Fifth Season of Romar Era Begins at Washington
Oct. 31, 2006
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 3 --
Saint Martin's at (#16) Washington, 7:00 p.m. PST (Exhibition)
Bank of America Arena (10,000) / Seattle, Wash.
No Radio Broadcast / No TV
'For the first time since we have been at Washington we have size. We will have size without sacrificing quickness. This team has really good chemistry even though they are young. I think that this team will really play well together.' ---Lorenzo Romar
The fifth season of the Lorenzo Romar era begins for the Washington men's basketball team, which is in the midst of one of the most successful stretches in school history. The Huskies open with an exhibition game, Friday, Nov. 3 against Saint Martin's University from Lacey, Wash. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus. This is Washington's fifth season under Coach Romar, a two-year letterman point guard for the Huskies from 1978-80. Romar was hired April 3, 2002 as the school's first African-American basketball coach. He served three-year head coaching stints at Pepperdine (1997-99) and Saint Louis (2000-02) before coming to UW. Washington opens the regular season, Sunday, Nov. 12 at 7:30 p.m. against Pepperdine in the first round of the Basketball Travelers Classic at Bank of America Arena.
Washington has a 39-11 all-time record in exhibition games, including a 114-48 win over Simon Fraser on Nov. 6, 2005 in its last non-counter. Friday marks UW's sixth exhibition contest against a collegiate opponent. The Huskies won the first five, defeating Seattle Pacific (2000 season), Western Washington (2001), Central Washington (2002), Westmont (2005) and Simon Fraser (2006).
Scouting Saint Martin's
The Saints are NCAA Division II competitors from Lacey, Wash. Saint Martin's is a member of the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. Fourth-year coach Keith Cooper's squad posted a 7-20 record last season with a 2-16 league mark. SMU's leading returning player is 6-foot-5 junior forward Brendan Campbell who averaged 12.6 points and 5.4 rebounds last season. The Huskies won the only previous meeting between these Northwest schools, a 58-15 decision on Jan. 9, 1923 in Seattle.
The Huskies earned three straight NCAA Tournament berths in 2004, 2005 and 2006 for just the second time in school history (1984-86). They now set their sights on an unprecedented fourth consecutive NCAA berth.
Basketball Travelers Classic
For the second straight season, Washington opens the season by hosting a tournament at Bank of America Arena. This year's regular-season tips off with the three-day, four-team Basketball Travelers Classic, Sunday through Tuesday, Nov. 12-14. Doubleheaders are scheduled each day with games at 4:30 p.m. followed by a nightcap at 7:30 p.m. involving the Huskies. UW plays Pepperdine on Sunday, Nicholls State on Monday and Northern Iowa on Tuesday.
Season tickets are available for fans wanting to guarantee themselves a seat for every home Husky men's basketball game. For season ticket information visit www.GoHuskies.com or contact the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200 or e-mail: email@example.com). A limited number of Husky men's basketball single game tickets for all November non-conference games will go on sale to the general public Wednesday, November 1 at 8:30am. Tickets for all remaining non-conference games, excluding LSU, will go on sale on December 1. On the Monday prior to each home game, there is the possibility of additional single game ticket releases. Single game tickets can be purchased online 24 hours a day at GoHuskies.com or in person from 8:30am-5pm at the Husky Ticket Office.
Washington is seeking a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in school history. The current three-year streak equals UW's previous long tournament run from 1984 to 1986. The Huskies had a 19-12 record in 2004, 29-6 in 2005 and 26-7 last season. The 74 combined wins are the second-highest three-year total in school history, topped only by a 77-win run from 1951-53. UW advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in both 2005 and 2006, its first ever back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.
A youth movement has swept through the Washington men's basketball program. After relying on a core of veteran players to lead his Huskies to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances for the first time in school history, Coach Lorenzo Romar now counts on a bevy of underclassmen to sustain that success. 'This is the youngest team I've ever coached,' exclaimed Romar. 'We're going to have to get real old, real quick.' Despite their unfamiliarity with college basketball, all of the young pups possess pure prep pedigrees. Heading the pack of returning youngsters is a pair of sophomore starters, forward Jon Brockman and point guard Justin Dentmon. Both of them were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2006. Brockman is one of 50 players named to the preseason Wooden Award watch list. Those returning starters are among nine underclassmen on the 13-player active roster. Junior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby is the reigning Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Florida. For the second straight season, the Huskies welcome a recruiting class considered among the nation's finest. Heading the list of fabulous freshmen is 7-foot center Spencer Hawes, the leading vote getter in the Best in the West poll who is considered one of the country's top-five recruits.
The 2006 Huskies had one of the finest years in their history, finishing with a record of 26-7 for their second straight 20-win campaign. Washington began the season by winning the BCA Classic and finished it in an epic overtime loss to No. 1 seed Connecticut in the Sweet 16. Brandon Roy was named an All-American and the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Bobby Jones and Jamaal Williams were honored as all-conference honorable mention selections and Ryan Appleby was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
Three starters and two other lettermen have departed, led by All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year Brandon Roy. He was the sixth overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft by the same Minnesota team that also took forward Bobby Jones 37th. Both were immediately traded, Roy to Portland and Jones to Philadelphia. Also gone are four-year starting forward Mike Jensen and sensational sixth man Jamaal Williams.
The Washington men's basketball team begins the season as the nation's 16th-ranked team in the preseason ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll released Oct. 27. The Huskies are one of three Pac-10 teams in the top-25 and the only ranked school from the Northwest. NCAA runner-up UCLA is tied in the fifth spot and Arizona is 10th. Washington was not ranked in last year's preseason poll. The Huskies climbed to as high as No. 7 in last year's coaches poll, finishing the season in the No. 12 position. They were listed 24th in the coaches' poll entering the 2003-04 season. The Huskies have six meetings scheduled against teams ranked in the top-10, including a Dec. 20 home game against No. 7 LSU. UW plays two games against both No. 5 UCLA and No. 10 Arizona. On Feb. 17, the Huskies travel across the country to play at No. 5 Pittsburgh.
Home Sweet Home
The Huskies play all of their home games in recently renovated Bank of America Arena at Hec 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 808 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. They registered a perfect 15-0 home record in 2005 and were 17-2 last season.
In only four years, Coach Lorenzo Romar has elevated Washington to the elite level of college basketball. UW earned three straight NCAA Tournaments berths for just the second time in school history and advanced to consecutive Sweet Sixteens for the first time. Romar was honored at the Final Four as the winner of the John Wooden 'Keys to Life' Award following a 2006 season in which he directed the Huskies to a 26-7 record. UW was 13-5 in Pac-10 play, finishing as the Pac-10 runner-up for the third straight season. UW won two NCAA tournament games before an overtime setback against top-seed Connecticut. Romar already ranks fifth among all-time UW coaches with 84 victories. He guided the Huskies to a 29-6 record in 2005, tying the 1938 squad for the highest win total in school history. After receiving their first ever No. 1 seed, the Huskies posted two NCAA Tournament victories to advance to the Sweet 16. Romar was named the 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the Black Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. Romar directed a spectacular turnaround during his second season. UW posted a 19-12 record in 2004 and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. Romar coached the Huskies to their first second-place regular-season finish since 1986 and their first Pac-10 Tournament championship game appearance since 1987. After opening the conference campaign with an 0-5 record, UW reeled off 12 wins in its final 13 Pac-10 outings. Capping the run was a 75-62 triumph over No. 1 and previously undefeated Stanford. In 2003, Romar guided the Huskies to a 10-17 record. He was named to lead the program at his alma mater on April 3, 2002. A point guard for the Huskies' 1978-79 and 1979-80 teams, he is the 18th head coach in UW's 104-year history and the first African-American to lead the program. In his 10th season overall, Romar has compiled a 177-130 record as a head coach, including an 84-42 mark in four years at Washington. In three years at Saint Louis from 1999-2002, he compiled a 51-44 (.537) mark. He led Pepperdine to a three-year record of 42-44 (.488) from 1996-99, including a pair of second-place finishes in the West Coast Conference and an NIT invitation in 1999. His first Saint Louis squad upset top-ranked Cincinnati en route to the Conference USA tournament title and automatic NCAA berth. Seattle was the site of one of Romar's greatest coaching moments. As an assistant coach, he helped guide UCLA to an 89-78 triumph over Arkansas in the Kingdome to win the 1995 national championship. Romar built a reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters while an assistant at UCLA (1992-1996) and was credited with recruiting much of the talent that formed the core of the Bruins' title team. UCLA's record during Romar's four-year assistant coaching tenure was 97-28 (.776). A native of Compton, Calif., Romar graduated from Pius X High School. He earned his associate degree from Cerritos (Calif.) Community College in 1978 before studying at Washington from 1978-80. He completed his degree at Cincinnati, receiving his bachelor's in criminal justice in 1992. After starting two seasons at UW for legendary coach Marv Harshman, Romar was selected in the seventh round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. His five-year NBA career had stints at Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). Following the 1984-85 season, Romar joined Athletes in Action (AIA), a touring exhibition team on which he served as player-coach from 1989-1992.
Romar the Giant Killer
Washington has a 2-26 all-time record against top-ranked opponents and Lorenzo Romar played a part in both victories. He coached UW to a 75-62 over No. 1 Stanford, Mar. 6 in Seattle. On Feb. 22, 1979 the Huskies upset No. 1 UCLA 69-68 in Seattle. Romar was a Husky player then. He registered 10 points and six assists off the bench in 25 minutes against the Bruins. In his first season at Saint Louis, Romar's Billikens toppled No. 1 Cincinnati in the 2000 Conference USA Tournament.
Lorenzo Romar's staff is comprised of fifth-year assistant coach Cameron Dollar, third-year assistant Jim Shaw and second-year assistant Paul Fortier. After a stellar playing career at UCLA (1994-97) that included the 1995 NCAA championship, Dollar served the previous three years as an assistant coach on Romar's Saint Louis staff. A native of Chimacum, Wash., Shaw joined the Husky staff after five years on Kelvin Sampson's Oklahoma staff that included a 2002 Final Four appearance. Fortier, a former All-Pac-10 forward at UW (1983-86) returns to UW after two seasons at Cornell. He played 16 seasons professionally in Europe.