UW Men Seek Third Straight Win at Oregon's Mac Court
Feb. 22, 2002
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 23 -
UW at #15 Oregon, 7:00 p.m. PST
(No Local TV)
McArthur Court (9,087), Eugene, Ore.
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27 -
UW vs. Washington State, 7:30 p.m. PST
(Fox Sports Northwest TV)
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.
The Washington Huskies (10-16, 4-12) seek to spoil Oregon's perfect home season when they meet Saturday, Feb. 23 in Eugene. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at McArthur Court where the first-place and 15th-ranked Ducks (19-7, 11-4) boast a perfect 15-0 record. Oregon, which routed Washington State 115-77 on Thursday, is seeking to post an undefeated home record for the first time since 1938. Washington won 68-63 on Thursday at Oregon State to gain the inside track on the eighth, and final, berth to the Pac-10 Tournament. The Huskies were victorious in their last two visits to McArthur Court. Washington won this season's first meeting, upsetting then 19th-ranked Oregon 97-92 on Jan. 24 in Seattle. The Huskies close out the regular season at home on Wednesday, Feb. 27 against Washington State.
The top eight finishers in the final regular-season standings will compete March 7-9 in the Pac-10 Tournament at Los Angeles' Staples Center. This is the fifth Pac-10 Tournament, but the first since the conference stopped hosting the post-season event following the 1990 season. In the four previous Pac-10 events, between 1987-90, all 10 conference teams participated. The top seven teams in the current Pac-10 standings have clinched tournament berths. UW and Oregon State are vying for the final tournament berth.
Washington gained a one-game lead over Oregon State for eighth place, by virtue of Thursday's win. The Huskies also hold the tiebreaker advantage over OSU. The Pac-10's No. 1 tiebreaker, head-to-head record, doesn't apply as the teams split the season series. The second tiebreaker is each team's respective record against the conference leaders in descending order. UW has a win over Pac-10 co-leader Oregon to its credit while OSU's best victory is over seventh-place Arizona State. In order to overtake the Huskies, Oregon State would need to gain finish ahead of UW in the standings. The Beavers host Washington State on Saturday before playing at UCLA and USC next week. Washington plays Saturday at Oregon and hosts Washington State. Any combination of UW wins and OSU losses totaling two will clinch a Pac-10 Tournament berth for the Huskies.
Saturday's game will NOT be televised in Seattle. The next Husky telecast is Feb. 27. Fox Sports Northwest will air the UW-Washington State game live at 7:30 p.m. 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/
Sophomore forward Doug Wrenn's 19.7-point scoring average is the highest for a Husky since Chris Welp averaged 20.8 points in 1986-87. Wrenn led all Washington scorers in 11 straight games before being held to 6 and 14 points in his last two games. In those previous 11 games, Wrenn averaged 26.0 points and scored 36 percent of the Huskies' points (286 of 784). He topped the 30-point barrier four times with 32 against Oregon (Jan. 24), 34 at Washington State (Jan. 31), 30 at Arizona State (Feb. 9) and a career-high 35 at Arizona (Feb. 7) that marked the highest scoring output by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch had 38 at James Madison on Dec. 7, 1996. Wrenn reached the 30-point plateau in three consecutive games, becoming the third player in UW history to accomplish that feat. He has 11 games with at least 20 points and led all Husky scorers on 19 occasions. Wrenn has three double-doubles and is second on the team with 49 assists.
Washington has started nine different lineups this year after implementing 15 unique lineups last season. The lineup of Wrenn/Leep/Dixon/Allen/Knight started 15 of the Huskies' 26 games, posting a 6-9 record. The seven other starting units combined for a 4-7 record. After using the same lineup for 15 of the first 19 games, the Huskies have utilized different sets of starters in each six of the last seven outings. The rotating lineups have seen nine different players drawing at least one starting assignment. Senior center David Dixon is the only player to start every game this season.
The Oregon Series
> Washington has a 172-95 lead in the all-time series that began in 1904. The Huskies have a 68-62 lead over the Ducks in Eugene, including victories in their last two and three of their last four visits to McArthur Court.
> The Huskies won this season's first meeting, a 97-92 decision over then 19th-ranked Oregon on Jan. 24 in Seattle. That UW win snapped an unusual streak during which the visiting team won previous four Duck-Husky matchups.
> The last time Washington swept a season series against the Ducks was in 1997-98.
> Fifth-year Oregon Coach Ernie Kent has a 3-6 coaching record against UW.
> Ninth-year Washington Coach Bob Bender has a 7-10 record against Oregon, the only Pac-10 school he met during his initial head coaching assignment at Illinois State. His inaugural Redbird squad lost 81-79 at Oregon on Dec. 29, 1989.
> Bob Bender was recruited by then-Oregon head coach Dick Harter and took a recruiting visit to Eugene in 1975 while he was a high school senior. Ernie Kent was a UO player at that time. Bender eventually signed with Indiana University.
The Last Meeting
UW 97, #19 Oregon 92 (Jan. 24, 2002, Seattle)
Doug Wrenn scored six of his career-high 32 points in the final 1:22 to lift Washington to its first win over a ranked opponent in six tries, a 97-92 upset of No. 19 Oregon at Bank of America Arena. Washington (8-11, 2-7) stopped a three-game losing skid and halted a streak in its series with the Ducks in which the visiting won the previous four meetings. Oregon (14-5, 6-2) had its four-game winning streak snapped despite the 27 points of Frederick Jones and 23 from Luke Ridnour. Wrenn tallied 18 first-half points and the Huskies shot 54 percent en route to a 52-44 halftime lead. Oregon outscored UW 18-7 inside the opening four minutes of the second half to edge ahead 62-59. UO led 81-80 before Washington took the lead for good on a jumper by Josh Barnard with 2:50 left to play. Following a pair of Wrenn baskets, the Huskies converted 11 of 12 free throws during the final 41 seconds to secure the win. Curtis Allen made all 12 of his free throws, six of the in the final 0:32, and finished with 18 points for UW. Huskies Grant Leep and C.J. Massingale contributed 11 points. Luke Jackson netted 18 points for the Ducks who also got 10 from Brian Helquist.
Washington's schedule was rated the nation's second most difficult in the Feb. 21 Sagarin Ratings published by USA Today. Nine of the 16 Husky losses came against teams that are currently ranked. Six teams on the UW schedule were listed in this week's (Feb. 18) Associated Press top-25 poll, including seventh-ranked Gonzaga, Stanford (#10), Arizona (#14), Oregon (#15), USC (#20) and UCLA (#25). Oregon is the sixth ranked opponent in the last 12 games for the Huskies.
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 and ranks third among Pac-10 players with an average of 19.7 points per game, including a career-high 35-point performance at Arizona (Feb. 7). He tallied 30 points on four occasions, including a streak of three straight 30-point performances that tied the school record held by Louie Nelson (1973) and Bob Houbregs (1953). Wrenn 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. He topped all Husky scorers on 19 occasions and posted 21 double-figure games, including 11 outings with 20 points. Wrenn has three double doubles and ranks second on the team with 46 assists. A 1998 Parade All-American and Washington state prep Player of the Year, Wrenn red-shirted 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 rejected a school single-season record 126 shots this season, an average of 4.85 blocks per game that leads all Pac-10 teams. The Huskies surpassed the school record of 118 established by the 1993 UW squad that averaged 4.37 blocks per game. The Huskies have blocked five or more shots in 15 games this season after reaching the five-block plateau only five times all last season. Senior David Dixon has 60 blocks to rank second among Pac-10 players with an average of 2.31 per game. He ranks No. 3 among all-time Husky single-season leaders. Dixon's 91 career blocks rank No. 3 in the UW record book. Freshman Jeffrey Day ranks second on the Huskies and seventh in the conference with 30 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 Dixon whose seven blocks broke the individual UW record of six blocks accomplished twice by Chris Welp in 1986. Dixon matched his single-game record with seven blocks at WSU (Jan. 31).
Less is More
Fans will be seeing a lot less of 6-foot-11 senior center David Dixon this season. He shed 40 pounds from last year and his current 270-pound weight enables him to be more active and average 27.6 minutes per game. Last season, Dixon played 14.7 minutes per contest and averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds. He has been more effective this year, leading the team and ranking fourth among Pac-10 players with 7.6 rebounds per game. His 8.1-point scoring average is third best on the team. Dixon tallied double-figure points 11 times and has five double-doubles. Dixon's 198 rebounds are 101 more than the 97 he grabbed all last season.
Return to Sender
David Dixon has 60 blocked shots after registering 24 all last season. His 60 blocks are the third-highest single-season total in Washington history. He needs four blocks to move into the No. 2 spot ahead of Chris Welp who had 63 blocks in 1987. Dixon's 91 career blocked shots rank No. 3 on the school's all-time list, trailing only Chris Welp (186) and Todd MacCulloch (142) who each played four seasons to just three for Dixon. Dixon boasts the top three blocked shot games in Husky history. He denied 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 equaled his own school record with seven blocks at Washington State (Jan. 31). He had six rejections against Arizona State (Jan. 10). Dixon ranks second among all Pac-10 players with 60 blocked shots, an average of 2.31 blocks per game.
The Washington basketball players are wearing a black patch on the front of their jerseys with the initials 'D.E.' 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. As a write-in candidate, Erickson won an on-line vote in the fall in which fans were asked who they would like to have portrayed by a bobblehead doll. He received more votes than current Husky head coaches Bob Bender, Rick Neuheisel and June Daugherty did. Bobbleheads bearing his likeness were distributed to the first 2,500 spectators at the Feb. 16 men's basketball game against California and his family was recognized during pre-game ceremonies.
'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 voted 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. Allen posted career highs with 21 points and eight assists in UW's 77-64 win 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 19 of 26 games with a total of 117, an average of 4.5 per game. He is the 21st Husky to post a 100-assist season and currently ranks No. 10 among all-time UW playmakers. Last year, Allen distributed 65 assists, an average of 2.2 per contest. He had 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10), the second-highest total in UW history. Allen, who reached his previous career-best of eight by halftime, fell one shy of the school single-game assist record of 16 established by Rafael Stone at California on Feb. 20, 1970. His 3-point shooting is also vastly better. Allen is shooting 38.5 percent from beyond the arc (40-104) after shooting 3-pointers at a 25-percent clip last year. He has 40 treys, 20 more than last season's total of 20. Last season, Allen had one of the finest campaigns for a Husky rookie, ranking third among all-time freshmen in steals (29) and No. 4 in assists (65).
UW lost all 12 games when its opponents registered a superior field goal percentage and is 10-4 when out shooting its foes ... Jeffrey Day has 30 blocked shots, just two away from Todd MacCulloch's Washington freshman record of 32 established in 1996 ... Curtis Allen ranks second among Pac-10 players (87.7%) in free throw accuracy. He converted 20 consecutive free throws between Jan. 10-26 ... Allen hit all 12 of his free throws against Oregon (Jan. 24), tying the school's single-game percentage record. Six players have been perfect on 12 of more throws in all-time UW games led by the 14-for-14 effort of Bill Hanson against Idaho on March 10, 1961 ... The Huskies are shooting 68.2 percent from the free throw line (406-595), a drastic improvement from last season's 57.5-percent figure (355-617) that ranked last in the Pac-10 ... The Huskies' 97-92 win over Oregon (Jan. 24) marked the first time they trailed with 5:00 remaining and won the game. UW has a 1-14 record in games when trailing at the 5:00 mark ... UW players posted 16 games of 20-or-more points, doubling last season's entire total of eight 20-point individual outings.
Washington senior Grant Leep leads all Pac-10 players in 3-point percentage, having converted 50 percent (33-66) of his trey tries. Leep leads a Husky team that is shooting 35.0 percent (154-440) from 3-point range, an improvement from last season's 30.6-percent figure.
Freshman guard Erroll 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. Knight started 19 of 26 games this season. He ranks fifth on the team with a 6.8-point scoring average. Knight scored 19 points and led the team with eight rebounds against Arizona State (Jan. 10). 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.
The youthful Huskies have a roster that includes seven freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and three seniors. Ten of 16 UW athletes had never played a game at Washington before this season. The predominantly local list of athletes includes 13 of 16 players from high schools in the state of Washington.
Last Husky Game
UW 68, Oregon State 63 (Feb. 21, 2002, Corvallis, Ore.)
Curtis Allen scored 13 of his 15 points in the first half as Washington took control early and held on to defeat Oregon State 68-63 at Gill Coliseum. The Huskies (10-16, 4-12) took over eighth place and the inside track for the final berth in the Pac-10 Tournament. The win snapped UW's five-game losing streak against Oregon State (11-15, 3-12) which was playing without Jimmie Haywood and Brian Jackson who left the team earlier in the week. Washington scored nine unanswered points to take a 13-5 lead en route to a 34-22 halftime margin. The Huskies scored their last basket with 4:42 left to play on a jumper by Doug Wrenn who tallied 12 of his 14 points after intermission. UW went ahead 61-51, but did not score for the next 3:10 while the Beavers reeled off seven straight points to trim the margin to 61-58. The Huskies, who had only two previous free throw attempts, converted 7-of-8 free throws inside the final 0:31 to secure the victory. Phillip Ricci led all scorers with 24 points for OSU which also got 19 from Brandon Payton and 13 from J.S. Nash. David Dixon scored 12 points for the Huskies and Erroll Knight added 11.
Doug Wrenn tallied a career-high 35 points at Arizona (Feb. 7), the highest scoring output by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch scored 38 at James Madison on Dec. 7, 1996 ... Wrenn's four 30-point outings are the third-best single-season total by a Husky and are the most since Louie Nelson had five during the 1972-73 campaign ... Curtis Allen converted 20 consecutive free throws between Jan. 10-26 ... Allen distributed 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10), just one shy of the school single-game record of 16 set by Rafael Stone in 1970 ... 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 ... Curtis Allen was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3, the first time a Washington player received the conference award since Deon Luton on Feb. 8, 1999 ... Ten of the 16 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 who was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib ... UW'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.
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.
Freshmen Jeffrey Day and Will Conroy have already made their mark on the Washington record book. Both are climbing the charts among all-time Husky freshmen. Day has 30 blocked shots, the second-highest single-season total ever for a UW freshman. He needs three blocks to eclipse the school's frosh record of 32 established in 1996 by Todd MacCulloch. Conroy distributed 42 assists to rank 10th among all-time Husky rookie playmakers. Conroy needs three assists to move into the No. 7 spot ahead of Thalo Green who had 44 assists in 1998.
Freshman Charles Frederick, who began practicing with the basketball team on Dec. 31, suited up for the first time on Jan. 4 at UCLA. He saw his first game action on Jan. 6 at USC, an eight-minute stint during which he had two points, two assists and one steal. He has played five games. Frederick is a scholarship receiver on the Husky football team that concluded its season Dec. 28 with a 47-43 loss to Texas in the Holiday Bowl. Frederick was the leading punt returner for the Huskies with a 14.6-yard average, including an 87-yard TD return against Idaho (Sept. 22). He was a Sporting News Freshman All-America pick. Frederick was a top-50 national recruit in football and basketball. He averaged 19 points and eight steals from his point guard position as a senior in 2001 at Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Fla.
Good seats are available for all Washington home games. The Pepsi 'Fun for Four' Family Pack offers 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 and $3 for current UW students. 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
Washington completed its non-conference schedule with a 6-4 record, its first winning record since the 1998-99 team posted a 7-3 record. UW had a 5-7 non-conference record in 1999-2000 and was 6-6 last season.
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 Washington State Series
> Washington won eight of the last 11 meetings and owns a 161-90 advantage in the series that began in 1910. WSU won the last two meetings with the Huskies, both in Pullman
> The Cougars won this season's first meeting by an 81-79 margin on Jan. 31 in Pullman. WSU has not swept a season series from the Huskies since 1994.
> Washington owns a 93-31 advantage over the Cougars during games played in Seattle, including seven straight home victories. The last WSU win in Seattle was a 67-46 decision on Jan. 29, 1994.
> Third-year Washington State coach Paul Graham has a 2-3 record against the Huskies.
> Ninth-year Husky coach Bob Bender has a 10-7 record against WSU.
The Last Meeting
Washington State 81, UW 79 (Jan. 31, 2002, Pullman, Wash.)
Marcus Moore scored 18 of his 28 points inside the final 10 minutes, helping Washington State snap a 12-game losing streak with an 81-79 win over Washington at Friel Court. Moore tallied nine of the final 11 points for the Cougars (5-14, 1-10) who won their first Pac-10 game. The Huskies (8-13, 2-9) lost despite the career-high 34 points of Doug Wrenn who scored 22 in the second half, including 11 straight UW points during one five-minute stretch. The Huskies scored 11 unanswered points to take a nine-point lead before WSU closed within 38-37 at halftime. Curtis Allen had 18 points and gave UW its final lead at 76-74 on a 3-pointer with 2:31 left to play. Moore answered with a layup and Mike Bush gave WSU the lead for good on a dunk with 1:40 remaining. Washington had a chance to send the game into overtime when Will Conroy was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer with 0:01 left. He made the first, but missed the second and third free throws. Jerry McNair scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half for the Cougars. David Dixon tied his own UW single-game record with seven blocked shots.