UW Men Meet Clemson in Third-Place Tournament Game

Dec. 22, 2000

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Fri., Dec. 22 -
UW vs. Clemson, 1:00 pm PST (5:00 pm AST)

Puerto Rico Holiday Classic 3rd / 5th Place Game
Eugene Guerra Sports Complex, San Juan, P.R.

Thur., Dec. 28 -
UW vs. UC Irvine, 7:00 p.m. PST

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

The Washington Huskies (5-4) conclude their four-game road trip on Friday, Dec. 22 against Clemson (7-3). Tip-off for the third-place game in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic is 1 p.m. Pacific Time (5 p.m. Atlantic Time) at the Eugene Guerra Sports Complex. The winner claims the third-place trophy while the losing team finishes fifth in the eight-team tournament. A 67-47 first-round winner over host American-Puerto Rico on Wednesday, Washington suffered a hard-fought 69-60 semifinal setback against 17th-ranked Alabama on Thursday. Clemson beat Florida Atlantic 94-81 before falling to No. 22 Cincinnati 88-80. Washington and Clemson have never before met in men's basketball. Also on Friday, Alabama and Cincinnati square off for the tournament title. The Huskies are completing a 10-day, 7,658-mile journey that began in Miami on Dec. 16 with a 63-61 victory at Florida International. They return home to Seattle for a pair of games between Christmas and New Year's Day at Bank of America Arena. Washington entertains UC Irvine on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. and San Diego on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m. Pacific-10 Conference play begins Jan. 4 at UCLA.

TV/Radio Coverage:
Friday's Washington-Clemson game will not be televised. 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/

Puerto Rico Holiday Classic Field:
Along with Washington, the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic field includes 2000 NCAA Tournament participant Cincinnati, Atlantic Coast Conference competitor Clemson and Southeast Conference member Alabama. Rounding out the field are host American University-Puerto Rico, the Huskies' first-round foe, Florida Atlantic, Northern Iowa and Youngstown State. Washington meets either Cincinnati or Clemson on Friday in the third and final round of the tournament.

Tournament Trends:
The Puerto Rico Holiday Classic marks Washington's third regular-season tournament appearance in as many years. The Huskies won the 1998 Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hi. with a 76-60 victory over Georgia Tech. They finished fifth at the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout last year in Anchorage.

Time Zones:
The UW hoop squad traversed four time zones to play in Puerto Rico which is in the Atlantic Time Zone and is four hours earlier than Pacific Time.

Thalo Green, whose career-high was 17 points entering the tournament, is averaging 17.5 points in the Puerto Rico Classic ... Senior forward Will Perkins has four double-doubles. No UW player registered a double-double last season ... Washington, which implemented the same starting lineup for the opening five games of the season, has now had three different lineups. A potential fourth different lineup looms if Greg Clark is unable to start due to the sprained right ankle suffered in Thursday's game ... The team that registered the higher shooting percentage from the field won all nine UW games this season ... Bob Bender posted his 100th win at Washington on Wednesday and ranks fourth all-time at the school. Only Hec Edmundson (488), Marv Harshman (246) and Tippy Dye (156) won more games as the Husky head coach ... Thalo Green scored a career-high 20 points against American, the first 20-point game by a Husky player this season ... UW had a player register double-figure rebounds five times this season. Last year, Huskies accounted for only seven double-figure rebound efforts during the entire campaign.

Injury Report: The status of UW players for the next game:
o Probable- Bryan Brown, Bruised his thigh during practice this week, but played both games in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic.

o Doubtful- Greg Clark, Sprained his right ankle in the second half Wednesday against Alabama and missed the final 7:46. His availability is a game-day decision.

o Doubtful- Will Perkins, Missed practice all week while battling a virus that was first discovered Saturday after the Florida International game. Played only 10 minutes in Wednesday's game against American and did not play Thursday against Alabama.

o Out - DeMarcus Williams, Sidelined since the exhibition opener with a sore right plantar fascia (foot). Also has a sore back and will likely apply for a medical red-shirt.

The Clemson Series:
o Washington won the only previous meeting, downing Clemson 76-66 on Nov. 28, 1982 in the third-place game of the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Ak.

o The Huskies have a 4-11 all-time record against Atlantic Coast Conference opponents: Clemson (1-0), Duke (1-3), Florida State (1-1), Georgia Tech (1-2), North Carolina (0-1) Virginia (0-1) and Wake Forest (0-3).

o Third-year Tiger coach Larry Shyatt has never coached against Washington.

o In his eighth season at Washington, Bob Bender has never coached against Clemson. Bender did play against the Tigers as a point guard at their ACC rival Duke between 1978-80.

The Season So Far:
The Huskies lost 69-60 to No. 17 Alabama in the semifinals of the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic (Dec. 21). Coach Bob Bender posted his 100th win at Washington with a 67-47 first-round victory over host American (Dec. 20). UW began its current four-game road trip with a 63-61 victory at Florida International (Dec. 16) on Greg Clark's late basket. The Huskies fell to Saint Louis 69-61 in their last home game (Dec. 5). Washington achieved a split on its first road trip of the season, winning 69-66 at Wichita State (Nov. 30) before an 86-74 loss at Gonzaga (Dec. 2). UW capped a three-game homestand with a 94-63 victory over Portland State (Nov. 28), registering the most points in its last 67 games and its largest margin of victory (31 points) in 61 games. The Huskies returned to their on-campus venue in triumphant fashion on Nov. 25, defeating New Mexico State 81-77. Washington played all of its home games last season, and this year's season opener, at KeyArena in downtown Seattle. UW opened the season with a 73-61 loss to Texas-El Paso (Nov. 21). The season-opening, three-game homestand was a welcome change for the Huskies who were on the road for the first 22 days of the 1999-2000 season. They played their first six games on the road last season and didn't play in Seattle until Dec. 13. UW won both of its exhibition games, rallying for an 83-81 overtime victory at Seattle Pacific (Nov. 10) before beating Brewster Packing 84-80 (Nov. 14).

Last UW Game:
#17 Alabama 69, UW 60 (Dec. 21, 2000, Bayamon, P.R.)
- Rod Grizzard scored 26 points and led a 15-point free throw advantage with 11-of-13 shooting from the line in 17th-ranked Alabama's 69-60 semifinal victory over Washington in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic at the Guerra Sports Complex. The Crimson Tide (9-0) hit 20-of-26 free throws to only 5-of-8 for Washington (5-4). The Huskies led for much of the first half before Alabama closed with a 10-4 run to forge a 31-31 halftime tie. The Tide led 49-42 before Curtis Allen capped an 11-3 run with a 3-pointer with 4:59 left in the game that gave UW its final lead at 53-52. Alabama responded with 11 unanswered points, taking a commanding 63-53 advantage. Grizzard capped the surge on a three-point play with 1:25 remaining, helping the Tide rally from its first deficit all season. Thalo Green scored 15 points to lead the Huskies who also got a career-high 13 from Marlon Shelton. Greg Clark added 10 for UW before leaving the game with 7:46 to play after spraining his right ankle. Another injured Husky, senior forward Will Perkins, missed the game due to a virus. Erwin Dudley added 14 points for Alabama

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.

Double Trouble:
Senior forward Will Perkins registered double-doubles in four of Washington's first eight games. No Husky player recorded a double-double during the entire season last year. Perkins had 15 points and 10 rebounds against Texas-El Paso (Nov. 21) followed by a 14-point, 10-rebound performance against New Mexico State (Nov. 25) and an 11-point, 12-rebound outing against Portland State (Nov. 28). The Omaha, Nebraska native had his three-game double-double streak stopped at Wichita State (Nov. 30) as he had a team-high 16 points, but only five rebounds. He rebounded with an 18-point, 11-board effort at Gonzaga (Dec. 2). Perkins leads the team in both scoring (13.3 ppg) and rebounds (8.4 rpg) while shooting 53 percent (41-78). Last year, he led the Huskies in rebounds (5.9 rpg), field goal percentage (47.9%) and blocks (39).

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 former NBA players (and sons) are: Fred Brown (Bryan) and Lonnie Shelton (Marlon). A graduate of Iowa, Fred Brown was the Sonics' all-time leading scorer with 14,018 points. That record was broken this season by Gary Payton. Brown played his entire 13-year NBA career (1972-84) in Seattle and was a 1976 all-star. Bryan wears the same jersey No. 32 that his father had retired by the Sonics. Shelton was a 1975 All-Pac-8 Conference selection at Oregon State. He played 10 NBA seasons (1977-86) 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) left after his freshman year. 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.

Frequent Flyers:
The Huskies have accumulated thousands of air miles on lengthy road trips during the last four years. This season is no different as they make a 10-day, 7,658-mile round trip to Puerto Rico with a stopover in Miami, Fla. for one game against Florida International. Washington traveled nearly 10,000 air miles during a two-week span last year, flying from Seattle to Moraga, Calif. (782 miles), from Moraga to Anchorage, Ak. (2,227) and from Alaska back to Seattle (1,445). After two days at home, the Huskies boarded a plane for Wilmington, N.C. (2,460) where they took a bus to Norfolk, Va. and flew back to Seattle (2,585). During the 1998-99 season, UW amassed over 8,000 miles during a 10-day stretch, traveling from Seattle to Hawai'i to Chicago and back to Seattle. In 1998, Washington traveled to South Alabama for a single game. Later that year the Huskies criss-crossed the country twice during the 1998 NCAA Tournament. UW flew from Seattle to Washington, D.C. for the first two rounds, returned to Seattle for one day and flew to Greensboro, N.C. for the Sweet 16.

Home Sweet Home:
The Huskies returned to their on-campus basketball venue after a one-season absence. They are 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 possesses a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 748 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. Washington compiled a 47-9 record in its final four seasons (1996-99) at the old Pavilion before playing last season at KeyArena in downtown Seattle during renovations.

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 100-108 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 100 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 160-165. 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, UW had with a better record in enemy arenas (6-9) than at home (4-9) for only the third time in school history.

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