March 7, 2003
SATURDAY, MARCH 8 --
Washington at UCLA, 7:30 p.m. PST
No TV in the Northwest
Pauley Pavilion (12,800); Los Angeles, Calif.
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound area
The Washington Huskies (10-16, 5-12) close out their regular-season schedule with a winner-take-all game at UCLA (8-18, 5-12). Tip-off is 7:30 p.m. at Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles where Washington lost in its last 16 visits. UW last won at UCLA on Jan. 29, 1987. The winner of the Husky-Bruin matchup gains a berth in the Pac-10 Tournament, Mar. 13-15 at Staples Center in Los Angeles. Washington receives the tournament's No. 7 seed with a win Saturday. If the Huskies lose, they can still back into the tournament with a USC loss against Washington State. Those two teams play Saturday at 5 p.m. at USC. Washington posted its first Pac-10 road win of the season on Thursday, defeating the Trojans 95-89 to halt a string of eight straight conference road losses. That was only the second Pac-10 win in UW's last 23 games away from Seattle. Thursday's win at USC completed the Huskies' first season sweep of a conference opponent since 2000 when they beat Washington State twice. UCLA was also victorious Thursday, winning 86-71 over Washington State. The Bruins won this year's first meeting with Washington, a 77-67 decision on Jan. 2 in Seattle.
Either a Washington win at UCLA or a USC loss against Washington State will secure a Pac-10 Tournament berth for the Huskies who can finish with the No. 7 or 8 seed. Following are Saturday's scenarios and their impact on Pac-10 Tournament seeds.
1) UW defeats UCLA -- UW #7 / USC #8 / UCLA out.
2) UW loses to UCLA and USC loses to WSU -- UCLA #7 / UW #8 / USC out.
3) UW loses to UCLA and USC defeats WSU -- USC #7 / UCLA #8 / UW out.
Washington, UCLA and USC are tied for seventh place, one game behind Oregon State. The top eight finishers in the final regular-season standings will compete March 13-15 in the Pac-10 Tournament at Los Angeles' Staples Center. This is the sixth Pac-10 Tournament, but only the second since the conference stopped hosting the post-season event following the 1990 season. In the event of a tie, the team's head-to-head record is the first tiebreaker. The second tiebreaker is each team's respective record against the Pac-10 leaders in descending order. UW has a win over second-place Stanford to its credit.
The Huskies have a 2-9 record away from home this season, including a 1-7 Pac-10 road record. UW won 72-55 at Santa Clara (Dec. 7) and 95-89 at USC (Mar. 6). The Huskies have just one Pac-10 road victory in each of the last three seasons; at Oregon (Jan. 18, 2001), at Oregon State (Feb. 21, 2002) and at USC (Mar. 6, 2003). They won twice in their last 23 conference road contests. Washington snapped an eight-game conference road losing streak with Thursday's triumph at USC. The Huskies have not swept a two-game Pac-10 road trip since Jan. 15 & 17, 1998 in the state of Oregon.
All Husky men's basketball games are broadcast live on the Husky Sports Radio Network. Saturday's game at UCLA will be broadcast on KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play for the 16th season.
The inexperienced Washington roster features six freshmen, three sophomores and three juniors. The lone senior is Marlon Shelton. Twice this season UW started four freshmen alongside sophomore point guard Will Conroy, against Washington State on Jan. 31 and at USC on Thursday (Mar. 6). Five of UW's top eight scorers are freshmen, led by team leader Nate Robinson (13.0 ppg). Freshmen have accounted for 40 percent of the Huskies' points (746 of 1883).
* Thursday at USC, the Huskies started four freshmen and a sophomore for the second time this season.
* Will Conroy is the 22nd player in Husky history to register a 100-assist season. He has distributed 103 assists this year.
* The Huskies, who won 95-89 at USC, have not swept a two-game Pac-10 road trip since Jan. 15 & 17, 1998 in Oregon.
* Nate Robinson has a streak of nine straight double-figure scoring games. No other Husky currently has more than four.
* The Huskies lost their last 16 games at Pauley Pavilion, last winning on Jan. 29, 1987. UCLA owns a 52-5 record vs. UW in L.A. with a 37-2 mark at Pauley.
The UCLA Series
> The Bruins boast an 83-29 series lead after winning the last three, and 27 of the last 33 meetings against Washington.
> UCLA won this year's first meeting, a 77-67 victory on Jan. 2 in Seattle.
> The Bruins boast a 52-5 advantage over Washington in Los Angeles, including a 37-2 record since UCLA moved into Pauley Pavilion in 1965.
> Washington lost its last 16 visits to Pauley, last winning 95-87 on Jan. 29, 1987.
> UCLA swept the 2002 season series with the Huskies for the 28th time, winning 85-79 in Seattle and 74-62 in Los Angeles.
> Washington assistant coach Cameron Dollar was a four-year letterman point guard at UCLA from 1994-97, helping the Bruins to three Pac-10 championships and the 1995 NCAA title. He played three seasons for Jim Harrick and one for Steve Lavin. Dollar hit a halfcourt shot at the buzzer against Washington, lifting UCLA to a 91-88 overtime win on Mar. 7, 1996 at Pauley Pavilion.
> Seventh-year UCLA coach Steve Lavin has a 9-4 record against the Huskies.
> First-year Washington coach Lorenzo Romar has an 0-1 record against UCLA. Romar served four seasons as an assistant on Jim Harrick's UCLA staff from 1993-96, including the 1995 NCAA Championship year. Romar worked alongside current Bruin head coach Steve Lavin on that staff.
The Last Meeting
UCLA 77, UW 67 (Jan. 2, 2003; Seattle)
Andre Patterson registered his first double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds, helping UCLA defeat Washington 77-67 in the Pac-10 opener for both teams at Bank of America Arena. The Bruins (3-5, 1-0) survived a season-high 29 turnovers by limiting UW to 2-of-12 shooting from 3-point range and outrebounding the Huskies 44-30. T.J. Cummings scored 16 points, Jason Kapono had 15 and Dijon Thompson 14 for the Bruins who shot 49 percent (28-57) while limiting UW to 33-percent shooting (21-63). The Huskies (5-5, 0-1) were paced by the 17 points of Curtis Allen and 14 from Doug Wrenn. UCLA opened a 17-point first-half lead that UW trimmed to 37-29 at halftime on the strength of an 11-point run. The Huskies tied the score at 39 early in the second half before the Bruins again pushed the lead to 17, at 65-48 with 7:48 left to play. The Huskies drew within 69-63 on a 3-pointer by Nate Robinson with 3:03 remaining, but they would not get any closer. The coaching staffs included some familiar foes. Washington coach Lorenzo Romar served alongside Steve Lavin as an assistant on UCLA's staff from 1993-96. Husky assistant Cameron Dollar was a four-year Bruin letterman guard from 1994-97, playing for Lavin his final year.
Did You Know?
Despite possessing a common name, freshman Anthony Washington is the first player with the surname "Washington" to play basketball for the Huskies.
Freshman Anthony Washington had two points and two rebounds in eight minutes Thursday at USC (Mar. 6) after missing the previous seven games due to an injury. He had been sidelined since Feb. 6 with a sprained left foot. Washington had a streak of 12 straight starts snapped by the injury.
The Huskies scored a season-high 95 points at USC (Mar. 6) and improved to 10-5 when topping the 70-point plateau. They have an 0-11 record in games when they are held under 70 points ... Curtis Allen leads the team in 3-pointers with 50, a figure that is 21 more than any other Husky ... Washington has an 8-7 home record and is 2-9 in road games. They outscored foes by 5.0 points at Bank of America Arena (74.8-69.8), but have a 12.3-point deficit at enemy courts (69.2-81.5) ... The Huskies' assist-turnover ratio in its 10 wins is 163-169 while the corresponding mark in the 16 losses is 191-238 ... Washington has a 9-3 record when its field goal percent is better than its opponents, but is 1-13 when being outshot from the field ... Will Conroy leads the team with 33 steals, six more than any UW player had all last season ... Of the 130 total starts by UW players this season, 57 (44%) have been by freshmen and 31 (24%) by sophomores, or a total of 68 percent by underclassmen. Washington started four freshmen and one sophomore on two occasions, against Washington State (Jan. 31) and at USC (Mar. 6) ... Eleven of the 13 players on the UW roster hail from the state of Washington ...UW's 2003 schedule had 14 games versus 2002 NCAA Tourney teams.
In his first year, Lorenzo Romar has 10 coaching victories at Washington. He has a ways to go to match the 29 wins UW posted during his two seasons as a player. Romar was a two-year starting point guard for the Huskies in 1978-79 (11-16 record) and 1979-80 (18-10 record). His senior squad participated in the 1980 NIT. Romar posted his 100th coaching victory against Stanford (Jan. 18). His seven-year career record is 103-104.
Despite a 3-6 record during the span, the last nine games have been the finest shooting stretch of the season for Washington. The Huskies shot 50 percent or better in five of their last nine games after failing to reach 42 percent in their first eight Pac-10 outings. Washington converted a season-best 56 percent of its shots (28-50) from the field at Stanford (Feb. 13). UW shot 50 percent or better against Washington State (28-56), Arizona State (29-58), Oregon (30-60) and USC (32-58). The recent stellar shooting streak comes in the wake of a period that saw UW's field goal accuracy drop considerably from the onset of conference play. The Huskies were held under the 40-percent mark by five of their first eight Pac-10 opponents.
Washington started nine different lineups this season, including the group of Jones/Roy/Jensen/Conroy/Robinson that opened the last outing. Freshmen have accounted for 57 combined starts, 44 percent of the team's total this season. Twice, the Huskies started four freshmen and one sophomore; Thursday at USC (Mar. 6) and against Washington State (Jan. 31). Sophomore point guard Will Conroy is the only Husky to start every game.
A strong case can be made for UW sophomore point guard Will Conroy as the most improved player in the Pac-10. His 12.8-point scoring average is 10.3 better than last season's average of 2.5 points, the largest improvement by any Pac-10 player. Despite playing all 29 games in 2002 and starting the final seven, Conroy did not have a double-figure scoring game. He has 18 double-figure performances this season and led all Husky scorers in eight games. Conroy ranks 18th among Pac-10 scorers (12.8 ppg) and distributed a team-high 103 assists to rank fifth among Pac-10 playmakers (4.0 apg). He amassed a career-high 32 points at Gonzaga, including a 3-pointer that forced overtime. His game-high total last year was nine points. Conroy ranks ninth among Pac-10 players with 33 steals (1.27 spg), six more than any Husky had in 2002.
Nate the Great
High-flying freshman point guard Nate Robinson has had an immediate impact on the hardwood after an impressive campaign on the gridiron. Robinson's 13.0-point scoring average leads the team. He had eight points in 23 minutes Jan. 2 against UCLA after starting two days earlier in UW's 34-24 loss to Purdue in the Sun Bowl on Dec. 31. He led all UW scorers with a career-high 20 points against Arizona State (Feb. 8) and grabbed a career-best nine rebounds vs. USC (Jan. 4). Robinson has 16 double-figure outings and topped all UW scorers a team-high 10 times in his 22 games. His collegiate basketball debut was a six-minute stint against Wyoming (Dec. 5) in Seattle and he had one rebound and one assist. The 5-8 leaper was spectacular in his second outing, amassing 19 points, six rebounds, four assists and two steals in 18 minutes at Santa Clara (Dec. 7). He followed that up with another 19-point performance, against Eastern Washington (Dec. 14). Robinson suited up, but did not play in the Nov. 24 season opener, one day after grabbing a critical interception for the Husky football team that upset No. 3 Washington State 29-26 in Pullman. Robinson was a prep All-American in both football and basketball. He started the final six Husky football games at cornerback and recorded two interceptions. Robinson averaged 17.2 yards on six kick-off returns. His first practice with the basketball team was Nov. 26. Robinson is on a football scholarship. He was the 2002 Washington Class AAA state basketball player of the year after averaging 17.9 points, 7 rebounds, 7 assists and 3 steals for state champion Rainier Beach of Seattle. His father, Jacque Robinson, was a standout running back on the UW football team and ranks seventh among all-time Huskies with 2,300 career yards. Jacque is the only player to earn MVP honors in both the Rose (1982) and Orange (1985) Bowls.
Junior Doug Wrenn tallied double-figure points on 20 occasions, tops on the team. He ranks 20th among Pac-10 players in scoring (12.5 ppg), 12th in rebounds (5.8 rpg) and 11th in blocked shots (24). Last year, Wrenn had one of the most impressive debut seasons in Washington history. The supremely athletic 6-6 forward was a 2002 all-conference selection and was the first UW recipient of the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year award. His team-leading 19.5-point scoring average included four 30-point games with a high of 35 points at Arizona (Feb. 7). He tallied 30 points on four occasions, including a streak of three straight 30-point performances that tied the school record held by Louie Nelson (1973) and Bob Houbregs (1953). His 546 points were the 10th-highest figure among UW single-season scorers. Wrenn was the No. 3 scorer in the Pac-10 last season and his 19.5-point average is the No. 2 figure among returning players behind only the 20.4 mark of Arizona's Jason Gardner. He also ranked 13th among Pac-10 rebounders (6.4 rpg). Wrenn registered a 19-point, nine-rebound performance against Bowling Green (Nov. 17) in his inaugural Husky game en route to Top of the World Classic MVP honors. He hit the game-winning shot in a 75-74 win at New Mexico State (Dec. 8), a jumper in the lane with 0:06 left. Wrenn had three double doubles and ranked second on the team with 57 assists. A 1998 Parade All-American and Washington state prep Player of the Year, Wrenn red-shirted in 2001 after transferring from Connecticut.
Arguably the quickest player in the conference, junior Curtis Allen ranked sixth among Pac-10 point guards with 4.3 assists per game last season. His 126 assists were the seventh-highest total in Husky history. A three-year starter, Allen was voted to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team in 2001. He was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on Dec. 3, 2001 after averaging 24.0 points and 6.0 assists in a pair of Husky wins. Allen was the Huskies' team leader in assists during 21 of 29 games. He distributed 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10), the second-highest total in UW history. Allen fell one shy of the school single-game assist record of 16 established by Rafael Stone in 1970. Allen leads this year's UW team with 50 treys, 21 more 3-pointers than any of his teammates. His current career free throw mark of 87.7 percent (178-203) is a school record.
Since being declared eligible by the NCAA on Jan. 16, freshman Brandon Roy has gradually emerged as a major contributor for Washington. The 6-foot-5 swingman officially enrolled at Washington Jan. 16 after auditing classes since the winter quarter began on Jan. 6. Roy suited up Jan. 16 against California, but did not play. He saw his first game action on Jan. 18 against Stanford, entering with 2:28 left in the first half. Roy played five minutes against the Cardinal. He has played the last 12 games, including a 13-point, 7-rebound, 3-assist performance against Oregon (Feb. 22). He has a current string of three straight double-figure scoring games, including a season-high 17-point performance at Washington State (Mar. 1). One of the nation's premier prep players last season, Roy was a consensus top-50 national recruit among the high school senior class of 2002. He was rated the No. 2 small forward prospect in the West by Prep West Hoops. Roy is the third product of Seattle's Garfield High School on the current Husky basketball roster, joining sophomore guard Will Conroy and freshman center Anthony Washington. Roy averaged 22.3 points and 10.4 rebounds as a senior in 2002, including a career-best 38-point performance on Mar. 9 in his final prep outing. His effort helped the Bulldogs claim the state's fourth-place trophy with a 71-70 victory over Snohomish. Roy was a two-time All-Washington state selection in 2001 and 2002 and was named the KingCo Conference Most Valuable Player after both of those seasons. Last spring, Roy applied for the 2003 NBA Draft, but did not attend any pre-draft camps and withdrew his application prior to the draft.
While the Huskies average nearly as many turnovers as last year (15.7 to 17.3), they are at plus 1.7 in the turnover category by virtue of nearly five more opponent miscues per game. Last year, Washington had a minus-3.6 turnover ratio. UW forces 17.4 turnovers this season, up significantly from last year's figure of 13.7. The Huskies use more frequent full-court pressure that has resulted in 6.6 steals per game, an increase from a 5.6-steal average in 2002.
Last Husky Game
UW 95, USC 89 (Mar. 6, 2003; Los Angeles, Calif.)
Curtis Allen scored 17 points and sank six free throws that capped the scoring for Washington which defeated USC 95-89 at the Sports Arena. The Huskies (10-16, 5-12) halted an eight-game Pac-10 road losing streak and completed their first season sweep of USC since 1998. Nate Robinson scored 13 of his team-high 18 points in the first half for Washington which led by as many as nine points before settling for a 45-43 halftime advantage. The Trojans (10-16, 5-12) lost their seventh straight game. USC trailed 73-64 with 11:19 left to play, but went on a 19-6 run over the next five minutes to take a 83-79 lead. Errick Craven scored 11 of his 19 points during the run. Washington answered with a 6-0 surge. The game was tied 87-87 before Brandon Roy, making his first start, put the Huskies ahead for good with a layup at 1:02. Allen secured the win, shooting 6-for-6 from the free throw line in the final 26 seconds. Roy finished with 16 points for the Huskies who also got 14 from Will Conroy and 11 from Doug Wrenn. USC was led by Desmon Farmer's 23 points while reserve Jerry Dupree had 17. The Huskies shot 55 percent for the game (32-58), including a torrid 74-percent second half (17-23). UW won despite 23 turnovers the resulted in 34 Trojan points.
2003 Husky Highlights
Washington swept the season series from USC for the first time since 1998 ... The Huskies turned the ball over just six times against Oregon State (Feb. 20), tying the school-record low accomplished seven times before ... . UW had two home sellouts this season, including their final home game, Feb. 22 against Oregon. That was the fourth sellout since the renovated Arena opened in November of 2000 ... A capacity crowd of 10,028 showed up Feb. 6 against Arizona to set an Arena attendance record under the current configuration ... First-year coach Lorenzo Romar registered his 100th career victory with a 73-68 decision over Stanford on Jan. 18 in Seattle ... Washington stopped a pair of losing streaks against Pac-10 opponents. UW halted a seven-game skid vs. USC with a 76-72 home win on Jan. 4 and stopped a 10-game streak against Stanford with a 73-68 home win on Jan. 18 ... The Huskies forced 29 UCLA turnovers (Jan. 2), the highest figure by an opponent since BYU turned the ball over 30 times on Nov. 26, 1996 ... UW won consecutive games by margins of 35 points (83-48 vs. Florida International) and 24 points (85-61 vs. Houston) ... The last time UW had posted back-to-back 20-point wins was Dec. 5 & 8, 1990 ... Washington limited Florida International to only 48 points, the lowest scoring output by an opponent since Dec. 20, 2000 ... The Huskies hit 32 treys in a three-game stretch from Dec. 13-23, marking their highest three-game 3-point output ever. They had consecutive double-digit 3-point performances (10 vs. Florida International on Dec. 21 & 13 vs. Houston on Dec. 23) for the first time in school history. The 13 treys against Houston were one shy of UW's record.