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Huskies Begin Three-Game Men's Hoop Tournament in Puerto Rico
Release: 12/19/2000
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Dec. 18, 2000

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Wed. - Fri., Dec. 20-22 --
UW at Puerto Rico Holiday Classic

Eugene Guerra Sports Complex (2,500), San Juan, P.R.

Wed., Dec. 20 -
UW at American-Puerto Rico
, 3:30 PST (7:30 AST)

Thu., Dec. 21 -
Winner vs. Alabama/Northern Iowa winner, 3:30 pm PST (7:30 pm AST)
Loser vs. Alabama/Northern Iowa loser, 10:30 am PST (2:30 pm AST)

Fri., Dec. 22 -
Final Round Game vs. Opponent TBD, Time TBA

The Washington Huskies (4-3) travel to Puerto Rico for the first time ever on the second leg of their 7,568-mile journey. The Huskies compete in the three-game Puerto Rico Holiday Classic from Wednesday, Dec. 20 through Friday, Dec. 22. Washington opens with host American University-Puerto Rico on Wednesday at 3:30 p.m. Pacific Time (7:30 p.m. Atlantic Time) at the Eugene Guerra Sports Complex in San Juan. The winner has a second-round date with the Alabama-Northern Iowa winner on Dec. 21 at 3:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. AST). The losers meet at 10:30 a.m. PST (2:30 AST). The tournament concludes on Friday, Dec. 22. The Huskies hope to participate in the championship game that is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. AST). Washington began its 10-day road trip with a 63-61win at Florida International on Saturday in Miami. Between Christmas and New Year's Day, the Huskies host a pair of home games at Bank of America Arena, against UC Irvine on Dec. 28 at 7 p.m. and versus San Diego on Dec. 30 at 2 p.m.

Puerto Rico Holiday Classic Field:
Along with Washington, the Puerto Rico Holiday Classic field includes 2000 NCAA Tournament participant Cincinnati, Atlantic Coast Conference competitor Clemson and Southeast Conference member Alabama. Rounding out the field are host American University-Puerto Rico, the Huskies' first-round foe, Florida Atlantic, Northern Iowa and Youngstown State. Washington meets either Alabama or Northern Iowa in the second round.

TV/Radio Coverage:
Wednesday's Washington-American University game will not be televised. 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/

Tournament Trends:
The Puerto Rico Holiday Classic marks Washington's third regular-season tournament appearance in as many years. The Huskies won the 1998 Big Island Invitational in Hilo, Hi. with a 76-60 victory over Georgia Tech. They finished fifth at the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout last year in Anchorage.

Time Zones:
The UW hoop squad traversed four time zones to play in Puerto Rico which is in the Atlantic Time Zone which is four hours earlier than Pacific Time.

Notable:
Eighth-year coach Bob Bender is one win shy of his 100th victory at Washington. Only three other coaches reached the 100-win plateau at UW, Hec Edmundson (488), Marv Harshman (246) and Tippy Dye (156) ... The Huskies are playing in their third straight regular-season tournament. They won the 1998 Big Island Invitational and were fifth at the 1999 Great Alaska Shootout ... Senior forward Will Perkins has four double-doubles. No UW player registered a double-double last season ... Washington has had a player register double-figure rebounds five times this season. Last year, UW players accounted for only seven double-figure rebound efforts during the entire campaign ... The Huskies have won all three games this season decided by fewer than eight points ... The team that registered the higher shooting percentage from the field won all seven UW games this season.

Injury Report: The status of Washington players for the next game:
* Questionable - Will Perkins, Suffering from a viral infection that first showed up during Saturday's game. Will not practice and his availability for Wednesday will be a game-day decision.

* Out - DeMarcus Williams, Missed the last two weeks with sore right plantar fascia (foot). Williams did not practice last week and will likely apply for a medical red-shirt.

The American-Puerto Rico Series:
> Washington and American University-Puerto Rico have never before met.

> The Pirates are an NCAA Division II member who had an 11-13 record last season.

> This is the second tournament for American which defeated Old Dominion behind the 25 points of 6-1 guard Joseph Rodriquez on Nov. 25 in the San Juan Shootout.

> First-year American coach Flor Melendez has never coached against the Huskies.

> In his eighth season at Washington, Bob Bender has never coached the Pirates.

The Season So Far:
Washington began its current four-game road trip with a 63-61 victory at Florida International (Dec. 16) on Greg Clark's late basket. The Huskies fell to Saint Louis 69-61 in their last home game (Dec. 5). Washington achieved a split on its first road trip of the season, winning 69-66 at Wichita State (Nov. 30) before an 86-74 loss at Gonzaga (Dec. 2). UW capped a three-game homestand with a 94-63 victory over Portland State (Nov. 28), registering the most points in its last 67 games and its largest margin of victory (31 points) in 61 games. The Huskies returned to their on-campus venue in triumphant fashion on Nov. 25, defeating New Mexico State 81-77. Washington played all of its home games last season, and this year's season opener, at KeyArena in downtown Seattle. UW opened the season with a 73-61 loss to Texas-El Paso (Nov. 21). The season-opening, three-game homestand was a welcome change for the Huskies who were on the road for the first 22 days of the 1999-2000 season. They played their first six games on the road last season and didn't play in Seattle until Dec. 13. Washington won both of its exhibition games this season, rallying for an 83-81 overtime victory at Seattle Pacific (Nov. 10) before beating Brewster Packing 84-80 (Nov. 14).

Last Husky Game:
UW 63, Florida International 61 (Dec. 16, 2000, Miami)
- Greg Clark hit a 17-foot jump shot with 3.2 seconds left in the game Saturday, lifting Washington to a 63-61 victory over Florida International at Golden Panther Arena. Washington (4-3) stopped a two-game losing streak in its first outing on a four-game, 7,658-mile road trip.. Florida International (2-7) suffered its sixth straight loss. The Huskies claimed their largest lead of the game at 57-49 on a layin by Clark with 5:39 remaining. Carlos Arroyo scored 10 of his game-high 21 points during the final 5:15, sparking a 12-4 FIU run. Slavcho Slavtchev capped the surge with a 3-pointer at 0:37 that tied the game 61-61 and set up Clark's game-winning basket from the left baseline. Arroyo attempted a game-winning shot at the buzzer, but his 25-foot 3-point attempt glanced off the front rim. Slavtchev finished with 17 points on 7-of-8 shooting from the field. Thalo Green scored 10 of his 15 points in the second half to pace the Huskies. Bryan Brown added 14 points, including four 3-pointers, and Will Perkins had 10 points. The Panthers led for most of the first half, taking their biggest margin of 32-24 on a jumper by Arroyo with 2:41to play before halftime. Washington closed the first half with a eight unanswered points, capped by a 3-pointer from Green that tied the score 32-32.

Double Trouble:
Senior forward Will Perkins registered double-doubles in four of Washington's first seven games. No Husky player recorded a double-double during the entire season last year. Perkins had 15 points and 10 rebounds against Texas-El Paso on Nov. 21 followed by a 14-point, 10-rebound performance against New Mexico State on Nov. 25 and an 11-point, 12-rebound outing against Portland State on Nov. 28. The Omaha, Nebraska native had his three-game double-double streak stopped at Wichita State as he had a team-high 16 points, but only five rebounds. He rebounded with an 18-point, 11-board effort at Gonzaga on Dec. 2. Perkins leads the team in both scoring (14.1 ppg) and rebounds (8.7 rpg) while shooting 51 percent (39-76). Last year, he led the Huskies in rebounds (5.9 rpg), field goal percentage (47.9%) and blocks (39).

Hair Raising Experience:
Senior forward Thalo Green avoided the barber's shears for 16 months before taking his place in the chair at the Montlake Cut barbershop on July 12, 2000. Green had his hair cut for the first time since March of 1999 and donated his hair to the Wigs for Kids, a national, non-profit organization that solicits donations in an effort to provide relief for children in situations of hair loss. Hair donations are woven into wigs and given to children affected by hair loss due to chemotherapy, burns and other medical conditions. "I'm in a position, playing basketball at Washington, to give exposure and promote the Wigs for Kids program," Green explains. "I decided to grow my hair out throughout the whole season and try to raise awareness for the program. It seemed like the perfect opportunity to do something good for a good cause." Green regularly drew taunts from spectators at opposing arenas last season as his curly, red hair frequently flopped into his eyes and eventually required a headband to control it. That shaggy coif was in stark contrast to his sophomore season in 1998-99 when Green's head was almost completely shaven.

Campaign 2000-01:
A five-man senior class is the nucleus around which eighth-year coach Bob Bender seeks to form a winning unit. Washington finished with a 10-20 record last season, snapping a string of four consecutive winning seasons that culminated in postseason berths. The Huskies tied for eighth place in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 5-13 record. In addition to the five seniors, who collectively have played 317 career games, the roster includes four other returning lettermen (9 total), four scholarship newcomers and two walk-ons. Two primary starters return, seniors Will Perkins and Michael Johnson along with senior forward Thalo Green who has been a part-time starter for three seasons. No returning player averaged double-figure points last season. Johnson is the leading returning scorer with a 9.9-point average last year while Perkins averaged 7.8 points and a team-high 5.9 rebounds. Green averaged 6.3 points and 4.9 rebounds per game in 1999-2000. Highlighting the season is the return to the on-campus arena that has Husky hopes hovering. The 17,072-seat KeyArena in downtown Seattle never really felt like home despite an average attendance of 7,851. As a result, UW had with a better record in enemy arenas (6-9) than at home (4-9) for only the third time in school history.

Bender Bio:
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 an eight-year record of 99-107 with the Huskies. The UW 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 99 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 12-year career record of 159-164. 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.

Coaching Staff:
Bob Bender's staff is comprised of associate head coach Byron Boudreaux along with assistant coaches Eric Hughes and Al Hairston. Boudreaux begins his sixth season on the staff, his second as the associate. Hughes has been with Bender during his entire seven-year tenure at UW. Hairston, a former Seattle Sonic and legendary prep coach at Seattle's Garfield High School, begins his first season. He replaces Jason Hamilton who left to pursue interests outside of coaching.

Hoopsters Honor CW:
Like their football counterparts, the Husky basketball team is wearing patches on their jerseys to support senior Curtis Williams who suffered a spinal cord injury during an Oct. 28 football game at Stanford. The UW basketball players will display the initials "CW" to honor Williams who is in a San Jose, Calif. rehabilitation center.

The Alabama Series:
> Washington and Alabama have never played each other in men's basketball.

> The Huskies have a 3-4 all-time record against Southeastern Conference opponents: Florida (1-1), Kentucky (0-1), LSU (1-2) and Mississippi State (1-0).

> Third-year Crimson Tide coach Mark Gottfried, who was an assistant coach at UCLA under Jim Harrick, has never competed against UW as a head coach .

> In his eighth season at UW, Bob Bender has never coached against Alabama.

The Northern Iowa Series:
> Washington and Northern Iowa have never played each other in men's basketball.

> The Huskies have a 5-4 all-time record against Missouri Valley Conference opponents, including Bradley (1-1), Drake (1-0), Southwest Missouri State (0-1) and Wichita State (3-2).

> Third-year Panther coach Sam Weaver has never coached against UW.

> In his eighth season at Washington, Bob Bender has a 5-0 record as a coach against Northern Iowa, all five wins coming while at Missouri Valley Conference member Illinois State.

Sonics & Sons:
Two former Seattle SuperSonics have sons on the 2000-01 Washington basketball roster. The former NBA players (and sons) are: Fred Brown (Bryan) and Lonnie Shelton (Marlon). A graduate of Iowa, Fred Brown is the Sonics' all-time leading scorer with 14,018 points. Brown played his entire 13-year NBA career in Seattle and was a 1976 all-star. Shelton was a 1975 All-Pac-8 Conference selection at Oregon State. He played 15 NBA seasons and was a 1982 all-star. Shelton played from 1979-83 in Seattle. Brown and Shelton were members of Seattle's 1979 NBA Championship squad. Two other former sons of Sonics were on the team in 1999, Donald Watts (father Slick) was a four-year letterman and walk-on Michael Westphal (father Paul) left after his freshman year. An additional tie to the Sonics is first-year Husky assistant coach Al Hairston who played with Seattle's NBA team in 1969 and 1970.

Frequent Flyers:
The Huskies have accumulated thousands of air miles on lengthy road trips during the last four seasons. This season is no different as they make 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 last year, flying from Seattle to Moraga, Calif. (782 miles), from Moraga to Anchorage, Ak. (2,227) and from Alaska back to Seattle (1,445). After two days at home, the Huskies boarded a plane for Wilmington, N.C. (2,460) where they took a bus to Norfolk, Va. and flew back to Seattle (2,585). 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.

Home Sweet Home:
The Huskies returned to campus after a one-season absence. They are playing home games at Bank of America Arena at Hec 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 possesses a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 748 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. Washington compiled a 47-9 record in its final four seasons (1996-99) at the old Pavilion before playing last season at KeyArena in downtown Seattle during renovations.

Returning Talent:
Two starters and nine lettermen return from last year's team, including senior guard Michael Johnson, UW's top statistical returnee in points (9.9 ppg), assists (64), 3-pointers (34) and 3-point accuracy (34%). Forward Will Perkins led all Huskies in rebounds (5.9 rpg), field goal accuracy (48%) and blocked shots (39) last season. They are joined by forward Thalo Green who led UW in steals (35) and was second in rebounds (4.9 rpg). Juniors David Dixon and Marlon Shelton return to battle for the starting center spot. The 6-11 Dixon started twice in 2000 while the 6-10 Shelton drew four starts. Senior Bryan Brown has experience at the point guard position after playing as Senque Carey's backup last season. With Carey's transfer to New Mexico, Brown has the inside track on the starting role. He will be pressed by a pair of incoming freshmen point guards from Tacoma, Wash., Curtis Allen and C.J. Massingale. Expect senior swingman Greg Clark to play a major role with increased minutes. The UW's defensive stopper should display his offensive prowess this year. Junior Grant Leep seeks to return from a knee injury that sidelined him for the final 19 games in 2000. Leep possesses a solid inside game with range out to the 3-point line. Sophomore Ben Coffee is an athletic small forward who is a capable rebounder and looks to surface as an offensive threat. Third-year walk-on Travis Duty provides depth for the guard corps.

Newcomers:
The Washington roster is bolstered by the addition of three scholarship recruits, including a pair of guards from Tacoma, Wash. Both Curtis Allen, from Wilson High School, and C.J. Massingale, from Mount Tahoma High School, will battle for playing time at point guard as they ranked Nos. 7 and 8 among prospects in the West at that position by Pac-West Hoops. They are the first Tacoma natives to receive scholarships from the Washington basketball team since Steve Matzen who lettered from 1977 to 1980. Allen was the state Class 4A player of the year, averaging 25.2 points and 4.0 assists per game. Massingale averaged 22 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists to win his second straight Narrows League Bridge Division MVP award. Bolstering the frontcourt is 6-9, 270-pound DeMarcus Williams from Upland (Calif.) High School. Williams was rated the West's No. 12 center prospect by Pac-West Hoops and was an honorable mention All-America pick by Blue Ribbon magazine. Invited walk-on freshmen Sterling Brown (Woodinville HS) and David Hudson (Rainier Beach HS) are also new to the team. Sophomore Doug Wrenn, a transfer from Connecticut, will red-shirt this season.

Departures:
Four players departed from last year's team, including three starters and reserve guard Andrew Moritz. The biggest loss is guard Deon Luton who completed his career as the Huskies' No. 8 all-time scorer with 1,488 points. Luton owns every UW 3-point record, including career (212), season (75) and single-game (7) treys. Forward Chris Walcott started 20 games and was a solid inside-outside presence for Washington. Senque Carey started two years at point guard before transferring during the summer to New Mexico. Carey led the team last year with 137 assists, the third-best season total in UW history.

Husky Tickets:
Good seats are available for all Washington home games, including season tickets and other special packages. New this season is the Pepsi "Fun for Four" Family Pack for quartets of all ages. Get four general admission game tickets, four Pepsi drinks and four hot dogs for only $25. Reserved seats for individual Husky games are $16 while general admission seats are $6 for adults and $3 for high school students, senior citizens and children. University of Washington students with current student identification can purchase individual game tickets for $3 or buy a student season pass for $30 that is also good for women's games. Visit the Husky Ticket Office, located in the Graves Building, or call (206-543-2200) for information. Individual game reserved tickets will also be available for sale through all TicketMaster outlets, phone centers (206-628-0888) or via the internet at www.ticketmaster.com.

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