Roy's Surprise Return Sparks Husky Win
Dec. 19, 2004
Seattle - Junior guard Brandon Roy surprised both fans and the 12th-ranked North Carolina State men's basketball team with his early return to action tonight, following a meniscus tear in his right knee that was surgically repaired on November 30. Projected to sit out 4-6 weeks, Roy came back after only 19 days on the sideline.
'The whole time I was anticipating coming back from this game, we just didn't want to let the secret out too early,' Roy said with a smile. 'I just practiced two days this week, but I was feeling good and Coach Romar told me that it was my call.'
Coach Romar echoed Roy's feelings, saying 'He was cleared to play and he felt confident in trying it out, and he played well. We didn't know if we wanted to put him in there, but we tried it out and it worked out.'
Roy started slowly in the first half, only playing five minutes and logging one rebound.
'I was nervous before going in, and then the coaches talked me into going in. I love our fans and there is no better feeling that walking on the floor and hearing those fans cheering for you. They let me know they loved me as much as I love them.'
The slow start was over as quickly as it started, as Roy lit up the court on both sides of the ball in the second half. Shooting a perfect five-for-five from the field, Roy's 10 points each came at clutch moments in the game. With less than three minutes remaining in the game and the Huskies holding a close 61-58 lead, Roy came out of nowhere to return a miss from Tre Simmons with a dominating dunk. His two dunks and strong inside game in the second half were key to the Huskies' success.
'I feel great. I just want to go home and lay back and enjoy this one.'
Assigned to guard pre-season All-American Julius Hodge, Roy's stifling defense held Hodge to nine points in the second half and 15 on the game, his worst scoring performance of the season.
'Julius Hodge is a great player and any time you get to play against one of the best in the country you want to measure yourself up against them.'
The 18th-ranked Huskies logged their second win this season over a ranked team, their first coming over the then-19th-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide at the Great Northwest Shootout in Alaska on November 27th.
The Huskies squelched NC State's eight-game win streak, a streak unmatched by the Wolfpack since 1989. Washington advanced to 8-1, their best start since 1991.
'This Washington Husky team is good,' Roy said. 'This was a night where Nate Robinson, Tre Simmons, and Will Conroy didn't knock down nearly as many three point shots as they had been making, and we still found a way to win.'
Roy will surely find even more ways to lead the Huskies to victory this season.