UW Men's Basketball Team Opens Regular Season on Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Nov. 20, 2000

Tue., Nov. 21--
UW vs. Texas-El Paso, 7:00 pm PST ($5 all tickets)

KeyArena (17,072), Seattle, Wash.

Sat., Nov. 25 --
UW vs. New Mexico State, 2:00 pm PST (Arena Dedication)

Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.

The Washington men's basketball team (0-0) starts its 2000-01 regular season with a three-game homestand, beginning on Tuesday, Nov. 21 against Texas-El Paso. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at KeyArena in downtown Seattle where UW played all of its home games last season while its on-campus venue underwent renovations. All tickets are $5 for the opener. The Huskies have won their last six season openers, last losing in Coach Bob Benders's first season on Nov. 29, 1993. Tuesday's game is also the season opener for UTEP (0-0). The two teams last met during the 1992-93 season. All of the remaining UW home games, beginning Nov. 25 at 2 p.m. against New Mexico State, will be played on campus in Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion. The season-opening, three-game homestand is in stark contrast to last season when the Huskies were on the road for the first six games of the season covering 22 days. Washington won both of its exhibition games, rallying for an 83-81 overtime victory at Seattle Pacific (Dec. 10) before beating Brewster Packing 84-80 (Dec. 14).

Season Opener:
The Huskies have a 72-26 all-time record in season-opening games, including a 73-60 win last year at St. Mary's. The Huskies were victorious in their last six season-opening games, dating back to an 80-73 overtime loss to Montana on Nov. 29, 1993.

TV/Radio Coverage:
There is no local television coverage of Tuesday's UW-UTEP game. All Husky men's basketball games are broadcast live on KOMO Radio (AM 1000) and its affiliates by play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau. The radio broadcasts can be accessed via the internet at: http://www.audionet.com/schools/washington/

Fast Facts:
* The Huskies play their season opener Tuesday at KeyArena in downtown Seattle before returning to celebrate the re-opening of their on-campus venue, Bank of America Arena on Saturday at 2 p.m.

* UW's roster features a five-man senior class that has a combined 317 games of experience.

* Washington's 2000-01 schedule features at least 15 games against 2000 postseason competitors, including 10 with NCAA Tournament teams from last year.

Campaign 2001:
A five-man senior class is the nucleus around which eighth-year coach Bob Bender seeks to form a winning unit. Washington finished with a 10-20 record last season, snapping a string of four consecutive winning seasons that culminated in postseason berths. The Huskies tied for eighth place in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 5-13 record. In addition to the five seniors, who collectively have played 317 career games, the roster includes four other returning lettermen (9 total), four scholarship newcomers and three walk-ons. Two primary starters return, seniors Will Perkins and Michael Johnson along with senior forward Thalo Green who has been a part-time starter for three seasons. No returning player averaged double-figure points last season. Johnson is the leading returning scorer with a 9.9-point average last year while Perkins averaged 7.8 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds. Green averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 1999-2000. Highlighting the season is the return to the on-campus arena that has Husky hopes hovering. The 17,072-seat KeyArena in downtown Seattle never really felt like home despite an average attendance of 7,851. As a result, Washington finished with a better record in enemy arenas (6-9) than at home (4-9) last season for only the third time in school history.

The UTEP Series:
* Washington holds a 3-2 edge in the all-time series that began in 1964.

* The Miners were victorious in the last two meetings, winning 73-68 on Dec. 21, 1992 in El Paso and 55-50 on Jan. 3, 1992 in Seattle.

* The Huskies won the first three meetings, 57-49 in 1964, 54-49 in 1997 and 82-53 in 1986.

* Second-year Miner coach Jason Rabedeaux, who was an assistant on Kelvin Sampson's staffs at Washington State and Oklahoma, has never competed against Washington in a head-coaching capacity.

* Eighth-year UW coach Bob Bender has never coached against UTEP.

The Last Meeting:
UTEP 73, UW 68 (Dec. 21, 1992, El Paso, Texas)--Antoine Gillespie scored 17 of his game-high 22 points in the second half at Texas-El Paso rallied to post a 73-68 win over Washington at the Special Events Center. The Huskies took their final lead at 68-67 on a basket by Maurice Woods with 1:33 left in the game. The Miners scored the game's final six points, taking the lead for good on a Gillespie 3-pointer with 58 seconds remaining. Rich Manning paced Washington with 16 points and nine rebounds. Prentiss Perkins added 12 points and Woods had 10. The Huskies scored the game's first nine points and led 39-33 at halftime.

Bender Bio:
Bob Bender has participated in the NCAA Tournament at every school with which he has been affiliated, including back-to-back berths with Washington in 1998 and 1999. He has a seven-year record of 95-104 with the Huskies. The UW tied for eighth in the Pac-10 with a 5-13 record in 2000 and had a 10-20 overall record that snapped a string of four consecutive winning seasons. In 1999, Washington was 17-12, capped by an NCAA Tournament appearance. The 1998 Huskies posted a 20-10 record that marked the school's finest winning percentage since 1985. Among the 1998 Husky highlights were their first 20-win season since 1987, their first NCAA berth since 1986 and their first Sweet 16 appearance since 1984. The 1997 UW team posted a 17-11 record, capped by the Huskies' second straight National Invitation Tournament appearance. Washington's record improved four straight seasons under Bender, including a 16-12 mark in 1996 after which he was voted the Pac-10 Coach of the Year. The UW was 5-22 in 1994 and 10-17 in 1995. His 95 victories rank fourth among all-time Washington coaches. Bender, who began his career with a four-year stint at Illinois State (1990-93), has an 11-year career record of 155-161. His Illinois State squads were 60-57, earning two Missouri Valley Conference championships, one conference tournament title and an NCAA Tournament berth in 1990. Prior to his inaugural head coaching assignment at ISU, Bender served as an assistant on Mike Krzyzewski's Duke staff (1983-1989). The Blue Devils qualified for the NCAA Tournament in each of Bender's six seasons on the staff, including four trips to the Final Four. Bender, 43, is the only individual to play on two different teams in the NCAA Championship game. He was a freshman on Bobby Knight's undefeated 1976 Indiana team and played point guard at Duke from 1977-80, including an appearance in the 1978 title game against Kentucky.

Coaching Staff:
Bob Bender's staff is comprised of associate head coach Byron Boudreaux along with assistant coaches Eric Hughes and Al Hairston. Boudreaux begins his sixth season on the staff, his second as the associate. Hughes has been with Bender during his entire seven-year tenure at UW. Hairston, a former Seattle Sonic and legendary prep coach at Seattle's Garfield High School, begins his first season. He replaces Jason Hamilton who left to pursue interests outside of coaching.

Home Sweet Home:
The Huskies return to campus after a one-season absence, playing home games at Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The pavilion underwent a 19-month renovation from March of 1999 to November of 2000. The interior was completely redesigned while the building's exterior went unchanged. Despite an increased seating capacity from 7,900 to approximately 10,000, the arena will be more intimate with a basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 746 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. Washington tallied a 49-9 record in its last four seasons (1996-99) at the Pavilion before playing last season at KeyArena in downtown Seattle during renovations.

Green Out:
Senior forward Thalo Green will be out for another week after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Nov. 1. He had some loose fragments removed and the surgeon cleaned up the area around the knee.

Returning Talent:
Two starters and nine lettermen return from last year's team, including senior guard Michael Johnson, UW's top statistical returnee in points (9.9 ppg), assists (64), 3-pointers (34) and 3-point accuracy (34%). Forward Will Perkins led all Huskies in rebounds (5.9 rpg), field goal accuracy (48%) and blocked shots (39) last season. They are joined by forward Thalo Green who led UW in steals (35) and was second in rebounds (4.9 rpg). Juniors David Dixon and Marlon Shelton return to battle for the starting center spot. The 6-11 Dixon started twice in 2000 while the 6-10 Shelton drew four starts. Senior Bryan Brown has experience at the point guard position after playing as Senque Carey's backup last season. With Carey's transfer to New Mexico, Brown has the inside track on the starting role. He will be pressed by a pair of incoming freshmen point guards from Tacoma, Wash., Curtis Allen and C.J. Massingale. Expect senior swingman Greg Clark to play a major role with increased minutes. The UW's defensive stopper should display his offensive prowess this year. Junior Grant Leep seeks to return from a knee injury that sidelined him for the final 19 games in 2000. Leep possesses a solid inside game with range out to the 3-point line. Sophomore Ben Coffee is an athletic small forward who is a capable rebounder and looks to surface as an offensive threat. Walk-ons Travis Duty and Jason Triplett provide depth for the guard corps.

The Washington roster is bolstered by the addition of three scholarship recruits, including a pair of guards from Tacoma, Wash. Both Curtis Allen, from Wilson High School, and C.J. Massingale, from Mount Tahoma High School, will battle for playing time at point guard as they ranked Nos. 7 and 8 among prospects in the West at that position by Pac-West Hoops. They are the first Tacoma natives to receive scholarships from the Washington basketball team since Steve Matzen who lettered from 1977 to 1980. Allen was the state Class 4A player of the year, averaging 25.2 points and 4.0 assists per game. Massingale averaged 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists to win his second straight Narrows League Bridge Division MVP award. Bolstering the frontcourt is 6-9, 270-pound DeMarcus Williams from Upland (Calif.) High School. Williams was rated the West's No. 12 center prospect by Pac-West Hoops and was an honorable mention All-America pick by Blue Ribbon magazine. Invited walk-on freshmen Sterling Brown (Woodinville HS) and David Hudson (Rainier Beach HS) are also new to the team. Sophomore Doug Wrenn, a transfer from Connecticut, will red-shirt this season.

Four players have departed from last year's team, including three starters and reserve guard Andrew Moritz. The biggest loss is guard Deon Luton who completed his career as the Huskies' No. 8 all-time scorer with 1,488 points. Luton owns every UW 3-point record, including career (212), season (75) and single-game (7) treys. Forward Chris Walcott started 20 games and was a solid inside-outside presence for Washington. Senque Carey started two years at point guard before transferring during the summer to New Mexico. Carey led the team last year with 137 assists, the third-best season total in UW history.

The New Mexico State Series:
* The series is tied at 1-1 with Washington winning the first meeting 73-53 on Dec. 19, 1999 in Seattle and New Mexico State winning a 79-75 overtime decision last season on Dec. 30 in Las Cruces.

* The UW has a 143-59 all-time record against teams from the Big West Conference.

* Aggie Coach Lou Henson has a 2-2 record against Washington, the first two meetings occurring while he was at Illinois. His Illini squad defeated the Huskies 76-55 on Dec. 7, 1991 in Champaign and 81-68 on Dec. 30, 1977 at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore.

* Washington's Bob Bender has a 1-1 record as a coach against New Mexico State and Lou Henson. Bender coached at Illinois State from 1989-1993 while Henson coached at Illinois but they never met head-to-head in that period.

The Last Meeting:
New Mexico State 79, UW 75 ot (Dec. 30, 1999, Las Cruces, N.M.)- Billy Keys forced overtime with a short jumper and scored five of his 27 points in the extra session, leading New Mexico State to a 79-75 win over Washington at the Pan American Center. Washington (5-6) extended a 42-34 halftime lead to 52-38 on a layup by Thalo Green with 16:05 left in the game. The Aggies (8-2) gradually chipped away at the lead, closing the second half with a 10-3 run over the final five minutes capped by Keys' basket with 0:02 remaining. New Mexico State scored the first five points of the overtime to take control. Aaron Brodt contributed 17 points and 12 rebounds for NMSU which also got 13 points from Eric Channing. Michael Johnson led four Husky double-figure scorers with 17 points. Green had 12 points in his first start of the season and Grant Leep matched his career-best effort with 10 points. Senque Carey had 10 points and led all UW rebounders with nine. The UW frontline was depleted by the absence of forward Chris Walcott, who missed his first start with a sprained knee, along with forwards Will Perkins and Green who both fouled out.

The Last Meeting in Seattle:
UW 73, New Mexico State 53 (Dec. 19, 1998, Seattle) -Todd MacCulloch grabbed 19 rebounds and tallied 23 points to share game-high scoring honors with teammate Deon Luton as Washington halted a three-game losing streak with a 73-53 victory over New Mexico State at Edmundson Pavilion. It was the first home game in 32 days for the Huskies who logged over 8,000 miles on a six-game road trip. Washington stretched a 29-26 halftime lead as MacCulloch scored eight points and Luton added five to fuel a 15-2 run. That early second-half surge gave UW a 44-30 advantage with 14:07 left in the game. MacCulloch hit 8-of-13 shots from the field while Luton shot 7-fot-11, including 4-of-7 accuracy from 3-point range. Eric Channing scored 17 points to lead the Aggies who also got 13 from Aaron Brodt.

Husky Tickets:
Good seats are available for all Washington home games, including season tickets and other special packages. New this season is the Pepsi 'Fun for Four' Family Pack for quartets of all ages. Get four general admission game tickets, four Pepsi drinks and four hot dogs for only $25. Reserved seats for individual Husky games are $16 while general admission seats are $6 for adults and $3 for high school students, senior citizens and children. University of Washington students with current student identification can purchase individual game tickets for $3 or buy a student season pass for $30 that is also good for women's games. Visit the Husky Ticket Office, located in the Graves Building, or call (206-543-2200) for information. Individual game reserved tickets will also be available for sale through all TicketMaster outlets, phone centers (206-628-0888) or via the internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

Sonics & Sons:
Two former Seattle SuperSonics have sons on the 2000-01 Washington basketball roster. The list of former NBA players (and sons) includes, Fred Brown (Bryan) and Lonnie Shelton (Marlon). A graduate of Iowa, Fred Brown is the Sonics' all-time leading scorer with 14,018 points. Brown played his entire 13-year NBA career in Seattle and was a 1976 all-star. Lonnie Shelton was a 1975 All-Pac-8 Conference selection at Oregon State. He played 15 NBA seasons and was a 1982 all-star. Shelton played from 1979-83 in Seattle. Brown and Shelton were members of Seattle's 1979 NBA Championship squad. Two other former sons of Sonics were on the team in 1999, Donald Watts (father Slick) was a four-year letterman and walk-on Michael Westphal (father Paul) transferred after his freshman year to Bellevue (Wash.) Community College. An additional tie to the Sonics is first-year assistant coach Al Hairston who played with Seattle's NBA team in 1969 and 1970.

Last UW Game:
UW 84, Brewster Packing 80 (Brougham Pavilion, Seattle):Junior center Marlon Shelton capped a run of eight straight points with a rebound and put-back basket, helping Washington rally from a 13-point deficit to defeat Brewster Packing 84-80 on Tuesday in an exhibition game at Brougham Pavilion. Brewster Packing is an AAU team that is comprised of former collegiate standouts, including former Huskies Deon Luton, Brent Merritt, Chris Walcott and Donald Watts. Joining the Packers for Tuesday's game was former Seattle Sonic Vladimir Stepania. Stepania scored a team-high 17 points, including a free throw with 9:34 left in the game that gave Brewster its largest lead of the game at 71-58. His final points came on a 3-pointer that put Brewster ahead 76-64 with 7:56 remaining. From that point, Washington closed the game with 20-4 spurt. Freshman Curtis Allen scored eight of his 11 points during the closing surge, including a pair of 3-pointers. Luton scored the final Packer points on a 15-foot fade-away jumper with 3:37 remaining. That put the score at 80-74. The Huskies scored the game's final 10 points. Shelton hit the decisive basket at 0:51, giving UW its first lead since 16:35. He rebounded a missed shot and scored while being fouled by Stepania, putting the Huskies ahead 83-80. Husky senior Michael Johnson led all scorers with 20 points, including a pair of free throws with 23 seconds left to cap the scoring. Shelton scored 10 of his 14 points in the first half and Greg Clark tallied nine of his 11, helping the Huskies take a 46-41 halftime advantage. Will Perkins finished with 10 points for UW. Watts scored 16 points for Brewster while Roy Fisher had 14 and Brent Merrit 10. Walcott scored seven points and Luton had six.

Opening Exhibtion Recap
UW 83, Seattle Pacific 81 ot (Brougham Pavilion, Seattle)--Junior Grant Leep converted a three-point play with 34 seconds remaining in overtime Friday to cap the scoring and lift Washington to an 83-81 victory over NCAA Division II power Seattle Pacific in a rare road exhibition game in front of a Brougham Pavilion record crowd of 2,782. Nick Johnson's 10-foot jumper shot with 2:31 remaining gave the Falcons an 81-78 advantage with 2:31 remaining, but those were the last points for SPU. Husky freshman Curtis Allen trimmed the margin to 81-80 on a pair of free throws with 2:01 remaining. Leep scored the decisive points as he was fouled by Abe Fox and converted the free throw after hitting a left-handed, seven-foot hook shot. Seattle Pacific had a chance to win the game, but Brannon Stone's 3-pointer from the top of the key rimmed off. Daniel Sandrin rebounded the miss, but his potential game-tying jumper from 15 feet missed at the buzzer. The Falcons forced the overtime, scoring five unanswered points over the final 2:48 of regulation. John Hubbard scored a game-high 26 points for SPU, including a 3-pointer from the left side after picking up a loose ball during a scramble. Senior Will Perkins nearly won the game for Washington in regulation. He missed a seven-foot jump shot from the left baseline and crashed the boards, but his tip-in attempt fell off the front rim. Perkins and senior Greg Clark paced the Huskies with 17 points apiece. Junior centers David Dixon and Marlon Shelton each scored 10 points. Stone finished with 21 points and a game-high 11 rebounds for the Falcons who out-rebounded UW 42-40. Johnson scored 14 points for SPU and Eric Sandrin had 10. The game was tied on eight occasions during an even first half that finished with Washington leading 41-40.

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