Huskies Begin 102nd Season of Men's Hoops
Nov. 18, 2003
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 21 --
Washington vs. Portland State; 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash. - No TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KHHO (AM 850) in Puget Sound Area
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 --
Washington vs. UC Riverside; 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash. - No TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound area
The Washington Huskies (0-0) begin regular-season play at home this weekend, entertaining Portland State (0-0) on Friday, Nov. 21. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus. Washington won all four previous meetings with the Vikings, including a 94-63 decision on Nov. 28, 2000 in the most recent encounter. On Monday, Nov. 24, the Huskies host UC Riverside (0-0) for the first time ever at 7 p.m. UW split its two exhibition games, winning 89-78 over the EA Sports All-Stars on Nov. 8 before losing 85-76 against Athletes in Action. This is Washington's second season under head coach Lorenzo Romar. a two-year letterman point guard for the Huskies from 1978-80. Romar was hired April 3, 2002 as the school's first African-American basketball coach. He served three-year head coaching stints at Pepperdine (1997-99) and Saint Louis (2000-02) before returning to UW.
Washington has a 73-28 all-time record in season-opening games. The Huskies won seven of their last nine openers, but lost 56-53 against Montana State last year in Seattle. The Huskies have an 81-19 all-time record in home opening games. After winning five consecutive home openers from 1995-99, UW lost three of its last four.
Friday's season opener will be broadcast on KHHO (850 AM) in the Puget Sound area due to a programming conflict on KJR, Washington's flagship station. All Husky men's basketball games are broadcast live on the Husky Sports Network. The majority of games will air on KJR Radio (AM 950) in the Seattle area. Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play for the 17th season. He will be joined on home broadcasts by color commentator Jason Hamilton, a UW point guard from 1994-96. Game play-by-play and stats can be followed live in a text format via the internet at: www.gohuskies.com
A young, extremely athletic group of players pursues Washington's first winning season and post-season appearance since 1999. Four primary starters return from last season's 10-17 squad. Seven of the top-eight scorers are back, including freshman All-American Nate Robinson who topped all UW players in 2003 with a scoring average of 13.0. Only one senior (Curtis Allen) is listed on the Husky roster that features just two players (Allen, Will Conroy) who have played more than one full season in a Husky uniform. The backcourt will be strong with future star Brandon Roy available for a full season and the addition of high-scoring junior college transfer Tre Simmons who averaged nearly 30 points at Green River (Wash.) Community College. The frontcourt features the talented trio of sophomores Mike Jensen, Bobby Jones and Anthony Washington. Muscular transfer Hakeem Rollins (Mesa JC, Ariz.) will contribute physical post play.
Seven different Huskies registered double-figure points during the two exhibition games. Five UW players reached the double-digit mark against EA Sports (Nov. 8) and six did so against Athletes in Action (Nov. 12). UW had five double-digit scorers in four games during the entire 2002-03 season ... The quartet of Will Conroy (29), Brandon Roy (27), Tre Simmons (27) and Anthony Washington (18) accounted for 101 of UW's 165 points (61%) during the two exhibitions. All four are products of Seattle's Garfield High School ... Four Husky opponents were ranked in the preseason A.P. poll: Arizona (4), Gonzaga (10), Stanford (19) & N.C. State (24) ... UW's 2004 schedule features 15 games against 2003 postseason competitors, including 12 versus seven opponents who competed in the NCAA Tournament ... Freshmen accounted for 40 percent (787 of 1955) of UW's points last year and were five of the team's top eight scorers ... Eleven of the 16 players listed on the Husky roster are from the state of Washington, including seven from the immediate Seattle area.
The Portland State Series
> Washington won all four previous meetings against Portland State, all of them were played in Seattle.
> The Huskies won the most recent matchup 94-63 on Nov. 28, 2000. UW posted an 83-70 victory on Nov. 30, 1996. That game broke a 23-year hiatus in the series that was due to Portland State disbanding its basketball program from 1981 until 1996.
> Washington won 101-85 on Dec. 3, 1971 in the inaugural meeting with the Vikings and was victorious 64-59 on Jan. 27, 1973.
> The UW has a 60-16 all-time record against teams from the Big Sky Conference.
> Second-year Viking Coach Heath Schroyer has never competed against Washington in a head coaching capacity.
> Washington's Lorenzo Romar has never coached against Portland State.
The Last Meeting
UW 94, Portland State 63 (Nov. 28, 2000; Seattle)
Will Perkins posted his third straight double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds, helping Washington turn a one-point halftime deficit into a 94-63 rout of Portland State at Bank of America Arena. The Vikings (0-3) held UW scoreless for nearly four minutes, opening a 6-0 lead. The Huskies hit only three of their first 18 shots from the field en route to a 36-35 halftime deficit. Washington (2-1) scored the first 10 points of the second half, including four from Perkins, to take the lead for good at 45-36 with 16:51 left to play. Greg Clark scored seven of his nine points in a three-minute stretch late in the game, fueling a 13-point UW run that put the game out of reach. The 31-point margin was the Huskies' largest in 61 games while the 94-point output was their biggest in 67 games dating to March of 1998. PSU made only 11 field goals in the second half and shot just 34-percent (25-73) for the game. The Vikings were led by the 21 points of Charles Madison. Jamaal Thomas added 14 points for PSU. Joining Perkins in double-figure scoring were Thalo Green with 14 points, Michael Johnson with 12 and Bryan Brown with 11.
Nate the Great
High-flying sophomore guard Nate Robinson will concentrate on basketball this season after having an huge impact last year on both the hardwood and the gridiron. Robinson garnered Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 honors after leading UW with a 13.0-point scoring average. He had eight points in 23 minutes Jan. 2 against UCLA after starting two days earlier in UW's 34-24 loss to Purdue in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31. Robinson registered 17 double-figure outings and topped all UW scorers a team-high 11 times in his 23 games. The 5-9 leaper was spectacular in his second collegiate outing, amassing 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 18 minutes at Santa Clara (Dec. 7). He followed that up with another 19-point effort, against Eastern Washington (Dec. 14). Robinson suited up, but did not play in the Nov. 24 season opener, one day after grabbing a critical interception for the Husky football team that upset No. 3 Washington State 29-26 in Pullman. Robinson was a prep All-American in both football and basketball. He started the final six Husky football games at cornerback and recorded two interceptions. Robinson averaged 17.2 yards on six kick-off returns. His first practice with the basketball team was Nov. 26. Robinson entered UW on a football scholarship, but switched to basketball. He was the 2002 Washington Class AAA state basketball player of the year after averaging 17.9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals for state champion Rainier Beach of Seattle. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a standout running back on the UW football team and ranks seventh among all-time Huskies with 2,300 career yards. Jacque is the only player to earn MVP honors in both the Rose (1982) and Orange (1985) Bowls.
A lot was new last season, the first under head coach Lorenzo Romar. The 2003 roster listed six freshmen and only one senior (Marlon Shelton). Five of those freshmen, including red-shirt frosh Mike Jensen, started at least two games. The Huskies opened three games with four freshmen and a sophomore (Will Conroy) in the starting lineup. The abundance of youth produced inconsistent results. Washington posted impressive victories against NCAA Tournament-bound teams Stanford and Oregon, but also suffered several narrow defeats and did not qualify for the Pac-10 Tournament. UW lost 10 games by 10-or-fewer points and dropped three overtime contests en route to a ninth-place conference finish. The Huskies had a 10-17 record with a 5-13 Pac-10 ledger.
High School Reunion
Every time the Huskies take the floor it amounts to a reunion of alums from Seattle's Garfield High School. Four former prep teammates are listed on the Washington roster; juniors Will Conroy and Tre Simmons along with sophomores Brandon Roy and Anthony Washington. That Garfield team also featured current USC guard Roydell Smiley and Isaiah Stanback a red-shirt freshman who plays on the Husky football team. The Garfield quartet combined for 101 of UW's 165 points in the two exhibition games, accounting for 61 percent of the offensive output.
Producing Point Guards
UW point guards Will Conroy (Garfield HS) and Nate Robinson (Rainier Beach HS) both hail from the city of Seattle. The Emerald City has produced some jewels on the hardwood, a legacy of point guards that is highlighted by former Arizona standout Jason Terry and Michigan's Jamal Crawford. Three Pac-10 schools may start Seattle natives at the point this season, including Aaron Brooks (Franklin HS) at Oregon and Rodrick Stewart (Rainier Beach HS) at USC along with the UW duo. Other prominent point guards from the state of Washington include Gonzaga's John Stockton (Spokane) and Dan Dickau (Prairie), Oregon's Luke Ridnour (Blaine) and current Florida freshman Ryan Appleby (Stanwood).
Home Sweet Home
The Huskies play all of their home games in recently renovated Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion. From March of 1999 to November of 2000, the Pavilion's 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 has a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 765 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena.
The most improved player in the Pac-10 last season was point guard Will Conroy, now a junior at Washington. His 12.7-point sophomore scoring average was 10.2 better than his freshman average of 2.5 points, the largest improvement by any Pac-10 player. Despite playing all 29 games in 2002 and starting the final seven, Conroy did not have a double-figure scoring game. He had 19 double-figure performances last season and led all Husky scorers in eight games. Conroy ranked 21st among Pac-10 scorers (12.7 ppg) and distributed a team-high 108 assists to rank fifth among Pac-10 playmakers (4.0 apg). He amassed a career-high 32 points at Gonzaga, including a 3-pointer that forced overtime. Conroy ranked 11th among Pac-10 players with 33 steals (1.22 spg).
Arguably the quickest player in the conference, guard Curtis Allen is the lone senior on the Washington roster. He led the Huskies last season with 52 treys, 23 more 3-pointers than any of his teammates. Allen has amassed 820 points during his career and needs 180 more to become the 28th player in UW history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He missed only two free throws in 46 attempts last season, a 95.7-percent figure that would have easily led the conference except he was 10 free throws shy of the minimum standard for the Pac-10 statistical rankings. Allen's current career free throw mark of 87.7 percent (178-203) is the best in school history. He ranks second among all-time Pac-10 players behind only former UCLA standout Rod Foster who shot 88.0% from the line between 1980-83. Allen distributed 126 assists in 2002, the seventh-highest total in Husky history. A starter during parts of each of his previous three seasons, Allen was voted to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team in 2001. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3, 2001 after averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 assists in a pair of Husky wins. Allen distributed 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10, 2002), the second-highest total in UW history. He fell one shy of the school single-game assist record of 16 established by Rafael Stone in 1970.
Sophomore guard Brandon Roy is expected to emerge as a rising star in his first full collegiate season. He was a consensus top-50 national recruit among the prep class of 2002, but was not declared eligible by the NCAA until Jan. 16, 2003. Roy played 13 games with two starts last season, averaging 6.1 points per game. He averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during the final four games of 2003. Roy applied for the 2002 NBA Draft out of high school, but did not attend any pre-draft camps and withdrew his application prior to the draft. He is the fourth product of Seattle's Garfield High School on the current Husky basketball roster, joining Will Conroy, Tre Simmons and Anthony Washington.
Half of Washington's 16-player roster is comprised of first-year Huskies, including three transfers, one scholarship freshman and four walk-ons. The newcomers most likely to contribute immediately are junior college transfers Tre Simmons (Green River CC) and Hakeem Rollins (Mesa JC). Simmons is a prolific scorer who averaged 29.8 points last season with two 50-point performances. Rollins is a physical inside presence who will challenge sophomore Anthony Washington for playing time at the post position. Freshman Hans Gasser is a versatile 6-9 forward from Issaquah (Wash.) High School who also could see early playing time.
Lorenzo Romar begins his second season at Washington. He was named to head up the program at his alma mater on April 3, 2002. A point guard for the Huskies' 1978-79 and 1979-80 teams, he is the 18th head coach in Washington's 102-year history and the first African-American to lead the program. Romar has compiled a 103-105 record in seven seasons as a head coach, including an 10-17 mark during his first campaign at Washington. He recorded his 100th career coaching victory on Jan. 18, 2003 with a 73-68 win over Stanford. In three years at Saint Louis from 1999-2002, he compiled a 51-44 (.537) mark. At both Pepperdine and Saint Louis, Romar helped revive programs to a competitive level. He led the Waves to a three-year record of 42-44 (.488) from 1996-99, including a pair of second-place finishes in the West Coast Conference and an NIT invitation in 1999. His first Saint Louis squad upset top-ranked Cincinnati in the Conference USA tournament and went on to win the championship and an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. Twice during the past two seasons Romar's Saint Louis teams defeated Washington. Seattle was the site of one of Romar's greatest coaching moments. As an assistant coach, he helped guide UCLA to an 89-78 triumph over Arkansas in the Kingdome to win the 1995 NCAA Championship. Cameron Dollar, now a UW assistant coach, was one of the stars for the Bruins during that national title contest. Romar built a reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters while an assistant at UCLA (1992-1996) and was credited with recruiting much of the talent that formed the core of the Bruins' title team. UCLA's record during Romar's four-year assistant coaching tenure was 97-28 (.776). A native of Compton, Calif., Romar graduated from Pius X High School. He earned his associate degree from Cerritos (Calif.) Community College in 1978 before studying at Washington from 1978-80. He completed his coursework at Cincinnati, receiving his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1992. After starting two seasons at UW for legendary coach Marv Harshman, Romar was selected in the seventh round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. His five-year NBA career included stints with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). Following the 1984-85 season, Romar joined Athletes in Action (AIA), a touring exhibition team on which he served as player-coach from 1989-1992. Romar is the second former UW player to return as the head coach, joining Lynn Nance who coached the Huskies from 1989-93.
Lorenzo Romar's staff is comprised of second-year assistant coaches Ken Bone, Cameron Dollar and Russ Schoene. Bone was the head coach at perennial NCAA Division II championship contender Seattle Pacific during the previous 12 seasons. After a stellar playing career at UCLA (1994-97) that included the 1995 NCAA championship, Dollar served the previous three years as an assistant coach on Romar's Saint Louis staff. Schoene was a standout collegian at Tennessee Chattanooga (1981-82) who played four seasons in the NBA, including three years (1987-89) with the Seattle Sonics.
Last UW Game
Athletes in Action 85, UW 76 (Nov. 12, 2003/Seattle)
Former Penn State star Joe Crispin scored 23 points, and California alum Solomon Hughes added 13 points and 10 rebounds as Athletes in Action rallied from a 14-point first-half deficit to beat Washington 85-76 at Bank of America Arena in the Huskies' final exhibition contest. Will Conroy scored a team-high 14 points for Washington, which saw six players score in double figures. AIA committed 24 turnovers, including 15 in a first half during which the Huskies raced to a 14-2 lead eight minutes into the game. Ten first-half points from Nate Robinson helped UW extend its lead to 14, at 31-17, with just 5:38 left in the half. A quick pair of threes from Crispin ignited a 16-5 AIA run to end the half, cutting the UW lead to 36-33 at the break. AIA scored 20 points in the opening seven minutes of the second half to take a 53-47 lead. Seven straight points by Tre Simmons put the Huskies up 60-55 with 8:48 to play. Washington scored just four points in the game's next seven minutes, including a five-minute scoring drought during which AIA scored 15 consecutive points to take a 74-64 lead it would not relinquish. Simmons finished with 13 points for UW while Brandon Roy added 12, Curtis Allen 11 and Robinson 10. Washington outrebounded AIA 40-36, but missed 54 shots - three more than Athletes in Action attempted the entire game. The Huskies finished with 39 percent shooting on 87 attempts, including a 6-of-22 mark behind the 3-point arc.
Good seats are available for all Washington home games, including season tickets and other special packages. The Pepsi '4 for $40' Family Plan is perfect for quartets of all ages and includes four $10 bleacher seats, four Pepsi drinks and four hot dogs. All seats are reserved and priced at $20, $18 and $10. University of Washington students with current student i.d. can purchase individual game tickets for $3 or buy a student season pass for $30 that is also good for women's games. For ticket information please visit or call (206-543-2200) the Husky Ticket Office, located in the Graves Building, or go on-line via the athletic department website: (Husky Basketball Tickets)
The UC Riverside Series
> Washington and UC Riverside have never before met in men's basketball.
> The Huskies have an 18-8 all-time record against teams from the Big West Conference.
> In his 25th year at the Highlanders' helm, John Masi has never coached against UW.
> Washington's Lorenzo Romar has never coach against UC Riverside.
Washington received a letter of intent on Nov. 17, 2003 from prep school wing player Joel Smith. 'Joel is athletic and he knows how to play. He plays hard all the time. Put him out there and he will do something to help your team,' says Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar. Smith is currently a senior at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H. who will join the Huskies in the fall of 2004. Washington has another scholarship to offer during the late signing period (April 14-May 19).
Joel Smith, 6-5, 190, guard/forward, Lompoc, Calif.
(Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H. / Lompoc HS, Calif.)
The No. 18-rated small forward among the high school class of 2004 by TheInsidersHoops.com ... An honorable mention prep All-America selection by Street & Smith's ... Averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 2003 at Brewster ... The Bobcats advanced to the league semifinals and were ranked 10th in the final 2003 Prep School Poll ... Was the 2002 Northern League MVP his final year at Lompoc (Calif.) High School after leading the team with 22 points and 13 rebounds per game.
Romar on Radio
The Washington Basketball Coaches' Show with Lorenzo Romar airs weekly from 7:30-8:00 p.m. on KJR (AM-950). The day of the week varies. The show is hosted by play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau along with KJR Radio personality David Locke. The next broadcasts are Wednesday, Nov. 19 at 7:30 and Wednesday, Nov. 26 at 7:30.
Washington completed its 15-game 2002-03 home schedule averaging 6,799 spectators per game. That was the largest attendance figure at the Huskies' on-campus arena since the 1984-85 season drew an average of 6,979. UW averaged 7,851 fans during the 2000 season while playing at KeyArena in downtown Seattle during the Edmundson Pavilion renovation. The Huskies drew an average of 7,840 fans last year during nine home Pac-10 contests, an increase of 1,231 from the 2001-02 season's conference average of 6,609.
The Huskies twice played before capacity home crowds at Bank of America Arena last season. They sold out games against Arizona (Feb. 6) and Oregon (Feb. 22). There have been four sellouts since Bank of America Arena re-opened in 2000-01 with the current 10,000-seat configuration. On Feb. 6, a record crowd of 10,028 attended UW's 88-85 overtime loss to Arizona.