Dec. 17, 2009
SEATTLE - Washington (24th in the AP poll & 21st in ESPN/USA Today) looks to avenge a 2008 season-opening loss to the Portland Pilots (6-3) at Bank of America Arena on Satuday, Dec. 19 at 7:00 pm. The Huskies (6-2) will be playing just their second game over a 13-day stretch. The game will be televised by FSN-NW with Tom Glasgow and Francis Williams calling the action. The ISP Sports Radio Network will broadcast the game with Bob Rondeau calling play-by-play and Jason Hamilton providing color commentary. Live Gamertracker is available for free and audio is available by paid subscription on the Dawg Channel All-Access on GoHuskies.com.
Time: 7:00pm PT
Radio: ISP Sports Network
Washington holds the all-time series advantage 11-2, but Portland won the last meeting 80-74 on Nov. 15, 2008 at Portland's Chiles Center. The game was the season opener for both squads, and the Pilots were the best team that night. Five players scored in double-figure, led by Robin Smeulders' 20, and they forced 23 UW turnovers. Jon Brockman scored 30 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, but the Huskies shot 59% at the line and 18.8% from 3-pt range. Isaiah Thomas scored 10 points and Quincy Pondexter was held scoreless. Washington is 6-0 all-time at home versus the Pilots, last beating them 67-63 on Dec. 15, 2008 at Bank of America Arena. Coach Lorenzo Romar is 4-4 all-time against Portland, 3-3 as coach at Pepperdine and 1-1 at UW.
Scouting the Pilots
Portland is both deep and experienced, with eight players that average over 10 minutes per game. They are led by Nik Raivio, who is scoring 14.8 ppg and averages 6.4 rebounds. WCC Newcomer of the Year T.J. Campbell contributes 14.6 ppg, shoots 45.5% from 3-point range and 87.8% from the free throw line. At 5-foot-9, Campbell and Isaiah Thomas should provide an entertaining matchup to follow. The Pilots started the season 6-0, including wins vs. UCLA and No. 16 Minnesota in Anaheim. Their first loss of the season came in the 76 Classic final against West Virginia, currently ranked 6th in the AP poll. Their 6-1 start propelled them into the AP top 25 at No. 25 for the first time in 50 years. They promptly went on to lose their next two games -- vs. Portland State and at Idaho -- before rebounding against Denver.
Last Time Out For Washington
Julian Vaughn scored a career-high 18 points, and No. 15 Georgetown pulled away in the second half to beat No. 17 Washington 74-66 in the Wooden Classic. The Hoyas (8-0) scored 12 straight points after the break during a 21-2 run to expand a one-point halftime lead. Isaiah Thomas scored 15 of his 21 points after halftime for the Huskies, while leading a late 15-3 run, but UW couldn't close a 20-point deficit. Quincy Pondexter scored 23 points for the Huskies. UW didn't manage a field goal in the second half until Thomas' layup with 15:56 to play, but Georgetown scored nine straight after that. A Thomas layup put Washington within 69-63 with 27 seconds left before Chris Wright and Hollis Thompson hit key free throws to ice the game for Georgetown.
Visions of 20/20
Quick research of ESPN.com's NCAA stats show Quincy Pondexter (22.1) and Isaiah Thomas (20.4) as the only two Division I teammates each averaging 20 or more points per game in the nation. The duo accounts for 340 of the team's 670 points (50.7%). The only previous Husky tandem to finish the season each averaging 20 points or more was Steve Hawes (20.2) and George Irvine (20.0) in 1970. In all, a player has averaged 20+ points over a season just 12 times in UW history.
Inside the Numbers...
UW is averaging 21.3 turnovers over the last 3 games after averaging 11 per game in the first 5.
Isaiah Thomas is the only Husky to score in double figures in all 8 games.
Thomas and Quincy Pondexter account for 340 of the team's 670 points (50.7%).
Despite just three regular contributors standing 6-foot-7 or taller, UW has outrebounded or tied their opponent in all but one game (L, at Texas Tech).
Pondexter's scoring avg of 22.4 ppg would rank as third highest average ever in UW history and best per game avg since Louie Nelson (23.0) in 1973.
UW is 4-0 when their opponent shoots better from the field, but just 2-2 when they outshoot them.
Q-Pon Climbs Scoring Ladder
Quincy Pondexter ranks 22nd all-time on the UW scoring list with 1,268 career points. He passed Bobby Jones against CS-Northridge. Next up is Nate Robinson (21st-1,283) and Andra Griffin (20th-1,294). If he keeps scoring at a clip of 22.1 ppg and plays 31 games, he will end his career No. 3 all-time in scoring (1,776). Pondexter started the season 27th on the all-time UW scoring list with 1,091 points.
No Sophomore Slump
Isaiah Thomas is averaging 20.4 ppg (4th best in Pac-10), which would be the highest average ever by a sophomore. Steve Hawes averaged 20.2 points as a sophomore in 1970 -- but just his first year of action -- before freshmen were allowed on the varsity. Thomas is the lone Husky to score in double figures in all eight games. He surpassed the 700 career-point plateau against Georgetown, just his 43rd career game.
Leaders Of The Pac
Not only is Washington the only Pac-10 team ranked in the latest Associated Press poll (24th), there are several statistical categories in which the Huskies lead the conference in the rankings released Dec. 14. The Dawgs are No. 1 in per game averages for scoring offense (83.8), rebounds (41.6), rebound margin (+10.7) and offensive rebounds (16.6). In addition, they are second in 3-point field goal defense (.270) , steals (8.3) and turnover margin (+2.8). In addition they rank third in free throw percentage (73.8%) and scoring margin (+11.2).
Huskies In The National Ranks
According to ESPN.com's stats, through Tuesday's action, Quincy Pondexter is 13th nationally in scoring average (22.1 ppg), 8th in free throw percentage (88.5%, 54-61) among those with 40 or more attempts, and 27th with 54 makes from the line. Isaiah Thomas is 26th in scoring (20.4 ppg) and 37th with 51 free throws made and 43rd in the nation with 65 free throw attempts. Washington is 14th nationally averaging 83.8 points per game and 24th in rebounds (41.6).
Head Coach Lorenzo Romar
The 2009 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Lorenzo Romar is entering his eighth season as the 18th head men's basketball coach at Washington. He tallied win number 150 for his UW career, just the fourth coach to reach that mark, against Montana on Nov. 29. He owns a 151-83 (.645) record at Washington and is 244-171 (.588) in 13 seasons as a head coach. Romar led Washington to three-straight NCAA Tournament appearances (2004, 05, 06) and the school's first back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances (2005 & 06). The first African-American head basketball coach at UW, he is fourth all-time in victories at UW and 5 shy of surpassing Tippy Dye for third. He was the 2005 Pac-10 and Black Coaches Association Coach of the Year. Romar played point guard for Marv Harshman's 1979 and 1980 teams and spent five years in the NBA after college. Prior to UW, Romar served as the head coach at Saint Louis (1999-02) and Pepperdine (1996-99) and was an assistant coach at UCLA (1992-96) - He helped lead the Bruins to the 1995 national title. A native of Compton, Calif., he graduated from Pius X High School. Romar and his wife, Leona, have three daughters: Terra, Tavia and Taylor - a current UW cheerleader.