Nov. 23, 2003
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 24 --
Washington vs. UC Riverside; 7:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash. - No TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound area
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 29 --
Washington vs. Eastern Washington; 1:00 p.m. PST
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash. - No TV
Husky Sports Radio Network / KJR (AM 950) in Puget Sound Area
The Washington Huskies (1-0) continue their season-opening four-game homestand Monday, Nov. 24 against UC Riverside. Tip-off is 7 p.m. at Bank of America Arena on the UW campus. That marks the first time that UW and the Highlanders have met in men's basketball. The Huskies won Friday's season opener with a 73-65 decision over Portland State. They split two exhibition games, winning 89-78 over the EA Sports All-Stars on Nov. 8 before losing 85-76 against Athletes in Action on Nov. 12. After Monday's outing against Riverside, Washington resumes action Saturday, Nov. 29 against Eastern Washington at 1 p.m. The Eagles defeated UW 62-58 last season in Seattle for their first win in five all-time meetings with the Huskies.
This is Washington's second season under head coach Lorenzo Romar. a two-year letterman point guard for the Huskies from 1978-80. Romar was hired April 3, 2002 as the school's first African-American basketball coach. He served three-year head coaching stints at Pepperdine (1997-99) and Saint Louis (2000-02) before returning to UW.
All Husky men's basketball games are broadcast live on the Husky Sports Radio Network. Monday's game against UC Riverside will be broadcast on KJR (AM 950) in the Puget Sound area. Bob Rondeau provides the play-by-play for the 17th season. He is joined on home broadcasts by color commentator Jason Hamilton, a UW point guard from 1994-96. Fans may subscribe to an on-line service that allows them to listen to UW games over the internet. For more information go to: www.collegesports.com Game play-by-play and stats can be followed live in a text format via the internet at: www.gohuskies.com
A young, extremely athletic group of players pursues Washington's first winning season and post-season appearance since 1999. Four primary starters return from last season's 10-17 squad. Seven of the top-eight scorers are back, including freshman All-American Nate Robinson who topped all UW players in 2003 with a scoring average of 13.0. Only one senior (Curtis Allen) is listed on the Husky roster that features just two players (Allen, Will Conroy) who have played more than one full season in a Husky uniform. The backcourt will be strong with future star Brandon Roy available for a full season and the addition of high-scoring junior college transfer Tre Simmons who averaged nearly 30 points at Green River (Wash.) Community College. The frontcourt features the talented trio of sophomores Mike Jensen, Bobby Jones and Anthony Washington. Muscular transfer Hakeem Rollins (Mesa JC, Ariz.) will contribute physical post play.
Washington improved to 74-28 in all-time season-opening games with Monday's victory over Portland State ... The Huskies pushed their record in home openers to 82-19 ... Sophomore Anthony Washington recorded a career-high 14 points Friday for his third double-figure effort as a collegian ... Sophomore Bobby Jones matched his career high with 11 points against PSU. He had 11 last year against Wyoming ... Sophomore Brandon Roy also had 11 points Friday. He registered double-figure points in four of his last five regular-season games dating to last year, averaging 13.2 points and 5.4 rebounds during that span.
The UC Riverside Series
> The Highlanders opened the season Friday with a 59-53 loss at Loyola Marymount.
> Washington and UC Riverside have never before met in men's basketball.
> The Huskies have an 18-8 all-time record against teams from the Big West Conference.
> In his 25th year at the Highlanders' helm, John Masi has never coached against UW.
> Washington's Lorenzo Romar has never coach against UC Riverside.
Nate the Great
High-flying sophomore guard Nate Robinson will concentrate on basketball this season after having an huge impact last year on both the hardwood and the gridiron. Robinson garnered Freshman All-America and All-Pac-10 honors after leading UW with a 13.0-point scoring average. 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. Robinson registered 17 double-figure outings and topped all UW scorers a team-high 11 times in his 23 games. The 5-9 leaper was spectacular in his second collegiate 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 effort, 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 entered UW on a football scholarship, but switched to basketball. 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.
A lot was new last season, the first under head coach Lorenzo Romar. The 2003 roster listed six freshmen and only one senior (Marlon Shelton). Five of those freshmen, including red-shirt frosh Mike Jensen, started at least two games. The Huskies opened three games with four freshmen and a sophomore (Will Conroy) in the starting lineup. The abundance of youth produced inconsistent results. Washington posted impressive victories against NCAA Tournament-bound teams Stanford and Oregon, but also suffered several narrow defeats and did not qualify for the Pac-10 Tournament. UW lost 10 games by 10-or-fewer points and dropped three overtime contests en route to a ninth-place conference finish. The Huskies had a 10-17 record with a 5-13 Pac-10 ledger.
High School Reunion
Every time the Huskies take the floor it amounts to a reunion of alums from Seattle's Garfield High School. Four former prep teammates are listed on the Washington roster; juniors Will Conroy and Tre Simmons along with sophomores Brandon Roy and Anthony Washington. That Garfield team also featured current USC guard Roydell Smiley and Isaiah Stanback a red-shirt freshman who plays on the Husky football team. The Garfield quartet combined for 101 of UW's 165 points in the two exhibition games, accounting for 61 percent of the total offensive output.
Producing Point Guards
UW point guards Will Conroy (Garfield HS) and Nate Robinson (Rainier Beach HS) both hail from the city of Seattle. The Emerald City has produced some jewels on the hardwood, a legacy of point guards that is highlighted by former Arizona standout Jason Terry and Michigan's Jamal Crawford. Three Pac-10 schools may start Seattle natives at the point this season, including Aaron Brooks (Franklin HS) at Oregon and Rodrick Stewart (Rainier Beach HS) at USC along with the UW duo. Other prominent point guards from the state of Washington include Gonzaga's John Stockton (Spokane) and Dan Dickau (Prairie), Oregon's Luke Ridnour (Blaine) and current Florida freshman Ryan Appleby (Stanwood).
Romar on Radio
The Washington Basketball Coaches' Show with Lorenzo Romar airs weekly from 7:30-8:00 p.m. on KJR (AM-950). The day of the week varies. The show is hosted by play-by-play announcer Bob Rondeau along with KJR Radio personality David Locke. The next two broadcasts are Wednesday, Nov. 26 and Thursday, Dec. 4.
The most improved player in the Pac-10 last season was point guard Will Conroy, now a junior at Washington. His 12.7-point sophomore scoring average was 10.2 better than his freshman 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 had 19 double-figure performances last season and led all Husky scorers in eight games. Conroy ranked 21st among Pac-10 scorers (12.7 ppg) and distributed a team-high 108 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. Conroy ranked 11th among Pac-10 players with 33 steals (1.22 spg).
Arguably the quickest player in the conference, guard Curtis Allen is the lone senior on the Washington roster. He led the Huskies last season with 52 treys, 23 more 3-pointers than any of his teammates. Allen has amassed 826 points during his career and needs 174 more to become the 28th player in UW history to reach the 1,000-point plateau. He missed only two free throws in 46 attempts last season, a 95.7-percent figure that would have easily led the conference except he was 10 free throws shy of the minimum standard for the Pac-10 statistical rankings. Allen's current career free throw mark of 87.7 percent (178-203) is the best in school history. He ranks second among all-time Pac-10 players behind only former UCLA standout Rod Foster who shot 88.0% from the line between 1980-83. Allen distributed 126 assists in 2002, the seventh-highest total in Husky history. A starter during parts of each of his previous three seasons, 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 distributed 15 assists against Arizona State (Jan. 10, 2002), the second-highest total in UW history. He fell one shy of the school single-game assist record of 16 established by Rafael Stone in 1970.
Sophomore guard Brandon Roy is expected to emerge as a rising star in his first full collegiate season. He was a consensus top-50 national recruit among the prep class of 2002, but was not declared eligible by the NCAA until Jan. 16, 2003. Roy played 13 games with two starts last season, averaging 6.1 points per game. He averaged 13.8 points and 5.5 rebounds during the final four games of 2003. Roy applied for the 2002 NBA Draft out of high school, but did not attend any pre-draft camps and withdrew his application prior to the draft. He is the fourth product of Seattle's Garfield High School on the current Husky basketball roster, joining Will Conroy, Tre Simmons and Anthony Washington.
Expect a bevy of different starters this season while Coach Lorenzo Romar fine-tunes his lineup. The regular-season opener and two exhibition games saw three different lineups. Last year, the Huskies implemented nine unique lineups and Will Conroy was the only player to start every game. The same will not be the case this season as Conroy did not open against Portland State, stopping a streak of 34 consecutive starting assignments.
Last UW Game
UW 73, Portland State 65 (Nov. 21, 2003/Seattle)
Anthony Washington scored a career-high 14 points, including back-to-back baskets during the decisive stretch of Washington's season-opening 73-65 win over Portland State at Bank of America Arena. The Huskies (1-0) staged a 22-2 run to race ahead 24-8 in the first half during which they forced 18 of PSU's 28 turnovers. The Vikings (0-1) closed within 37-34 at halftime and led 40-38 with 16:43 left to play. UW held a slim 54-53 advantage before taking control with eight unanswered points. Hakeem Rollins started the run with a putback with 6:10 left in the game. Anthony Washington's consecutive baskets followed and a Bobby Jones jumper capped the surge with the Huskies leading 62-53 with 4:38 remaining. Portland State, which lost its 16th straight road game, never got closer than seven points after that. Brandon Roy, Will Conroy and Jones each tallied 11 points for UW. Blake Walker scored 20 points, Seamus Boxley 15 and Sheu Oduniyi 12 for the Vikings. Hakeem Rollins totaled eight points and led the Huskies with seven rebounds and three blocked shots.
Lorenzo Romar begins his second season at Washington. Last year, Romar directed the Huskies to a 10-17 record, including victories over NCAA Tournament-bound Stanford and Oregon. He was named to head up the program at his alma mater on April 3, 2002. A point guard for the Huskies' 1978-79 and 1979-80 teams, he is the 18th head coach in Washington's 102-year history and the first African-American to lead the program. Romar has compiled a 104-105 record in eight seasons as a head coach, including an 11-17 mark in two years at Washington. He recorded his 100th career coaching victory on Jan. 18, 2003 with a 73-68 win over Stanford. In three years at Saint Louis from 1999-2002, he compiled a 51-44 (.537) mark. At both Pepperdine and Saint Louis, Romar helped revive programs to a competitive level. He led the Waves to a three-year record of 42-44 (.488) from 1996-99, including a pair of second-place finishes in the West Coast Conference and an NIT invitation in 1999. His first Saint Louis squad upset top-ranked Cincinnati in the Conference USA tournament and went on to win the championship and an automatic NCAA Tournament berth. Twice during the past two seasons Romar's Saint Louis teams defeated Washington. Seattle was the site of one of Romar's greatest coaching moments. As an assistant coach, he helped guide UCLA to an 89-78 triumph over Arkansas in the Kingdome to win the 1995 NCAA Championship. Cameron Dollar, now a UW assistant coach, was one of the stars for the Bruins during that national title contest. Romar built a reputation as one of the nation's top recruiters while an assistant at UCLA (1992-1996) and was credited with recruiting much of the talent that formed the core of the Bruins' title team. UCLA's record during Romar's four-year assistant coaching tenure was 97-28 (.776). A native of Compton, Calif., Romar graduated from Pius X High School. He earned his associate degree from Cerritos (Calif.) Community College in 1978 before studying at Washington from 1978-80. He completed his coursework at Cincinnati, receiving his bachelor's degree in criminal justice in 1992. After starting two seasons at UW for legendary coach Marv Harshman, Romar was selected in the seventh round of the 1980 NBA Draft by the Golden State Warriors. His five-year NBA career included stints with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). Following the 1984-85 season, Romar joined Athletes in Action (AIA), a touring exhibition team on which he served as player-coach from 1989-1992. Romar is the second former UW player to return as the head coach, joining Lynn Nance who coached the Huskies from 1989-93.
Lorenzo Romar's staff is comprised of second-year assistant coaches Ken Bone, Cameron Dollar and Russ Schoene. Bone was the head coach at perennial NCAA Division II championship contender Seattle Pacific during the previous 12 seasons. After a stellar playing career at UCLA (1994-97) that included the 1995 NCAA championship, Dollar served the previous three years as an assistant coach on Romar's Saint Louis staff. Schoene was a standout collegian at Tennessee Chattanooga (1981-82) who played four seasons in the NBA, including three years (1987-89) with the Seattle Sonics.
The Eastern Washington Series
> The Eagles won 62-58 last season in Seattle for their first win in the series. Washington won the first four meetings.
> Washington registered an 81-54 win on Dec. 29, 1996 in Seattle. That game was postponed one day due to the death of Eastern guard Rodrick McClure who was involved in an automobile crash, Dec. 26. A small crowd of a few hundred attended the game due to heavy snowfall throughout the Seattle area.
> The Huskies won 74-55 during the 1995-96 season in Cheney, 64-48 during 1994-95 in Seattle and 74-58 during 1989-90 in Seattle.
> Washington has a 61-16 all-time record against teams from the Big Sky Conference, including Eastern Washington (4-1), Idaho State (3-0), Montana (39-9), Montana State (8-6), Northern Arizona (1-0), Portland State (5-0) and Sacramento State (1-0).
> The Eagle roster includes UW transfer Josh Barnard, a product of Tacoma's Bethel High School who red-shirted last year at EWU.
> Fourth-year Eastern coach Ray Giacoletti has a 1-0 record against the Huskies. He served as an assistant coach on Bob Bender's Washington staff from 1994-97.
> In his second year at UW, Lorenzo Romar has an 0-1 coaching record against EWU.
The Last Meeting
Eastern Washington 62, UW 58 (Dec. 14, 2002/Seattle)
Alvin Snow scored 24 points, many of them created by his seven steals, as Eastern Washington posted its first ever win over Washington by a 62-58 count at Bank of America Arena. The Eagles (6-2), who lost their previous four meetings with UW, won for the first time on the road against a Pac-10 opponent. Washington (2-4) never led, but trailed only 26-24 at halftime. The Huskies scored eight straight points to tie the game for the third and final time at 56-56 on a Jeffrey Day put-back with 2:15 left in the game. The Eagles led by two with 0:06 remaining when Snow missed a long jumper as the shot clock expired, but T.J. Williams grabbed the rebound for EWU and passed it back to Snow who was fouled and made two free throws with 1.7 seconds left to secure the win. With the game tied 26-26 early in the second half, Snow had eight points and a steal during a 12-4 run that put the Eagles up 38-30 with 14:07 remaining. Three of Snow's points during that run were free throws resulting from technical fouls against Wrenn and UW coach Lorenzo Romar. Snow tallied 18 of his 24 points in the second half. Chris Hester added 10 points for the Eagles. Nate Robinson scored 19 points to pace the Huskies who also got 12 from Doug Wrenn and 11 from Will Conroy. Washington was credited with only three assists for the game.
Half of Washington's 16-player roster is comprised of first-year Huskies, including three transfers, one scholarship freshman and four walk-ons. The newcomers most likely to contribute immediately are junior college transfers Tre Simmons (Green River CC) and Hakeem Rollins (Mesa JC). Simmons is a prolific scorer who averaged 29.8 points last season with two 50-point performances. Rollins is a physical inside presence who will challenge sophomore Anthony Washington for playing time at the post position. Freshman Hans Gasser is a versatile 6-9 forward from Issaquah (Wash.) High School who also could see early playing time.
Five players are gone from last year's UW team, including 2002 Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year Doug Wrenn who declared for the 2003 NBA Draft after his junior season. Wrenn averaged 19.5 points in 2002, a figure that dipped to 12.4 last season. He started 23 games last year and led the team with 5.8 rebounds per game. Also departing was center Marlon Shelton who graduated. Guard C.J. Massingale transferred to Metro State in Denver, Colo. and walk-on David Hudson decided not to play basketball. Forward Jeffrey Day was dismissed from school and planned to transfer to a junior college.
Good seats are available for all Washington home games, including season tickets and other special packages. The Pepsi "4 for $40" Family Plan is perfect for quartets of all ages and includes four $10 bleacher seats, four Pepsi drinks and four hot dogs. All seats are reserved and priced at $20, $18 and $10. University of Washington students with current student i.d. can purchase individual game tickets for $3 or buy a student season pass for $30 that is also good for women's games. For ticket information please contact the Husky Ticket Office by phone (206-543-2200) or on-line via the athletic department website (Husky Basketball Tickets)
Washington received a letter of intent on Nov. 17, 2003 from prep school wing player Joel Smith. "Joel is athletic and he knows how to play. He plays hard all the time. Put him out there and he will do something to help your team," says Husky head coach Lorenzo Romar. Smith is currently a senior at Brewster Academy in Wolfeboro, N.H. who will join the Huskies in the fall of 2004. Washington has another scholarship to offer during the late signing period (April 14-May 19).
Joel Smith, 6-5, 190, guard/forward, Lompoc, Calif.
(Brewster Academy, Wolfeboro, N.H. / Lompoc HS, Calif.)
The No. 18-rated small forward among the high school class of 2004 by TheInsidersHoops.com ... An honorable mention prep All-America selection by Street & Smith's ... Averaged 14 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 2003 at Brewster ... The Bobcats advanced to the league semifinals and were ranked 10th in the final 2003 Prep School Poll ... Was the 2002 Northern League MVP his final year at Lompoc (Calif.) High School after leading the team with 22 points and 13 rebounds per game.