UW Visits NYC to Play A&M in NIT at MSG

Nov. 19, 2007

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Madison Square Garden (19,763); New York, N.Y.

Semifinal 1 - Washington vs. Texas A&M, 4:00 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST. (ESPN2)
Semifinal 2 - Syracuse vs. Ohio State, 6:00 p.m. PST / 9 p.m. EST. (ESPN2)

Consolation Game - losing teams, 1:30 p.m. PST / 4:30 p.m. EST. (ESPN)
Championship Game - winning teams, 4:00 p.m. PST / 7 p.m. EST. (ESPN2)
(Both UW games on ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area)

The Washington Huskies (3-0) embark on a cross-country trek with New York's Madison Square Garden as their destination. UW plays 15th-ranked Texas A&M (4-0) in the semifinals of the NIT Season Tip-Off, Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time (7 p.m. Eastern). Wednesday's winner advances to the championship game to meet the Syracuse-Ohio State victor, Friday, Nov. 23 at 4 p.m. PST. The losing semifinal squads play in the consolation game, Friday at 1:30 p.m. PST. Washington earned the NIT semifinals by virtue of a pair of wins in Seattle at the West Regional. The Huskies dispatched New Jersey Tech 88-47 on Tuesday (Nov. 13) before surviving an 83-77 battle with Utah on Wednesday (Nov. 14). Texas A&M won the South Regional with wins over Oral Roberts and UTEP.

Returning to the Garden
The Huskies hope the school's second appearance at Madison Square Garden is as productive as the first. UW's only previous game at MSG resulted in a 72-38 rout of host New York University on Dec. 30, 1941. The impressive victory was chronicled this way in the lead of the next day's New York Times game story:
'The University of Washington basketball forces struck unbeaten New York University with cyclone fury at Madison Square Garden last night, virtually swept the Violet off the court with the fastest-breaking attack seen hereabouts in many a moon and cracked three Garden scoring records in achieving a 72-38 victory.'

Broadcast Bits
At least 25 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. Both NIT games this week will be broadcast on ESPN2 or ESPN. Wednesday's game against Texas A&M airs on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. Pacific Time (7 p.m. EST). The announcing team is Dave O'Brien, Steve Lavin and Allen Hopkins.

Radio Coverage
Every Husky game will be broadcast on the Washington ISP Sports Network that airs on flagship station KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. Bob Rondeau calls the play-by-play with commentary from Jason Hamilton.

Washington junior Jon Brockman is a Wooden Award candidate for the second straight season. He displayed why in the last two games. Against Utah (Nov. 14), the 6-foot-7 forward tallied a career-high 31 points and 18 rebounds, many of them against 7-foot-1 Ute center Luke Nevill. The 18 boards were the most by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch had 21 on Jan. 31, 1999. It was the first 30-point performance by a UW player since Brandon Roy on Mar. 9, 2006. In his last game, Brockman netted 26 points in just 27 minutes against Eastern Washington. He leads the team with 23.0 points and 11.7 rebounds per game. Brockman is hitting 56-percent of his shots from the field (28-of-50). A 2005 McDonald's All-American out of Snohomish (Wash.) High School, Brockman was selected to the 2006 Pac-10 All-Freshman team and was a first-team All-Pac-10 honoree in 2007.

Fast Fact
Washington is the only school to have a first round pick each of the last three NBA Drafts. Spencer Hawes was the 10th pick in 2007, Brandon Roy went 6th in 2006 and Nate Robinson was the No. 21 selection in 2005.

Tournament Tidbits
The NIT Season Tip-Off is a 16-team tournament with four regional campus sites for the first two rounds. The other regional hosts were Syracuse, Ohio State and 15th-ranked Texas A&M. Washington won the championship in its previous three season-opening tournaments, at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage (2004), the BCA Classic in Seattle (2005) and last year's Basketball Travelers Classic in Seattle (2006). UW defeated Northern Iowa 70-61 to win last year's tournament. This is the Huskies' second appearance in the preseason NIT event. UW opened the 1985-86 season at the NIT in Denver, Colo. and defeated UTEP 82-53 before losing 69-64 to fifth-ranked Kansas. Butler won the 2007 NIT Season Tip-Off and Arizona was the last Pac-10 team to win the event, in 1999.

Washington's All-Time Regular-Season Tournament Championships
2006 Basketball Travelers Classic (Seattle, Wash.)
2005 BCA Classic (Seattle, Wash.)
2004 Great Alaska Shootout (Anchorage, Ak.)
1998 Big Island Invitational (Hilo, Hi.)
1995 US West Tournament (Seattle, Wash.)
1994 US West Tournament (Seattle, Wash.)
1984 Sun-Met Classic (Fresno, Calif.)
1979 Blade-Glass City Classic (Toledo, Ohio)
1976 Cabrillo Classic (San Diego, Calif.)
1975 Far West Classic (Portland, Ore.)
1974 Jayhawk Classic (Lawrence, Ks.)
1973 Far West Classic (Portland, Ore.)

The Texas A&M Series
> The Aggies won the last two meetings to take a slim 2-1 edge in the all-time series with Washington.

> Texas A&M won the last meeting, a 69-65 decision on March 15, 1982 in Seattle during the second round of the postseason National Invitation Tournament.

> The Huskies won the first meeting 62-40 on March 22, 1951 in an NCAA Tournament game in Kansas City, Mo. Texas A&M won the second meeting 61-53 on Dec. 26, 1964 in the opening round of the All-College Tourney in Oklahoma City, Ok.

> Washington has a 37-47 all-time record against current members of the Big 12 Conference.

> First-year Texas A&M coach Mark Turgeon, who was Wichita State's head coach the previous seven seasons, has an 0-1 record against Washington. The Huskies defeated his first Shocker squad 69-66 on Nov. 30, 2000 in Wichita.

> In his sixth year at Washington, Lorenzo Romar won his only previous meeting with Texas A&M. Romar's Saint Louis team beat the Aggies 72-60 on Nov. 2, 2000.

Magnificent Morris
Senior Tim Morris scored more points in his Washington debut than in any of 42 games during his career at Stanford. The 6-foot-4 guard led the Huskies with 16 points against New Jersey Tech (Nov. 13). Morris transferred to UW prior to last year and sat out the 2006-07 season. He played the previous two seasons at Stanford where his game-high total was 15 points against UC Davis on Dec. 4, 2005. Morris was a two-time Georgia State Class A Player of the Year (2002 & 2003). He is the second cousin of Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar.

Wooden Award Candidate
Washington junior Jon Brockman was selected as one of 50 players on the preseason list of candidates for the John R. Wooden Award. 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 is one of 10 players who are Wooden Award candidates for the second straight season. Washington had a nominee during each of the last four years, including 2006 Wooden Award finalist Brandon Roy and 2005 candidate Nate Robinson. A 6-foot-7 forward, Brockman led all Pac-10 players with an average of 9.6 rebounds per game. He also topped the conference in double-doubles with 15 during the 2006-07 campaign. A first-team All-Pac-10 team member in 2007, Brockman ranked second on the team and 12th in the conference with 14.2 points per game. His 55.0-percent field goal accuracy was the third-highest figure in the Pac-10.'It feels great any time your name is included with so many other great players,' exclaimed Brockman, who reveres the award's namesake, John Wooden. 'I got to meet him and get to know him through Coach (Lorenzo) Romar. He's a role model for everyone. He's definitely a huge role model for me.'

Academic Pursuit
The Huskies embarked on a five-game tour of Greece from Aug. 27 to Sept. 6. UW posted a 2-3 record on the trip while working three players into the lineup who did not play last season (Tim Morris, Joel Smith, Joe Wolfinger). The team also visited historic sites like the Acropolis, Parthenon and Olympic Stadium in Athens, the Royal Tombs near Thessaloniki and the cliffs of Meteora. Games and tours weren't the only thing on the agenda. The Huskies took advantage of the journey to learn more about one of the most famous Greeks, Socrates. The Husky players enrolled in a classics course with James Clauss, the former chair of the UW classics department and now director of the Honors Program. Clauss taught the course the week prior to the team's departure and continued his instruction in Greece as a member of the travel party. Along with Socrates, the Huskies studied architecture and Greek history.

Personnel Matters
Washington's roster lists just 13 players, all of them scholarship athletes. Two players are not currently available to play. Coach Lorenzo Romar announced Nov. 13 that 6-foot-8 freshman forward Darnell Gant (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw) will red-shirt this season. Senior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby (Stanwood, Wash./Stanwood) injured his right thumb during practice on Oct. 31 and will be sidelined for six weeks. Appleby underwent surgery Nov. 2 to repair the fracture. He set a new school single-season record for 3-pointers with 84 last season. Appleby hit 154 career treys as a Husky after transferring from Florida prior to the 2004-05 academic year.

UW's Lorenzo Romar needs one more victory to reach the 200-career coaching win plateau ... Texas A&M's Mark Turgeon is the third straight coach the Huskies have faced who is in the first year at his present school, following Jim Boylen (Utah) and Kirk Earlywine (Eastern Washington) ... Tuesday's (Nov. 13) 88-47 triumph over NJIT was Washington's largest margin of victory since a 47-point win over Loyola Marymount (112-65) on Nov. 25, 2005 ... The Huskies limited NJIT to 47 points, the lowest total for an opponent since Dec. 23, 2005 when Lehigh was held to 37 points ... 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.

UW's Last Game
UW 82, Eastern Washington 68 (Nov. 18, 2007; Seattle)

Jon Brockman scored 26 points in just 27 minutes, leading Washington to an 82-68 win over Eastern Washington at Bank of America Arena. The Eagles (1-3) took their only lead at 7-6 on a three-point play by Brandon Moore with 13:25 left in the first half. The Huskies (3-0) responded with an 18-4 run to take control. The lead was 45-27 at halftime and grew to as many as 24 points in the second half. EWU used a 12-point run to trim the deficit to nine points before the Huskies answered with seven straight points inside the final minute. Justin Dentmon contributed 16 points and seven assists for the Huskies. Adris DeLeon tallied 16 of his 22 points in the second half for the Eagles.

Game 2 Recap
UW 83, Utah 77 NIT 2nd Round(Nov. 14, 2007; Seattle)

Jon Brockman amassed a career-high 31 points and 18 rebounds, keying Washington's 83-77 victory over the Utah Utes in the West Regional final of the NIT Season Tip-Off at Bank of America Arena. The win secured the Huskies a spot in the semifinals against Texas A&M. Brockman registered a double-double playing most of the time against Utah's 7-foot-1 center Luke Nevill. The Utes (2-1) began the game with a quick 10-4 lead before UW (2-0) surged ahead 44-35 at halftime. Brockman capped the first half with a three-point play in the final second. The second half featured eight lead changes and five ties. Utah took its final lead, at 75-72 on a Johnnie Bryant 3-pointer with 2:29 left to play. UW closed the game with an 11-2 run, including four from Justin Dentmon who netted the go-ahead basket at 1:32. Dentmon finished ith 16 points and Joel Smith added 11. Stephen Weigh paced Utah with 21 points while Bryant had 18 and Nevill 14. Brockman led UW's 40-26 rebound advantage against the taller Utes.

Game 1 Recap
UW 88, New Jersey Tech 47 (Nov. 13, 2007; Seattle)

Tim Morris scored 10 of his 16 points in the first half of his Washington debut, leading the Huskies to an 88-47 win over New Jersey Tech in the first round of the NIT Season Tip-Off West Regional at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (1-0) forced 29 turnovers, including nine in the opening seven minutes en route to a 17-3 lead. NJIT (0-2) took its only lead of the game at 3-2 on a trey by Justin Garris 1:07 into the game. UW scored the next 15 points, The Huskies' lead was 45-24 at halftime and grew to as many as 46 points during the second half. Jon Brockman scored 12 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead a 46-25 UW advantage on the boards. Joel Smith added 12 points for the Huskies, who also got 11 from Adrian Oliver and Quincy Pondexter. Garris paced the Highlanders with 10 points.

Four-Year Run
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 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 19-13 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.

2007 UW Preview
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.

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