March 15, 2011
NCAA Tournament Central
Complete Release in PDF Format
Georgia Gives UW Chance To Flex Lineup Versatility
Team Departure Photo Gallery
CBS Sports Video: Lorenzo Romar Interview
SEATTLE - The Pac-10 tournament champion Washington Huskies (23-10, 11-7/3rd Pac-10) travel 2,800 miles to take on the Southeastern Conference's Georgia Bulldogs (21-11, 9-7/T3rd SEC East) this Friday at 6:45 p.m. PT in Charlotte, N.C.'s Time Warner Cable Arena (20,200).
No. 23 UW earned a No. 7 seed in the East Region and UGa is the regions' No. 10 seed. UW has only been a No. 7 seed one time previously. They played Miami (OH) in the first round at New Orleans and met a buzzsaw in the form of Wally Szczerbiak, who torched the Huskies for 43 of Miami's 59 points in a one-point win.
It marks Washington's third-straight trip to the NCAA tournament and the sixth time overall under UW head coach Lorenzo Romar. UW is 7-5 under Romar -- who is in his 9th year leading the Dawgs -- at the NCAA's and has made three trips to the Sweet 16.
UW And Georgia...
Although Washington and Georgia have never faced each other on the hardwood (the tradition-rich football squads have never met either), their is one glaring connection between the two schools. UGa coach Mark Fox was an assistant at Washington under Lynn Nance during the 1992 & 1993 seasons. He met his wife, Cindy, during his time in Montlake. She was serving as the marketing and promotions director in the Washington athletic department when then-UW assistant Trent Johnson (current LSU coach) introduced them.
Playing in the state of North Carolina has been anything but pleasant for the Huskies in the past. Washington is 0-8 all-time in the eastern seaboard state. They made their first trip to North Carolina in December of 1968 for the Triangle Tourney in Raleigh and left with losses to Wake Forest and Navy. They returned in 1977 to face the Demon Deacons and left again with a loss. They have also tried their hands at Cameron Indoor Arena in 1985 and 1990 and left both times with double-digit defeats. Perhaps the most memorable (and heartbreaking to Husky fans) was the 1998 NCAA Regional semifinals in Greensboro and a buzzer-beating shot by Richard Hamilton that sent the Dawgs packing. More recently the Dawgs have lost at UNC-Wilmington (2000) and North Carolina State (2004).
Isaiah Thomas has made 164 career 3-pointers, the third most in UW history.
Washington has the longest distance to travel out of the NCAA tourney field -- 2,802 miles separate Seattle and Charlotte.
Washington is in search of its first victory in the state of North Carolina and is 0-8 so far in the state.
UW's freshman duo of Terrence Ross and C.J. Wilcox combined for 85 points and were 15-of-38 from 3-point distance during the Pac-10 Tournament.
Coach Lorenzo Romar (9th Yr. at Washington, 15th Yr. Overall)
The 2009 & 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Lorenzo Romar is in his ninth season as the 18th head men's basketball coach at Washington. Romar is the dean of coaching in the Pac-10 having spent more seasons at Washington than any other current Pac-10 coach at their school. Romar owns a 194-101 (.658) record at Washington and is 287-189 (.603) in 15 seasons as a head coach. The first African-American head basketball coach at UW, he moved to third all-time in victories at UW after passing Tippy Dye on Jan. 16, 2010. That win was also the 250th overall during his coaching career. Romar has led Washington to six NCAA tournament Appearances -- all in spurts of three-consecutive seasons (2004-05-06 & 2009-10-11) -- and the school's first back-to-back Sweet 16 appearances (2005 & 06). Overall, he has led Washington to three Sweet 16 appearances. 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.
Unprecedented Success Under Romar
The Huskies are enjoying their greatest stretch of success in team history under the direction of Lorenzo Romar. Besides three Sweet 16 appearances, three Pac-10 tournament championships and one regular-season Pac-10 title, the numbers show Romar has entered unchartered territory. From 2005 -- Romar's third season at UW -- to now, the Huskies have won 165 games, the most ever in a seven-year span of UW basketball history. He has averaged 21.5 wins per season during his nine year UW career and has amassed four of the seven largest single-season win totals in UW history. Romar has five 20-win season under his tenure -- a mark that only trails Hec Edmundson's 11 seasons with 20+ wins.
In A Nutshell
The Huskies were picked to win the Pac-10 Conference in a vote among media members during the preseason. They looked strong out of the gate, blowing away all takers before back-to-back losses to No. 8 Kentucky and No. 2 Michigan State at the Maui Invitational. UW entered the Pac-10 season 8-3 -- a loss at Texas A&M the only other blemish on the preseason slate. UW jumped out of the gate 7-1 in the Pac-10, their best conference start in 25 years. A three-game skid left the Dawgs reeling and eventually led to six losses in the final 11 conference games. UW was able to circle the wagon at the Pac-10 Tourney and left as the Pac-10's automatic bid to the NCAA's for a second-consecutive season, thanks to a buzzer-beater by Isaiah Thomas that lifted UW over regular-season champion Arizona.
The Huskies unquestioned leader this year is Isaiah Thomas and he showed the world during the Pac-10 Tournament. He turned in perhaps the most remarkable three-game stretch that Husky fans have ever witnessed -- perhaps all Pac-10 fans have ever seen. In the quarterfinals against Washington State, Thomas trumped Klay Thompson's 43 point performance by accounting for at least 43 of his own, scoring 21 and dishing out 11 assists. Against Oregon, he scored only 10 points, but dished out a Pac-10 tourney record 12 assists to lead UW to the finals. In the final vs. Arizona, he poured in 28 points, dished out 7 assists and hit a buzzer-beater in overtime to carry UW to its second consecutive crown. He left the Staples Center with his second Most Outstanding Player award and a tournament record 30 assists.
Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Justin Holiday and Venoy Overton have left their mark on the Husky program by being members of the 2009 Pac-10 championship team, 2010 & 2011 Pac-10 tournament championship and 2010 NCAA Sweet 16 team. Overton and Bryan-Amaning will each end their careers with over 130 games played -- just the fourth and fifth Huskies to play in that many games. MBA will leave school as the No. 2 shot blocker in school history while Overton will finish among the school's top-three leaders in assists and steals. The Huskies are 91-46 over their four year careers, which is the second-best four-year span of any senior class (93-38 for 2004-07 seniors).
For the Pac-10 Tournament, Lorenzo Romar unveiled a new starting lineup that included freshman Terrence Ross and redshirt frosh C.J. Wilcox. Obviously, with the end result, the move worked wonders. Ross earned a spot on the all-tournament team after averaging 15.3 over the three games and shot 52.8% from the field -- pretty remarkable considering he did not play a minute in the UW's regular-season finale vs. USC. Wilcox celebrated his selection to the Pac-10 All-Freshman team by averaging 13.0 points during the tournament and hit a team-best 9 three-point FG's -- including a UW tournament record five 3's vs. Washington State.
Thomas Earning Recognition
The John R. Wooden Award Midseason Top 30 was announced Jan. 6 by The Los Angeles Athletic Club and junior guard Isaiah Thomas was on the list. On Feb. 7 he was named one of 10 finalists for the Cousy Award, handed out to the nation's top point guard. He also learned on Feb. 11 that he is one of 30 mid-season candidates for the Naismith Award.He was also a Wooden Award and Naismith nominee in 2009-10.
One of 10 finalist for the Cousy Award
One of 30 midseason nominees for Naismith
Top 30 for John R. Wooden Award
Huskies Win Pac-10 Hardware
At the end of the season, several Huskies took home Pac-10 conference awards:
Pac-10's Most Improved Player
First Team All-Conference
Honorable Mention All-Defensive
First Team All-Pac-10
All-Pac-10 Freshman Team
Honorable Mention All-Defensive
Honorable Mention All-Pac-10 Freshman Team
I.T. Off The Charts With Assists
Isaiah Thomas is averaging 6.0 assists per game -- the second-highest UW single-season average.He ups his average to 6.7 in conference-only action. He has moved into UW's all-time career list (page 10 of release), thanks in large part to 13 dimes against Cal on Jan. 16. His total that day was the most since Will Conroy recorded 14 on 3/3/05 at Cal. He is just the 8th Husky to ever record 13 or more assists in a game. He followed that night up with 10 against Arizona to become just the second Husky with back-to back games with 10+ assists. He duplicated that feat in the Pac-10 tournament with 11 vs. WSU and 12 against Oregon. He was the first player since Northeastern's Jose Juan Barea in Feb. 2006 to go back-to-back with 20 points/10 assists.
Thomas Scores A Record
With 1,134 points through two seasons, Isaiah Thomas scored more points than any Husky in their first two years. He is one of two players to reach 1,000 points in their first two seasons, joining Doug Smart (1,021). Thomas was the 35th Husky to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau and entered the year ranking 26th on the all-time scoring list. His 1,690 points in three seasons is the second-most behind Bob Houbregs, who scored 1,774 during a three-year span.