Huskies-Aztecs Clash Tuesday in Seattle
Dec. 6, 2004
TUESDAY, DECEMBER 7 --
#16 Washington vs. San Diego State; 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
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 12 --
#16 Washington at Loyola Marymount; 12:30 p.m. PST
Gersten Pavilion (4,156); Los Angeles, Calif. -- FSN Northwest TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
The 16th-ranked Washington Huskies (5-1) seek to register their best start in six seasons when they entertain San Diego State (4-1), Tuesday, Dec. 7. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus. Washington won the only previous meeting with the Aztecs, a 92-81 decision last season in San Diego. The Huskies' current 5-1 record matches the 2001-02 squad after six games, but that team lost its seventh outing. UW can equal the 6-1 start of the 1997-98 squad that finished the season with an appearance in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Neither of those other fast starting Husky teams faced the difficult schedule the current unit was confronted with. The Huskies were victorious in their opening four games for the first time since the start of the 1998-99 campaign, capped by a 79-76 victory over No. 19 Alabama (Nov. 27) in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout. The Huskies, who also defeated Utah and Oklahoma in Anchorage, were declared the national Team of the Week by ESPN.com and collegeinsider.com. Washington's only loss was a 99-87 setback at Gonzaga on Dec. 1. The Huskies are in the midst of a stretch of seven home dates in a span of eight games. They play at Loyola Marymount on Sunday, Dec. 12 before beginning a five-game homestand, Dec. 19 against No. 12 North Carolina State.
Tuesday's UW-San Diego State game airs on the Husky Radio Network. The game will be broadcast on flagship station KJR (AM 950) throughout the Puget Sound area. Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton call the action.
At least 19 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season, most of them on FSN. The Huskies' next television appearance is Sunday, Dec. 12 at Loyola Marymount at 12:30 p.m. on FSN Northwest.
Home Sweet Home
The Huskies play all of their home games in 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 features a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 778 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. They registered an 11-3 home record last season. Washington is 2-0 at home this season.
Washington is one of just six participants from the 2004 NCAA Tournament that return all five starting players in 2005. Also returning its entire starting lineup from last year are Illinois, Michigan State, North Carolina, Syracuse and Wake Forest.
The Huskies' triumph at the Great Alaska Shootout marked their first tournament championship since November of 1998 when they beat Georgia Tech for the Big Island Invitational title in Hilo, Hi.
The San Diego State roster features two players who transferred from the Pac-10: Travis Hanour (Arizona) and Chris Manker (Oregon State). Another Aztec, Chris Walton, is the brother of Luke (Arizona) and son of Bill (UCLA) who played in the Pac-10.
Nate Robinson has registered four 20-point games this year. He reached the 20-point plateau on five occasions all last season.
Washington won its last nine home games, its longest Seattle streak since 1999. The last home loss was Jan. 10, 2004 vs. UCLA..
Washington junior Brandon Roy was diagnosed Nov. 29 with a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and was projected to miss from four to six weeks. He was sidelined the last three UW games. Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery Nov. 30 to repair his right knee. The 6-foot-5 guard suffered the knee injury Nov. 26 in the first half of the Huskies' victory over Oklahoma. He played 12 minutes in that Great Alaska Shootout semifinal (Nov. 26). Roy sat out the entire second half and missed all of the Nov. 27 championship game win over Alabama. Roy currently ranks second on the team with an 18.0-point scoring average. He was shooting 62 percent from the field (24-of-39).
The San Diego State Series
> Tuesday marks the second all-time meeting between the Aztecs and UW, the first in Seattle.
> The Huskies won the first meeting, a 92-81 decision last season in San Diego.
> Washington has a 23-20 all-time record against Mountain West Conference members, including Air Force (1-0), Brigham Young (10-8), Colorado State (1-1), UNLV (1-2), New Mexico (2-2), San Diego State (1-0), Utah (2-1) and Wyoming (5-6).
> In his sixth year at San Diego State, Steve Fisher has a 1-2 coaching record against Washington, the first two meetings coming during his eight-year head coaching stint at Michigan between 1990-97.
> In his third year at UW, Lorenzo Romar has a 1-0 record against the Aztecs.
The Last Meeting
UW 92, San Diego State 81 (Dec. 27, 2003/San Diego, Calif.)
Will Conroy scored 12 points, including back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the second half that helped Washington hold off San Diego State en route to a 92-81 win at Cox Arena. The Huskies (4-3) trailed for the last time at 40-38 before closing out the first half with a 12-3 run. Their 50-43 halftime lead grew to as many as 15 points before the Aztecs (7-5) whittled the margin to four points, ignited by 10 consecutive points from Brandon Heath. SDSU drew within 73-69 on a layup by Aerick Sanders with 7:35 left to play. Washington responded with a 15-3 surge, sparked by Conroy's consecutive treys, that put the game away. Conroy hit four 3-pointers and matched Brandon Roy for top assist honors with eight. UW was credited with assists on 24 of its 32 field goals. Bobby Jones led the Huskies with a career-high 19 points and led a 36-25 rebound advantage with seven boards. Nate Robinson had 16 points for UW and Tre Simmons added 13. Heath tallied 23 points for the Aztecs who also got 18 from Sanders and 13 from Wesley Stokes.
Washington was finally at full strength Friday (Nov. 26) with the return of sharpshooting senior Tre Simmons who missed the first two games. That didn't last long as Brandon Roy played only 12 minutes before injuring his right knee. Roy did not play the last three games and is projected to be out another three to five weeks. The Huskies had only six scholarship players available for the Nov. 19 home opener as four players were suspended and two others, Ryan Appleby and Zach Johnson, are red-shirting. Will Conroy, Bobby Jones, Jamaal Williams and Simmons were held out of the Nov. 19 game after being declared ineligible for a secondary NCAA rules infraction. Simmons missed UW's second game, Nov. 25 against Utah. Those four participated in an organized basketball competition in violation of the NCAA rule prohibiting Division I student-athletes from playing in outside competition during the academic year. They participated in one game during May in a league at a SeaTac area gym. Simmons participated in two games. The Washington coaching staff became aware of their players' participation in the unauthorized competition and immediately reported the incident to the UW compliance office. UW investigated the matter and self-reported the violation to the NCAA. The NCAA Student-Athlete Reinstatement staff accepted UW's report and self-imposed penalties.
All five Washington starters return from last season's NCAA Tournament team and Pac-10 runner-up. The Huskies' top seven scorers are back, including five players who averaged double-figure points. UW boasts one of the nation's best backcourts, led by Wooden Award candidate Nate Robinson. The athletic 5-9 junior, who led the team with a 13.2-point scoring average, applied for the 2004 NBA Draft. He excelled at the pre-draft camp, but withdrew his application after deciding to return to UW. Also back are junior all-district honoree Brandon Roy and senior point guard Will Conroy. Roy averaged 12.9 points and led the Huskies with 5.3 rebounds per game last year. Conroy distributed 142 assists in 2004, the second-highest single-season total in school history. Sensational sixth-man Tre Simmons led the team with 48 treys. The frontcourt features a trio of players who each contribute in a significant way. Junior Bobby Jones is arguably the best defender in the Pac-10. Junior Mike Jensen is a strong inside force who stepped out to hit a team-high 41 percent from 3-point range. Senior Hakeem Rollins led the Huskies with 38 blocked shots. That nucleus is enhanced by the addition of transfer Jamaal Williams, a strong inside presence who averaged 11.3 points and 5.1 rebounds in 2003 at New Mexico. The roster's lone freshman is athletic swingman Joel Smith who will vie for time in the playing rotation.
Coming off an appearance in the 2004 NCAA Tournament, Washington was ranked in the preseason polls for the first time in six years, opening at No. 22 in the Associated Press poll and No. 24 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches' poll. They dropped two spots to No. 16 in this week's AP rankings and five places to No. 21 in the ESPN poll. Arizona, listed 15th in both polls, is the only higher ranked Pac-10 team. This year marked the Huskies' first mention in the preseason rankings since November of 1998 when they were coming off a berth in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. This was only the second time UW appeared in the preseason national rankings since 1985. The Huskies opened the 1998-99 campaign ranked No. 14 in both the coaches' and Associated Press polls. They remained ranked for four weeks before dropping out of the polls after being ranked No. 22 on Dec. 8, 1998. That was UW's last appearance in the polls until now. That four-week run also marked UW's only national ranking since Jan. 5, 1985. Four opponents on the UW schedule are currently ranked; No. 16 North Carolina State, No. 21 Arizona and No. 22 Alabama. Four other UW opponents, Gonzaga (26), Stanford (34), Oklahoma (35), Utah (39) and Oregon (48), also received votes.
Romar on the Rankings
'I hear coaches ranked No. 1 say that what counts is where you are ranked at the end of the season. I agree with that part, but a lot of times coaches that say that are ranked every year,' third-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar explained. 'We have not been ranked since we've been here, so that would be a compliment to our program at this point. It shows that things are moving in the right direction.'
Six players are averaging double-figure points for Washington, which is scoring at an 86.3-point clip. UW's school-record final season average of 84.8 points was established in 1972. Five Huskies tallied double-figure points in the win over Oklahoma (Nov. 26) and again at Gonzaga (Dec. 1). Washington had five double-figure scorers in seven of the final eight games last season. UW featured a balanced offense in 2004 with five players averaging double-figure points. All five return this season. The last time five Huskies had finished a season in double figures was the 1975 campaign. Seven different players led UW in scoring during a game and five turned in a 20-point performance a year ago.
Washington averaged 82.0 points per game last season, the highest scoring output since the 1972 Huskies finished with a school record 84.8-point average. UW ranked second among Pac-10 teams in scoring and was listed No. 6 among NCAA Division I teams in scoring average. UW's 100-point outburst against UAB (Mar. 19) was its highest total in a postseason game. The Huskies reached the 100-point plateau three times for the first time since the 1980-81 season. The 103-99 overtime decision at Oregon State (Jan. 17) matched the highest total ever for UW in an enemy arena. It equaled a 103-70 win at Washington State on Feb. 1, 1975. The 104-91 win over Eastern Washington (Nov. 29) marked UW's highest point total in 311 games, dating to a 130-67 win over Chico State on Dec. 1, 1992. It was UW's first 100-point effort in 159 games, dating to a 101-86 win at USC on Jan. 29, 1998. The Huskies reached the 90-point plateau 11 times last season, a figure they reached only once in 2003. That is the most 90-point plus performances for a Washington team since the 1972 squad registered 12.
UW's Last Game
#14 UW 89, Eastern Washington 56 (Dec. 5, 2004/Seattle)
Tre Simmons scored 20 points, eight of them during an early surge that propelled No. 14 Washington to an 89-56 victory over Eastern Washington at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (5-1) led the entire game that opened with a 3-pointer by Will Conroy. After the Eagles (2-3) scored a basket, UW went on a 20-4 run that Simmons fueled with eight points. UW led 54-29 at halftime, a lead that never dropped below 21 points the rest of the way. Simmons and Jamaal Williams each had four steals for the Huskies who had 14 as a team and forced 30 turnovers. Nate Robinson, who tied for team-high honors with 20 points, led UW with seven rebounds and seven assists. Conroy finished with 11 points. Jacob Beitinger paced the Eagles with 14 points. Marc Axton was held to seven points, 16 below his team-leading average of 23.0.
Nate the Great
High-flying Nate Robinson leads Washington in points (21.3 ppg), assists (5.7 apg) and steals (1.8). He distributed a career-high eight assists in a win over Oklahoma (Nov. 26) and matched that figure at Gonzaga (Dec. 1). Robinson registered four 20-point games after reaching the 20-point plateau five times all of last season. He was named the Most Outstanding Player of the Great Alaska Shootout where he led all UW scorers against Utah (29) and Oklahoma (19). Robinson garnered first-team All-Pac-10 accolades in 2004. He should be in line for even more honors in 2005. Robinson is a Wooden Award nominee and received All-America acclaim in several preseason publications. He led UW and ranked 13th among Pac-10 players in 2004 with 13.2 points per game. Robinson topped the team and was third among the conference leaders in steals (53) and free throw accuracy (85.3%). Robinson amassed a career-high 31 points on 11-of-15 shooting and added five rebounds and five steals during UW's 96-83 home win over No. 9 Arizona on Jan. 29. That effort helped him receive the Feb. 2 Pac-10 Player of the Week award. The 5-9 guard tallied 23 of his 25 points after halftime at Oregon State (Jan. 17), including a 3-pointer inside the final second that forced overtime in UW's 103-99 win. Robinson led all scorers with 27 points in the 2004 NCAA Tournament game against UAB. In his first season, Robinson was named to the 2003 All-Pac-10 Freshman Team after leading the Huskies with a 13.0-point scoring average. He joined the basketball team after competing as a freshman in 2002 on the Husky football team. Robinson played in all 13 football games, including the Sun Bowl, and started the final six at cornerback.
Nate Robinson applied to be eligible for the 2004 NBA Draft after his sophomore season, but withdrew on June 17 to preserve his collegiate eligibility. Before withdrawing, he attended the pre-draft camp in Chicago from June 8-10 where he was evaluated by NBA scouts and general managers from whom he received feedback. At the pre-draft camp, Robinson had a 22-point performance on the first day. It was the highest single-game output by any of the 59 participants during the three-day playing sessions.
The pivotal point in Washington's 2004 season came Jan. 17 in Corvallis, Ore. The Huskies were 0-5 in Pac-10 play and trailed Oregon State 70-54 with six minutes remaining. They rallied with Nate Robinson hitting a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and won 103-99 in overtime. That ignited a string of five consecutive victories that ended Feb. 7 at UCLA. The five-game winning streak against Pac-10 opponents was the longest for the Huskies since 1999.
Last year marked the Huskies' biggest turnaround in an NCAA Tournament season. They had a 5-8 record before winning 14 of their final 18 games. UW opened 0-5 in Pac-10 play before winning 12 of its final 13 conference games, vaulting from last place to second. Only twice before did a postseason-bound UW team have a losing record at any point in the season. The 1984 and 1986 teams started the season with 1-2 records before maintaining winning ledgers the rest of the way.
Senior point guard Will Conroy has distributed 322 career assists. He is currently ranked No. 4 among all-time Husky playmakers and needs 144 more assists to tie Chester Dorsey's (1974-77) school record of 466. Conroy is the sixth Husky to post back-to-back 100-assist seasons. He registered 142 assists in 2004 and 108 in 2003. Conroy ranked fifth among Pac-10 playmakers with 4.58 assists per game in 2004. He finished third on the team in scoring with 12.3 points per game. He is the third product of Seattle's Garfield High School on the current UW roster.
Did You Know?
The state of Washington had three schools participate in the NCAA Tournament last season for the first time ever. The Huskies from Seattle were joined by Gonzaga (Spokane) and Eastern Washington (Cheney) in the 2004 field. The only division I school in the state that wasn't in last year's tournament was Washington State (Pullman). Only twice before had two teams from the state competed in the Tournament during the same year: 1999 (Gonzaga, UW) and 1953 (Seattle University, UW).
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. Two Pac-10 schools will start Seattle natives at the point this season; Aaron Brooks (Franklin HS) at Oregon and the UW duo. Other prominent point guards from the state of Washington include Husky sophomore Ryan Appleby (Stanwood) who will red-shirt after transferring from Florida, Gonzaga's John Stockton (Spokane) and Dan Dickau (Prairie) and Oregon's Luke Ridnour (Blaine).
High School Reunion
Every time the Huskies take the floor it amounts to a reunion of alums from Seattle's Garfield High School. Three former prep teammates are listed on the UW roster; seniors Will Conroy and Tre Simmons along with junior Brandon Roy. Last year UW had four former Garfield players, including Anthony Washington who transferred to Portland State prior to the 2004-05 season. That quartet of former Bulldogs combined to score 1,204 of UW's 2,543 points, an average of 38.8 points per game. They accounted for 47 percent of the Huskies' total offensive output. A Garfield grad led or tied UW in scoring during 19 games in 2004. Roy (12.9) and Conroy (12.7) were UW's No. 2 and No. 3 scorers. Their Garfield team also featured current USC guard Roydell Smiley and Isaiah Stanback, a quarterback on the Husky football team.
The road had been unkind to Washington ... until last season. The Huskies registered a 6-7 overall record away from home, with a 5-4 conference ledger that marked their first winning Pac-10 road record since 1986 (6-3). The Huskies posted only one Pac-10 road win in each of the prior three seasons: at Oregon (2001), at Oregon State (2002) and at USC (2003). They had a 3-29 record in their previous 32 conference road contests before finishing last season with victories in five of their last six away contests. Last year's two wins at the Arizona schools marked UW's first sweep of a road trip since 1998 and the first sweep at Arizona and ASU since 1984. The 89-84 win at No. 17 Arizona stopped a streak of 24 straight UW road losses against ranked teams. The Arizona trip capped a trying 10-day span from Feb. 20-29 during which the Huskies traveled over 7,500 miles. That journey included a trip to 13th-ranked North Carolina State which rallied to edge UW 77-72 on Feb. 22 in Raleigh. UW matched its longest Pac-10 road winning streak with wins at Oregon State, Washington State and USC. UW had five previous three-game road winning streaks since Pac-10 play began in 1979.
Tickets are rapidly disappearing for Washington home games. All of the ducats designated for season ticket sales have been sold. The Nov. 19 home opener against Seattle Pacific nearly sold out and 9,851 attended the game in 10,000-seat Bank of America Arena. At least nine of the 13 remaining home games are already sold out. Occasionally tickets are returned the Monday of game week for previously sold out games. The only games with tickets left are against San Diego State, Sacred Heart, Houston and California. There are less than 900 tickets for each of those five games and less than 100 in some cases. Fans can order tickets online at Husky Basketball Tickets or purchase in person through the Husky Ticket Office. The telephone number to order tickets is 206-543-2200.
Junior forward Bobby Jones was named to the Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament team. He placed second among Huskies in rebounds with 4.9 per game in 2004, a figure that ranked 19th among Pac-10 players. He ranked fourth among conference competitors with a team-leading field goal accuracy of 57.0 percent. Jones was third among UW players with 37 steals. He amassed a career-high 22 points, on 10-for-13 shooting, at North Carolina State (Feb. 22). Jones tallied 10 or more points in 21 games last season after reaching double figures just five times in 2003. A defensive specialist, Jones started the final 15 games in 2003 and ranked No. 7 on the team with 5.7 points per game. He nearly doubled that total to 11.2 points in 2004.
There is no 'y' in his first name, but he is known for hitting the trey. Senior Tre Simmons led all Washington scorers seven times in 2004, tying Brandon Roy for the team lead. Simmons ranked eighth among Pac-10 players in 3-point percentage, hitting 40 percent (48-119) of his attempts beyond the arc. He amassed 14 treys in the final five games, including five during a Pac-10 Tournament semifinal win over Arizona. Simmons broke open a one-point game in the second half of the 75-62 win over No. 1 Stanford with three straight 3-pointers. Simmons hit at least one 3-pointer in nine of the last 11 games and had 14 multiple-trey outings last year. He poured in a career-high 22 points at Arizona (Feb. 26), including 4-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc.
Sophomore Brandon Roy is an all-around talent who was named to the National Basketball Writer's Association all-district team in 2004. He led all scorers with 23 points in UW's 2005 season opener against Seattle Pacific on Nov. 19 and scored 25 points in Washington's win over Utah in the opening round of the Shootout on Thanksgiving. The 6-6 swingman received the March 1, 2004 Pac-10 Player of the Week award after leading UW to a sweep in the state of Arizona. The last time the Huskies had a road sweep in Arizona was during January of 1984, six months before Roy was born. He led the 2004 Huskies in rebounds (5.3 rpg) and was second in scoring (12.9 ppg), figures that both rank No. 15 among Pac-10 players. Roy ranked second on UW in both assists (102) and steals (37). He amassed a career-high 30 points in 29 minutes at UCLA (Feb. 7), eclipsing his previous high of 22 points registered against UC Riverside (Nov. 24). At Houston on Dec. 20 Roy became the first player in UW history to lead the team in the five major statistics during a single game. Roy amassed 19 points, 12 rebounds, 5 assists, 2 steals and 1 blocked shot. Roy 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. He played 13 games with two starts in 2003, averaging 6.1 points per game. 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 one of three UW players from Seattle's Garfield High School.
The 2004 Huskies posted a 19-12 record, were the Pac-10 runners-up and advanced to the championship game of the conference tournament. The Huskies rebounded from an 0-5 conference start to finish with a 12-6 Pac-10 record. UW vaulted from last place to second over the final month and a half of the season. A 75-62 triumph over No. 1 Stanford on Mar. 6 clinched UW's first second-place finish since 1986. UW won 12 of its final 13 Pac-10 regular-season games, its best streak ever in conference play. Washington turned its season around in miraculous fashion, claiming an NCAA Tournament bid by winning 14 of its last 18 games. The remarkable run was ended by a 102-100 loss to UAB in the first round of the NCAAs.
The Loyola Marymount Series
> Washington leads the all-time series 2-1, including an 85-60 win on Dec. 23, 1996 in Seattle during the most recent meeting.
> The Huskies won both previous meetings in Seattle, the first meeting resulting in an 82-68 decision on Dec. 2, 1978.
> The Lions won the only encounter in Los Angeles by an 80-61 tally on Dec. 20, 1994.
> Washington has a 52-17 all-time record against current members of the West Coast Conference: Gonzaga (28-13), LMU (2-1), Portland (10-1), Saint Mary's (6-0), San Diego (1-1) and Santa Clara (5-1).
> In his fifth year at Loyola, Steve Aggers has never competed against Washington in a head coaching capacity.
> In his third year at UW, Lorenzo Romar has a 3-3 record against the Lions, all six meetings coming while he was coaching at Pepperdine.
The Last Meeting
UW 85, Loyola Marymount 60 (Dec. 23, 1996/Seattle)
Donald Watts scored 12 of his 19 points in the first half as Washington took control early en route to an 85-60 victory over Loyola Marymount at Edmundson Pavilion. Watts gave the Huskies their largest first-half lead at 18 points with a layin inside the final minute. UW led 45-29 at halftime before Loyola trimmed the margin to 49-39 on a Kenny Hotopp hook with 15:22 left in the game. The Huskies responded with a 19-2 run, fueled by eight Mark Sanford points, to claim a commanding 68-41 advantage with 10:04 remaining. Deon Luton came off the bench to score 14 points for the Huskies who also got 13 from Sanford. Patrick Femerling contributed 12 points and seven rebounds for UW. Washington converted 53 percent of its shots from the field (30-57) while limiting LMU to 44-percent shooting (25-57). Hotopp led the Lions with 18 points and Tim Kennedy had 16.