UW Hoops Travels To Pac-10 Opener

Jan. 1, 2009

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SEATTLE - After more than two months of preparation, the University of Washington men's basketball team opens Pac-10 Conference competition this weekend when it travels to Pullman to face rival Washington State.

Saturday's game at Friel Court (capacity 11,671) is scheduled for a 3 p.m. tip-off and will be televised live by FSN Northwest. Kevin Calabro, Lenny Wilkens and Jen Mueller will provide the game analysis. Tickets are available by calling the WSU ticket office at (800) 462-684 or by clicking here.

The game can also be heard live on the radio and on GoHuskies.com via the Washington ISP Sports Network with Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton calling the action. For a complete listing of network affiliates, click here.

Washington enters Saturday's game with a 9-3 record and seven-game win streak following Tuesday's 81-67 home victory over Morgan State.

The Huskies have not played away from home since their Nov. 25 game against then #17 Florida in Kansas City and have not played a 'true' road game since their opener at Portland on Nov. 15 (although the contest against then #22 Kansas was in Kansas City, a mere 42.3 miles away from its home gym in Lawrence).

Senior All-America candidate Jon Brockman, the UW's second-leading career rebounder and 10th-leading scorer, leads the Huskies with 16.5 points and 10.2 rebounds per game. One of the nation's top big men, Brockman is the Pac-10's leading active career scorer and rebounder and has led the UW in rebounding in each of his first three seasons.

The Snohomish, Wash. native has been slowed recently by an ankle injury he suffered in practice prior to the Dec. 14 game against Portland State (one of only two games he's missed in his career). Brockman also suffered a cut that required three stitches on the outside of his left thumb on Christmas Day and has the hand heavily bandaged.

Washington is expected to be without freshman guard Elston Turner, one of the team's leading outside shooters, who suffered a high ankle sprain against Morgan State. X-rays showed no significant damage and he could return for next week's home games against Stanford and Cal.

UW freshman Isaiah Thomas has been a solid addition to the Huskies, particularly after his career-high 27-point outburst against Morgan State. The Tacoma native is the Pac-10's leading freshman in scoring (14.8 ppg) and is tied for the lead's assist lead for first-year players (3.1 apg).

Did you know that the Pac-10 is one of only four Division I conferences that does not have a team below .500? The others are the ACC, Big 12 and SEC.

Senior Justin Dentmon (12.4 ppg, 2.6 apg) and junior Quincy Pondexter (8.8 ppg, 5.7 rpg) are also expected to start in the UW backcourt, while redshirt freshman Darnell Gant (3.8 ppg, 4.2 rpg) should join Brockman in the Huskies' interior.

Off the bench, Washington enjoys solid depth and Husky reserves have outscored their opponents in 11 of their 12 games this season. Most notable are the inside-outside sophomore duo of forward Matthew Bryan-Amaning and guard Venoy Overton.

Bryan-Amaning enters Saturday's game averaging 9.0 points and 5.9 rebounds per game and is among Pac-10 leaders in field goal percentage (.596) and blocks per game (1.6). Overton has scored 21 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the last two games and has nine steals in his last three outings.

After winning its first five games of the season, Washington State has dropped four of its last seven. Most recently, the Cougars fell 64-52 at LSU on Dec. 27.

Center Aron Baynes leads WSU with averages of 11.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game and is shooting .632 from the field. Klay Thompson is scoring at an 11.2 per-game clip and is pulling-down 5.1 rebounds per game.

Washington owns a commanding 167-98 series lead against the Cougars since the two teams first played on Feb. 16, 1910. The Huskies have enjoyed win streaks of 17, eight and seven during the series and had won six of seven meetings during a span between 2002-2005. More recently, WSU has won the last seven games.

WSU's average margin of victory in the last four games between the two teams is just 5.25 points per game, which includes a 76-73 double-overtime victory in last year's regular-season finale in Pullman.

Following Saturday's game, Washington returns home for league games against Stanford on Thursday and Cal (presented by WSECU) on Saturday.

Tickets to UW games are available by calling the Husky Ticket Office at (206) 543-2200 or by clicking here.

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