#14 Washington Men Begin Pac-10 Play
Dec. 26, 2006
THURSDAY, DECEMBER 28 --
(#14) Washington at USC, 7:30 p.m. (FSN West /Fox College Sports Central)
Galen Center (10,258) / Los Angeles, Calif.
Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area
SUNDAY, DECEMBER 31 --
(#14) Washington at (#1) UCLA, 2:00 p.m. (FSN)
Pauley Pavilion (12,800) / Los Angeles, Calif.
Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area
The 14th-ranked (AP) Washington Huskies (10-1) Huskies begin Pac-10 play on the road this week in pursuit of their first conference championship since 1985. UW embarks on a two-game trip to Los Angeles, beginning on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7:30 p.m. against USC (10-3). Washington will be the first Pac-10 team to visit the Trojans' new Galen Center. The Huskies wrap up the 2006 calendar year with a Sunday, Dec. 31 game against top-ranked UCLA (11-0). Tip-off is 2 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion where UW won 69-65 last season for the first time since 1987, halting a 19-game losing streak at the Bruins' arena. No. 1 UCLA is the third of four ranked opponents for UW during its current seven-game stretch. The Huskies return home next week to host No. 7 Arizona (Jan. 4) and Arizona State (Jan. 6).
The Huskies are seeking their first conference title since winning back-to-back Pac-10 crowns in 1984 and 1985. Washington was the conference runner-up in each of the last three seasons and won the Pac-10 Tournament in 2005.
The Huskies won their last three games, capped by an 80-51 win over Weber State on Friday (Dec. 22). UW registered a convincing 88-72 triumph over then No. 12 LSU (Dec. 20) during which they held All-American and SEC Player of the Year Glen 'Big Baby' Davis under double-figure points for the first time in 49 games. Washington opened the season with seven consecutive home victories, beginning with a three-game sweep en route to the championship of the Basketball Travelers Classic. UW's lone loss was a 97-77 setback at No. 18 Gonzaga (Dec. 9) in its only road game to date.
At least 25 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. Thursday's game at USC will be broadcast live in Southern California on FSN West and on Fox College Sports Central via Comcast cable and satellite providers.
Every Husky game will be broadcast on the Washington ISP Sports Network and airs on flagship station KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play with commentary from Jason Hamilton.
Player of the Week
Freshman center Spencer Hawes, who averaged 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in two victories last week, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Tuesday. Hawes posted his first double-double with career-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds during an 88-72 win over 12th-ranked LSU. Hawes shot 10-of-16 from the field and was instrumental in stopping LSU All-American Glen 'Big Baby' Davis' double-digit scoring streak at 48 games. Hawes matched his career-high with 23 points and added nine rebounds in an 80-51 win over Weber State. For the week, he shot 20-of-30 (.667) from the field.
One of the most highly acclaimed recruits in school history lived up to his billing Nov. 12 in his collegiate debut. Freshman Spencer Hawes (Seattle, Wash.) tallied 12 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in 19 minutes against Pepperdine. Hawes has nine double-figure scoring games, including four 20-point performances in his last five outings. He registered his first double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds against LSU (Dec. 20). Hawes' 15.5-point scoring average currently leads the Huskies. The 7-foot center was a McDonald's All-American who turned down North Carolina to attend UW.
Washington is out-boarding its opponents by over 13 rebounds per game (43.8 to 30.3). The Huskies won the board battle in all 11 games. Sophomore forward Jon Brockman leads UW with 10.1 rebounds per game, including seven double-digit efforts.
The Huskies are averaging 88.0 points per game, including 100-point outbursts against Nicholls State (102) and Portland State (105). Washington ranked among the nation's top-six scoring teams in each of the last three seasons, finishing fourth (82.0 ppg) last season after ranking No. 2 in 2005 (86.5 ppg) and No. 6 in 2004 (82.0 ppg).
Spencer Hawes leads the Pac-10 with 2.45 blocks per game. His 27 blocked shots are one more than the entire season total posted by Washington's 2006 team leader Brandon Roy ... The Huskies won the last five meetings with USC, their longest streak in the series since 1957 ... UW swept its visits to USC and UCLA last season, its first two-game sweep in Los Angeles since the 1986-87 season ... Freshmen and sophomores are the Huskies' top-four leading scorers and top-seven rebounders ... Washington has won 27 consecutive non-conference home games, including all 10 games this season ... The Huskies have a 16-game home winning streak at Bank of America Arena where they won 49 of the last 51 outings ... UW's 88-72 decision Wednesday over No. 12 LSU was its seventh straight home victory over a ranked opponent ... The Huskies hit a school-record 17 treys (in 33 tries) vs. Nicholls State (Nov. 13).
The Huskies are extremely young, with underclassmen comprising eight of the 12 spots on the active roster. UW has five freshmen on the roster (one of them a 2006 red-shirt) and three sophomores. The four eligible upperclassmen (two seniors, two juniors) had a combined two games of starting experience at UW entering this season.
Six different players have claimed top-scoring honors in Washington's 10 games (Jon Brockman, Brandon Burmeister, Justin Dentmon, Quincy Pondexter, Ryan Appleby and Spencer Hawes). Dentmon, Hawes and Pondexter are the only players to lead all UW scorers more than once. Eight different Huskies have registered at least one double-figure scoring effort.
The USC Series
> Washington won the last five meetings to forge a 62-62 tie in the all-time series that began in 1925.
> The Huskies swept the season series last year for the third time in the last four years. They won twice in 2003 after losing the previous seven meetings with USC.
> The Trojans own a 35-25 edge over UW during games played in Los Angeles.
> Washington won in its last four visits to USC after losing in its previous four trips between 1999-2002.
> In his second year at USC, Tim Floyd has an 0-2 record against Washington.
> Fifth-year Husky coach Lorenzo Romar has a 7-1 record against USC.
The Last Meeting
#21 UW 87, USC 73 (Feb. 9, 2006; Seattle)
Brandon Roy posted his fourth double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds, leading 21st-ranked Washington to a season sweep of USC with an 87-73 victory at Bank of America Arena. Roy helped the Huskies (17-5, 6-5) dominate the boards with a 38-24 rebounding advantage. UW's stifling defense forced USC to miss its first nine shots. By the time the Trojans (15-8, 6-6) got their first field goal 9:45 into the game, UW led 15-6. The margin was 44-27 at halftime and grew to 67-40 before USC went on a 3-point binge. Fueled by six treys, four of them from reserve Dwayne Shackleford, the Trojans went on a 30-12 run. They drew within 79-70 on a pair of Nick Young free throws with 2:58 left to play. Roy answered with a 3-pointer to begin a six-point UW surge that secured the win. In his first game as a Husky reserve, Jamaal Williams scored 15 points on 7-of-11 shooting. Young scored 28 points to pace the Trojans who also got 16 from Seattle native Lodrick Stewart and 15 from Shackleford.
The Last Meeting in Los Angeles
#13 UW 86, USC 77 (Jan. 12, 2006; Los Angeles)
Brandon Roy registered a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds to lead 13th-ranked Washington to an 86-77 decision, its fourth consecutive victory at the Sports Arena. The Huskies (13-2, 2-2) played in an opponent's arena for the first time this season following 13 home games and one neutral-site outing. Bobby Jones scored 15 of his career-high tying 22 points in the first half as UW led by as many as 19 points en route to a 45-32 halftime advantage. Gabe Pruitt missed all six of his first-half shots for the Trojans (11-5, 2-3) before amassing six 3-pointers and 21 points after intermission. He helped USC stage a 16-5 run that closed the deficit to 73-70 with 5:44 left to play. The Huskies answered with a 10-2 surge to repel the rally. UW posted a 46-24 rebounding margin, but that was offset by 28 turnovers. USC had a 30-13 advantage in points off turnovers. Jamaal Williams scored 14 points for the Huskies. Lodrick Stewart tallied 15 points for USC and Nick Young added 15.
Fantastic freshman Quincy Pondexter (Fresno, Calif.) opened his Husky career with a 21-point, seven-rebound effort against Pepperdine (Nov. 12). He hasn't slowed down since and currently ranks second for UW with an average of 15.0 points per game, including a 25-point performance against Idaho (Nov. 29). Pondexter is tied for the team lead with nine double-figure scoring games.
When they arrived on campus, Hans Gasser and Brandon Burmeister joined a UW team coming off four straight losing seasons. Since then, the only two seniors on the Husky roster have gone to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. If UW earns a 2007 berth, Gasser and Burmeister will be the first players in school history to participate in four NCAA Tournaments.
Wooden Award Candidate
Washington sophomore Jon Brockman was selected to the preseason list of candidates for the 2006 John R. Wooden All-America Team. A national poll was conducted to choose the top 50 candidates who will be evaluated and considered for the mid-season top 30 list, the 10-man All-America Team and the Wooden Award that honors the nation's best player. Brockman got the best of LSU All-American Glen Davis in their Dec. 20 matchup. He amassed 19 points and 14 rebounds while defensively putting and end to 'Big Baby's' 48-game double-figure scoring streak. A Pac-10 All-Freshman Team member last season, Brockman led last year's Huskies with 6.5 rebounds per game and averaged 8.4 points. He leads this year's squad with an average of 10.1 rebounds and is UW's third leading scorer at 12.8 points per game.
The Washington men's basketball rose three places to 14th in this week's (Dec. 25) Associated Press poll. The Huskies are one of four Pac-10 teams in the top-25, joining top-ranked UCLA, Arizona (7) and Oregon (20). UW has eight games scheduled against five opponents ranked in the current top-20, including UCLA (1), Arizona (7), Pittsburgh (10), LSU (17) and Oregon (20). Washington climbed four spots, into the No. 13 position in this week's ESPN/USA Today poll. UW was not ranked in last year's preseason polls, but finished the 2006 season No. 17 in the final AP poll and No. 12 by ESPN/USA Today.
The Huskies have used three unique sets of starters, the current group comprised entirely of underclassmen has opened the last six games. UW starts three freshmen (Spencer Hawes, Adrian Oliver, Quincy Pondexter) and two sophomores (Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon). The Huskies implemented four different lineups last season.
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 were 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.
How Do You Like Them Apples?
Junior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby has 24 of UW's 74 treys, 11 more than any other Husky. He is averaging 2.2 treys per game while shooting 39 percent beyond the arc. Appleby has at least one 3-pointer in each of the last 10 games. The Florida transfer was voted the 2006 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Appleby's 70 treys last year were the third-highest single-season total in UW history. He hit a career-best six 3-pointers against Loyola Marymount (Nov. 25, 2005). Appleby netted 99 of his 123 collegiate field goals (including Florida stats) from 3-point range.
Six players rejected at least one shot Nov. 19 for the Huskies, who compiled 11 blocks against Sacramento State. That marked the most blocks for UW since the school record of 14 was established against Santa Clara on Nov. 24, 2001. Freshman center Spencer Hawes accounted for six blocks against Sacramento State, the highest single-game total for a Husky since Hakeem Rollins rejected six shots at California on Jan. 2, 2004. The Huskies have 49 blocks, a rate of 4.45 per game. Last year's team averaged 3.45 blocks led by Brandon Roy's 26. Hawes is this year's leader with 27 blocks.
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 eight underclassmen on the 12-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 Huskies won the last three regular-season tournaments in which they participated, including a season-opening triumph in the Basketball Travelers Classic. UW was also victorious in the 2004 Great Alaska Shootout and the 2005 BCA Classic.
UW's Dec. 9 setback at Gonzaga halted a 24-game winning streak in regular-season, non-conference games. The Huskies also had a streak of 15 consecutive regular-season games halted.