14th-Ranked UW Seeks 17th Straight Home Win
Jan. 14, 2005
SATURDAY, JANUARY 15 --
#14 Washington vs. Oregon State; 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash. - FSN Northwest TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
SUNDAY, JANUARY 23 --
#14 Washington vs. Washington State; 1:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash. - FSN TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
Off to their best start in 29 years, the 14th-ranked Washington Huskies (14-2, 4-1) seek to tie the school record for consecutive Pac-10 home victories when they host Oregon State (10-5, 2-2), Saturday, Jan. 15. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena where UW won its last 16 contests. The game will be televised live on FSN Northwest. The Beavers were victorious in four of their last five visits to Seattle. Oregon State lost 63-45 at Washington State on Thursday while UW defeated Oregon 77-56 for its 10th consecutive conference home win. The UW record of 11 straight Pac-10 home victories was established from Mar. 12, 1983 to Jan. 3, 1985. The 14-2 record marks the Huskies' best season start since 1976.
Volunteers for the organization CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere, Inc) will be at both UW men's basketball games this week collecting donations from fans wishing to support their relief efforts from the recent Asia earthquake and tsunami disaster. Following the devastating tsunami caused by the undersea earthquake in South Asia, CARE is mounting a comprehensive, multi-country emergency response that includes food, water purification tablets, shelter materials and basic medical supplies. Contributions will help rush this lifesaving aid to India, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Thailand. CARE has been endorsed by the University of Washington on numerous occasions as a reliable organization.
At least 19 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. Saturday's UW-Oregon State game airs on FSN Northwest at 7 p.m. Jim Watson provides the play-by-play with analysis from Donald Watts.
Saturday's UW-Oregon 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 calls the action with color commentary from Jason Hamilton.
A year ago, Washington was 0-5 in Pac-10 play, sitting in last place on Jan. 16. The Huskies picked up their first 2004 conference win with a 103-99 overtime decision over Oregon State on Jan. 17 in Corvallis. That result propelled the Huskies to wins in 14 of their next 16 games, a second-place Pac-10 finish and an NCAA Tournament berth.
The Huskies have their best 16-game record since the 1975-76 squad had a 15-1 mark. That fast starting UW team did not encounter 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 ESPN.com's national Team of the Week on Nov. 29. UW won 10 of its last 11 games, including a 68-64 win over No. 12 N.C. State.
Tre Simmons ranks among the top-10 Pac-10 players in free throw % (1st), 3-point % (4th), scoring (6th), steals (6th), offensive rebounds (8th) and total rebounds (9th).
Washington leads the Pac-10 with 88.2 points per game, nearly 10 points higher than the No. 2 team, Arizona State at 78.4.
UW has gone a calendar year without losing at home, winning its last 16 in Seattle. The last home loss was Jan. 10, 2004 vs. UCLA.
Washington junior Brandon Roy missed Thursday's game and three of the last seven games while rehabilitating after surgery in his right knee. Roy is questionable for Saturday's game against Oregon State. He made a triumphant return Dec. 19, scoring 10 points in 18 minutes as a reserve in the 68-64 win over North Carolina State. Roy had missed the previous five games. His return was a week earlier than expected. Roy underwent arthroscopic surgery Nov. 30 to repair a lateral meniscus tear in his right knee and was projected to miss from four to six weeks. The 6-foot-6 guard suffered the knee injury Nov. 26 in the first half of the Huskies' victory over Oklahoma.
On Thursday (Jan. 13), senior point guard Will Conroy became the first player in UW history to post three 100-assist seasons. His five assists against Oregon pushed his season total to 103. Conroy distributed 142 assists in 2004 and 108 in 2003. Conroy, who currently averages 6.9 assists, entered the week leading the Pac-10 and ranking No. 9 nationally. As a team, the Huskies are averaging 19.6 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, scoring at an 89.0-point clip that currently stands at 88.2. North Carolina opened the week leading the NCAA with 93.9 points per game.
The Oregon State Series
> Washington has a 141-134 lead in the all-time series that began in 1904.
> The Huskies swept the season series last year after losing seven of the previous eight meetings against OSU. UW won the first 2004 meeting, rallying from a 16-point deficit over the final six minutes to win a 103-99 overtime decision in Corvallis.
> Oregon State was victorious in four straight visits to Seattle from 2000 to 2003 before losing 80-79 last season.
> Washington owns a 94-40 advantage in the series during games played in Seattle.
> Second-year Oregon State coach Jay John has a 2-2 record against Washington.
> Second-year Husky coach Lorenzo Romar has a 2-2 record against Oregon State.
The Last Meeting
UW 80, Oregon State 79 (Feb. 14, 2004/Seattle)
Nate Robinson made a three-point play with 12 seconds remaining, lifting Washington to an 80-79 victory over Oregon State at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (12-9, 7-6) swept the season series from OSU for the first time since 1999. The Beavers (9-13, 3-9) had won their previous four games in Seattle. Washington shot 65 percent (20-31) in the first half to build a 50-41 advantage. The lead was 73-62 before OSU's David Lucas scored seven of his career-high 29 points during a late four-minute stretch to spark a run of 15 unanswered points. Jim Hanchett capped the run with a 3-pointer that put the Beavers ahead 77-73 with 3:28 left. J.S. Nash's jumper at 1:53 gave OSU its final lead at 79-77 and set up Robinson's decisive driving layup and free throw. The Beavers had a game-winning shot attempt, but a free-throw line jumper by Nash missed. Tre Simmons scored 17 points to lead the Huskies who also got 13 from Will Conroy, 12 from Robinson and 11 from Mike Jensen. Chris Stephens finished with 13 for OSU, Nash had 11 and Hanchett 10. OSU posted a 40-29 rebound advantage led by Hanchett's 11. UW shot 53 percent (32-60) for the game.
Five 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.
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 785 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 9-0 at home this season. They Huskies' current 16-game home winning streak is the 10th longest in school history. The most recent longer winning stretch was an 18-game streak from Mar. 12, 1983 to Jan. 3, 1985.
Washington reached the 100-point plateau in three 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.
Washington entered the week ranked No. 2 in the nation with an 89.0-point scoring average. That figure has dipped slightly to 88.2. 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.
Senior point guard Will Conroy entered the week ranked ninth nationally and No. 1 among Pac-10 playmakers with an average of 7.0 assists per game, a figure that currently stands at 6.87. Conroy has distributed 399 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 67 more assists to tie Chester Dorsey's (1974-77) school record of 466. Only five other Huskies have posted back-to-back 100-assist seasons and Conroy is the first to reach the century mark three times. 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.
UW's Last Game
#14 UW 77, Oregon 56 (Jan. 13, 2005/Seattle)
Tre Simmons scored six of his 15 points in the opening four minutes as 12th-ranked Washington jumped out early en route to a 77-56 triumph over Oregon at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (14-2, 4-1) held Oregon scoreless for the first 3:54, taking a 12-0 lead in the process. Simmons had two dunks and capped the run with a steal and layin at 16:28. UW held leads of 19-2 and 25-5 before the Ducks (10-3, 2-2) closed within 40-29 at halftime. Oregon scored the first seven points of the second half, closing the deficit to 40-36 with 19:02 remaining. Bobby Jones banked in a 3-pointer at 18:48, starting a 15-2 surge that enabled the Huskies to take control. Jones scored 13 of his 15 points after halftime. Nate Robinson and Jamaal Williams each netted 14 points for UW. Simmons completed his first double-double with 12 rebounds. Bryce Taylor was the only Oregon player in double figures with 16 points. Seattle native Aaron Brooks scored nine points, but fouled out with 8:55 left after playing 18 minutes.
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 gohuskies.com 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.
Getting Up Early
The Huskies are jumping on opponents early, outscoring them by a combined 695-521 tally in the first half. The average halftime score is 43-33 for UW which built a double-digit lead in every Pac-10 game. In the second half, Washington is outscoring foes by a 717-635 count. The Huskies stifled opposing offenses early in several of their recent games. They held Oregon scoreless for the opening 3:54, USC for 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.
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 fell two spots to No. 14 in this week's AP rankings and remained No. 14 in the ESPN poll. UW was 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. Four opponents on the UW schedule are currently ranked in the Associated Press poll; No. 16 Gonzaga, No. 17 Arizona, No. 23Alabama and No. 25 Oklahoma.
Nate the Great
High-flying Nate Robinson leads Washington with a 17.1-point scoring average that ranks fourth among Pac-10 players. Robinson ranks No. 3 among Pac-10 players with 5.2 assists per game and leads UW with 32 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 seven 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 was third among the conference leaders in steals (53) and free throw accuracy (85.3%). He 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.
UW features a bevy of sharpshooters who combine to average 6.7 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 42.5 percent on 3-pointers.
Washington has started three different lineups. The most recent unit opened the last 13 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.
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.
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).
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.
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 28 treys this season and is No. 3 among Pac-10 players with a 47.5-percent accuracy. He hit five 3-pointers against San Diego State (Dec. 7) and four at Loyola Marymount (Dec. 12). Simmons tallied double figure points in each of the last 11 games. He led all Washington scorers six times. Simmons is the Huskies' top rebounder, averaging 5.9 per game. He topped all Huskies in rebounds during a team-high eight games. Simmons registered his first double-double Thursday against Oregon with 15 points and 12 rebounds. 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 final 11 games and had 14 multiple-trey outings last year.
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 9-of-20 shots from 3-point range this season. Last year, he hit just 1-of-8 treys after making 4-of-20 in 2003. Jones ranks sixth among Pac-10 players with a 52-percent field goal accuracy. He is the league's No. 10 rebounder with 5.6 boards per game. A defensive specialist as a freshman, 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.
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.
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.
The Washington State Series
> Washington won 12 of the last 16 meetings and owns a 165-91 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1910.
> The Huskies swept the season series last year for the first time since 2000. UW defeated the Cougars 75-62 on Jan. 24, 2004 in Pullman and 71-67 on Feb. 19, 2004 in Seattle.
> Washington boasts a 96-31 home record against WSU, including wins in each of the Cougars' last 10 visits to Seattle. The last Washington State victory at UW was a 67-46 decision on Jan. 29, 1994.
> Second-year Washington State coach Dick Bennett has an 0-2 record against UW.
> Third-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has a 3-1 record against WSU.
The Last Meeting
UW 71, Washington State 67 (Feb. 19, 2004/Seattle)
Mike Jensen hit a 3-pointer from the right baseline with 21 seconds remaining for just his second basket of the game, lifting Washington to a 71-67 victory over Washington State. The Huskies (13-9, 8-6) swept the season series and won for the 10th straight time over WSU at Bank of America Arena. Jensen's trey capped a 13-2 rally over the final 1:23. Washington State (11-13, 5-9) overcame a 34-30 halftime deficit to lead by as many as eight points in the second half. The Cougars went ahead 65-58 on a free throw by Marcus Moore with 1:30 left to play before a frenetic full-court press by the Huskies forced six late turnovers. UW's Will Conroy completed a three-point play before Thomas Kelati tallied the final Cougar points at 1:04 on two free throws. Conroy hit a 3-pointer at 0:57, Bobby Jones made a layup off a pass from Brandon Roy and Jensen's triple put UW ahead 69-67. Kelati missed a potential go-ahead 3-pointer and Conroy capped the scoring on two free throws with six seconds remaining. Conroy and Jones paced the Huskies with 15 points while Roy had 13 and Tre Simmons 12. Kelati led WSU with 24 points, including 6-for-8 shooting from 3-point range. Moore added 13 points for the Cougars and Grant had 11.