UW Men Play Final Home Game of 2001 Calendar Year
Dec. 24, 2001
Thurs., Dec. 27 -
UW vs. USC, 7:30 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
Sat., Dec. 29 -
UW at Saint Louis, 5:00 p.m. PST (7:00 p.m. CST)
Savvis Center (20,000), St. Louis, Mo.
The Washington Huskies (6-4, 0-1) continue Pacific-10 Conference play on Thursday, Dec. 27 against the USC Trojans (8-2, 0-0). Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies lost their Pac-10 opener 85-79 on Dec. 20 against 19th-ranked UCLA. USC is playing its first Pac-10 game. The conference season begins before January for the first time since 1989 to accommodate the return of the Pac-10 Tournament, March 7-9 in Los Angeles. The Huskies play their final game of the 2001 calendar year on Saturday, Dec. 29 at Saint Louis (5-6). That is the final non-conference game for Washington which resumes conference play Jan. 4 at UCLA.
Thursday's UW-USC game will NOT be televised. 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/
Washington's leading scorer Doug Wrenn is expected to return to the starting lineup after playing the last game as a reserve. Wrenn was late for the team's stretching session prior to the Gonzaga game (Dec. 11) and was kept out of the starting lineup in the next game due to the breach of team policy. He came off the bench in that game against UCLA on Dec. 20 and scored a career-high 23 points.
The Huskies are shooting 42.2 percent (65-154) from 3-point range, a drastic improvement from last season's 30.6-percent figure. Senior Grant Leep leads the 3-point parade, having converted 16-of-25 treys (64%). Sophomore Curtis Allen is shooting 44 percent (17-39) from beyond the arc. The school's single-season 3-point shooting record is 40.1 percent, established by the 1988-89 UW squad.
Freshman forward Mike Jensen, who dislocated his left shoulder during practice on Dec. 3, underwent surgery on Dec. 10 and will miss the rest of the season. Jensen suffered a torn labrum. He is the second Husky big man to suffer a season-ending injury, joining 6-10 senior center Marlon Shelton who had surgery on his left knee Oct. 16.
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 nine games. He missed the Nov. 15 regular-season opener at Alaska Fairbanks due to a bruised rib that kept him in Seattle. Bender arrived in Fairbanks on Nov. 16, during an off-day for the Huskies. Bender was scheduled to fly to Fairbanks with the team on Nov. 14 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, while the team was arriving in Fairbanks. Bender spoke to the team via speakerphone on the afternoon of the opener (Nov. 15) and expressed his regrets about missing the game. In his ninth season at Washington, Bender has a 111-128 record. His 111 victories rank No. 4 among all-time UW coaches.
Projected Husky Starting Lineup
Washington Huskies (6-4, 0-1 in Pac-10)
Pos.-No. Name Hgt. Wgt. Yr. Hometown Points Rebs.
F - 24 Doug Wrenn 6-8 220 So. Seattle, Wash. 17.3 6.3
F - 31 Grant Leep 6-7 230 Sr. Mount Vernon, Wash. 8.2 4.3
C - 50 David Dixon 6-11 270 Sr. Houston, Texas 8.7 8.0
G - 20 Curtis Allen 6-0 170 So. Tacoma, Wash. 13.0 *4.4
G - 21 Erroll Knight 6-7 205 Fr. Seattle, Wash. 7.8 3.4
* = assist average
Washington has a 6-3 non-conference record with only one game remaining outside Pac-10 play, Dec. 29 at Saint Louis. The Huskies have clinched a winning non-conference record for the first time since the 1998-99 team posted a 7-3 record. UW posted a 5-7 non-conference record in 1999-2000 and was 6-6 last season.
The USC Series
> USC holds a slim 59-55 lead in the all-time series that began in 1925.
> The Trojans won the last five meetings, their longest winning streak against Washington since 1967-69 when they won six straight times.
> USC swept the last two season series from the Huskies. Last year, the Trojans won 87-61 on Jan. 6 in Los Angeles and 85-56 on March 8 in Seattle.
> The last Washington win in the series was an 85-83 decision on Jan. 28, 1999 in Seattle.
> Prior to losing the last five meetings, Washington had won seven of the previous eight games against USC.
> The Huskies hold a 32-25 series advantage over USC during games played in Seattle.
> Seventh-year USC coach Henry Bibby has a 6-5 record against Washington.
> Ninth-year UW Coach Bob Bender has an 8-8 coaching record against USC.
The Last Meeting
USC 85, UW 56 (March 8, 2001, Seattle) -
Jeff Trepagnier scored 16 of his game-high 22 points in the first half when USC took control en route to an 85-56 victory over Washington at Bank of America Arena. The Trojans (20-9, 10-7) swept the season series with their fifth consecutive win over Washington. The Huskies (9-20, 3-14) suffered their eighth straight defeat and lost junior center Marlon Shelton to a torn ACL in his left knee during the second half. Trepagnier tallied four points during the opening two minutes, fueling a 10-0 USC run. He hit a 3-pointer inside the final minute of the half and Brandon Granville nailed a trey with six seconds left, lifting the Trojans to a 48-31 halftime advantage. The lead grew to as many as 32 points in the second half. Granville finished with 20 points, Sam Clancy added 16 and Brian Scalabrine had 11. Will Perkins posted his 10th double-double for the Huskies with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Michael Johnson scored 11 points for UW which was outshot 47 percent (33-70) to 31 percent (23-74) from the field.
Washington reached the 80-point plateau in three games this season, equaling last season's team that scored 80 points on three occasions ... UCLA became the first opponent to reach the 50 percent field goal plateau against the Huskies, hitting 30-of-56 shots from the field (53.6%) on Dec. 20 ... 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 71.7 percent from the free throw line (177-247), a drastic improvement from last season's 57.5-percent figure (355-617) that ranked last in the Pac-10. Sophomore Curtis Allen ranks third among Pac-10 players, having converted 89-percent of his free throws (41-46) ... 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.
Freshman Charles Frederick has not practiced with the basketball team, but is scheduled to join the Huskies in St. Louis on Saturday after the football season concludes with Friday's Holiday Bowl against Texas. A receiver, Frederick is the leading punt returner for the Husky football team. He averaged 14.6 yards on punt returns, including an 87-yard touchdown against Michigan (Sept. 8). He was a Sporting News Freshman All-America special team selection. A top-50 basketball recruit out of Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Fla., Frederick will fly from San Diego to St. Louis in time to suit up for Saturday's game.
The Huskies have blocked at least five shots in seven games this season after reaching the five-block plateau in only five games all last season. Washington has 52 blocked shots this season, an average of 5.2 blocks per game. The 1993 Husky squad averaged 4.37 blocks en route to the school's season record of 118. Senior center David Dixon leads the team with a Pac-10-leading 22 blocks. Freshman Jeffrey Day ranks second on the Huskies with 16 blocked shots. 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.
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 28.1 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 8.0 rebounds per game while ranking third with an 8.7-point scoring average. Dixon has 22 blocked shots after registering 24 all last season. 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).
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 17.3 points per game, including a season-high 23-point effort against UCLA in his last outing (Dec. 20). 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 seven occasions. He posted eight double-figure scoring games, including three 20-point outings. 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.
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 nine UW games and ranks fifth on the team with a 7.8-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.
'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 eight of 10 games with a total of 44, an average of 4.4 per game. Last season he distributed 65 assists, an average of 2.2 per contest. His shooting is also vastly better. Allen is shooting 46 percent from the field (36-79), including 44 percent from 3-point range (17-39). Those numbers are up from his 39-percent and 25-percent figures from last year. His 17 made 3-pointers are just three 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
#19 UCLA 85, UW 79 (Dec. 20, 2001, Seattle) -
Dan Gadzuric tallied 15 of his career-high 23 points in the second half as 19th-ranked UCLA rallied from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat Washington 85-79 at Bank of America Arena. The Bruins (6-2, 1-0) won in Seattle for the first time since 1997, halting a four-game road losing streak at Washington. Gadzuric also finished with 13 rebounds, dominating the inside while Husky centers David Dixon and Jeffrey Day each fouled out after each playing 12 minutes. The Huskies (6-4, 0-1) scored eight straight points before Dijon Thompson made a jumper at the buzzer to draw UCLA within 37-30 at halftime. The Bruins opened the second half with a 13-4 run fueled by six Gadzuric points. Jason Kapono scored 14 of his 19 points in the second half, including a 10-footer with 14:27 left in the game that put UCLA ahead for good at 49-47. The Bruins extended the lead to as many as 11 points. Doug Wrenn came off the bench to score a career-high 23 points for UW. He was held out of the starting lineup due to a violation of team policy. Josh Barnard scored 14 points for the Huskies who also got 13 from Curtis Allen and 10 from Grant Leep. Billy Knight contributed 17 points for UCLA while Matt Barnes had 12 and T.J. Cummings 10. The Bruins shot 54 percent (30-56) from the field.
Recapping the Current 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 shot a season-low 28 percent in losing 67-47 to No. 25 Gonzaga (Dec. 11) in front of a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Bank of America Arena. UW lost 85-79 at home to No. 19 UCLA in the Pac-10 opener. That was the Bruins first win in Seattle since 1997.
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 ... Washington's Dec. 11 home game against Gonzaga was a sellout, the second sellout since Bank of America Arena re-opened in November 2000 with a new 10,000-seat configuration. The first sellout was on Jan. 13, 2001 against Arizona.
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 111-128 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 171-185. 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
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.
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.
'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 Saint Louis Series
> Saint Louis evened the all-time series with Washington at 6-6 with a 69-61 win last season in Seattle on Dec. 5, 2000.
> Washington won the previous meeting with a 69-60 win over the Billikens on Nov. 28, 1998 in the semifinal round of the Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hawai'i.
> Prior to the 1998 clash, UW and Saint Louis had not met since Dec. 27, 1966 when the Huskies posted a 91-82 decision at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore. That UW victory halted a four-game Billiken series winning streak.
> Saint Louis has a 3-1 advantage against UW in St. Louis where the Huskies have not visited since Dec. 23, 1957 when the Billikens won 89-63.
> Washington has a 14-16 all-time record against teams from Conference USA.
> In his third season as head coach at Saint Louis is Washington graduate Lorenzo Romar who lettered at UW in 1979 and 1980. Romar led the team in assists both seasons and was the Husky team captain in 1980. He was a seventh-round 1980 NBA draft pick by Golden State where he played from 1980-83 before playing with Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85).
> Romar, who began his collegiate head coaching career at Pepperdine, has a 1-0 record against his alma mater Washington.
> In his ninth season at Washington, Bob Bender has a 3-2 coaching record against Saint Louis, including a 2-1 mark while at Illinois State (1990-92) and 1-1 with the Huskies.
The Last Meeting
Saint Louis 69, UW 61 (Dec. 5, 2000, Seattle) -
Maurice Jeffers scored 10 of his career-high 18 points from the free throw line where Saint Louis posted a 15-point advantage in dealing Washington its first loss at newly-renovated Bank of America Arena, 69-61. The Billikens (5-1) converted 26-of-39 free throws compared with 11-of-19 for the Huskies (3-3). Trailing 19-15, Saint Louis closed the first half with a 15-3 run as Washington's only points over the final seven minutes came on a Thalo Green 3-pointer at 5:41. Jeffers hit four free throws inside the final five minutes as SLU capped the run with nine unanswered points to claim a 30-33 halftime lead. Jeffers along with starting frontline teammates Matt Baniak (16) and Chris Heinrich (12) accounted for 46 points and 25 rebounds. Will Perkins scored 13 of his team-high 15 points in the second half after playing only five first-half minutes due to foul trouble. The Huskies shot only 35 percent from the field (23-66), including a 4-for-22 effort from 3-point range. The Billikens led by as many as 14 points in the second half. Greg Clark added 11 points for UW which in the second half never drew closer than the final eight-point margin.
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.
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 nine games, averaging 10.9 minutes per contest while backing up starting point guard Curtis Allen. Conroy is averaging 2.5 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.