World Classic. Wrenn leads the team with an average of 17.7 points per game, including a season-high 22-point effort in the home opener against Santa Clara (Nov. 24). He hit the game-winning shot in a 75-74 win at New Mexico State (Dec. 8), a jumper in the lane with six seconds left. Wrenn topped all Husky scorers on five occasions. He did not participate in the Nov. 15 regular-season opener against Alaska-Fairbanks while serving a one-game suspension due to a minor NCAA rules violation. Wrenn played in an unsanctioned competition during May in violation of an NCAA rule prohibiting Division I student-athletes from participating in outside competition during the academic year. He played three minutes in the Emerald City All-Star Tournament at Seattle's Rainier Beach High School. Three players from other NCAA Division I schools participated in the same tournament and were held out of one game as well. 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.
'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
Arguably the quickest player in the conference, sophomore point guard Curtis Allen is improving upon last season's performance when he was named to the Pac-10 All-Freshmen team. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3 after averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 assists in a pair of Husky wins. He posted career highs with 21 points and eight assists in Washington's 77-64 home victory over UNLV (Nov. 28). At San Diego (Dec. 1), Allen increased his single-game scoring best to 27 points and added four assists in UW's 98-94 win. His playmaking skills have improved dramatically. Allen was the Huskies' team leader in assists during seven of eight games with a total of 37, an average of 4.6 per game. Last season he distributed 65 assists, an average of 2.2 per contest. His shooting is also vastly better. Allen is shooting 50 percent from the field (28-56), including 52 percent from 3-point range (15-29). Those numbers are up from his 39-percent and 25-percent figures from last year. His 15 made 3-pointers are just five fewer than the 20 he had all last season. Last season, Allen had one of the finest campaigns for a Husky rookie, ranking third among all-time UW freshmen in steals (29) and No. 4 in assists (65).
Last Husky Game
UW 75, New Mexico State 74 (Dec. 8, 2001, Las Cruces, N.M.) -
Doug Wrenn scored 19 points and hit the game-winning basket with six seconds left in Washington's 75-74 victory over New Mexico State at the Pan American Center. Eric Channing put the Aggies (4-3) ahead 74-73 on a jump shot with 0:13 left to play. Washington (6-2) responded with an inbounds play that set up Wrenn for a shot in the lane with 0:06 remaining. New Mexico State had a chance to win, but Wrenn disrupted a Channing shot, forcing him to pass the ball out of bounds. The subsequent UW inbounds pass was stolen by Chris Jackson near halfcourt, but his shot fell short as time expired. David Dixon registered his second double-double of the season, contributing 12 points and a career-high 15 rebounds for the Huskies. Curtis Allen scored 14 points for Washington and Grant Leep had 12, including 3-for-3 shooting from 3-point range. James Moore and Will Morris tied for team-high scoring honors with 17 points for the Aggies who also got 11 from Channing and 10 from Jason Fontenet. The Huskies closed the first half with a 12-4 run to claim a 37-32 lead at intermission. New Mexico State tallied the first eight points of the second half to take a 40-37 edge. Neither team led by more than five points in the game that saw 21 lead changes.
Recapping the 2002 Campaign
The Huskies finished second at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Ak. They defeated host Alaska Fairbanks 82-70 and Bowling Green 81-74 before losing in the championship game to Butler by a 67-64 count. Washington played the season opener without the services of head coach Bob Bender or sophomore forward Doug Wrenn. Bender was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib while Wrenn was serving a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA violation. UW won its home opener 69-49 over Santa Clara (Nov. 24) and blocked a school-record 14 shots in the process. The Huskies beat UNLV 7-64 in Seattle (Nov. 28) behind the career-high 21 point, eight-assist effort of Curtis Allen. Allen increased that career-high total to 27 points in the next outing, a 98-94 win at San Diego (Dec. 1) in which UW hit 37-of-43 free throws. UW drew a split on a road trip to the Southwest, losing 74-62 at UTEP (Dec. 6) before edging New Mexico State 75-74 (Dec. 8) on a Doug Wrenn basket with 0:06 remaining.
The Huskies won their home opener on Nov. 24, defeating Santa Clara 69-49. That improved their all-time record in home openers to 81-18. It was the 99th all-time home opener for UW which did not play any home games during the 1905 season ... Four Huskies received all-tournament honors at the Top of the World Classic: Curtis Allen, David Dixon, Erroll Knight and tournament MVP Doug Wrenn ... On Nov. 15 Erroll Knight scored a UW freshman debut record 23 points. He topped the mark of 22 points set by Deon Luton on Nov. 26, 1996 in his collegiate debut against BYU ... The Huskies blocked a school single-game record 14 shots against Santa Clara (Nov. 24), bettering by four the UW record of 10 blocks established on Dec. 3, 1991 ... Nine of the 15 players on the roster had never played a game at Washington prior to this season ... Washington played the season opener without the services of head coach Bob Bender or sophomore forward Doug Wrenn. During that Nov. 15 opening game, Bender was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib while Wrenn was serving a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA violation.
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 is more intimate with a basketball-only configuration. Washington has won 753 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. UW played two exhibitions and the regular-season opener last year at different venues before playing the remaining games at The Pavilion.
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 a nine-year record of 111-126 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 111 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 13-year career record of 171-183. 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.
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 111 victories. Only Hec Edmundson (488), Marv Harshman (246) and Tippy Dye (156) have won more games as the head coach at Washington.
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.
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
'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 Pac-10 Conference standings with a 4-14 record.
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.
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
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).
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.
The UCLA Series
> The Bruins lost to Washington in each of their last four visits to Seattle. That ties the Huskies' longest home winning streak against UCLA, matching a pair of four-game streaks. UW had streaks of four straight home wins versus the Bruins between 1951-52 and 1984-87.
> Washington won 96-94 in the final regular-season game last season, upsetting the 13th-ranked Bruins on March 10, 2001 on a 3-pointer at the final buzzer by senior Michael Johnson. UW's other wins in Seattle included 63-62 in 2000, 93-83 in 1999 and 95-94 in 1998.
> UCLA owns an 80-29 series lead and won 24 of the last 30 meetings with UW.
> The Huskies and Bruins split the season series in each of the last four seasons with the home team winning the last eight meetings.
> UCLA won the first meeting last season 86-64 on Jan. 4, 2001 in Los Angeles.
> The Bruins own a 28-24 advantage over the Huskies during games played in Seattle despite losing in its last four visits to Seattle.
> Sixth -year UCLA Coach Steve Lavin has a 6-4 record against the Huskies.
> In his ninth season at Washington, Bob Bender has a 4-12 coaching record against UCLA.
The Last Meeting
UW 96, #13 UCLA 94 (March 10, 2001, Seattle) -
Senior Michael Johnson concluded his collegiate career with a career-high 29 points, including a 3-pointer with 1.1 seconds to play in Washington's 96-94 upset of 13th-ranked UCLA at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (10-20, 4-14) halted an eight-game losing streak. UCLA (21-8, 14-4) lost its fourth straight game against UW in Seattle. Bryan Brown's four-point play, on a 25-foot trey and free throw, put Washington ahead 93-91 with 0:34 remaining. UCLA's Billy Knight answered with a 3-pointer at 0:21 to reclaim a 94-93 lead. Johnson's winning trey from the right wing came off an in-bounds play after Greg Clark had a shot blocked out of bounds. The Huskies started all five of their seniors who combined for 70 points. Thalo Green scored 21 and Clark had 14 while junior David Dixon had 13. UW led by as many as 11 points, including 47-40 at halftime. Jason Kapono led five Bruin double-figure scorers with 26 points. Matt Barnes scored 21, Billy Knight 16 and Earl Watson and Dan Gadzuric each had 11. UCLA lost despite shooting 50 percent and posting a 51-34 rebounding advantage.
Conroy Declared Eligible
Freshman guard Will Conroy was ruled eligible to play on Nov. 14, one day before the season opener. He participated in all eight games, averaging 11.4 minutes per contest while backing up starting point guard Curtis Allen. Conroy is averaging 2.8 points per game. The school received written confirmation from the NCAA Clearinghouse on Nov. 14 that his transcript had been approved. Conroy had been ruled ineligible on Nov. 1 by the NCAA Clearinghouse that was examining his high school transcript. He was unable to 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.
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 UW 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.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Washington received commitments during the early signing period (Nov. 14-21) from two prep standouts, both from Seattle's Garfield High School. Brandon Roy, a 6-5 wing player, is one of the premier prep players in the nation and Anthony Washington is a 6-9 rising power forward prospect who initially signed last year with the Huskies, but returned to Garfield to complete some coursework. Those two will join the team in the fall of 2002 and be reunited with former prep teammate Will Conroy who is currently a freshman point guard at UW. The Huskies have one remaining scholarship to offer during the spring letter of intent period that begins April 15.
6-5, 195, guard/forward, Seattle, Wash. (Garfield HS)
The No. 2-ranked small forward in the West by Prep-West Hoops ... Rated No. 47 nationally among all positions by CNN/SI ... Averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last year at Garfield High School ... A first-team 2001 All-Washington state selection in the 4A classification ... The 2001 KingCo Conference MVP.
6-9, 220, forward, Seattle, Wash. (Garfield HS)
The ninth-rated power forward in the West last year by Prep-West Hoops ... Listed as the No. 100 player nationally by The Sporting News last year... Emerged on the recruiting scene with stellar performances during the spring and summer camp sessions of 2000 ... Averaged 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as senior at Garfield High in 2001 ... Blocked 21 shots in four games to set a new state tournament record ... Had more blocks than the previous tournament team record of 20.
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 while sharing time at center with David Dixon.
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.
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