2002 Washington Men's Basketball Season Wrap-up
March 18, 2002
The Washington Huskies (11-18, 5-13) finished the 2001-02 season with a flurry, winning three of their final four regular-season games to earn the eighth and final berth to the Pac-10 Tournament. The eighth-seeded Huskies led by seven points at halftime before succumbing to No. 1 seed Oregon by an 86-64 count. Washington's non-conference season was highlighted by a runner-up performance at the Top of the World Classic in November and a home victory over NIT-bound UNLV. The conference campaign featured home victories over the top two teams in Pac-10 standings, Oregon and California.
Nineteen of the Huskies' 29 games were against opponents that competed in the postseason, including 14 games against NCAA Tournament teams. Seven UW setbacks were dealt by NCAA Sweet 16 qualifiers. Washington's schedule was rated the nation's second most difficult in the final regular-season Sagarin Ratings published Mar. 11 by USA Today. Thirteen of UW's 18 defeats were dealt by teams that were ranked at some point during the season. Six teams on the UW schedule were listed in the final regular-season (Mar. 11) Associated Press top-25 poll, including sixth-ranked Gonzaga, Oregon (#9), Arizona (#15), Stanford (#16), USC (#22) and California (#25). Ten Husky losses came against teams that were ranked in the final regular-season poll.
UW vs. Ranked Foes
Washington played 10 opponents that were ranked at the time of the game, posting a 1-9 record in those encounters. The Huskies' lone victory was a 97-92 triumph at home on Jan. 24 against No. 19 Oregon which went on to win the Pac-10 regular-season championship.
Newcomer of the Year
Husky sophomore forward Doug Wrenn was named the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year on Feb. 27. The 6-8 forward transferred from Connecticut and sat out the 2000-01 season. Wrenn was the Pac-10's third-leading scorer (19.5 ppg) and ranks 13th in rebounding (6.4 rpg). His 546 points were the 10th-highest figure among UW single-season scorers. Wrenn is the first Husky to be honored as Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
Washington started nine different lineups after implementing 15 unique lineups last season. The lineup of Wrenn/Leep/Dixon/Conroy/Massingale started the final five games, posting a 3-2 record. The Huskies settled on that lineup after implementing six different sets of starters in the previous six games. The rotating lineups have seen nine different players drawing at least one starting assignment. Senior center David Dixon was the only player to start every game this season.
Washington rejected a school single-season record 139 shots this season, an average of 4.79 blocks per game that led all Pac-10 teams. The Huskies surpassed the school record of 118 established by the 1993 UW squad that averaged 4.37 blocks per game. The Huskies had blocked five or more shots in 16 games after reaching the five-block plateau only five times all last season. Senior David Dixon had 67 blocks to rank second among Pac-10 players with an average of 2.31 per game. His 67 blocks tied the school single-season record established by Chris Welp in 1986. Dixon's 98 career blocks rank No. 3 in the UW record book. Freshman Jeffrey Day ranks second on the Huskies and ninth in the conference with 30 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).
Doug Wrenn's 19.5-point scoring average was the 11th-highest ever for a Husky and the best since Chris Welp averaged 20.8 points in 1986-87. Wrenn led all UW scorers in 11 straight games from Jan. 6-Feb. 14. He averaged 26.0 points and accounted for 36 percent of the Huskies' scoring during that span. Wrenn reached the 30-point plateau four times with 32 against Oregon (Jan. 24), 34 at Washington State (Jan. 31), 30 at Arizona State (Feb. 9) and a career-high 35 at Arizona (Feb. 7) that marked the highest scoring output by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch had 38 at James Madison on Dec. 7, 1996. Wrenn tallied 30 points in three consecutive games, becoming the third player in UW history to accomplish that feat. He recorded 12 games with at least 20 points and led all Husky scorers on 21 occasions. Wrenn had three double-doubles and finished second on the team with 57 assists.
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. The Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year, Wrenn led the team and ranked third among conference players with an average of 19.5 points per game, including a career-high 35-point performance at Arizona (Feb. 7). He tallied 30 points on four occasions, including a streak of three straight 30-point performances that tied the school record held by Louie Nelson (1973) and Bob Houbregs (1953). Wrenn hit the game-winning shot in a 75-74 win at New Mexico State (Dec. 8), a jumper in the lane with 0:06 left. He topped all Husky scorers 21 times and posted 24 double-figure games, including 12 outings with 20 points. Wrenn had three double doubles and ranked second on the team with 57 assists. 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.
The youthful Huskies had a roster that included seven freshmen, five sophomores, one junior and three seniors. Ten of 16 UW athletes had never played a game at Washington before the season. The predominantly local list of athletes included 13 of 16 players from high schools in the state of Washington.
Less is More
Fans saw 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 enabled him to be more active and average 27.9 minutes per game. Last season, Dixon played 14.7 minutes per contest and averaged 4.7 points and 3.2 rebounds. He was more effective this year, leading the team and ranking third among Pac-10 players with 7.6 rebounds per game. His 8.4-point scoring average was third best on the team. Dixon tallied double-figure points 14 times and had five double-doubles. Dixon's 221 rebounds are 124 more than the 97 he grabbed all last season.
Return to Sender
David Dixon blocked 67 shots after registering 24 all last season. His 67 blocks tied the Washington single-season record established by Chris Welp in 1986. Dixon's 98 career blocked shots rank No. 3 on the school's all-time list, trailing only Chris Welp (186) and Todd MacCulloch (142) who each played four seasons to just three for Dixon. Dixon boasts the top three blocked shot games in Husky history. He denied 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 rejections against Arizona State (Jan. 10). Dixon ranked second among all Pac-10 players with 67 blocked shots, an average of 2.31 blocks per game.
'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 improved 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 UW's 77-64 win 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 21 of 29 games with a total of 126, an average of 4.34 per game. Last year, Allen distributed 65 assists, an average of 2.2 per contest. Allen is the 21st Husky to post a 100-assist season and finished the year ranked No. 7 among UW single-season playmakers. 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 was also vastly better. Allen shot 41.7 percent from beyond the arc (48-115) after shooting 3-pointers at a 25-percent clip last year. He had 48 treys, 28 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 freshmen in steals (29) and No. 4 in assists (65).
Washington lost all 13 games when its opponents registered a superior field goal percentage and was 11-5 when out shooting its foes ... UW had a 9-8 record when its reserves equaled or outscored their counterpart's point total while suffering a 2-10 record when the opponents lead the bench-scoring category ... Jeffrey Day had 30 blocked shots, just two shy of Todd MacCulloch's Washington freshman record of 32 established in 1996 ... Curtis Allen ranked second among Pac-10 players in free throw accuracy (88.6%), including 20 consecutive free throws between Jan. 10-26 ... The Huskies shot 67.0 percent from the free throw line (447-667), a drastic improvement from last season's 57.5-percent figure (355-617) that ranked last in the Pac-10 ... The Huskies' 97-92 win over Oregon (Jan. 24) marked the first time they trailed with 5:00 remaining and won the game. UW had a 1-16 record in games when trailing at the 5:00 mark ... Washington players posted 17 games of 20-or-more points, more than doubling last season's entire total of eight 20-point individual outings.
Washington senior Grant Leep completed his career as Washington's most accurate 3-point marksman, having converted 52.7 percent of his treys this season and 42.9 percent for his career. Leep led all Pac-10 players in 3-point percentage, netting 52.7 percent (39-74) of his trey tries. He leads a Husky team that shot 36.9 percent (177-480) on 3-pointers, an improvement from last year's 30.6-percent figure.
Freshman forward Mike Jensen, who dislocated his left shoulder during practice on Dec. 3, underwent surgery on Dec. 10 and missed the rest of the season. Jensen suffered a torn labrum. He was 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.
Freshman guard Erroll 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. Knight started 19 of 29 games this season. He ranked fifth on the team with a 7.1-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.
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 a nine-year record of 116-142 with the Huskies. The UW tied for ninth place in the Pac-10 with a 4-14 record in 2001 and had a 10-20 overall record. In 2000, the Huskies 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 116 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 13-year career record of 176-199. 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.
Last Husky Game
#9 Oregon 86, UW 64, Pac-10 Tournament (Mar. 7, 2002, Los Angeles)
Luke Jackson scored 16 of his 27 points in the second half, helping top-seeded Oregon rally from a seven-point halftime deficit to defeat No. 8 seed Washington 86-64 in the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament at the Staples Center. The ninth-ranked Ducks (23-7) outscored Washington 51-22 in the second half that included a 12-minute delay inside the first minute due to a shot-clock malfunction. Frederick Jones scored 13 of his 15 points after intermission for Oregon which shot 8-of-16 from 3-point range after hitting just 3-of-10 treys in the first half. Jackson made four second-half 3-pointers, including one with 13:24 left to play that gave Oregon the lead for good at 50-47. The Ducks opened the second half with a 26-9 run that was fueled by six 3-pointers, taking a 61-51 lead with 10:02 remaining. The Huskies (11-18) shot 54 percent in the first half (19-35) en route to a 42-35 halftime advantage. They led by as many as 13 points, at 31-18 with 5:53 left until halftime, but Oregon closed the half with a 7-2 run to narrow the gap. Doug Wrenn scored 12 of his team-high 14 points in the first half for the Huskies. Erroll Knight was a perfect 4-for-4 from the field in the first half when he scored all 10 of his points. David Dixon added 12 points for UW. Luke Ridnour had 11 points and six assists for the Ducks.
The Husky roster featured 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.
Doug Wrenn tallied a career-high 35 points at Arizona (Feb. 7), the highest scoring output by a Husky since Todd MacCulloch scored 38 at James Madison on Dec. 7, 1996 ... Wrenn's four 30-point outings are the third-best single-season total by a Husky and are the most since Louie Nelson had five during the 1972-73 campaign ... Curtis Allen converted 20 consecutive free throws between Jan. 10-26, including all 12 of his free throws against Oregon (Jan. 24) to tie 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 ... 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.
Washington completed its non-conference schedule with a 6-4 record, its first winning record since the 1998-99 team posted a 7-3 record. UW had a 5-7 non-conference record in 1999-2000 and was 6-6 last season.
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 played five 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.
Freshmen Jeffrey Day and Will Conroy made their mark on the Washington record book. Both climbed the charts among all-time Husky freshmen. Day blocked 30 shots, the second-highest single-season total ever for a UW freshman and just two shy of the school's frosh record of 32 established in 1996 by Todd MacCulloch. Conroy distributed 46 assists to rank seventh among all-time Husky rookie playmakers.
Home Sweet Home
For the first time in two years, the Huskies played 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 757 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.
Signed, Sealed, Delivered
Washington received commitments during the early signing period (Nov. 14-21) from two prep standouts, both from Seattle's Garfield High School. Brandon Roy, a 6-5 wing player, is one of the premier prep players in the nation and Anthony Washington is a 6-9 rising power forward prospect who initially signed last year with the Huskies, but returned to Garfield to complete some coursework. Those two will join the team in the fall of 2002 and be reunited with former prep teammate Will Conroy who is currently a freshman point guard at UW. The Huskies have one scholarship to offer during the late letter of intent period that begins April 15.
6-5, 195, guard/forward, Seattle, Wash. (Garfield HS)
The No. 2-ranked small forward in the West by Prep-West Hoops ... Rated No. 47 nationally among all positions by CNN/SI ... Averaged 18.7 points and 5.5 rebounds last year at Garfield High School ... A first-team 2001 All-Washington state selection in the 4A classification ... The 2001 KingCo Conference MVP.
6-9, 220, forward, Seattle, Wash. (Garfield HS)
The ninth-rated power forward in the West last year by Prep-West Hoops ... Listed as the No. 100 player nationally by The Sporting News last year... Emerged on the recruiting scene with stellar performances during the spring and summer camp sessions of 2000 ... Averaged 8.5 points and 6.5 rebounds per game as senior at Garfield High in 2001 ... Blocked 21 shots in four games to set a new state tournament record ... Had more blocks than the previous tournament team record of 20.
Recapping the 2002 Campaign
The Huskies finished second at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Ak. They defeated host Alaska Fairbanks 82-70 and Bowling Green 81-74 before losing in the championship game to Butler by a 67-64 count. Washington played the season opener without the services of head coach Bob Bender or sophomore forward Doug Wrenn. Bender was in Seattle nursing a bruised rib while Wrenn was serving a one-game suspension for a minor NCAA violation ... UW won its home opener 69-49 over Santa Clara (Nov. 24) and blocked a school-record 14 shots in the process ... The Huskies beat UNLV 77-64 in Seattle (Nov. 28) behind the career-high 21 point, eight-assist effort of Curtis Allen ... Allen increased that career-high total to 27 points in the next outing, a 98-94 win at San Diego (Dec. 1) in which UW hit 37-of-43 free throws ... UW drew a split on a road trip to the Southwest, losing 74-62 at UTEP (Dec. 6) before edging New Mexico State 75-74 (Dec. 8) on a Doug Wrenn basket with 0:06 remaining ... The Huskies shot a season-low 28 percent in losing 67-47 to No. 25 Gonzaga (Dec. 11) in front of a sellout crowd of 10,000 at Bank of America Arena ... UW lost 85-79 at home to No. 19 UCLA in the Pac-10 opener. That was the Bruins first win in Seattle since 1997 ... USC matched its longest winning streak against UW, claiming its sixth straight victory by an 87-65 count in Seattle (Dec. 27) ... The Huskies suffered a 71-70 setback at Saint Louis (Dec. 29) on a 3-pointer with 15.6 seconds left ... UCLA completed a season sweep with a 74-62 win (Jan. 4), its 16th straight win over UW at Pauley Pavilion ... USC won 94-74 (Jan. 6) at The Forum to cap its third consecutive season sweep over UW en route to a series record seventh straight victory ... The Huskies snapped a six-game losing streak with an 81-68 win over Arizona State (Jan. 10) in Seattle, shooting 60 percent for the first time in 83 games ... UW lost 74-69 to No. 20 Arizona in its last outing (Jan. 12) ... The Huskies were swept in the Bay Area. They scored a season-low 17 second-half points and lost 62-50 at California (Jan. 17). UW suffered its third-worst defeat, a 105-60 loss at No. 19 Stanford (Jan. 19) ... The Huskies won their first game over a ranked opponent in six tries, upsetting No. 19 Oregon 97-92 (Jan. 24) in Seattle behind the career-high 32 points of Doug Wrenn ... UW fell to Oregon State for the fifth straight time, losing 68-53 in Seattle (Jan. 26) ... Washington State posted its lone Pac-10 victory, an 81-79 decision over the Huskies in Pullman (Jan. 31) ... Despite the career-high 35 points of Doug Wrenn, UW fell to 11th-ranked Arizona 91-82 in Tucson (Feb. 7) ... Arizona State won 86-74 in Tempe (Feb. 9) despite Doug Wrenn's school-record tying third consecutive 30-point outing ... No. 12 Stanford swept its fifth straight season series from the Huskies with a 91-65 win in Seattle (Feb. 14) ... C.J. Massingale tied his career-high with 25 points in UW's 75-60 home win over second-place California (Feb. 14) ... The Huskies gained the inside track for the final Pac-10 Tournament berth with a 68-63 win at Oregon State (Feb. 21) that snapped a five-game losing streak against the Beavers ... UW lost a hard-fought 90-84 decision against 15th-ranked Oregon as Frederick Jones scored 33 points in his final game at McArthur Court where the Ducks finished with a perfect 16-0 record ... Six players netted double-figure points as the Huskies capped the regular season with an 82-75 win over Washington State in Seattle (Feb. 27). The win clinched the eighth and final Pac-10 Tournament berth for UW ... The Huskies led 42-35 before halftime and an additional 12-minute delay due to a shot clock malfunction took the wind out of their sails. No. 8 seed UW fell to top-seeded Oregon 86-64 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (Mar. 7) during the first round of the Pac-10 Tournament.