10th-Ranked UW Looks to Rebound vs. Sun Devils
Jan. 29, 2005
Sunday, January 30
#10 Washington at Arizona State; 12:45 p.m. PST (1:45 MST)
Wells Fargo Arena (14,141); Tempe, Ariz. - CBS TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
Off to their best start in 29 years, the 10th-ranked Washington Huskies (16-3, 6-2) will look for a split on their current road swing in Arizona when the Huskies face Arizona State (15-5, 4-4) on Sunday, Jan. 30 at 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time (1:45 Mountain Time). Washington lost at No. 11 Arizona on Thursday 91-82 to drop the Huskies into second place in the Pac-10 standings.
Washington remained No. 10 in this week's Associated Press poll, its highest ranking in 20 years. UW's last top-10 appearance was Dec. 18, 1984. The Huskies were listed No. 7 in that poll before dropping to No. 11 on Dec. 25, 1984.
vs. Ranked Foes
Following the loss to Arizona, the Huskies have a 3-2 record against teams currently ranked in the AP poll. UW beat Oklahoma (13), Alabama (14) and Utah (25) and lost at Gonzaga (17) and the Wildcats (11).
At least 19 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. Sunday's UW-ASU game airs on CBS (regional) at 12:45 p.m. Pacific Time. Craig Bollerjack provides the play-by-play with analysis from Jim Spanarkel.
Thursday's UW-Arizona 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.
The Huskies have their best 19-game record since the 1981-82 squad had a 17-3 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 12 of its last 13 games, including a 68-64 win over then No. 12 N.C. State.
Will Conroy (6.7) and Nate Robinson (5.2) rank one-two among Pac-10 assist leaders ... Washington sold out six home games this year, breaking the previous season record of four in 1999 ... UW's 108-68 defeat of Oregon State on Jan. 15 marked the highest point total ever against a Pac-10 opponent and the 40-point differential was the Huskies' second largest against a Pac-10 foe, trailing only a 45-point victory (86-41) over Washington State on Mar. 3, 1951 ... The Huskies have matched the school single-season record with four 100-point performances, tying the 1972 and 1975 UW squads ... UW had double-digit leads in both of its Pac-10 losses (21 at UCLA and 11 at Arizona).
The Arizona State Series
* Arizona State holds a 33-22 lead in the all-time series that began in 1978.
* Washington swept the season series from ASU in 2004 for the first time since 1997. UW won 90-81 in Seattle and 96-72 in Tempe.
* The Sun Devils own a 20-7 series advantage at home and won 15 of the last 17 meetings against Washington in Tempe.
* Seventh-year Sun Devil Coach Rob Evans has a 7-5 record against Washington.
* Third-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has a 2-2 record against ASU.
The Last Meeting
UW 96, Arizona State 72 (Feb. 28, 2004/Seattle)
Brandon Roy led five double-figure scorers with 18 points as Washington completed its first road sweep of the Arizona schools since 1984 with a 96-72 rout of Arizona State. The 24-point margin was the Huskies' largest in their series with ASU. Washington (15-10, 10-) won at Wells Fargo Arena for the first time since 1997 with only its second win in Tempe since 1988. The Huskies scored the game's first nine points en route to a 44-29 halftime advantage. That lead grew to as many as 26 points after halftime. The Sun Devils (10-16, 4-13) were paced by the 27 points of Ike Diogu. Jamal Hill added 14 points for ASU and Stevie Moore had 10. Nate Robinson tallied 13 points for the Huskies who also got 12 from Hakeem Rollins, 11 from Tre Simmons and 10 from Bobby Jones. The teams combined for 56 fouls and 75 free throw attempts. UW shot 30-of-36 from the line and ASU was 24-of-39.
Washington's offense scored 100 points four times this season, matching he 1972 and 1975 Husky teams for the most 100-point outings in a season. The Huskies amassed 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 88.1-point clip (currently 87.8 following the Arizona loss). North Carolina opened the week leading the NCAA at 91.7 points per game.
Senior point guard Will Conroy leads the Pac-10 and ranks No. 20 nationally with 6.7 assists per game. He distributed120 assists this season to become the first player in UW history to post three 100-assist seasons. Conroy delivered 142 assists in 2004 and 108 in 2003. 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 leads the Pac-10 and ranks No. 3 nationally in assists per game.
Will Conroy has distributed 416 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 50 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.
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.
Washington reached the 100-point plateau in four games, tying the single-season school record established in 1972 and 1975. UW's 108-point effort against Oregon State (Jan. 15) marked its highest total against a Pac-10 opponent. 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 seven times during Coach Lorenzo Romar's three seasons. Romar's seven 100-point outings are more than UW accumulated in the previous 27 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.
Washington entered the week ranked No. 2 in the nation with an 88.1-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.
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.
UW's Last Game
#10 UW 82, #11 Arizona 91 (Jan. 27, 2005/Tucson)
Arizona's Salim Stoudamire led all scorers with 25 points as the Wildcats clawed back from an 11-point first-half deficit to end UW's three-game win streak in the series. Stoudamire hit all nine of his free throws to lead UA from the charity stripe during a school-record free throw shooting performance. The Wildcats made 38 of 40 free throws during the contest. UW was 15 of 21 from the line. The Huskies had five players reach double figures led by Brandon Roy's 15 points off the bench. UW managed to outrebound the taller Wildcats by a 38-29 margin, but could hit just 13 of 34 three point shots as Arizona employed a 1-3-1 zone most of the game to negate UW's quick-score offense. UW's three-point attempts (34) were a school record, bettering the previous season high by 10 (24 vs. Gonzaga) and the old school record (29 vs. Fresno State on 12/8/92 and at UCLA on 1/4/02). UW's 13 threes were a season best, topping the 12 the team made at Gonzaga. The total fell one short of the school record of 14 vs. USC on 1/29/98.
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 787 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 11-0 at home this season. The Huskies' current 18-game home winning streak is the ninth longest in school history.
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 824-605 tally in the first half. The average halftime score is 43.4-31.8 for UW which built a double-digit lead in every Pac-10 game. In the second half, Washington is outscoring foes by a 809-758 count. The Huskies stifled opposing offenses early in several of their recent games. They held Washington State scoreless for the opening 2:16, Oregon for 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 remained No. 10 in this week's AP and ESPN rankings. This is UW's first top-10 appearance since Dec. 18, 1984. 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. That 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 five weeks before dropping out of the polls after being ranked No. 22 on Dec. 7, 1998. That was UW's last appearance in the polls until this season. That five-week run also marked UW's only national ranking since Jan. 1, 1985. Five opponents on the UW schedule are currently ranked in the Associated Press poll; No. 11 Arizona, No. 13 Oklahoma, No. 14 Alabama, No. 17 Gonzaga and No. 25 Utah.
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,' Washington coach Lorenzo Romar explains. '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.'
There is no 'y' in his first name, but he is known for hitting the trey. Senior Tre Simmons leads the team with 39 treys this season and is No. 2 among Pac-10 players with a 48.8-percent accuracy. He hit six 3-pointers against Oregon State (Jan. 15) and five against San Diego State (Dec. 7). Simmons made a 3-pointer in 16 of 17 games this season and tallied double-figure points in 13 of the last 14 games. He led all Washington scorers seven times. Simmons is the Huskies' top scorer (16.5) and number two rebounder (5.7), ranking No. 5 and No. 11, respectively among Pac-10 players. He topped all Huskies in rebounds during a team-high eight games. Simmons registered his first double-double on Jan. 13 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 of 2004, 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.
Nate the Great
High-flying Nate Robinson ranks second at Washington with a 16.7-point scoring average that ranks sixth among Pac-10 players. Robinson ranks No. 2 among Pac-10 players with 5.2 assists per game and leads UW with 34 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 6.8 treys per game. That is similar to 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. Simmons also has a six-trey performance to his credit, against Oregon State (Jan. 15). UW is shooting 49.2 percent from the field and 41.2 percent on 3-pointers.
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.
Washington has started three different lineups. The most recent unit opened the last 16 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.
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).
Junior forward Bobby Jones was named to the Great Alaska Shootout all-tournament team. Against Arizona (Jan. 27), he posted his fifth career double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds minutes. He also had a double-double against Sacret Heart (14 points and career high 14 rebounds in 23 minutes). Jones has dramatically improved his long-distance shooting, hitting 10-of-26 shots from 3-point range this season. Last year, he hit just 1-of-8 treys after making 4-of-20 in 2003. Jones is the league's No. 9 rebounder with 5.8 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. A Garfield grad led or tied UW in scoring during 19 games in 2004. Their Garfield team also featured recent USC guard Roydell Smiley and Isaiah Stanback, a quarterback on the Husky football team.
Washington junior Brandon Roy played in seven of the last 11 games while rehabilitating after surgery in his right knee. 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.
Junior 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 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.
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 from the starting unit are junior all-district honoree Brandon Roy and senior point guard Will Conroy along with junior forwards Mike Jensen and Bobby Jones.university's general scholarship fund.