UW Plays Men's Basketball Home Opener Saturday

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UW vs. Santa Clara, 1:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.

UW vs. Nevada-Las Vegas, 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000), Seattle, Wash.

The Washington Huskies (2-1) exchange their parkas for umbrellas as they return from Alaska to Seattle for the 99th home opener in school history. Washington hosts Santa Clara (0-2) on Saturday, Nov. 24 at 1 p.m. in Bank of America Arena. Santa Clara is still seeking its first win after losses to Pacific (85-83) and California (67-60). The Huskies are coming off a second-place performance at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Ak. They defeated host Alaska Fairbanks 82-70 and Bowling Green 81-74 before losing the championship game to Butler by a 67-64 count. Washington finally had the entire team intact for its last two games as UW played the season opener without the services of head coach Bob Bender or sophomore forward Doug Wrenn. During Thursday's opening game, Bender was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib while Wrenn was serving a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA violation. Washington is in its 100th season of men's basketball competition. The UW, which did not play any home games in 1905, has an 80-18 record in all-time home openers. The Huskies lost last season's home opener 73-61 to UTEP at KeyArena.

Home Sweet Home
For the first time in two years, the Huskies will play all of their home games in their on-campus arena, the newly renovated Bank of America Arena at 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. Washington has won 751 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. The Huskies played their two exhibition games and the regular-season opener last year at different venues before playing the remaining games at The Pavilion.

Bender is Back
Men's basketball coach Bob Bender returned to the Washington bench last Saturday against Bowling Green. He missed the Nov. 15 regular-season opening game at Alaska Fairbanks due to a bruised rib that kept him in Seattle. Bender arrived in Fairbanks on Friday afternoon (Nov. 16), during an off-day for the Huskies. Bender was scheduled to fly to Fairbanks with the team on Wednesday morning, but was at University of Washington Medical Center instead undergoing tests. He slipped and fell outside his house on Nov. 12 and developed severe back pain. Bender was diagnosed with a bruised rib on Nov. 14 and released that afternoon. The team arrived in Fairbanks on Wednesday afternoon. Bender spoke to the team via speakerphone on Thursday afternoon (Nov. 15) and expressed his regrets about missing the game. Bender is beginning his ninth season at Washington, having compiled a 106-124 record. His 106 victories rank No. 4 among all-time UW coaches.

TV/Radio Coverage
All Husky men's basketball regular-season games are broadcast live on KOMO Radio (AM 1000) and its affiliates. Paul Duckworth will call the first four games before regular play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau returns. Rondeau also calls UW football games. Please note that due to a conflict with the Husky football broadcast, Saturday's game (Nov. 24) against Santa Clara will air live on KVI (AM 570). The broadcasts can be accessed via the internet at: http://www.audionet.com/schools/washington/ The first scheduled television appearance for Washington is Dec. 11 against Gonzaga. That game airs at 7:30 p.m. on Fox Sports Net.

The Santa Clara Series:
> Saturday marks the fourth all-time meeting between Washington and Santa Clara, but the first in 14 years. UW leads the series 3-1, but they haven't met since Dec. 19, 1977 when the Broncos posted an 82-75 win to snap a three-game series loss skid.

> The Huskies won the first three meetings, winning 56-34 in Seattle during the 1951 season, 74-62 in Corvallis, Ore. during the second-round of the 1953 NCAA Tournament and 76-50 on Nov. 28, 1976 in the last meeting in Seattle.

> Washington has a 48-11 all-time record against teams from the West Coast Conference, including Gonzaga (28-9), Loyola-Marymount (2-1), Portland (10-1) and Saint Mary's (6-0).

> The Bronco roster includes two players from the Seattle area. 7-foot senior center David Emslie played at Seattle Prep High School and red-shirt freshman guard Ethan Rohde prepped at Sammamish High School..

> Tenth-year Bronco Coach Dick Davey has never coached against Washington.

> In his ninth season at UW, Bob Bender has never coached against Santa Clara.

The Last Meeting
Santa Clara 82, UW 75 (Dec. 19, 1977, Santa Clara, Calif.) -

Kurt Rambis led all players with 23 points and 13 rebounds as Santa Clara defeated Washington 82-75 at Toso Pavilion. Mike Neill scored 11 of his 15 points in the first half for the Huskies (5-2) who claimed a 33-31 halftime edge. UW pushed the lead to 33-31 before the Broncos (8-2) tallied eight unanswered points to take the lead for good at 43-39 with 15:07 left to play. The Santa Clara margin grew to as many as 12 points in the second half. Mark McNamara scored 17 points for the Broncos while Londale Theus had 14 and Eddie Joe Chavez 10. Kim Stewert had a double-double for Washington with 17 points and 10 rebounds. Stan Walker added 14 points for the Huskies. The Broncos out-rebounded (43-34) and out-shot (54% - 41%) Washington to offset 22 turnovers.

Washington reached the 80-point plateau in its first two games this season, only one time fewer than last season's team that scored 80 points on three occasions ... On Thursday Erroll Knight scored a UW freshman debut record 23 points. He topped the mark of 22 points set by Deon Luton on Nov. 26, 1996 in his collegiate debut against BYU ... For the fourth straight season, Washington dispatched the host school in a tournament with the 82-70 win over Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 15. UW beat Hawaii-Hilo in the first round of the 1998 Big Island Invitational, defeated Alaska-Anchorage in the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout and topped American-Puerto Rico at the 2000 Holiday Classic ... Nine of the 15 players on the roster had never played a game at Washington prior to this season ... Point guard Curtis Allen finished his rookie season ranked highly among the all-time Husky freshmen in steals (3rd, 29), assists (4th, 65) and points (11th, 209) ... Twelve of the 15 players on the Husky roster hail from the state of Washington.

Hoopsters Honor Erickson
The Washington basketball players are wearing a black patch on the front of their jerseys with the initials 'D.E.' They are wearing those in remembrance of Dick Erickson, a friend of the basketball program who died in July. Erickson was involved for nearly 50 years with UW athletics. He participated as an athlete then a coach with the Husky rowing team before serving as the Facilities Manager for the athletic department. Erickson was inducted into the Husky Hall of Fame on two occasions, in 1984 as part of the 1958 national championship crew and in 1994 as the head coach of the men's crew from 1968-82.

'We have the most athletic team that we've ever had at Washington. It's an athletic team that is more than capable of competing in the Pac-10 where athleticism has always been a necessity'
- - Bob Bender, Washington head coach

A young team represents an old basketball program during the upcoming 2001-02 season. The Washington Huskies celebrate their 100th season of men's basketball competition this year with a collection of players the majority of which have never before worn a UW jersey. Nine new players fill the Husky roster, including a recruiting class that was ranked among the best in the nation. Only five athletes will play who were on last year's team that finished with a 10-20 record for the second straight season. The Huskies tied for ninth place in the Pacific-10 Conference standings with a 4-14 record.

100th Season
The University of Washington began playing basketball in 1896, but did not field a team during seven seasons in the late 1800s and early 1900s, making the 2001-02 campaign the 100th season in school history. Over 700 athletes have worn UW jerseys in 2,371 games during parts of three centuries. The Huskies rank 16th among all-time NCAA competitors with 1,425 victories against 946 defeats. Washington has produced 21 conference champions, 10 NCAA Tournament teams, five National Invitation Tournament teams and 15 consensus All-Americans. The one constant for 73 of those seasons was Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The Huskies moved into The Pavilion in 1927 and have played there ever since, with the exception of the 1999-2000 season during which the building was undergoing renovations and a name change to become Bank of America Arena at Edmundson Pavilion. The arena has been the site of 751 Washington wins, more than any other school has amassed in its current venue.

Dynamic Debut
Freshman guard Erroll Knight's collegiate debut was delayed, but it was worth the wait. Knight amassed a team-high 23 points at Alaska Fairbanks on Nov. 15, the highest point total for a freshman in a debut game at Washington. He eclipsed the record of 22 points set by Deon Luton against Brigham Young on Nov. 26, 1996. Knight underwent arthroscopic surgery in his left knee on Nov. 2. He had swelling in his knee during preseason practice and underwent a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test on Oct. 30 that revealed a loose fragment of cartilage. The projected rehabilitation time was approximately three weeks, but Knight returned to practice on Nov. 12. He played 28 minutes in his inaugural collegiate outing, hitting 9-of-16 shots from the field that included 3-of-4 shooting from 3-point range. That was the collegiate debut for Knight who did not play in either of UW's exhibition games. Knight started the last two UW games and was named to the Top of the World Classic all-tournament team. Knight was one of the nation's premier prep shooting guards last year. The athletic 6-7 swingman averaged 19.6 points and 7.0 rebounds per game as a senior at Seattle's Chief Sealth High School. He was a consensus top-100 national prep pick by the recruiting services, including Pac-West Hoops which ranked him as the No. 2 shooting guard in the West.

Doug's Debut
One of the most eagerly anticipated debuts in Husky history was that of sophomore Doug Wrenn, a supremely athletic 6-8 forward who red-shirted last season after transferring from Connecticut. Wrenn fulfilled expectations with a 19-point, nine-rebound performance Saturday (Nov. 17) against Bowling Green in his inaugural Husky game. He followed that with a 10-point six-rebound effort against Butler (Nov. 18) and was named the Most Valuable Player of the Top of the World Classic. Wrenn did not participate in Thursday's regular-season opener against Alaska-Fairbanks while serving a one-game suspension due to a minor NCAA rules violation. He played in an unsanctioned competition during May in violation of an NCAA rule prohibiting Division I student-athletes from participating in outside competition during the academic year. Wrenn played three minutes in the Emerald City All-Star Tournament at Seattle's Rainier Beach High School. Three players from other NCAA Division I school participated in the same tournament and were held out of one game as well. Wrenn had 12 points and eight rebounds in UW's first exhibition against Brisbane and finished a Curtis Allen lob with a devastating alley-oop slam dunk. He scored 12 points against Western Washington in the final Husky exhibition contest before being held out of the regular-season opener. A 1998 Parade All-American and Washington state prep Player of the Year, Wrenn sat out last season at UW after transferring from Connecticut. He was projected by Basketball News as the Pac-10's top newcomer. Wrenn, who prepped at Seattle's O'Dea High School, attended two East Coast prep schools in 1998-99 and played at UConn in 1999-2000.

Conroy Declared Eligible
Freshman guard Will Conroy was ruled eligible to play on Nov. 14, one day before the season opener. He participated in all three games, averaging 13 minutes per contest while backing up starting point guard Curtis Allen. Conroy is averaging 5.7 points per game. The school received written confirmation from the NCAA Clearinghouse on Nov. 14 that his transcript had been approved. Conroy had been ruled ineligible on Nov. 1 by the NCAA Clearinghouse that was examining his high school transcript. He was unable to participate in games or practice with the team until the Clearinghouse determined that a course he took at Seattle's Garfield High School qualified under the 'core course' criteria.

Tacoma Trio
The Husky roster features three players from Tacoma, Washington. Junior guard Josh Barnard (Bethel HS), a transfer from Tacoma Community College, joins sophomore guards Curtis Allen (Wilson HS) and C.J. Massingale (Mount Tahoma HS). Having three players from Tacoma is remarkable considering Washington went 21 years without a Tacoma native on the men's basketball roster. The last Tacoma native to play at UW was Steve Matzen (Lincoln HS) who lettered from 1977-80.

'Washington freshman point guard Curtis Allen is the latest technology in Pac-10 point guards. He's got a microchip that Earl Watson and Mike McDonald and Jason Gardner don't have. Hit the mouse and see nothing but blur.'
-- Greg Hansen, Arizona Daily Star

Season Preview
An infusion of talent that rivals any in Washington's history provides the spark that ninth-year Coach Bob Bender hopes will ignite a winning campaign. The Huskies are coming off back-to-back 10-20 seasons, but are just two years removed from a string of four consecutive postseason appearances. Two starters return for Washington, senior center David Dixon (4.7 ppg/3.2 rpg) and sophomore point guard Curtis Allen (7.0 ppg). Dixon, who has dropped more than 30 pounds from last season, now weighs 270. The lightning-quick Allen was an All-Pac-10 Freshmen Team selection in 2001. Sophomore C.J. Massingale, an honorable mention freshmen team pick, displayed his scoring ability in a 25-point outburst at UCLA. Sharpshooting senior forward Grant Leep is the team captain. Sophomore walk-on Sterling Brown is a capable scorer who will see more time.

Returning Talent
Two starters and six total lettermen return from last year's team, including All-Pac-10 freshmen team guards Curtis Allen and C.J. Massingale. Allen started at point guard last season and is the top returning scorer with a 7.0-point average in 2001. Massingale will move to shooting guard full-time this season after backing up Allen at the point at times last season. He averaged 5.9 points per game, topped by a 25-point outburst at UCLA. Senior David Dixon returns in the starting center role in which he averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds in 2001. He should be more effective this season while carrying 30 less pounds. Senior forward Grant Leep is arguably the team's best outside shooter. Another outstanding outside marksman is sophomore walk-on Sterling Brown who joined the team last season as a walk-on. Brown hit 38-percent of his 3-point shots in spot duty and should thrive with additional playing time.

Seven players departed from last year's team, including five who were seniors. Those five left an indelible mark during the final game of the 2001 season as they all started and led Washington to a 96-94 home upset of 13th-ranked UCLA. Michael Johnson scored a career-high 29 points, including a 3-pointer as time expired. Johnson, Thalo Green and Will Perkins were full-time starters. Perkins led the Huskies in both scoring and rebounds in each of the last two seasons. He averaged 12.8 points and 7.2 rebounds per game last season with 10 double-doubles. Green ranked second on the team with 10.9 points per game and Johnson was third at 8.9. Bryan Brown started 21 games and led the team with 86 assists. Also gone are Ben Coffee and DeMarcus Williams. A reserve guard who averaged 1.6 points per game, Coffee transferred to Portland State. Williams, a red-shirt last year who never played at UW, transferred to Cal State Riverside and is no longer playing basketball.

'No school did a more thorough job of addressing its overall weakness and building for the future.'
-- Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News

Washington's recruiting class was ranked among the nation's best. Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News ranked the Husky class as the nation's best recruiting haul with one of his primary criteria being 'which teams got the players they needed.' The celebrated class features three players who were among the 100 national finalists for the 2001 McDonald's All-American Game -- Charles Frederick, Mike Jensen and Erroll Knight. The signing class also includes junior college sharpshooter Josh Barnard (Tacoma CC) and 6-9 forward Jeffrey Day from 2000 state champion Seattle Prep. Jensen was rated the top power forward in the West by Pac-West Hoops which selected Knight as the No. 2 shooting guard. '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.' A consensus top-50 prep basketball player, Frederick signed a football scholarship and will join the basketball team after football season. He returns punts, including an 87-yard return for a touchdown against Michigan. Also joining the team is freshman point guard Will Conroy, a product of Seattle's Garfield High School. Conroy intended to walk-on, but was awarded a scholarship when one became available on Oct. 1. Rounding out the roster is sophomore walk-on Ian Gibbs (Sehome HS).

Last Husky Game
Butler 67, UW 64 - Top of the World Classic Championship Game (Nov. 18, 2001, Fairbanks, Ak.) -

David Archey hit a 3-pointer with 1:02 remaining to cap a furious second-half rally as Butler defeated Washington 67-64 Sunday in the championship game of the Top of the World Classic at the Carlson Center. Butler (3-0) had all but one player returning from last season's team that advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the fourth time in five years. David Dixon hit a pair of free throws with 14:47 left to play, giving the Huskies (2-1) a 55-38 lead. Butler outscored UW 29-9 the rest of the way, capitalizing on nine turnovers. For the game, the Bulldogs converted 22 UW turnovers into 26 points. Brandon Miller tied the game 62-62 on a 3-pointer with 1:37 remaining. Dixon rebounded a missed shot and put it back to give the Huskies their final lead of 64-62 at 1:10. Archey answered with a 3-pointer at 1:01 that put Butler ahead 65-64 with its first lead since the second minute of the game. The Bulldogs gained possession after a missed shot and Rylan Hainje converted two free throws at 0:15 to push the margin to 67-64. Doug Wrenn missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with five seconds left and Will Conroy fired an errant 35-foot heave at the buzzer. Dixon finished with 15 points and had 13 rebounds for the Huskies who out-boarded the Bulldogs 37-23. Curtis Allen scored 10 of his 12 points and Wrenn totaled all 10 of his points in the first half for Washington which led by as many as 18 points before halftime. The Huskies outscored Butler 21-3 during an eight-minute stretch midway through the first half to go ahead 25-8. The lead was 42-28 at halftime for Washington which shot 70 percent from the field (14-20). That shooting cooled to 33 percent in the second half (7-21) and finished at 51 percent for the game (21-41). Thomas Jackson scored 19 points to pace the Bulldogs who also got 16 from Hainje and 12 from Miller. Wrenn was named the tournament's Most Valuable Player. He led UW to an 81-74 semifinal victory over Bowling Green with 19 points and nine rebounds. Washington had three other players voted to the all-tournament team, Allen, Dixon and Erroll Knight.

Shelton Sidelined
Washington senior center Marlon Shelton re-injured his left knee and will miss the entire 2001-02 men's basketball season. Shelton suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in his left knee against USC on March 8 during the second-to-last game of the 2001 season. He had been rehabilitating his knee after undergoing surgery in April. Shelton re-injured his knee during mid-September had another surgery on Oct. 16 to repair his ACL and medial meniscus. Shelton is expected to utilize his red-shirt season and return next year as a fifth-year senior. A 6-10 product of Rochester (Mich.) High School, Shelton is a three-year letterman at Washington. He led the team with 38 blocked shots last season while averaging 4.2 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. Shelton is planning to return for the 2002-03 season in what would be his fifth year with the program. He played 29 games last season and started 13 of them. Shelton shared the center position with 6-11 David Dixon who will now assume the starting role full time.

2001 Review
The Huskies battled numerous injuries and the nation's 20th-toughest schedule en route to a 10-20 record in 2001. Eight losses came against teams that played in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament. Washington tied for ninth place in the Pac-10 with a 4-14 mark. The season was not without its highlights as UW had an 8-1 record in games decided by six or fewer points, posted three overtime victories and won four games on buzzer-beaters. The Huskies secured third place at the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic with an overtime win over Clemson that was capped by a last-second shot by Michael Johnson. Greg Clark hit the game-winning basket with 0:03 left at Florida International. Curtis Allen forced overtime with a last-second basket at Oregon and then nailed the game winner with 0:06 remaining in the extra session. Johnson hit another game-winner in the final game of the season, a 3-pointer from the right sideline that lifted UW to a 96-94 upset of 13th-ranked UCLA. Individually, Allen and C.J. Massingale were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshmen Team and senior forward Will Perkins ranked third among conference players with 10 double-doubles.

Frequent Flyers
The Huskies have accumulated thousands of air miles on lengthy road trips during the last four years. This year is no different as they will log over 10,000 miles during their non-conference schedule for the fifth straight season. Washington's non-conference slate includes a 3,336-mile round trip to Fairbanks, Alaska for the Top of the World Classic along with single-game tips to San Diego, Texas-El Paso, New Mexico State and St. Louis. Last season, the Huskies embarked on a 10-day, 7,758-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 during the 1999-2000 season, flying from Seattle to Moraga, Calif., from Moraga to Anchorage, Ak. and from Alaska back to Seattle. After two days at home, the Huskies boarded a plane for Wilmington, N.C. where they took a bus to Norfolk, Va. and flew back to Seattle. 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.

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