12th-Ranked UW Men Seek Rare Win at Pauley Pavilion
Jan. 7, 2005
SATURDAY, JANUARY 8 --
#12 Washington at UCLA; 7:30 p.m. PST
Pauley Pavilion (12,800); Los Angeles, Calif. - No TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
THURSDAY, JANUARY 13 --
#12 Washington vs. Oregon; 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
Off to their best start in 29 years, the 12th-ranked Washington Huskies (13-1, 3-0) play Saturday, Jan. 8 at UCLA (8-3, 2-1) seeking to extend some successful streaks while stopping one stretch of futility. Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion where UW lost in its last 18 visits. The Huskies last won at UCLA on Jan. 29, 1987. Washington started Pac-10 play with three wins for the first time since a six-win conference start in 1984, a season that culminated in a Sweet 16 appearance. The Huskies current nine-game winning streak is their best since 1982 and the 13-1 record marks their best season start since 1976. Washington defeated USC 84-59 on Thursday while the Bruins beat Washington State 80-77 in double overtime. The last time the Huskies swept a Pac-10 road series in Los Angeles was 1987.
Exactly a year ago, Washington was 0-3 in Pac-10 play, the first three of five consecutive conference defeats that left UW in last place on Jan. 16. The Huskies salvaged the season, winning 14 of their next 16 games to place second and earn an NCAA berth.
Saturday's UW-UCLA 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 calls the action.
The Huskies have reached the 13-win plateau faster than any year since the 1975-76 team opened the season with 14 consecutive wins. That fast starting UW team didn't face the difficult schedule the current unit was confronted with. This year's 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 on Nov. 29 by ESPN.com. The only blemish on the Huskies' ledger was a 99-87 setback at Gonzaga (Dec. 1). They reeled off nine straight victories since then, including a 68-64 win over then 12th-ranked North Carolina State and last week's sweep of the Bay Area schools
The current nine-game overall winning streak is Washington's most successful stretch since the 1981-82 Huskies won 10 straight. The Huskies also currently have a 15-game home winning streak, the 10th-longest in Washington history and the longest since an 18-game stretch from Mar. 12, 1983 to Jan. 3, 1985.
The Huskies registered a 5-4 record in conference road games last season, their first winning Pac-10 road mark since 1986 (6-3). 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. Washington has a 1-0 Pac-10 road record this season.
Since their last win at Pauley Pavilion on Jan. 29, 1987, the Huskies have won 39 road games at other Pac-10 arenas. UCLA posted a 39-2 home record against Washington since Pauley Pavilion opened in 1965.
Seven different players have been the game-high scorer this year for UW, which has six players averaging double-figure points.
Washington won its last nine games, the longest winning streak since the 1982 squad won 10 straight games.
Senior point guard Will Conroy has 94 assists. He needs six more to become the first player in Washington history to register three 100-assist seasons. Conroy distributed 142 assists in 2004 and 108 in 2003.
The Huskies are averaging 20.5 assists per game, their best mark since the 1976 squad averaged 22.6 en route to a school-record total of 632.
Washington's offense scored 100 points three times this season, including an unprecedented combined total of 224 in back-to-back games against Sacred Heart (Dec. 22) and Houston (Dec. 24). UW entered the week ranked second nationally and is currently scoring at an 89.2-point clip. North Carolina opened the week leading the NCAA with 92.7 points per game.
Washington was at full strength the last two games. The Huskies have only been at full strength for one other game this season, the first half of the Nov. 26 game against Oklahoma. That didn't last long as junior guard Brandon Roy played just 12 minutes before suffering a meniscus tear in his right knee. Roy had surgery Nov. 30 and was sidelined five consecutive games before returning Dec. 19 against North Carolina State. He played in four of the last six games while continuing to rehabilitate the injury that was supposed to keep him out of action from four to six weeks. Senior center Hakeem Rollins participated in the last three games after missing the previous three outings. He underwent arthroscopic surgery Dec. 14 to clean up the area around his right knee.
The UCLA Series
> The Bruins boast an 86-30 series lead after winning six of the last seven, and 30 of the last 37 meetings against Washington.
> The Huskies won the last meeting 91-83 on Mar. 11, 2004 in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament. That result halted a six-game losing streak against UCLA.
> The Bruins boast a 54-5 advantage over Washington at home, including a 39-2 record since UCLA moved into Pauley Pavilion in 1965.
> Washington lost its last 18 visits to Pauley, last winning 95-87 on Jan. 29, 1987.
> UCLA swept the regular-season series in 2004 for the 30th time, winning an 86-84 overtime decision in Seattle and an 80-75 outcome in Los Angeles.
> Washington assistant coach Cameron Dollar was a four-year letterman point guard at UCLA from 1994-97, helping the Bruins to three Pac-10 championships and the 1995 NCAA title. He played three seasons for Jim Harrick and one for Steve Lavin. Dollar hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer against Washington, lifting UCLA to a 91-88 overtime win on Mar. 7, 1996 at Pauley Pavilion.
> In his second year at UCLA, Ben Howland has a 2-1 record against the Huskies.
> Third-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has a 1-4 record against UCLA. Romar served four seasons as an assistant on Jim Harrick's UCLA staff from 1993-96, including the 1995 NCAA title year.
The Last Meeting
UW 91, UCLA 83 (Mar. 11, 2004/Los Angeles - Pac-10 Tournament)
Will Conroy scored 18 of his 20 points in the second half as Washington rallied for a 91-83 victory over UCLA in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament at Staples Center. The Huskies (18-10) stopped a four-game losing streak in conference tournament play while winning for the first time over UCLA which swept the regular-season series. The Bruins (11-17) reeled off 10 unanswered points late in the first half en route to a 47-40 halftime advantage. UCLA shot 60 percent (18-30) and made its final seven shots before intermission. Nate Robinson's five points sparked a 9-0 run that put UW ahead 58-57 with 12:37 left in the game. The took another lead at 73-65 that was erased by a 11-2 Husky surge. UW went ahead for good at 83-80 on a steal and three-point play by Tre Simmons with 1:30 remaining. The Huskies his all six free throw attempts inside the final 0:27 and Bobby Jones capped the game with a dunk. UW had five double-figure scorers for the fifth consecutive game, including Tre Simmons with 15 points, Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson with 12 and Bobby Jones with 11. Brian Morrison paced the Bruins with 23 points on 5-of-7 shooting from 3-point range. Trevor Ariza and T.J. Cummings each had 12 points for UCLA.
Six players are averaging double-figure points for Washington. An unprecedented eight Huskies tallied double-figure points in the win over Sacred Heart (Dec. 22). UW boasted a balanced offense last season with five players averaging double-figure points. All five return this season. Previously, the last time five Huskies had finished a season in double figures was the 1975 campaign. Seven different players have led UW in scoring during a game this season and five turned in a 20-point performance.
UW features a bevy of sharpshooters who combine to average 6.8 treys per game. That is an increase from last season's squad that accumulated a school-record 201 treys at a 6.5-per-game clip. Seven Huskies have had multiple 3-point games this season, including Nate Robinson and Tre Simmons who each posted a five-trey performance. UW is shooting 50.2 percent from the field and 44.0 percent on 3-pointers.
Washington reached the 100-point plateau in three of its last seven games. The 114-point outburst against Sacred Heart (Dec. 22) tied for the fourth-highest total in school history and was the most points scored by a UW team since 1991. That was followed by a 110-point performance against Houston (Dec. 24), giving UW a school-record for points in consecutive games with 224. Washington netted 100 points at Loyola Marymount (Dec. 12). The Huskies have reached the 100-point mark six times during Coach Lorenzo Romar's three seasons. Romar's six 100-point outings are more than UW accumulated in the previous 26 seasons combined. Only Marv Harshman, who team's posted 14 such efforts from 1972-85, coached more 100-point games for the Huskies than Romar. UW's 100-point NCAA Tournament outburst against UAB (Mar. 19, 2004) was its highest scoring total in a postseason game. The Huskies reached the 100-point plateau three times last season. The 103-99 overtime decision at Oregon State (Jan. 17, 2004) matched the highest total ever for UW in an enemy arena. The last time a Husky team had more than three 100-point games in a season was 1975 when they did it four times.
UW, which ranked No. 2 in the nation at the start of the week, has an 89.2-point scoring average. The Huskies averaged 82.0 points per game last season, their highest scoring output since the 1972 squad finished with a school record 84.8-point average. UW finished the 2004 season ranked second among Pac-10 teams and No. 6 among NCAA Division I teams in team scoring average. The Huskies reached the 90-point plateau 11 times last season, a figure they reached only once in 2003. That was the most 90-point performances for a Washington team since the 1972 squad registered 12.
Washington has started three different lineups. The most recent unit opened the last 11 games, featuring two seniors (Will Conroy, Tre Simmons) and three juniors (Mike Jensen, Bobby Jones, Nate Robinson). Jensen and Robinson are the only players who started every game. The experienced lineup is in stark contrast to the last two seasons when there were no regular senior starters and few juniors. Last year, the Huskies implemented six unique lineups and Mike Jensen and Brandon Roy were the only players to start every game.
Getting Up Early
The Huskies are jumping on opponents early, outscoring them by a combined 603-450 tally in the first half. Their average halftime score is 43-32. In the second half of games, Washington is outscoring foes by a 646-555 count. The Huskies stifled opposing offenses early in their last four games. They held USC scoreless for the opening 5:30, Stanford for 1:59, California for 3:02 and Houston for 6:53. UW trailed just twice at halftime, by one point at Gonzaga and one point against N.C. State.
UW's Last Game
#12 UW 84, USC 59 (Jan. 6, 2005/Los Angeles)
Mike Jensen scored six of his 14 points in the opening minutes as 12th-ranked Washington took control early en route to an 84-59 win over USC at the Sports Arena. The Huskies (13-1, 3-0) held USC scoreless for the first 5:30 while building a 10-0 lead. UW parlayed 17 first-half USC turnovers into 20 points to take a 36-19 halftime margin. The Huskies began the second half with a 10-3 run and the Trojans (7-7, 0-3) never got closer than 15 points after that despite committing only three turnovers in the second half. Tre Simmons hit 4-of-5 shots from 3-point range and paced UW with 22 points. Simmons grabbed seven rebounds to spark a 45-33 rebounding advantage. Nick Young, who shot 0-for-6 in the first half, scored all 20 of his points after halftime. Seattle native Loderick Stewart added 10 points for the Trojans.
Husky fans hoping to catch the Washington men's basketball team in person this year can still purchase tickets for home games. Fans can order tickets online at Husky Basketball Tickets or purchase in person through the Husky Ticket Office, or order by phone at 206-543-2200. For all remaining home games, a limited number of tickets, currently on hold for departmental use, will be released the Monday prior to each home game. Inventory will be available on gohuskies.com as soon as it is released for sale to the public. The Husky Ticket Office is open 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Game day sales windows open 90 minutes prior to tipoff.
At least 19 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. The next broadcast is Jan. 15 against Oregon State on FSN Northwest at 7 p.m.
The Huskies registered 10 non-conference victories, their highest regular-season total since they won 13 such games in 1975-76. That was when a 14-game Pac-8 Conference schedule was in effect.
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. The Huskies rose one spot to No. 12 in this week's AP rankings and two places to No. 14 in the ESPN poll. UW was also ranked 12th on Dec. 20, the highest UW had been ranked in the AP poll since the last week of December in 1984 when they were 11th. 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. Three opponents on the UW schedule are currently ranked in the Associated Press poll; No. 11 Gonzaga, No. 13 Arizona and No. 19 Alabama.
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.
Senior point guard Will Conroy entered the week ranked sixth nationally and No. 1 among Pac-10 playmakers. He currently averages 7.23 assists per game. Conroy has distributed 390 career assists, including a career-high 13 twice this season. He had 13 assists against Loyola Marymount (Dec. 12) and Sacred Heart (Dec. 22). That tied for the fourth-best single-game performance in school history. Rafael Stone established the UW record of 16 assists in 1970. Conroy currently ranks No. 2 among all-time Husky playmakers and needs 76 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.
Junior forward Bobby Jones was named to the Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament team. Against Sacred Heart (Dec. 22), he posted his fourth career double-double with 14 points and a career-high 14 rebounds in just 23 minutes. Jones has dramatically improved his long-distance shooting, hitting 7-of-15 shots from 3-point range this season. Last year, he hit just 1-of-8 treys after making 4-of-20 in 2003. Jones 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.
Nate the Great
High-flying Nate Robinson leads Washington with a 17.0-point scoring average that ranks second among Pac-10 players. He also ranks No. 2 among Pac-10 players with 5.4 assists per game and leads UW with 28 steals. He distributed a career-high eight assists in a win over Oklahoma (Nov. 26) and matched that figure at Gonzaga (Dec. 1). Robinson has posted six 20-point games after reaching the 20-point plateau five times all of last season. He was named the Nov. 29 Pac-10 Player of the Week after being voted 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.
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. Aaron Brooks (Franklin HS) is currently starting at the point at Oregon. 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.
There is no 'y' in his first name, but he is known for hitting the trey. Senior Tre Simmons ranks second on the team with 25 treys this season. He hit five 3-pointers against San Diego State (Dec. 7) and four at Loyola Marymount (Dec. 12). 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 in 2004, 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.
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.
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 (Nov. 25). 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). Roy's career-high of 30 points came Feb. 7, 2004 at UCLA. 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 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.
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 784 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 8-0 at home this season.
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 Oregon Series
> Washington has a 174-99 lead in the all-time series that began in 1904. The Ducks won four of the last six meetings.
> The Northwest rivals split the season series in 2004. Oregon won last season's first meeting 84-74 in Eugene and UW won the rematch 83-74 in Seattle.
> The Huskies have a 103-33 series lead against Oregon over games played in Seattle, including victories in the Ducks' last three visits to Bank of America Arena.
> Eighth-year Oregon Coach Ernie Kent has a 7-8 coaching record against UW.
> Third-year Husky coach Lorenzo Romar has a 2-2 record against Oregon.
The Last Meeting
UW 83, Oregon 74 (Feb. 12, 2004/Seattle)
Bobby Jones scored eight of his 18 points during a two-minute stretch of the second half as Washington reeled off 15 unanswered points to rally for an 83-74 victory over Oregon at Bank of America Arena. The Ducks (11-7, 6-5) led 35-29 at halftime and, after UW evened the score at 45-45, tallied 13 straight points. Washington (11-9, 6-6) trailed 65-52 before Jones started the 15-point run with a 3-pointer with 9:11 remaining. He capped the run with a layin at 7:17 that put UW ahead 67-65. The surge was aided by an intentional foul on UO's Jay Anderson who shoved Jones after a UW free throw. Jones converted one free throw and UW retained the ball and scored. The Huskies outscored Oregon 31-9 over the final 9:11, capped by a game-ending dunk by Nate Robinson that drew the ire of the Ducks who had already conceded the defeat. Robinson led all scorers with 20 points while Brandon Roy added 18. UW's Mike Jensen posted his first double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Andre Joseph paced the Ducks with 19 points. Ian Crosswhite and Mitch Platt each had 15 points for Oregon which got a season-low 11 points from Luke Jackson who drew two early fouls and played only three minutes in the first half. UW parlayed 26 Oregon turnovers into 29 points.