UW Men Play Final Two Non-Conference Basketball Games

Dec. 26, 2000

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

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

Sat., Dec. 30-
UW vs. San Diego, 2:00 p.m. PST

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

The Washington Huskies (6-4) conclude their non-conference schedule this week with a pair of home games at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies host UC Irvine (6-2) on Thursday, Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. The Anteaters have already played two Pac-10 teams, having defeated California 56-52 at home (Dec. 2) and lost 65-60 at UCLA (Dec. 16). On Saturday, Dec. 30, UW entertains San Diego at 2 p.m. The Toreros have a 7-2 record, pending a game on Thursday, at Boise State. San Diego split a pair of games versus Pac-10 foes, losing 78-67 at USC (Nov. 21) and winning 82-71 against Oregon State (Dec. 2). Washington has never before played either UC Irvine or San Diego. The Huskies returned home on Dec. 23 from a successful 10-day, 7,658-mile journey during which they posted a 3-1 record. UW capped the road trip in spectacular fashion, defeating Clemson 77-76 in overtime (Dec. 22) on a last-second shot by Michael Johnson that secured the third-place trophy in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic. Pacific-10 Conference play begins for the Huskies on Jan. 4 at UCLA.

TV/Radio Coverage:
Thursday's Washington-UW Irvine 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/

Thalo Green, whose career-high was 17 points entering the tournament, averaged 17.7 points in the three-game Puerto Rico Holiday Classic (Dec. 20-22) to earn all-tournament honors ... Eighth-year coach Bob Bender posted his 100th win at Washington on Dec. 20. Only Hec Edmundson (488), Marv Harshman (246) and Tippy Dye (156) have won more games as the Husky coach ... Senior forward Will Perkins has five double-doubles. No UW player registered a double-double last season ... The Huskies won four games by four or fewer points, including last-second game-winners by Greg Clark (at Florida International) and Michael Johnson (vs. Clemson). The narrowest defeat UW was by eight points against Saint Louis ... Washington's bench has outscored the opponent reserves in eight of 10 games this season. The Huskies lost both times when their bench players were outscored by the opponent's ... The team that registered the higher shooting percentage from the field won all 10 Husky games this season ... After going without a 20-point scorer in the opening seven games, Washington got 20-point outings in two of its last three games. Thalo Green scored a career-high 20 points against American (Dec. 20) and Will Perkins had 20 against Clemson (Dec. 22) ... UW had a player register double-figure rebounds six times this season. Last year, Huskies accounted for only seven double-figure rebound efforts during the entire campaign.

Shuffling Starters:
Washington has implemented four different starting lineups this season with eight players drawing at least one starting assignment. The Huskies used the same starting lineup for first five games of the season, but have utilized four different rotations in the last five outings due to a recent rash of injuries. Senior guards Bryan Brown and Michael Johnson are the only players who have started every UW game this season.

Projected Husky Starting Lineup:
Washington Huskies (6-4, 0-0 in Pac10)

Pos.-No. Name Hgt. Wgt. Yr. Hometown Pts. Rebs.
F - 34 Ben Coffee 6-5 200 So. Portland, Ore. 2.4 1.6
F - 42 Thalo Green 6-7 220 Sr. Salem, Ore. 13.7 5.1
C - 44 Marlon Shelton 6-10 260 Jr. Rochester, Mich. 5.7 4.8
G - 23 Michael Johnson 6-4 195 Sr. Seattle, Wash. 9.8 3.7
G - 32 Bryan Brown 6-3 205 Sr. Mercer Island, Wash. 7.7 2.4

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

o Questionable- Greg Clark, Sprained right ankle in the second half vs. Alabama (Dec. 21) and missed Clemson game (Dec. 22). His availability is a day-to-day decision.

o Probable- Will Perkins, Missed practice last week while battling a virus that was first discovered Dec. 16 after the Florida International game. Missed the Dec. 21 game vs. Alabama, but played 32 minutes against Clemson on Dec. 22.

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 UC Irvine Series:
> This is the first meeting between the Anteaters of UC Irvine and Washington.

> The Huskies have a 142-58 all-time record against Big West Conference opponents: Boise State (8-1), Idaho (121-49), Fullerton State (0-1), Nevada 95-1), Pacific (4-1), UC Santa Barbara (2-0) and Utah State (2-5).

> Fourth-year Irvine coach Pat Douglass has never coached against Washington.

> In his eighth year at UW, Bob Bender has never coached against UC Irvine.

The Season So Far:
Washington clinched third-place in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic with a 77-76 win over Clemson (Dec. 22) on a last-second shot by Michael Johnson. The Huskies lost 69-60 to No. 17 Alabama in the semifinals (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:
UW 77, Clemson 76 ot (Dec. 22, 2000, San Juan, P.R.) - Michael Johnson hit an eight-foot jump shot in the lane as the overtime buzzer sounded, helping Washington clinch third place in the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic with a 77-76 victory over Clemson at the Guerra Sports Complex. Johnson finished with 12 points, including a 3-pointer with 52 seconds left in regulation that put UW ahead 69-68. Will Solomon answered with a layin at 0:29 that gave Clemson (7-4) a 70-69 lead. UW's Ben Coffee was fouled on the ensuing possession and, after a Tiger timeout, converted the second of two free throws to forge a 70-70 tie and force overtime. Center Adam Allenspach accounted for Clemson's final four points in overtime, the last coming with 2:03 left in the game that put the Tigers ahead 76-73. Thalo Green hit a running jumper at 1:39 and teammate Will Perkins gathered the rebound after three Tiger misses to set up Johnson's game-winner. Green earned all-tournament honors, scoring 18 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Allenspach finished with 17 points. Perkins registered his fifth double-double of the season, amassing 20 points and 10 rebounds in 32 minutes despite suffering from a virus. The Huskies scored the game's opening eight points and led for most of the first half before settling on a 35-32 halftime advantage. Washington's lead grew to as many as 13 points in the second half, a margin that was erased by a 20-6 Tiger run. Solomon scored 15 of his 26 points during the seven-minute surge that resulted in a 63-62 Clemson lead with 4:45 left in regulation. Washington was without the services of senior forward Greg Clark who started the previous nine games. Clark sprained his right ankle during the second half of the Alabama game on Dec. 21 and will be sidelined for at least one week.

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.

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 five of the nine games he's played. 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). Despite suffering from a virus, he had 20 points and 10 rebounds against Clemson (Dec. 22). Perkins leads the team in scoring (14.0 ppg) and rebounds (8.6 rpg) while shooting 53 percent (49-92). Last year, he led UW 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 completed 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, flying from Seattle to Washington, D.C. for the first two rounds before returning to Seattle for one day and then flying to Greensboro, N.C. for the Sweet 16.

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 101-108 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 101 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 161-165. 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.

The San Diego Series:
> This is the first meeting between the Toreros of San Diego and Washington.

> The Huskies have a 48-12 all-time record against West Coast Conference opponents: Gonzaga (28-9), Loyola-Marymount (2-1), Portland (10-1), Saint Mary's (6-0) and Santa Clara (3-1).

> Seventh-year Torero coach Brad Holland, who won four conference championships as a player at UCLA (1976-79), has never coached against Washington.

> In his eighth season at Washington, Bob Bender has never coached against San Diego.

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 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 UW. Senque Carey started two years at point guard before transferring i the summer to New Mexico. Carey led the team last year with 137 assists, the third-best season total in UW history.

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.

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