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Experienced Gasser Looks to Provide Leadership
Release: 11/02/2006
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Nov. 1, 2006

By Jonathan Price

SEATTLE -- Hans Gasser is Husky Basketball. Hailing from Issaquah, Washington, Gasser is head coach Lorenzo Romar's first ever local recruit at the University of Washington.

Now entering his last season with the Huskies as one of only two seniors (the other being Brandon Burmeister) Gasser witnessed the "Romar Turnaround" elevate the Huskies from the bottom to one of the most respected college basketball teams in the nation.

"It's crazy how many people are fans now and will talk to you about how the season is going," said Gasser. "I am not the most recognizable face, but people will even come up to me I'll get recognized.

"It's just nice to have a fan base that supports us and pretty much sells out every home game. It is a huge difference now if you compare the crowds of our freshman year because they were not nearly as big."

This year the Huskies look to continue their success after their third straight NCAA tournament appearance in the 2006 season. Coming off a heart-breaking overtime loss to then second-ranked Connecticut, Gasser knows that this year's team can take away a lot from a tough loss in the national spotlight.

"We are just looking to move forward," says Gasser. "We have an entirely new team and an entirely new focus on what we want to accomplish this year. We have a lot of new players and I think everyone is focusing on being successful this year."

Heading into the 2006-07 season, both Gasser and Burmeister look to accomplish something that has never before been achieved by a player representing the purple and gold.

"Burmeister and I have been to the tournament the last three years and I talked to him about how we can be the first two guys to ever go all four years of their career," said Gasser. "I am looking forward to trying to do that and getting as many wins as possible."

With the Big Dance chalked into the future goals section of their team handbooks, the Huskies field a team without a clear-cut preseason star for the first time in the past few years. With the loss of first-team All-American Brandon Roy, who went sixth overall to the Portland Trailblazers in this year's NBA draft, the Huskies look to possess more of a team mentality.

"Last year we had Brandon emerge as a star and now he is going to be a star in the NBA," said Gasser. "This year it's much more of a team thing. I think any one person of the five on the floor at any time can be a star. It's going to be harder for teams to guard us in a sense of who is going to put up the points that night."

Even with all of the new faces taking the court for the Huskies this season, you can still expect to see much of the same style of play from Romar's guys.

"We are going to run up and down the court with defensive intensity everywhere," says Gasser. "This year's team is very athletic and we have a lot of guys that can do some good things for this team."

First up for the Huskies will be an exhibition match-up with St. Martins. The game will be held at Bank of America Arena on November 3 at 7pm.

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