UW Men Make Bank of America Arena Debut on Saturday

Nov. 22, 2000

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

Tue., Nov. 28-
UW vs. Portland State, 7:00 pm PST

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

The eagerly anticipated return to the on-campus venue has finally arrived for the Washington Huskies (0-1) who play their inaugural game at Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion on Saturday, Nov. 25. The Huskies host New Mexico State at 2 p.m. Tickets are still available for the game which features numerous pre-game and halftime festivities, including two $25,000 shot attempts by fans. The doors open at 12:30 p.m. Washington had a string of six consecutive season-opening wins snapped on Tuesday with a 73-61 loss to UTEP at KeyArena. 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). The Huskies' three-game homestand concludes Tuesday, Nov. 28 against Portland State at 7 p.m. The season-opening, three-game homestand is in stark contrast to last year when the Huskies were on the road for the first six games of the season covering 22 days.

Arena Dedication Highlights:
o In attendance will be Cliff James, the son of former Husky Alfie James who scored the first ever basket in the Pavilion on Dec. 27, 1927.

o The ceremonial first tip will be performed by Frank Guisness, a co-captain (along with Mike McCutchen) of the 1952 team who was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame Oct. 20.

o 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. The all-time Pavilion record is 746-261.

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.

Fast Facts:
o The Huskies return to their on-campus venue, Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion where they have won 746 games since 1927, the most among NCAA teams in their current arena. The first game at the Arena is Nov. 25.

o Senior forward Will Perkins had 15 points and 13 rebounds Tuesday vs. UTEP. No Husky had a double-double last season.

o Bob Bender coached his 200th Husky game on Tuesday. Only Hec Edmundson (683), Marv Harshman (392) and Tippy Dye (247) coached more games at UW.

TV/Radio Coverage:
There is no television coverage of Saturday's 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/

Hoopsters Honor CW:
Like their football counterparts, the Husky basketball team is wearing patches on their jerseys to support senior Curtis Williams who suffered a spinal cord injury during an Oct. 28 football game at Stanford. The UW basketball players will display the initials 'CW' to honor Williams who is in a San Jose, Calif. rehabilitation center.

Green Out:
Senior forward Thalo Green is questionable for Saturday's game. He has not played in any games after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Nov. 1 to remove some loose fragments and clean up the area around the knee.

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, 2000 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 during 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.

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 an eight-year record of 95-105 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 a 12-year career record of 155-162. 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.

Campaign 2000-01:
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 two 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.

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. Third-year walk-on Travis Duty provides 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.

Last UW Game:
UTEP 73, UW 61 (Nov. 21, 2000, KeyArena, Seattle)
- Junior college transfer Eugene Costello scored 26 points as Texas-El Paso raced out to an early lead before holding off a late Washington rally for a 73-61 win at KeyArena in the season opener for both teams. The Huskies (0-1) had won their previous six season-opening games. Washington trailed by as many as 15 points before cutting the deficit to 58-56 on a basket by Michael Johnson with 3:48 left in the game. Costello answered with a 3-pointer at 3:33 to start a 15-5 game-closing run for the Miners (1-0). UTEP hit 8-of-10 free throws during the final 1:48 to secure the victory. Will Perkins had15 points and 10 rebounds to lead UW which did not have a player register a double-double during the entire 1999-2000 season. Marlon Shelton also had 10 boards for the Huskies who had a 45-38 rebounding advantage. Brandon Wolfram scored 21 points, including a jumper with 16:18 left in the first half that capped an 11-0 Miner run. UTEP had leads of 11-1, 22-8 and 26-11 before the Huskies closed to within 34-25 at halftime.

Hair Raising Experience:
Senior forward Thalo Green avoided the barber's shears for 16 months before taking his place in the chair at the Montlake Cut barbershop on July 12, 2000. Green had his hair cut for the first time since March of 1999 and donated his hair to the Wigs for Kids, a national, non-profit organization that solicits donations in an effort to provide relief for children in situations of hair loss. Hair donations are woven into wigs and given to children affected by hair loss due to chemotherapy, burns and other medical conditions. 'I'm in a position, playing basketball at Washington, to give exposure and promote the Wigs for Kids program,' Green explains. 'I decided to grow my hair out throughout the whole season and try to raise awareness for the program. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something good for a good cause.' Green regularly drew taunts from spectators at opposing arenas last season as his curly, red hair frequently flopped into his eyes and eventually required a headband to control it. That shaggy coif was in stark contrast to his sophomore season in 1998-99 when Green's head was almost completely shaven.

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 Husky assistant coach Al Hairston who played with Seattle's NBA team in 1969 and 1970.

The Portland State Series:
> Washington won all three previous meetings, all of them were played in Seattle.

> The Huskies won the most recent meeting 83-70 on Nov. 30, 1996. That game broke a 23-year hiatus in the series that was due to Portland State disbanding its basketball program from 1981 until 1996.

> Washington won 101-85 on Dec. 3, 1971 in the inaugural meeting with the Vikings and 64-59 on Jan. 27, 1973.

> The UW has a 59-14 all-time record against teams from the Big Sky Conference.

> Third-year Viking Coach Joel Sobotka has never competed against Washington in a head coaching capacity. Sobotka took over at Portland State in 1998-99, replacing former Husky assistant coach Ritchie McKay who went to Colorado State and is now the head coach at Oregon State.

> Washington's Bob Bender has a 1-0 record as a coach against Portland State.

The Last Meeting:
UW 83, Portland State 70 (Nov. 30, 1996, Seattle)
- Todd MacCulloch scored 13 of his career-high 30 points inside the final eight minutes, helping Washington fight off a determined Portland State team 83-70 at Edmundson Pavilion. Portland State, coached by former Husky assistant Ritchie McKay, was in its first year of basketball since the program disbanded in 1981. Washington, a 36-24 leader at halftime, led by as many as 19 points before the Vikings cut the margin to 60-53 with 9:15 remaining. MacCulloch scored at 7:33 to begin the decisive 10-2 UW run that he fueled with seven points. Mark Sanford added 18 points for the Huskies who also got 14 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists from Jamie Booker. Matt Ambrose and Jamaal Sanford topped five double-figure scorers for Portland State with 13 points apiece. MacCulloch converted 11-of-13 shots from the field, pacing a 57-percent (30-53) team effort for the Huskies. The Vikings were limited to 34-percent shooting (20-59), but made up for it by posting a 10-3 advantage in shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

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.

Signed, Sealed, Delivered:
Washington received commitments during the early signing period (Nov. 8-15) from a five-man group that has been ranked among the best recruiting classes in the nation by several analysts. The signing class includes junior college standout Josh Barnard and four prominent high school recruits. Heading the list of prep players is Kentwood's Mike Jensen who was rated by Pac-West Hoops as the top power forward in the West. A trio of players from high schools in Seattle signed with the Huskies. Those three are Jeffrey Day, from state Class AAA champion Seattle Prep, Chief Sealth's Erroll Knight, one of the nation's finest scoring guards, and Anthony Washington, a rising power forward prospect from Garfield. 'We accomplished what we wanted to do in a very big way,' said Coach Bob Bender. 'We are very proud of the fact they are all from right here in state. Every single player is a Washington player and that is our priority. We really emphasized how they could be the greatest class that we have ever had the opportunity to recruit and that coming in together would put them in position to be one of the top classes in the nation. They all are very, very talented, but collectively they're very special.' The Huskies do not have any remaining scholarships to offer during the spring letter of intent period that runs from April 11 through May 15.

Josh Barnard - 6-6, 210, guard, Tacoma, Wash. (Bethel HS / Tacoma Community College)
Averaged 15.1 point, 5.4 rebounds and 3.4 assists per game last year at Tacoma Community College ... Converted a school-record 49-percent of his shots from 3-point range ... Helped the Titans to a 30-4 record and fourth-place finish at the Northwest Community College tournament.

Jeffrey Day - 6-9, 215, forward, Seattle, Wash. (Seattle Prep HS)
Averaged 13 points and eight rebounds per game as a junior last season for state champion Seattle Prep ... Rated as the West's No. 17 ranked power forward in the Pac-West Hoops listings.

Mike Jensen - 6-8, 210, forward, Covington, Wash. (Kentwood HS)
The top-ranked power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops ... Averaged 14.4 points and 10.5 rebounds last year to lead Kentwood High School to a 21-9 record and seventh-place finish at the state Class 4A tournament ... Selected among the nation's top 100 players in by nearly every scouting service, including a No. 66 ranking by The Sporting News.

Erroll Knight - 6-6, 200, guard, Seattle, Wash. (Chief Sealth HS)
The No. 2-ranked shooting guard in the West by Pac-West Hoops, rated No. 59 nationally among all positions by that service ... Averaged 16 points and eight rebounds last year at Chief Sealth High School ... Selected among the nation's top 100 players in by nearly every scouting service, including a No. 71 ranking by The Sporting News.

Anthony Washington - 6-9, 220, forward, Seattle, Wash. (Garfield HS)
The ninth-rated power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops ... Listed as the No. 100 player nationally by The Sporting News ... Emerged on the recruiting scene with stellar performances during the spring and summer camp sessions ... Averaged five rebound per game as a reserve on a senior-laden Garfield High School squad last season.

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