UW Men Tip-Off Hoop Season with Monday Exhibition
Nov. 2, 2007
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 5 --
Seattle Pacific at Washington, 7:00 p.m. PST (Exhibition)
Bank of America Arena (10,000) / Seattle, Wash.
No Radio / Live video broadcast available at www.GoHuskies.com
'I expect us to be a more mature team and a better defensive team. That will allow us to be more up-tempo. We will be more athletic than last year. Experience will also be a strength. Amazingly, in only one year all of a sudden we are experienced.'
The sixth 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, Monday, Nov. 5 against Seattle Pacific University. All tickets are $10 for the exhibition that tips off at 7 p.m. in Bank of America Arena on the UW campus. Washington begins the regular season, Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 8 p.m. against New Jersey Tech in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Bank of America Arena.
Live video and statistics from Monday's exhibition basketball game against Seattle Pacific are available free at Washington's official website: www.GoHuskies.com
Washington has a 40-11 all-time record in exhibition games, including a 108-74 win over Saint Martin's on Nov. 3, 2006 in its last non-counter. Monday marks UW's seventh exhibition contest against a collegiate opponent. The Huskies won the first six, defeating Seattle Pacific (2000), Western Washington (2001), Central Washington (2002), Westmont (2004), Simon Fraser (2005) and Saint Martin's (2006).
Scouting Seattle Pacific
The Falcons are NCAA Division II members whose campus is just five miles from UW. Sixth-year coach Jeff Hironaka's squad posted an 18-10 record in 2007 and shared the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title. SPU's top returning player is 6-foot-10 senior center Rob Will (Seattle, Wash./O'Dea) who averaged 13.0 points and 6.4 rebounds last season. The Huskies won all 10 previous meetings between these Seattle schools, including an 89-71 decision at UW on Nov. 19, 2004 in the most recent clash.
The Huskies registered a 93-38 record over the last four seasons, more victories than any other Pac-10 team during that span. The Huskies had a 19-12 record in 2004, 29-6 in 2005, 26-7 in 2006 and 19-3 last season. The 93 combined wins are the second-highest four-year total in school history, topped only by a 96-win run from 1950-53. UW competed in three straight NCAA Tournaments (2004-06), advancing to the third round in both 2005 and 2006. Those were UW's first ever back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org). Individual game tickets are currently available for the exhibition, the preseason NIT and all non-conference games, except the Dec. 8 game against Pittsburgh. Tickets for the Pitt game, and every Pac-10 game, will go on sale the Monday prior to each respective 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.
For the fourth year in a row, Washington has a Wooden Award candidate. Jon Brockman is listed on the preseason list of 50 candidates for the national player of the year honor. Brockman was also a Wooden nominee last year, following 2006 finalist Brandon Roy and Nate Robinson in 2005.
NIT Season Tip-Off
For the third straight season, Washington starts the regular season by hosting a tournament at Bank of America Arena. This year's schedule begins with the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off. The Huskies are hosting the West Regional that opens Nov. 13 with Utah vs. High Point at 5 p.m. Pacific Time followed by UW and New Jersey Tech at 8 p.m. The winners clash, Nov. 14 at 7:30 p.m. following a consolation game between the first-day losers at 4:30 p.m. The West Regional champion earns a trip to New York for an NIT semifinal contest on Nov. 21 at Madison Square Garden. The consolation and championship games are slated for Nov. 23. UW won the championship in its previous three season-opening tournaments, the Great Alaska Shootout (2004), BCA Classic (2005) and last year's Basketball Travelers Classic (2006).
The Huskies return four starters from the 2007 team that registered a 19-13 record and capped the regular-season with a 61-51 victory over second-ranked UCLA. The Huskies finished seventh in the Pac-10 with in 8-10 record. Heading the list of returnees is first-team All-Pac-10 selection Jon Brockman, a 6-foot-7 junior forward who led the conference last season with an average of 9.6 rebounds per game. UW's other returning starters are senior Ryan Appleby, junior Justin Dentmon and sophomore Quincy Pondexter. All four returning starters averaged double-figure points in 2007. The returning Huskies got a head start on the season when they ventured to Greece from Aug. 27 to Sept. 6 for a five-game tour. The team sandwiched several sightseeing excursions and other bonding experiences around five games that yielded a 2-3 record against Greek pro teams. The four incoming freshmen were not allowed on that trip, but three players who did not see game action last season did participate. Senior Tim Morris, who sat out last season after transferring from Stanford, made the most of the games in Greece. He was second on the team with a 12.8-point scoring average and hit 6-of-8 shots from 3-point range. Athletic junior Joel Smith returned after red-shirting last season due to a foot injury. Despite missing the entire season, Smith is still the most experienced Husky with a team-high 66 career games in a UW uniform. Sophomore Joe Wolfinger played well in Greece after missing the previous two seasons with a foot injury. The 7-foot center is an excellent shooter, with range past the 3-point line. Two other returning veterans who will be major contributors and battle for starting berths are junior center Artem Wallace and sophomore guard Adrian Oliver.
Four of the premier high school players in the nation signed letters of intent to attend Washington, including Matthew Bryan-Amaning, a 6-9 forward from South Kent School who was the Connecticut state player of the year. The signing class also includes a pair of California prepsters. Darnell Gant, a 6-8 forward from Crenshaw High School in Los Angeles, was the nation's No. 50 recruit and the No. 12 prospect in the annual Best in the West poll conducted by the Long Beach Press-Telegram. Ranked No. 23 on that Best in the West list was 6-6 forward Justin Holiday from Campbell Hall High School. The lone local signee was 6-foot point guard Venoy Overton, the state Class 4A player of the year from Seattle's Franklin High School. The quartet of stellar recruits is another boost for a Washington program that brought in classes rated among the nation's best in each of the previous two years.
One starter and three other lettermen have departed, led by All-Pac-10 Freshman team and honorable mention All-Pac-10 selection Spencer Hawes. He was the 10th overall selection in the 2007 NBA Draft by the Sacramento Kings. Also gone are four-year lettermen Brandon Burmeister and Hans Gasser along with Phil Nelson, who transferred to Portland State after one year at UW.
Washington led the Pac-10 in rebound margin in 2007, out-boarding its opponents by nine per game (38.2 to 29.3). That + 9.1 margin ranked No. 2 nationally, behind only Vermont (+ 9.6). The Huskies won the board battle in 30 of 32 games, coming up short at California (Jan. 13) and at Arizona (Feb. 3). Jon Brockman, now a junior, led the conference with 9.6 rebounds per game, including 18 double-digit efforts. Brockman had a Pac-10 leading 15 double-doubles in 2007.
In just five 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 already ranks fifth among all-time UW coaches with 103 victories. He posted his 100th UW win on Feb. 12, 2007 against Stanford. The youthful 2007 Huskies, including four underclassmen starters, had a 19-13 record and an 8-10 Pac-10 mark. Romar was honored at the 2006 Final Four as the winner of the John Wooden 'Keys to Life' Award following a season in which he directed the Huskies to a 26-7 record. UW was 13-5 in Pac-10 play, finishing as the conference runner-up for the third straight season. UW won two NCAA tournament games before an overtime setback against top-seed Connecticut. Romar 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 105-year history and the first African-American to lead the program. In his 12th season overall, Romar has compiled a 196-143 record as a head coach, including a 103-55 mark in five 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 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 Golden State. His five-year NBA career had stints at Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). After the 1984-85 season, Romar joined Athletes in Action (AIA), a touring exhibition team on which he served as player-coach from 1989-92.
Romar the Giant Killer
Washington has a 2-27 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, 2004 in Seattle. On Feb. 22, 1979 the Huskies upset No. 1 UCLA 69-68 in Seattle. Romar was a Husky player then, registering 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 sixth-year assistant coach Cameron Dollar, fourth-year assistant Jim Shaw and third-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) returned after two seasons at Cornell. He played 16 seasons professionally in Europe.