Husky Men Continue Four-Game Hoops Homestand

Dec. 12, 2007

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SATURDAY, DECEMBER 15 --
Portland at Washington, 3:00 p.m. PST (FSN Northwest)
Bank of America Arena (10,000) / Seattle, Wash.
(Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area)

TUESDAY, DECEMBER 18 --
Portland State at Washington, 7:30 p.m. PST (FSN Northwest)
Bank of America Arena (10,000) / Seattle, Wash.
(Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area)

The Washington Huskies (4-4) seek to capitalize on a stretch of home games to get back on the winning side of the ledger. The Huskies continue their four-game homestand against Portland (3-6), Saturday, Dec. 15. Tip-off is 3 p.m. Pacific Time at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus. Washington plays five of its next six games at home, hoping to halt a two-game losing streak. Three UW defeats came against ranked foes, including a heart-breaking 75-74 loss to No. 12 Pittsburgh in which Justin Dentmon's final basket was overturned on review by the referees. On Tuesday, Dec. 18, former Husky assistant coach Ken Bone brings his Portland State squad to Seattle for a 7:30 p.m. game.

Streak Stopped
Washington strung together 31 consecutive non-conference home games without a loss before Saturday's 75-74 loss to Pittsburgh (Dec. 8). UW's previous non-conference home loss was an 86-62 setback against then-No. 17 Gonzaga on Dec. 3, 2003. The Huskies won 37 of their last 39 non-conference games at Bank of America Arena.

TV Tidbits
At least 25 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. Saturday's game against Portland airs live at 3 p.m. Pacific Time on FSN Northwest. Brian Davis calls the action with commentary from Bob Weiss.

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 provides the play-by-play with analysis from Jason Hamilton.

Shuffling Starters
Coach Lorenzo Romar unveiled a new starting lineup on gameday, Dec. 8 against Pittsburgh. He put all positions up for grabs to be claimed by those players that exhibited the most defensive effort during the week's practices. Romar remarked that the same philosophy applies this week, so Saturday's starting five is anyone's guess. Jon Brockman and Venoy Overton are the only two players to start all eight games to date.

Wooden Award Candidate
Washington junior Jon Brockman is a Wooden Award candidate for the second straight season. He leads the Huskies in scoring (19.0) and rebounding (11.6 rpg). The 6-foot-7 forward was honored Nov. 19 as the Pac-10 Player of the Week. Brockman posted double-figure points in all eight games with four 20-point performances. He registered four double-doubles. Against Utah (Nov. 14), Brockman 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. Brockman is hitting 52 percent of his shots from the field (63-of-122). A 2005 McDonald's All-American out of Snohomish (Wash.) High School, Brockman was selected to the 2007 All-Pac-10 Team and was a Pac-10 All-Freshman team honoree in 2006.

Ticket Talk
Season tickets are still available for fans wanting to guarantee themselves a seat for every home Husky men's basketball game. Individual game tickets are currently available for all games. They can be purchased online 24 hours a day at GoHuskies.com, in person from 8:30am-5pm at the Husky Ticket Office or by contacting the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200 or e-mail: tickets@u.washington.edu).

The Portland Series
> Washington owns a 10-1 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1944.

> The Huskies were victorious in the last four meetings, including an 81-72 win on Dec. 30, 1998 in Seattle during the most recent clash.

> Then Pilots' lone series win was a 70-64 decision on Dec. 21, 1993 in Portland.

> Washington has a 56-18 all-time record against current members of the West Coast Conference. UW's series records against the West Coast members are: Gonzaga (29-14), Loyola-Marymount (4-1), Pepperdine (1-0), Portland (10-1), Saint Mary's (6-0), San Diego (1-1) and Santa Clara (5-1).

> The Portland roster includes 6-foot-8 freshman forward Luke Sikma, from Bellevue (Wash.) High School. He is the son of Jack Sikma, a seven-time NBA all-start with the Seattle SuperSonics and Milwaukee Bucks. Jack was a member of Seattle's 1979 NBA championship team.

> In his second season, Portland's Eric Reveno has never faced Washington as a head coach. He was an assistant coach at Stanford from 1997-2004.

> In his sixth season at Washington, Coach Lorenzo Romar is 3-3 against Portland, all six games coming when he was the Pepperdine coach from 1997-99.

The Last Meeting
UW 81, Portland 72 (Dec. 30, 1998; Seattle)

Deon Luton registered seven of his 21 points inside the final six minutes as Washington won a hard-fought 81-72 game against Portland at Edmundson Pavilion. The Huskies (7-3) concluded their non-conference season with seven wins for the fourth straight season. The Pilots (6-5) overcame an 11-point first-half deficit to draw within 39-36 at halftime. Jason Franklin hit a 3-pointer with 10:31 left in the game to put Portland ahead 53-52. Tied at 60 with 7:37 remaining, Washington staged a 12-2 run to take control. Luton had a dunk and 3-pointer to spark the run and later added two free throws. Luton's trey was the 119th of his career, tying him with Eldridge Recasner for the Washington career record. Todd MacCulloch posted his fourth straight double-double with game-high 24-point and 12-rebound totals. Jimmie Rainwater scored 18 points to lead the Pilots who also got 12 from Ryan Jones. The Huskies won despite shooting 58-percent (26-45) from the free throw line. Husky forward Thalo Green left the game midway through the second half with a cut on his head that required 10 stitches. He returned to play the final 18 seconds.

Personnel Matters
Washington's roster lists just 12 players, all of them scholarship athletes. Of those, only 11 will play this year as Coach Lorenzo Romar announced Nov. 13 that 6-foot-8 freshman forward Darnell Gant (Los Angeles, Calif./Crenshaw) will red-shirt this season. Gant will continue to practice with the team. Senior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby (Stanwood, Wash./Stanwood) injured his right thumb during practice on Oct. 31 and underwent surgery Nov. 2 to repair the fracture. He saw his first game action Dec. 8 against Pittsburgh, hitting 6-of-12 treys as a reserve. The Huskies opened the season with 13 players, but sophomore Adrian Oliver (Modesto, Calif.) announced on Dec. 4 that he was going to transfer. The 6-foot-3 guard averaged 3.4 points in five games.

NIT Recap
Washington finished fourth in the NIT Season Tip-Off that concluded Nov. 23 with Texas A&M defeating Ohio State 70-47 in the championship game at Madison Square Garden. The Huskies fell to 21st-ranked Syracuse 91-85 in the consolation game after losing 77-63 to No. 16 Texas A&M on Nov. 21. UW advanced to the NIT semifinals in New York by defeating Utah 83-77 in the West Regional title game (Nov. 14) after opening the tournament in Seattle with an 88-47 victory over New Jersey Tech (Nov. 13).

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.

How Do You Like Them Apples?
Senior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby made a dramatic return Saturday (Dec. 8) against 12th-ranked Pittsburgh. In the first game back after fracturing his right thumb during practice on Oct. 31 Appleby hit six 3-pointers, including 4-of-5 in the first half. That was the fifth time he made six treys in a game. Appleby has at least one 3-pointer in each of his last 32 games. He set a new school single-season record for 3-pointers with 84 last season. Appleby compiled 160 career 3-pointers as a Husky, 52 shy of the school record of 212 held by Deon Luton (1997-2000). The Florida transfer was voted the 2006 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Appleby netted 165 of his 204 collegiate field goals (including Florida stats) from 3-point range.

Sharpshooters
In Appleby's absence during the first seven games, two athletes who did not play last season picked up the slack from behind the arc. Junior Joel Smith leads all Pac-10 players, hitting treys at a 61-percent rate (11-of-18). He hit all four of his 3-point attempts against Long Beach State (Nov. 26). Sophomore center Joe Wolfinger is shooting 3-pointers at a 53-percent clip (8-15).

Notable
Three Huskies entered the week atop the Pac-10 statistical leaderboard. John Brockman is the league's top rebounder (11.6 rpg), Venoy Overton is the steals leader (2.0 spg) and Joel Smith tops all Pac-10 players in 3-point percentage (61.1%). ... The Huskies' 4-4 record puts them at the .500-mark for the first time since they were 8-8 entering a game vs. ASU on Jan. 31, 2004. UW was above .500 since then, prior to Saturday's loss to Pitt. ... The Huskies were ahead at halftime in six of eight games this season, trailing only against Syracuse (Nov. 23) and Oklahoma State (Dec. 1) ... UW out-rebounded Syracuse 54-33 on Nov. 23. That was the most rebounds for the Huskies since they had 54 boards against Arizona on Jan. 13, 2001 ... Sophomore Quincy Pondexter recorded his first career double-double with 20 points and 13 rebounds against Syracuse (Nov. 23).

Start Me Up
The Huskies have implemented three different starting lineups this season with eight players drawing at least one start. The most recent lineup (Brockman, Wolfinger, Smith, Overton, Morris) was used for the first time in the last game (Dec. 8 vs. Pittsburgh). That gave Joe Wolfinger and Tim Morris their first starting assignments as Huskies. Jon Brockman and Venoy Overton are the only players to start every game. Brockman was the only Husky to start all 32 games last season. Brockman has started 71 of his 72 career games at UW, missing only the final regular-season game in 2006 to allow for a Husky senior to start. Brockman's consecutive games streak stands at 46 games. The Huskies utilized seven different starting lineups last season with a primary lineup that was comprised of two freshmen, two sophomores and one junior.

Outstanding Overton
Freshman Venoy Overton is off to a terrific start in his collegiate career. The crafty, 5-foot-11 point guard leads the Pac-10 in steals per game (2.00 spg) and ranks No. 4 in assists (4.63 apg). He distributed six assists in his first two collegiate contests and had four steals against Texas A&M (Nov. 21). Overton tallied a career-high 11 points and six rebounds against Syracuse (Nov. 23). He is the latest in a long line of prolific point guards from Seattle's Franklin High School. Franklin products Jason Terry and Aaron Brooks are currently in the NBA after starring at Arizona and Oregon, respectively, in college.

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 years 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.

Strenuous Schedule
The Huskies encounter a difficult schedule with 10 games against opponents ranked in the current Associated Press poll, including four with top-10 teams. UW's six ranked opponents are: No. 7 Washington State, No. 8 UCLA, No. 11 Pittsburgh, No. 14 Texas A&M, No. 16 Oregon and No. 21 Arizona. Eight teams that played in the 2007 NCAA Tournament appear on the UW schedule.

UW's Last Game
(#12) Pittsburgh 75, UW 74 (Dec. 8, 2007; Seattle)

Justin Dentmon's runner in the lane at the final buzzer was disallowed after a long video review by the referees and 12th-ranked Pittsburgh escaped Bank of America Arena with a 75-74 win over Washington. The Huskies (4-4) had their 31-game non-conference home winning streak halted. Dentmon's length-of-the-court drive inside the final five seconds followed a missed free throw by Pitt's Levance Fields. Ryan Appleby and Quincy Pondexter each hit two late 3-pointers, drawing UW within 75-74 with 22 seconds left to play to set up the final exchange. Fields had 20 points to pace the Panthers (9-0), who also got 16 points and 14 rebounds from DeJuan Blair. Jon Brockman led UW with 17 points and 12 rebounds. The Panthers trailed by eight points before Fields scored the final five points of the first half to trim the deficit to 37-34. Pitt shot 61 percent (14-23) in the second half to lead by as many as nine 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 previous 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.

2008 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. Another returning veteran with starting experience is junior center Artem Wallace.

Departures
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.

Newcomers
Four of the premier high school players in the nation joined the Huskies this season, including Matthew Bryan-Amaning, a 6-9 forward from South Kent School who was the Connecticut state player of the year. The signing class 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. 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.

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