UW Men Take Treacherous Trek to the Desert
Feb. 4, 2002
THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 7 -
UW at #11 Arizona, 5:30 p.m. PST / 6:30 MST
(Live on Fox Sports Net Northwest TV)
McKale Center (15,545), Tucson, Ariz.
SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 9 -
UW at Arizona State, 3:00 p.m. PST / 4:00 MST
(Live on Fox Sports Net TV)
Wells Fargo Arena (14,198), Tempe, Ariz.
The Washington Huskies (8-13, 2-9) continue their three-game road trip this week with two games in the state of Arizona. Washington visits 11th-ranked Arizona (15-6, 8-3) on Thursday, Feb. 7. Tip-off is 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time (6:30 p.m. Mountain Time) at McKale Center in Tucson. UW lost its last five meetings with the Wildcats, including a 74-69 set back in this season's first meeting on Jan. 12 in Seattle. The Huskies travel to Tempe to meet Arizona State (11-9, 4-7) on Saturday, Feb. 9. Tip-off is 3 p.m. PST (4 p.m. MST) at Wells Fargo Arena. UW defeated the Sun Devils 81-68 on Jan. 10 in Seattle. Next week the Huskies host the Bay Area schools in Seattle, beginning Thursday, Feb. 14 against Stanford.
The annual trek to the state of Arizona has traditionally been the most difficult trip for the Huskies. Washington was swept last year in the desert for the 11th time in its last 13 visits. Since 1989, UW has a 2-25 combined record at Arizona (1-12) and Arizona State (1-13). The Huskies, who lost 82-62 at Arizona last season, won only once in their last 17 visits to Tucson dating to 1985. They posted an 80-79 overtime upset at Arizona in 1996 to snap an 11-game losing skid at McKale Center. Washington lost 89-57 at Arizona State last season, its 13th loss in the last 14 visits to Tempe.
Since the 1990-91 season, Washington has a 6-17 record against Arizona. Only UCLA (10) and California (7) have won as many against the Wildcats during that span. Since 1991, Washington has a 4-29 record against top-10 ranked opponents, all four wins coming against Arizona. Seven of the Huskies' last 20 wins over teams ranked in the top 25 came against Arizona.
Thursday's Washington-Arizona game will be televised live locally at 5:30 p.m. Pacific Time on Fox Sports Northwest. Saturday's UW game at Arizona will be televised live regionally at 3 p.m. on Fox Sports Net. 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/
o The Huskies have a 2-25 combined record on the road at Arizona and ASU since 1989, including nine straight losses.
o Curtis Allen distributed 98 assists and needs two more to become the 21st player in Washington history to record 100 assists in a single season.
o UW's schedule was rated the nation's third toughest in the Sagarin rankings published Feb. 4 by USA Today.
o Doug Wrenn's 19.2-point scoring average is the highest for a Husky since Chris Welp averaged 20.8 points in 1996-97.
Sophomore forward Doug Wrenn led all Washington scorers in each of the last eight games, averaging 24.6 points during that span. He scored 35 percent of the Huskies' points (197 of 563) in the last eight games and has nearly twice as many points as the next-highest scoring Husky (Curtis Allen has 100 points in the last eight games). Wrenn topped the 30-point barrier twice in the last three games, including a 32-point effort against Oregon (Jan. 24). His 34-point outburst at Washington State (Jan. 31) was the highest scoring output by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch tallied 38 at James Madison on Dec. 7, 1996. Wrenn has eight 20-point performances this season after the entire roster combined for only eight 20-point individual games last year. Wrenn topped the 20-point plateau in three straight outings between Jan. 6-12, the first time a Husky has had three consecutive 20-point efforts since MacCulloch did it three years ago (Feb. 6-13, 1999).
The youthful Huskies have a roster that includes seven freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and three seniors. Ten of 16 UW athletes had never played a game at Washington before this season. The predominantly local list of athletes includes 13 of 16 players from high schools in the state of Washington.
Fan balloting has completed the process of selecting the Washington men's basketball All Century Team. The voting was part of this year's 'Celebrating 100 Seasons of Husky Hoops.' The voting deadline was Feb. 1 for fans who voted with ballots distributed at home games and directly on-line at www.gohuskies.com The All Century Team will be announced at halftime of the Huskies' Feb. 16 home game with California. Numerous former UW standouts will be in attendance and available for autographs prior to the game. Fans also voted on the all-time top Husky games.
Red-shirt freshman guard David Hudson began suffering back spasms on Jan. 25 and did not suit up for the last two games. His status for this week is questionable ... Freshman guard Charles Frederick bruised his left knee in practice on Jan. 29 and did not travel to Washington State (Jan. 31). He is probable for this week's action ... Freshman forward Mike Jensen, who dislocated his left shoulder during practice on Dec. 3, underwent surgery on Dec. 10 and will miss the rest of the season. Jensen suffered a torn labrum. He is the second Husky big man to suffer a season-ending injury, joining 6-10 center Marlon Shelton who had left knee surgery on Oct. 16.
Washington's schedule was rated the nation's third most difficult in the Feb. 4 Sagarin Ratings published by USA Today. Eight of the 13 Husky losses came against teams that have recently been ranked. Six teams on the UW schedule were listed in this week's Associated Press top-25 poll, including ninth-ranked Gonzaga, Arizona (#11), Oregon (#13), UCLA (#15), Stanford (#20) and USC (#25). Thursday's game at Arizona marks the Huskies' fourth meeting with a ranked opponent in their last seven games.
Huskies vs. Ranked Foes
The Huskies have a 62-181 all-time record against ranked opponents. They have a 1-5 record this season, winning 97-92 at home on Jan. 24 against No. 19 Oregon in their last meeting with a ranked foe. The Huskies have not defeated a team ranked as high as No. 11 Arizona since a 90-84 upset of the then 10th-ranked Wildcats on Feb. 4, 1999 in Seattle. Washington lost its last 17 road games against ranked opponents, last winning 80-79 in overtime at then 14th-ranked Arizona on Feb. 1, 1996.
The Arizona Series
> Arizona has a 33-15 lead in the all-time series that began in 1965 and won the last five games against UW.
> The Wildcats won nine of the last 10 meetings against Washington, including a sweep of the last two season series.
> Arizona won this season's first meeting, a 74-69 decision on Jan. 12 in Seattle. The Wildcats haven't registered three consecutive season sweeps against UW since a string of five straight sweeps between 1986-1990.
> Arizona boasts a 19-4 record against the Huskies in Tucson, including an 82-62 win last year. The Wildcats won the last five, and 16 of the last 17 meetings against UW at McKale Center. The lone Husky win during that span was an 80-79 overtime decision on Feb. 1, 1996 that halted an 11-game losing streak at McKale Center dating back to 1984.
> 19th-year Arizona Coach Lute Olson has a 27-11 all-time record against the Huskies.
> Ninth-year Washington coach Bob Bender is 4-13 against Arizona. Bender twice played against Lute Olson-coached Iowa in 1976. A freshman on Indiana's undefeated national championship team, Bender played six minutes in a 101-81 win at Indiana (Feb. 23, 1976) and two minutes in an 88-73 win at Iowa (Jan. 26, 1976).
The Last Meeting
#20 Arizona 74, UW 69 (Jan. 12, 2002, Seattle)
Jason Gardner netted 16 of his 21 points in the second half and distributed six assists as 20th-ranked Arizona held off Washington 74-69 at Bank of America Arena. The Wildcats (11-4, 4-2) scored 15 unanswered points early in the first half to claim an 18-8 lead. The margin was 33-21 before Washington (7-9, 1-5) closed out the half with an 11-2 run to draw within 35-32. The lead changed hands six times after intermission before Arizona took a 59-57 margin it would not relinquish on a put back by Rick Anderson with 8:31 left to play. Grant Leep cut the UW deficit to 71-69 on a 3-pointer with 30.7 seconds remaining and Gardner then hit 1-of-2 free throws. UW's Curtis Allen missed a trey that would have tied the game before Salim Stoudamire converted two free throws to secure the win. Stoudamire finished with 16 points while Anderson had 14 points and 11 rebounds. Doug Wrenn had his third straight 20-point outing with a game-high 25. David Dixon had a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
Tune in to KOMO (1000 AM) every Monday night at 6 p.m. for 'Husky Talk,' a half-hour call-in and interview show featuring head coach Bob Bender and KOMO Radio's Bob Rondeau who does play-by-play for all UW games.
The Washington basketball players are wearing a black patch on the front of their jerseys with the initials 'D.E.' 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. As a write-in candidate, Erickson won an on-line vote in the fall in which fans were asked who they would like to have portrayed by a bobblehead doll. He received more votes than current Husky head coaches Bob Bender, Rick Neuheisel and June Daugherty did. Bobbleheads bearing his likeness will be distributed to the first 2,500 spectators at the Feb. 16 men's basketball game against California.
Washington rejected 108 shots this season, an average of 5.14 blocks per game that leads all Pac-10 teams. The 1993 Husky squad averaged 4.37 blocks en route to the school's season record of 118. The Huskies have blocked five or more shots in 14 games this season after reaching the five-block plateau in only five games all last season. Senior David Dixon has 52 blocks to lead the Pac-10 and rank No. 3 among all-time Husky single-season leaders. He ranks second among conference competitors with 2.48 blocks per game. Dixon's 83 career blocks rank No. 4 in the UW record book. Freshman Jeffrey Day ranks second on the Huskies and eighth in the conference with 26 blocked shots. Nearly one in every four shots Santa Clara attempted on Nov. 24 was rejected as Washington shattered its school single-game record with 14 blocked shots. The Huskies bettered their record of 10 blocks established on Dec. 3, 1991 against Chico State. The leading shot blocker was Dixon whose seven blocks broke the individual UW record of six blocks accomplished twice by Chris Welp in 1986. Dixon matched his single-game record with seven blocks at WSU (Jan. 31).
Less is More
Fans will be seeing a lot less of 6-foot-11 senior center David Dixon this season. He shed 40 pounds from last year and his current 270-pound weight enables him to be more active and average 28.0 minutes per game. Last season, Dixon played 14.7 minutes per contest and averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds. He has been more effective this year, leading the team and ranking third among Pac-10 players with 8.0 rebounds per game. His 7.8-point scoring average is third best on the team. Dixon tallied double-figure points eight times and has five double-doubles. Dixon's 169 rebounds are 72 more than the 97 he grabbed all last season.
Return to Sender
David Dixon has 52 blocked shots after registering 24 all last season. His 52 blocks are the third-highest single-season total in Washington history. He needs 12 blocks to move into the No. 2 spot ahead of Chris Welp who had 63 blocks in 1987. Dixon's 83 career blocked shots rank No. 4 on the school's all-time list, just one shy of No. 3 Patrick Femerling who rejected 84 shots between 1996-98. Dixon boasts the top three blocked shot games in Husky history. He blocked a school-record seven shots against Santa Clara (Nov. 24), bettering the single-game mark of six set by Chris Welp during the 1986 season. Dixon equaled his own school record with seven blocks at Washington State (Jan. 31). He had six blocks against Arizona State (Jan. 10). Dixon leads all Pac-10 players with 52 blocked shots and is second with an average of 2.48 blocks per game.
UW senior Grant Leep leads all Pac-10 players in 3-point percentage despite hitting just two of his last 11 trey tries during the last five games. Leep has converted 52 percent of his 3-pointers (24-46). He leads a Husky team that is shooting 36.2 percent (126-348) from 3-point range, an improvement from last season's 30.6-percent figure.
'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
Arguably the quickest player in the conference, sophomore point guard Curtis Allen is improving upon last season's performance when he was voted to the Pac-10 All-Freshmen team. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3 after averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 assists in a pair of Husky wins. Allen posted career highs with 21 points and eight assists in Washington's 77-64 home victory over UNLV (Nov. 28). At San Diego (Dec. 1), Allen increased his single-game scoring best to 27 points and added four assists in UW's 98-94 win. His playmaking skills have improved dramatically. Allen was the Huskies' team leader in assists during 16 of 21 games with a total of 98, an average of 4.7 per game. Last year, Allen distributed 65 assists, an average of 2.2 per contest. Allen needs two assists to become the 21st Husky to post a 100-assist season. He had 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10), the second-highest total in UW history. Allen, who reached his previous career-best of eight by halftime, fell one shy of the school single-game assist record of 16 established by Rafael Stone at California on Feb. 20, 1970. His 3-point shooting is also vastly better. Allen is shooting 40 percent from beyond the arc (34-85) after shooting 3-pointers at a 25-percent clip last year. He has 34 treys, 14 more than last season's total of 20. Last season, Allen had one of the finest campaigns for a Husky rookie, ranking third among all-time UW freshmen in steals (29) and No. 4 in assists (65).
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 against Bowling Green (Nov. 17) 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 leads the team and ranks third among Pac-10 players with an average of 19.2 points per game, including a career-high 34-point performance at Washington State (Jan. 31). Wrenn had a streak of three straight 20-point performances between Jan. 6-12. He hit the game-winning shot in a 75-74 win at New Mexico State (Dec. 8), a jumper in the lane with six seconds left. Wrenn topped all Husky scorers on 16 occasions. He posted 17 double-figure scoring games, including eight 20-point outings. A 1998 Parade All-American and Washington state prep Player of the Year, Wrenn red-shirted 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.
Point guard Curtis Allen has 98 assists and is poised to become the 21st player in Husky history to record 100 assists in a season ... Allen ranks second among Pac-10 players (88.2%) in free throw accuracy. He converted 20 consecutive free throws between Jan. 10-26 ... Allen converted all 12 of his free throw attempts against Oregon (Jan. 24), tying the school's single-game percentage record. Six players have been perfect on 12 of more throws in all-time UW games led by the 14-for-14 effort of Bill Hanson against Idaho on March 10, 1961 ... The Huskies are shooting 68.5 percent from the free throw line (328-479), a drastic improvement from last season's 57.5-percent figure (355-617) that ranked last in the Pac-10 ... UW's 97-92 win over Oregon (Jan. 24) marked the first time Washington trailed with 5:00 remaining and won the game. UW has a 1-11 record in games when it was behind at the 5:00 mark ... Washington lost all nine games when its opponents registered a superior field goal percentage and is 8-4 when outshooting its foes ... Washington players have registered 12 games of 20-or-more points, eclipsing last season's entire total of eight 20-point individual outings.
Freshman Charles Frederick, who began practicing with the basketball team on Dec. 31, suited up for the first time on Jan. 4 at UCLA. He saw his first game action on Jan. 6 at USC, an eight-minute stint during which he had two points, two assists and one steal. He has played four games. Frederick is a scholarship receiver on the Husky football team that concluded its season Dec. 28 with a 47-43 loss to Texas in the Holiday Bowl. Frederick was the leading punt returner for the Huskies with a 14.6-yard average, including an 87-yard TD return against Idaho (Sept. 22). He was a Sporting News Freshman All-America pick. Frederick was a top-50 national recruit in football and basketball. He averaged 19 points and eight steals from his point guard position as a senior in 2001 at Pope John Paul II High School in Boca Raton, Fla.
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 an MRI on Oct. 30 that revealed a loose fragment of cartilage. The projected rehabilitation time was approximately three weeks, but Knight returned to practice just 10 days later (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 17 of 21 games this season. He ranks fifth on the team with a 7.0-point scoring average. Knight scored 19 points and led the team with eight rebounds against Arizona State (Jan. 10). He 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 Prep-West Hoops which ranked him as the No. 2 shooting guard in the West.
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 UW 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.
Last Husky Game
Washington State 81, UW 79 (Jan. 31, 2002, Pullman, Wash.)
Marcus Moore scored 18 of his 28 points inside the final 10 minutes, helping Washington State snap a 12-game losing streak with an 81-79 win over Washington at Friel Court. Moore tallied nine of the final 11 points for the Cougars (5-14, 1-10) who won their first Pac-10 game. The Huskies (8-13, 2-9) lost despite the career-high 34 points of Doug Wrenn who scored 22 in the second half, including 11 straight UW points during one five-minute stretch. The Huskies scored 11 unanswered points to take a nine-point lead before WSU closed within 38-37 at halftime. Curtis Allen had 18 points and gave UW its final lead at 76-74 on a 3-pointer with 2:31 left to play. Moore answered with a layup and Mike Bush gave WSU the lead for good on a dunk with 1:40 remaining. Washington had a chance to send the game into overtime when Will Conroy was fouled while attempting a 3-pointer with 0:01 left. He made the first, but missed the second and third free throws. Jerry McNair scored 15 of his 20 points in the second half for the Cougars. David Dixon tied his own UW single-game record with seven blocked shots.
Doug Wrenn tallied a career-high 34 points against Oregon (Jan. 24), the highest scoring output by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch scored 38 at James Madison on Dec. 7, 1996. Wrenn's two 30-point outings are the most in a season by a Husky since MacCulloch had three during the 1996-97 campaign ... Curtis Allen converted 20 consecutive free throws between Jan. 10-26 ... Allen distributed 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10), just one shy of the school single-game record of 16 set by Rafael Stone in 1970 ... The Huskies won their home opener on Nov. 24, defeating Santa Clara 69-49. That improved their all-time record in home openers to 81-18. It was the 99th all-time home opener for UW which did not play any home games during the 1905 season ... Four Huskies received all-tournament honors at the Top of the World Classic: Curtis Allen, David Dixon, Erroll Knight and tournament MVP Doug Wrenn ... On Nov. 15 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 ... The Huskies blocked a school single-game record 14 shots against Santa Clara (Nov. 24), bettering by four the UW record of 10 blocks established on Dec. 3, 1991 ... Curtis Allen was named Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3, the first time a Washington player received the conference award since Deon Luton on Feb. 8, 1999 ... Ten of the 16 players on the roster had never played a game at Washington prior to this season ... Washington played the season opener without the services of head coach Bob Bender who was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib ... UW's Dec. 11 home game against Gonzaga was a sellout, the second sellout since Bank of America Arena re-opened in November 2000 with a new 10,000-seat configuration. The first sellout was on Jan. 13, 2001 against Arizona.
Home Sweet Home
For the first time in two years, the Huskies will play all of their home games on campus, in 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 has a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies won 755 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. UW played two exhibitions and the season opener last year at different venues before playing the remaining games in The Pavilion.
'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 current 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. Ten 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 Pac-10 Conference standings with a 4-14 record.
'No school did a more thorough job of addressing its overall weakness and building for the future.'
-- Mike DeCourcy, The Sporting News
Washington's 2001 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 co