Huskies are Sports Illustrated Cover Boys

Nov. 16, 2006

SEATTLE - University of Washington men's basketball players Ryan Appleby and Jon Brockman are featured on the cover of the Nov. 20 issue of Sports Illustrated that hits newsstands today.

The junior guard and senior forward are pictured with the headline, 'Big is Back: Will it Be a Big Year for the Huskies?'

Inside the magazine, there is a full-page photo of freshman center Spencer Hawes. He is pictured in a vintage Husky uniform on a page titled 'The Throwback.'

Washington is one of five schools featured on regional covers for the college basketball preview edition that pictures players from Georgetown, North Carolina, Kansas and Wisconsin in other regions of the country.

This marks the first time the UW basketball team has been featured on the cover of Sports Illustrated and the third time for any Husky team. Two quarterbacks from the UW football team have appeared on the cover, Sonny Sixkiller on Oct. 4, 1971 and Bob Schloredt on Oct. 3, 1960.

The Husky basketball team hopes to avoid the Sports Illustrated jinx when they host Sacramento State, Sunday, Nov. 19 at 1 p.m.

The fabled SI jinx struck Schloredt one week after he was pictured on the cover taking a shotgun snap. The heavily favored Huskies lost when Navy scored in the final minutes after recovering a fumbled snap by Schloredt.

The Huskies are listed 14th nationally in Sports Illustrated's 2007 preseason projections. Writer Kelli Anderson's story, which focused on Appleby, appears below:

Despite an improved inside game, the Huskies biggest weapon is a marksman in the mold of the Pistol

Junior guard Ryan Appleby (left) grew up idolizing LSU legend Pete Maravich, but aside from Appleby's floppy locks and long-range bombs, there's not much of the Pistol in his play. 'Once in a while Ryan will get in a jam and you'll see him pull a pass out of nowhere,' says Huskies coach Lorenzo Romar. 'But he's not usually a showy guy on the court.'

That is, if you don't consider deadly accuracy from 25 feet out showy. Appleby, who played a year at Florida before transferring to Washington, hit 70 treys (42.4%) coming off the bench last season to earn the Pac-10 newcomer of the year award. 'He is a phenomenal shooter,' says Romar. 'If you took a picture of 50 of his shots, I think all 50 would look the same.'

Appleby first saw the Maravich biopic The Pistol when he was seven, and he later acquired the Maravich ¬ball-handling and shooting videos. 'I fell in love with the way he played, his love for the game,' he says. But it was Maravich's work ethic that had the biggest impact: At Stanwood (Wash.) High, Appleby showed up at the gym at 5:30 every morning to take 250 to 300 shots ¬before class.

Now Appleby can stretch defenses that want to focus on 6'7' sophomore Jon Brockman and 7-foot freshman Spencer Hawes, the jewel of a talented four-man freshman class. 'We've been pretty perimeter-oriented since I've been here,' says Romar, who is in his fifth year in Seattle. 'This year we will have more of an inside presence and better balance. That's an exciting prospect.'

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