Jan. 15, 2007
SATURDAY, JANUARY 20 --
Washington at Washington State, 3:00 p.m. (FSN)
Friel Court (11,566) / Pullman, Wash.
Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area
THURSDAY, JANUARY 25 --
Oregon at Washington, 8:00 p.m. (FSN Northwest)
Bank of America Arena) / Seattle, Wash.
Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area
Still in search of their first win away from home, the Washington Huskies (11-6, 1-5 Pac-10) conclude a three-game road trip on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 21st-ranked (ESPN/USA Today) Washington State (15-3, 4-2). Tip-off for the basketball version of the Apple Cup is 3 p.m. at Friel Court in Pullman. The Cougars beat UW twice last year, their first sweep of the season series since 1994. Saturday's game caps a stretch of five road outings during a seven-game span for UW. The schedule reverses itself as the Huskies play five of seven games at home, beginning Jan. 25 against Oregon.
Something's Gotta Give
Saturday's matchup is the classic "irresistible force against an immovable object." Washington ranks 11th nationally, producing 83.4 points per game. The Cougars have the Pac-10's stingiest defense and rank among the national leaders, yielding 58.7 points. That's a 24.7-point differential between what UW scores and WSU yields.
At least 28 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. Saturday's game at Washington airs live on FSN. Ted Robinson calls the action with analysis from Dan Belluomini.
Every Husky game will be broadcast on the Washington ISP Sports Network and airs on flagship station KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play with commentary from Jason Hamilton.
The Huskies have opened conference play with a 1-5 record for the first time since the 2004 UW squad had a similar mark after six games. That 2004 team lost its first five Pac-10 outings before winning 14 of its next 16 games en route to the NCAA Tourney.
Washington is pursuing its elusive first win away from home this season, having lost all five road games to date. The Huskies fell at Gonzaga (Dec. 9), at USC (Dec. 28), at UCLA (Dec. 31), at Stanford (Jan. 11) and at California (Jan. 13). Three of those road setbacks were close calls, including two overtime games (USC, Cal) and a one-point decision (Stanford). The road woes can be partly attributed to youth as last year's veteran UW unit posted a 6-3 record in Pac-10 away contests.
Washington was out-rebounded for the first time, Saturday at California (47-to-36). UW is out-boarding its opponents by nearly 10 rebounds per game (40.4 to 30.9). The Huskies won the board battle in 16 of 17 games. Sophomore Jon Brockman leads UW with 9.8 rebounds per game, including 11 double-digit efforts.
Washington ranks 11th nationally and second among Pac-10 teams in scoring with an average of 83.4 points per game. The Huskies had 100-point outbursts against Nicholls State (102) and Portland State (105). Washington ranked among the nation's top-six scoring teams in each of the last three seasons, finishing fourth (82.0 ppg) last season after ranking No. 2 in 2005 (86.5 ppg) and No. 6 in 2004 (82.0 ppg).
The Washington State Series
> The Cougars swept the season series last year for the first time since 1994. WSU overcame a 13-point first-half deficit en route to a 78-71 victory on Jan. 7, 2006 that snapped an 11-game losing streak against UW in Seattle games. The Cougars overcame an 11-point first-half deficit in a 77-64 win on Feb. 4, 2006 in Pullman.
> The Huskies won 14 of the last 20 meetings and own a 167-93 advantage in the all-time series that began in 1910.
> Washington has a 69-59 record against the Cougars in Pullman, including wins in two of its last three visits.
> In his first season at the helm, Washington State's Tony Bennett has never encountered UW as a head coach.
> Fifth-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has a 5-3 record against WSU.
The Last Meeting
Washington State 77, #16 UW 64 (Feb. 4, 2006; Pullman, Wash.)
Aron Baynes tallied 10 of his 12 rebounds and all 13 of his points in the second half, helping Washington State rally after halftime for a 77-64 victory over 16th-ranked Washington at Friel Court. The Cougars (10-9, 3-7) swept the season series from Washington (16-5, 5-5) for the first time since 1994. The Huskies went ahead 33-22 on a layup by Jon Brockman with 3:38 left in the first half. That was their last field goal for nearly 10 minutes, until Ryan Appleby snapped UW's 0-for-11 shooting slump with a layup at 13:42 of the second half. By that time, the Cougars were ahead 45-39. WSU closed to within 35-30 by halftime and scored the first 11 points of the second half to take the lead for good. The Cougars held UW to 23 percent shooting (7-31) in the second half and 32 percent for the game. WSU posted a 27-15 rebounding advantage after halftime. Brandon Roy scored 21 points to lead the Huskies while Justin Dentmon tallied 13 of his 14 in the first half. Josh Akognon had 13 points for WSU, which also got 13 from Chris Matthews.
The Last Meeting in Seattle
Washington State 78, #10 UW 71 (Jan. 7, 2006; Seattle)
Josh Akognon scored a career-high 27 points, including a 3-pointer with 17.8 seconds left that lifted Washington State to a 78-71 upset over 10th-ranked Washington. The win was WSU's first since 1994 in Bank of America Arena, stopping an 11-game losing streak at UW. The Cougars (9-3, 2-1) trailed by as many as 13 points in the first half before they trimmed the deficit to 33-31 by halftime. WSU took the lead early in the second half and extended it to 69-57 on another of Akognon's six treys. Washington (12-2, 1-2) battled back with a 14-2 run, tying the game 71-71 on two Brandon Roy free throws with 55.9 seconds remaining. Akognon answered with the decisive 3-pointer and Roy was whistled for a charge at 0:12.3, his fifth foul. Akognon converted both free throws to seal the WSU's first ever win in 53 all-time road meetings with top-10 opponents. Kyle Weaver scored 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting for the Cougars who shot 54 percent (30-56). Roy paced the Huskies with 27 points and Justin Dentmon added 12.
When they arrived on campus, Hans Gasser and Brandon Burmeister joined a UW team coming off four straight losing seasons. Since then, the only two seniors on the Husky roster have gone to three consecutive NCAA Tournaments. If UW earns a 2007 berth, Gasser and Burmeister will be the first players in school history to participate in four NCAA Tournaments.
Wooden Award Candidate
Washington sophomore Jon Brockman was selected to the preseason list of candidates for the 2006 John R. Wooden All-America Team. A national poll was conducted to choose the top 50 candidates who will be evaluated and considered for the mid-season top 30 list, the 10-man All-America Team and the Wooden Award that honors the nation's best player. Brockman got the best of LSU All-American Glen Davis in their Dec. 20 matchup. He amassed 19 points and 14 rebounds while defensively putting and end to "Big Baby's" 48-game double-figure scoring streak. A Pac-10 All-Freshman Team member last season, Brockman led last year's Huskies with 6.5 rebounds per game and averaged 8.4 points. He leads this year's squad with an average of 9.8 rebounds and is UW's second leading scorer at 13.2 points per game.
One of the most highly acclaimed recruits in school history lived up to his billing Nov. 12 in his collegiate debut. Freshman Spencer Hawes (Seattle, Wash.) tallied 12 points, five rebounds, seven assists and four blocks in 19 minutes against Pepperdine. Hawes has 13 double-figure scoring games, including six 20-point performances. He registered a double-double with 23 points and 12 rebounds against LSU (Dec. 20) and was the Dec. 26 Pac-10 Player of the Week. Hawes' 15.2-point scoring average currently leads the Huskies. He forced the second overtime Dec. 28 at USC, converting his first career 3-point attempt. The 7-foot center was a McDonald's All-American who turned down North Carolina to attend UW.
The Huskies are extremely young, with underclassmen comprising eight of the 12 spots on the active roster. UW has five freshmen on the roster (one of them a 2006 red-shirt) and three sophomores. The four eligible upperclassmen (two seniors, two juniors) had a combined two games of starting experience at UW entering this season.
How Do You Like Them Apples?
Junior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby has 43 of Washington's 116 three-pointers, 26 more than any other Husky. He is averaging 2.53 treys per game while shooting 44.8 percent beyond the arc. Appleby has at least one 3-pointer in each of the last 16 games. The Florida transfer was voted the 2006 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. Appleby's 70 treys last year were the third-highest single-season total in UW history. He hit a career-best six 3-pointers against Loyola Marymount (Nov. 25, 2005) and matched that total three times this season, against Southern Utah (Dec. 4), at USC (Dec. 28) and versus Arizona State (Jan. 6). Appleby netted 118 of his 148 collegiate field goals (including Florida stats) from 3-point range.
Fantastic freshman Quincy Pondexter (Fresno, Calif.) opened his Husky career with a 21-point, seven-rebound effort against Pepperdine (Nov. 12). He hasn't slowed down since and currently ranks third for UW with an average of 12.9 points per game, including 25-point performances against Idaho (Nov. 29) and Arizona (Jan. 4). Pondexter has 11 double-figure scoring games.
Six players rejected at least one shot Nov. 19 for the Huskies, who compiled 11 blocks against Sacramento State. That marked the most blocks for UW since the school record of 14 was established against Santa Clara on Nov. 24, 2001. Freshman center Spencer Hawes accounted for six blocks against Sacramento State, the highest single-game total for a Husky since Hakeem Rollins rejected six shots at California on Jan. 2, 2004. Hawes leads the team, ranks No. 3 among Pac-10 players and is tied with Todd MacCulloch (1996) for the school freshman record with 32 blocked shots. That is six more than the 26 blocks last season's Husky leader, Brandon Roy, compiled.
Washington is seeking a fourth consecutive NCAA Tournament berth for the first time in school history. The current three-year streak equals UW's previous long tournament run from 1984 to 1986. The Huskies had a 19-12 record in 2004, 29-6 in 2005 and 26-7 last season. The 74 combined wins were the second-highest three-year total in school history, topped only by a 77-win run from 1951-53. UW advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament in both 2005 and 2006, its first ever back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances.
Six different players have claimed top-scoring honors in Washington's 17 games (Jon Brockman, Brandon Burmeister, Justin Dentmon, Quincy Pondexter, Ryan Appleby and Spencer Hawes). Eight different Huskies have registered at least one double-figure scoring effort and five have posted at least one 20-point performance.
Washington lost its last five overtime games, two this season and all three last year ... The Huskies have an 0-4 record when their opponents shoot better than 50 percent from the field ... UW's last five opponents combined to shoot 50.3 percent from the field (144-for-286) ... The Huskies lost back-to-back games recently despite shooting 51 percent at UCLA (28-55) and 54 percent against Arizona (36-67). The trouble was that both foes shot better, UCLA at 60% (40-67) and Arizona at 65% (32-49) ... Arizona's sizzling 65.3 percent shooting was the best performance against a UW team since the Wildcats shot 70% on Dec. 20, 1987 in Seattle ... The Huskies held Arizona State (Jan. 6) to an opponent low 35 percent (17-49) shooting ... Four UW players fouled out at USC (Dec. 28) after just five were disqualified in the first 11 games ... The Trojans converted 29-of-38 free throws while UW was 8-of-12 ... The Huskies hit a school-record 17 treys (in 33 tries) vs. Nicholls State (Nov. 13) ... UW has an 80-23 overall record (45-17 vs. Pac-10 teams) since a pivotal 103-99 overtime victory at Oregon State on Jan. 17, 2004 that stopped an 0-5 Pac-0 start.
Start Me Up
The Huskies implemented their fourth unique set of starters during the last four games as Ryan Appleby returned to the opening lineup and Phil Nelson drew his first career starts. That lineup includes three freshmen, one sophomore and one junior. Washington's most-frequently used lineup was comprised entirely of underclassmen. UW started three freshmen (Spencer Hawes, Adrian Oliver, Quincy Pondexter) and two sophomores (Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon) during eight games. The Huskies utilized four different starting lineups last season.
The Washington men's basketball team dropped out of the Associated Press poll Jan. 8 after a No. 24 ranking on Jan. 1 capped a nine-week stay in the poll. Three Pac-10 teams are in the current top-25, UCLA (3), Oregon (9) and Arizona (11). UW has already played four games against ranked opponents with five games remaining against four opponents ranked in the current top-25, including a Feb. 17 visit to No. 7 Pittsburgh. Washington dropped out of the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll after a No. 24 ranking on Jan. 8. UW was not ranked in last year's preseason polls, but finished the 2006 season No. 17 in the final AP poll and No. 12 by ESPN/USA Today.
Player of the Week
Freshman center Spencer Hawes, who averaged 23.0 points and 10.5 rebounds in two victories, was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 26. Hawes posted his first double-double with career-highs of 23 points and 12 rebounds during an 88-72 win over 12th-ranked LSU (Dec. 20). Hawes shot 10-of-16 from the field and was instrumental in stopping LSU All-American Glen "Big Baby" Davis' double-digit scoring streak at 48 games. Hawes matched his career-high with 23 points and added nine rebounds in an 80-51 win over Weber State (Dec. 22). For the week, he shot 20-of-30 (.667) from the field.
The Huskies had a 16-game home winning streak halted on Jan. 4 by a 96-87 loss to Arizona ... That loss also stopped a run of seven straight home wins for UW against ranked opponents ... Washington's Dec. 9 setback at Gonzaga halted a 24-game winning streak in regular-season, non-conference games ... The loss at Gonzaga also snapped the Huskies' streak of 15 consecutive regular-season victories.
The Huskies won all of their non-conference home games for the third straight season. UW was 10-0 at home, highlighted by a convincing 88-72 triumph over then No. 12 LSU (Dec. 20) during which they held All-American Glen "Big Baby" Davis under double-figure points for the first time in 49 games.
A youth movement has swept through the Washington men's basketball program. After relying on a core of veteran players to lead his Huskies to consecutive Sweet 16 appearances for the first time in school history, Coach Lorenzo Romar now counts on a bevy of underclassmen to sustain that success. "This is the youngest team I've ever coached," exclaimed Romar. "We're going to have to get real old, real quick." Despite their unfamiliarity with college basketball, all of the young pups possess pure prep pedigrees. Heading the pack of returning youngsters is a pair of sophomore starters, forward Jon Brockman and point guard Justin Dentmon. Both of them were named to the Pac-10 All-Freshman Team in 2006. Brockman is one of 50 players named to the preseason Wooden Award watch list. Those returning starters are among eight underclassmen on the 12-player active roster. Junior sharpshooter Ryan Appleby is the reigning Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year after transferring from Florida. For the second straight season, the Huskies welcome a recruiting class considered among the nation's finest. Heading the list of fabulous freshmen is 7-foot center Spencer Hawes, the leading vote getter in the Best in the West poll who is considered one of the country's top-five recruits.
The 2006 Huskies had one of the finest years in their history, finishing with a record of 26-7 for their second straight 20-win campaign. Washington began the season by winning the BCA Classic and finished it in an epic overtime loss to No. 1 seed Connecticut in the Sweet 16. Brandon Roy was named an All-American and the Pac-10 Player of the Year. Bobby Jones and Jamaal Williams were honored as all-conference honorable mention selections and Ryan Appleby was the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year.
Three starters and two other lettermen have departed, led by All-American and Pac-10 Player of the Year Brandon Roy. He was the sixth overall selection in the 2006 NBA Draft by the same Minnesota team that also took forward Bobby Jones 37th. Both were immediately traded, Roy to Portland and Jones to Philadelphia. Also gone are four-year starting forward Mike Jensen and sensational sixth man Jamaal Williams.