Dogfight Wednesday -- Washington vs. Gonzaga
Dec. 1, 2003
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 3 --
Washington vs. (#17) Gonzaga; 7:30 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash.
Fox Sports Net Northwest - Live TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KHHO (AM 850) in Puget Sound Area
SATURDAY, DECEMBER 6 --
Washington at Wyoming; 3:00 p.m. PST (4:00 p.m. MST)
Arena-Auditorium (15,000); Laramie, Wyo. - No TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound area
The Washington Huskies (3-0) close out their season-opening four-game homestand, Wednesday, Dec. 3 against 17th-ranked Gonzaga (3-1). Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus for the game that will be televised live by Fox Sports Net Northwest. The Bulldogs won the last five encounters with Washington, including last season's 95-89 overtime thriller at The Kennel in Spokane. The Huskies seek to improve to 4-0 for the first time since the start of the 1998-99 campaign that was the last season they had a winning record and participated in postseason play. The Huskies are undefeated, having beaten Eastern Washington 104-91 on Saturday after defeating Portland State 73-65 (Nov. 21) and UC Riverside 91-78 (Nov. 24). Following Wednesday's game, Washington embarks on its first road trip, playing at Wyoming on Saturday, Dec. 6 at 3 p.m. Pacific Time.
Wednesday's game will be broadcast on KHHO (850 AM) in the Puget Sound area due to a programming conflict on KJR, Washington's flagship station. All Husky men's basketball games are broadcast live on the Husky Sports Network. The majority of games will air on KJR Radio (AM 950) in the Seattle area. Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play for the 17th season. He is joined on home broadcasts by color commentator Jason Hamilton, a UW point guard from 1994-96. Fans may subscribe to an on-line service that allows them to listen to UW games over the internet. For more information go to: www.collegesports.com Game play-by-play and stats can be followed live in a text format via the internet at: www.gohuskies.com
At least 12 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season, most of them on Fox Sports Net. The first Husky game to be televised is the Dec. 3 outing against Gonzaga which airs on Fox Sports Northwest at 7:30 p.m. Rich Waltz calls the action with color commentary from NBA Hall of Fame player and coach Lenny Wilkens.
UW vs. Ranked Foes
The Huskies have a 61-190 all-time record against ranked opponents. Washington lost its last nine encounters with ranked foes, last winning 97-92 over No. 19 Oregon on Jan. 24, 2002. Three teams on the UW schedule are listed in the current (Dec. 1) Associated Press poll, including No. 7 Arizona, Gonzaga (#17) and Stanford (#21).
* Saturday's 104-91 win over Eastern Washington marked UW's highest point total in 311 games, dating to a 130-67 win over Chico State on Dec. 1, 1992. It was UW's first 100-point effort in 159 games, dating to a 101-86 win at USC on Jan. 29, 1998.
* Gonzaga's 5 wins mark the longest current winning streak by a non-conference opponent vs. UW. GU ranks second overall behind Arizona's current 8-game streak.
* The Huskies lost their last 9 meetings with ranked opponents dating to a 97-92 win over No. 19 Oregon on Jan. 24, 2002.
* Bobby Jones came off the bench to register double-figure points in all 3 games.
This is Washington's second season under head coach Lorenzo Romar. a two-year letterman point guard for the Huskies from 1978-80. Romar was hired April 3, 2002 as the school's first African-American basketball coach. He served three-year head coaching stints at Pepperdine (1997-99) and Saint Louis (2000-02) before returning to UW. Romar has a 106-105 all-time record in eight seasons with a 13-17 mark at Washington.
Romar on Radio
The Washington Basketball Coaches' Show with Lorenzo Romar airs weekly from 7:30-8:00 p.m. on KJR (AM-950). The day of the week varies. The show is hosted by play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau along with KJR Radio personality David Locke. The next two broadcasts are Thursday, Dec. 11 and Thursday, Dec. 18.
The Gonzaga Series
> Washington owns a 28-11 lead in the all-time series despite losing the last five meetings with Gonzaga.
> The Huskies have a 17-4 record against Gonzaga in Seattle.
> Gonzaga won the last five encounters, including a 95-89 overtime decision last season in Spokane. The Bulldogs defeated UW 67-47 during 2002 in Seattle, 86-74 on Dec. 2, 2000 at the Kennel, 76-66 on Dec. 13, 1999 at Seattle's KeyArena and 82-71 on Dec. 8, 1998 at the Spokane Arena.
> The last UW win in the series was an 88-82 decision on Dec. 30, 1997 in Seattle.
> Gonzaga was victorious against UW in its last two visits to Seattle, in 1999-2000 and 2001-02.
> Prior to the current five-game losing streak against Gonzaga, the Huskies had won 12 of the 13 previous meetings in the series.
> The Bulldog roster includes sophomore Erroll Knight who red-shirted last year after transferring from Washington following the 2001-02 season. A product of Seattle's Chief Sealth High School, Knight averaged 7.1 points as a freshman at UW.
> Fifth-year Gonzaga coach Mark Few won his only four meetings against Washington as a head coach.
> In his second year at UW, Lorenzo Romar has a 3-4 record against Gonzaga, including a 3-3 mark between 1997-99 when he was the head coach at Pepperdine.
The Last Meeting
Gonzaga 95, UW 89 ot (Dec. 2, 2002; Spokane, Wash.)
Blake Stepp scored 28 of his 33 points after halftime, including eight overtime points that lifted Gonzaga to a 95-89 decision over Washington for its 28th consecutive win at the Kennel. A layup by Anthony Washington gave the Huskies (0-3) their third and final overtime lead with 3:05 left in overtime. Stepp went 8-for-8 at the free throw line to account for all of Gonzaga's points inside the final two minutes. He finished 16-of-20 from the line as the Zags made 32 of 49 attempts to only 17 of 21 for UW. The Bulldogs (3-2) won for the fifth straight time over UW (0-3) helped by Cory Violette's 17-point, 12-rebound effort. Gonzaga led 25-19 before the Huskies closed with a 17-7 run inside the final seven minutes to take a 36-32 halftime lead. The Bulldogs captured the lead with 6:31 left until regulation and held the margin until UW's Will Conroy forced overtime with a 3-pointer at 0:04. Conroy scored a career-high 32 points, including the Huskies final seven second-half points over the final 0:35. Gonzaga shot 56 percent (30-54), including 64 percent (18-28) in the second half. UW shot 47 percent (33-70) despite the 3-for-17 effort of Doug Wrenn who had 11 points.
Nate the Great
High-flying sophomore guard Nate Robinson will concentrate on basketball this season after having an huge impact last year on both the hardwood and the gridiron. Robinson garnered Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 honors after leading UW with a 13.0-point scoring average. He had eight points in 23 minutes Jan. 2 against UCLA after starting two days earlier in UW's 34-24 loss to Purdue in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31. Robinson registered 17 double-figure outings and topped all UW scorers a team-high 11 times in his 23 games. The 5-9 leaper was spectacular in his second collegiate outing, amassing 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 18 minutes at Santa Clara (Dec. 7). He followed that up with another 19-point effort, against Eastern Washington (Dec. 14). Robinson suited up, but did not play in the Nov. 24 season opener, one day after grabbing a critical interception for the Husky football team that upset No. 3 Washington State 29-26 in Pullman. Robinson was a prep All-American in both football and basketball. He started the final six Husky football games at cornerback and recorded two interceptions. Robinson averaged 17.2 yards on six kick-off returns. His first practice with the basketball team was Nov. 26. Robinson entered UW on a football scholarship, but switched to basketball. He was the 2002 Washington Class AAA state basketball player of the year after averaging 17.9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals for state champion Rainier Beach of Seattle. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a standout running back on the UW football team and ranks seventh among all-time Huskies with 2,300 career yards. Jacque is the only player to earn MVP honors in both the Rose (1982) and Orange (1985) Bowls.
High School Reunion
Every time the Huskies take the floor it amounts to a reunion of alums from Seattle's Garfield High School. Four former prep teammates are listed on the Washington roster; juniors Will Conroy and Tre Simmons along with sophomores Brandon Roy and Anthony Washington. That Garfield team also featured current USC guard Roydell Smiley and Isaiah Stanback a red-shirt freshman who plays on the Husky football team. The Garfield quartet has accounted for 129 of UW's 268 points in the three regular-season games, accounting for 48 percent of the total offensive output.
Sophomore swingman Brandon Roy is a rising star in his first full collegiate season. He amassed a career-high 22 points and five assists against UC Riverside (Nov. 24) and followed that up with a 19-point performance against Eastern Washington (Nov. 29). Dating to the end of last season, Roy tallied double-figure points in six of his last seven regular-season games to average 15.3 points (107) and 5.3 rebounds (37) during that span. He was a consensus top-50 national recruit among the prep class of 2002, but was not declared eligible by the NCAA until Jan. 16, 2003. Roy played 13 games with two starts last season, averaging 6.1 points per game. He averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during the final four games of 2003. Roy applied for the 2002 NBA Draft out of high school, but did not attend any pre-draft camps and withdrew his application prior to the draft. He is the fourth product of Seattle's Garfield High School on the current UW roster, joining Will Conroy, Tre Simmons and Anthony Washington.
Producing Point Guards
UW point guards Will Conroy (Garfield HS) and Nate Robinson (Rainier Beach HS) both hail from the city of Seattle. The Emerald City has produced some jewels on the hardwood, a legacy of point guards that is highlighted by former Arizona standout Jason Terry and Michigan's Jamal Crawford. Three Pac-10 schools may start Seattle natives at the point this season, including Aaron Brooks (Franklin HS) at Oregon and Rodrick Stewart (Rainier Beach HS) at USC along with the UW duo. Other prominent point guards from the state of Washington include Gonzaga's John Stockton (Spokane) and Dan Dickau (Prairie), Oregon's Luke Ridnour (Blaine) and current Florida freshman Ryan Appleby (Stanwood).
Coach Lorenzo Romar has utilized the same starting lineup for all three regular-season games. Last year, the Huskies implemented nine unique lineups and Will Conroy was the only player to start every game. Conroy did not start the regular-season opener against Portland State, stopping a streak of 34 consecutive starting assignments.
The most improved player in the Pac-10 last season was point guard Will Conroy, now a junior at Washington. His 12.7-point sophomore scoring average was 10.2 better than his freshman average of 2.5 points, the largest improvement by any Pac-10 player. Despite playing all 29 games in 2002 and starting the final seven, Conroy did not have a double-figure scoring game. He had 19 double-figure performances last season and led all Husky scorers in eight games. Conroy ranked 21st among Pac-10 scorers (12.7 ppg) and distributed a team-high 108 assists to rank fifth among Pac-10 playmakers (4.0 apg). He amassed a career-high 32 points at Gonzaga, including a 3-pointer that forced overtime. Conroy ranked 11th among Pac-10 players with 33 steals.
Arguably the quickest player in the conference, guard Curtis Allen is the lone senior on the Washington roster. He led the team last season with 52 treys, 23 more 3-pointers than any of his teammates. Allen has amassed 846 points during his career and needs 154 more to become the 28th player in UW history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He missed only two free throws in 46 attempts last season, a 95.7-percent figure that would have easily led the conference except he was 10 free throws shy of the minimum standard for the Pac-10 statistical rankings. Allen's current career free throw mark of 88.0 percent (184-209) is the best in school history. He ranks second among all-time Pac-10 players behind only former UCLA standout Rod Foster who shot 88.9% from the line between 1980-83. Allen distributed 126 assists in 2002, the seventh-highest total in Husky history. A starter during parts of each of his previous three seasons, Allen was voted to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team in 2001. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3, 2001 after averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 assists in a pair of Husky wins. Allen distributed 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10, 2002), the second-highest total in UW history. He fell one shy of the school single-game assist record of 16 established by Rafael Stone in 1970.
Last UW Game
UW 104, Eastern Washington 91 (Nov. 29, 2003/Seattle)
Tre Simmons scored 11 of his 19 points during the decisive run late in the second half of Washington's 104-91 victory over Eastern Washington at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (3-0) opened the season with three straight wins for the first time since the 1998-99 campaign. UW gained a measure of revenge against the Eagles (1-3) who won last year's meeting 62-58 in Seattle. The Huskies reached the 100-point plateau for the first time in 159 games, dating to Jan. 29, 1998 at USC (101-86). The game featured 20 lead changes and 17 ties. Eastern held its final lead at 76-73 before Simmons sparked a 19-4 surge that put UW ahead for good. Bobby Jones opened the run with two free throws and capped it with a layup off a Simmons assist that gave the Huskies a 92-80 lead with 3:13 remaining. Brandon Roy tallied 19 points for the Huskies while Nate Robinson and Jones added 14 apiece. Alvin Snow scored 19 points for EWU which also got 18 from Marc Axton and former Husky Josh Barnard. Washington enjoyed a huge advantage at the free throw line, making eight more free throws (33) than the Eagles attempted.
Lorenzo Romar begins his second season at Washington. Last year, Romar directed the Huskies to a 10-17 record, including victories over NCAA Tournament-bound Stanford and Oregon. He was named to head up the program at his alma mater on April 3, 2002. A point guard for the Huskies' 1978-79 and 1979-80 teams, he is the 18th head coach in Washington's 102-year history and the first African-American to lead the program. Romar has compiled a 106-105 record in eight seasons as a head coach, including a 13-17 mark in two years at Washington. He recorded his 100th career coaching victory on Jan. 18, 2003 with a 73-68 win over Stanford. In three years at Saint Louis from 1999-2002, he compiled a 51-44 (.537) mark. At both Pepperdine and Saint Louis, Romar helped revive programs to a competitive level. He led the Waves to a three-year record of 42-44 (.488) from 1996-99, including a pair of second-place finishes in the West Coast Conference and an NIT invitation in 1999. His first Saint Louis squad upset top-ranked Cincinnati in the Conference USA tournament and went on to win the championship and an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. Twice during the past two seasons Romar's Saint Louis teams defeated Washington. Seattle was the site of one of Romar's greatest coaching moments. As an assistant coach, he helped guide UCLA to an 89-78 triumph over Arkansas in the Kingdome to win the 1995 NCAA Championship. Cameron Dollar, now a UW assistant coach, was one of the stars for the Bruins during that national title contest. Romar built a reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters while an assistant at UCLA (1992-1996) and was credited with recruiting much of the talent that formed the core of the Bruins' title team. UCLA's record during Romar's four-year assistant coaching tenure was 97-28 (.776). A native of Compton, Calif., Romar graduated from Pius X High School. He earned his associate degree from Cerritos (Calif.) Community College in 1978 before studying at Washington from 1978-80. He completed his coursework at Cincinnati, receiving his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1992. After starting two seasons at UW for legendary coach Marv Harshman, Romar was selected in the seventh round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. His five-year NBA career included stints with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). Following the 1984-85 season, Romar joined Athletes in Action (AIA), a touring exhibition team on which he served as player-coach from 1989-1992. Romar is the second former UW player to return as the head coach, joining Lynn Nance who coached the Huskies from 1989-93.
Lorenzo Romar's staff is comprised of second-year assistant coaches Ken Bone, Cameron Dollar and Russ Schoene. Bone was the head coach at perennial NCAA Division II championship contender Seattle Pacific during the previous 12 seasons. After a stellar playing career at UCLA (1994-97) that included the 1995 NCAA championship, Dollar served the previous three years as an assistant coach on Romar's Saint Louis staff. Schoene was a standout collegian at Tennessee Chattanooga (1981-82) who played four seasons in the NBA, including three years (1987-89) with the Seattle Sonics.
A young, extremely athletic group of players pursues Washington's first winning season and post-season appearance since 1999. Four primary starters return from last season's 10-17 squad. Seven of the top-eight scorers are back, including freshman All-American Nate Robinson who topped all UW players in 2003 with a scoring average of 13.0. Only one senior (Curtis Allen) is listed on the Husky roster that features just two players (Allen, Will Conroy) who have played more than one full season in a Husky uniform. The backcourt will be strong with future star Brandon Roy available for a full season and the addition of high-scoring junior college transfer Tre Simmons who averaged nearly 30 points at Green River (Wash.) Community College. The frontcourt features the talented trio of sophomores Mike Jensen, Bobby Jones and Anthony Washington. Muscular transfer Hakeem Rollins (Mesa JC, Ariz.) will contribute physical post play.
A lot was new last season, the first under head coach Lorenzo Romar. The 2003 roster listed six freshmen and only one senior (Marlon Shelton). Five of those freshmen, including red-shirt frosh Mike Jensen, started at least two games. The Huskies opened three games with four freshmen and a sophomore (Will Conroy) in the starting lineup. The abundance of youth produced inconsistent results. Washington posted impressive victories against NCAA Tournament-bound teams Stanford and Oregon, but also suffered several narrow defeats and did not qualify for the Pac-10 Tournament. UW lost 10 games by 10-or-fewer points and dropped three overtime contests en route to a ninth-place conference finish. The Huskies had a 10-17 record with a 5-13 Pac-10 ledger.
Half of Washington's 16-player roster is comprised of first-year Huskies, including three transfers, one scholarship freshman and four walk-ons. The newcomers most likely to contribute immediately are junior college transfers Tre Simmons (Green River CC) and Hakeem Rollins (Mesa JC). Simmons is a prolific scorer who averaged 29.8 points last season with two 50-point performances. Rollins is a physical inside presence who will challenge sophomore Anthony Washington for playing time at the post position. Freshman Hans Gasser is a versatile 6-9 forward from Issaquah (Wash.) High School who also could see early playing time.
Five players are gone from last year's UW team, including 2002 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year Doug Wrenn who declared for the 2003 NBA Draft after his junior season. Wrenn averaged 19.5 points in 2002, a figure that dipped to 12.4 last season. He started 23 games last year and led the team with 5.8 rebounds per game. Also departing was center Marlon Shelton who graduated. Guard C.J. Massingale transferred to Metro State in Denver, Colo. and walk-on David Hudson decided not to play basketball. Forward Jeffrey Day was dismissed from school and planned to transfer to a junior college.
The Wyoming Series
> Washington owns a 9-3 lead in the all-time series that began in 1948.
> Washington currently has a four-game winning streak in the series, including a 79-70 victory last season in Seattle.
> The last Cowboy win in the series was a 74-61 decision on Dec. 13, 1963 in Seattle.
> The Huskies have a 2-1 record against the Cowboys in Laramie. They were victorious in their last visit to Wyoming, posting a 76-69 decision on Dec. 5, 1975.
> The Wyoming roster includes two Washington natives, senior guard David Adams from Tacoma (Lincoln HS) who transferred from Washington State, and senior center Ryan Wildenborg from Kirkland (Juanita HS) a transfer from Minnesota.
> Sixth-year Wyoming coach Steve McClain has an 0-1 record against Washington.
> In his second year at UW, Lorenzo Romar has a 1-0 record against the Cowboys.
The Last Meeting
UW 79, Wyoming 70 (Dec. 5, 2002; Seattle)
Doug Wrenn led five double-figure scorers with 18 points to help Washington defeat Wyoming 79-70 at Bank of America Arena and give Lorenzo Romar his first coaching victory since returning to his alma mater. The Cowboys (3-2) built an early 11-4 lead, but Washington (1-3) reeled off nine unanswered points to claim a 13-11 lead it would never relinquish. The Husky margin was 38-34 at halftime and grew to as many as 15 points in the second half before Wyoming closed within 70-66 on two Marcus Bailey free throws with 1:33 left to play. Freshman Bobby Jones responded with a 3-pointer at 0:59 and the Huskies hit all six of their free throws inside the final 0:45 to secure the win. Will Conroy scored 13 points for the Huskies who also got 12 from Curtis Allen, 11 from Jones and 10 from C.J. Massingale. Donta Richardson paced Wyoming with 18 points while Bailey had 16 and Jay Straight 14. The Cowboys were without the services of top scorer and rebounder Uche Nsonwu-Amadi due to a sprained knee. It was the first meeting between the schools since 1978. The Huskies won that one 85-74 with Romar playing point guard.
Good seats are available for all Washington home games, including season tickets and other special packages. The Pepsi '4 for $40' Family Plan is perfect for quartets of all ages and includes four $10 bleacher seats, four Pepsi drinks and four hot dogs. All seats are reserved and priced at $20, $18 and $10. University of Washington students with current student i.d. can purchase individual game tickets for $3 or buy a student season pass for $30 that is also good for women's games. For ticket information please contact the Husky Ticket Office by phone (206-543-2200) or on-line via the athletic department website (Husky Basketball Tickets)
Washington completed its 15-game 2002-03 home schedule averaging 6,799 spectators per game. That was the largest attendance figure at the Huskies' on-campus arena since the 1984-85 season drew an average of 6,979. UW averaged 7,851 fans during the 2000 season while playing at KeyArena in downtown Seattle during the Edmundson Pavilion renovation. The Huskies drew an average of 7,840 fans last year during nine home Pac-10 contests, an increase of 1,231 from the 2001-02 season's conference average of 6,609.
The Huskies twice played before capacity home crowds at Bank of America Arena last season. They sold out games against Arizona (Feb. 6) and Oregon (Feb. 22). There have been four sellouts since Bank of America Arena re-opened in 2000-01 with the current 10,000-seat configuration. On Feb. 6, a record crowd of 10,028 attended UW's 88-85 overtime loss to Arizona.
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