Nov. 5, 2008
SEATTLE - The University of Washington men's basketball team plays its only preseason exhibition contest of the upcoming season Thursday night when it hosts Western Washington University in a 7 p.m. tipoff at Bank of America Arena.
There will be no television or radio coverage of the game. However, it will be streamed live with free registration to the Dawg Channel on GoHuskies.com. Tickets are available for just $10 each through the Husky Ticket Office by calling 206/543-2200 or by clicking here. Season tickets, mini-plans and single-game tickets to UW's 10 non-conference home games are also on sale.
The Huskies are led by a trio of seniors, headlined by All-America and national Player of the Year candidate Jon Brockman. The 6'-7" forward from Snohomish, Wash. is the nation's leading returning rebounder (9.2 rpg) and is the Pac-10's active career scoring leader. He is just 159 rebounds away from surpassing Doug Smart as the school's all-time career leader and was named recently by ESPN.com's Jay Bilas as the nation's top rebounder. He averaged a team-high 13.4 points per game last season and has led the Pac-10 on the board for each of the last two years.
Guard Justin Dentmon (Carbondale, Ill.) has appeared in 98 games during his first three seasons as a Husky and is clearly Washington's most experience backcourt player. He enters the season ranked fifth on the school's assist and steals charts and is just 80 points away from entering the UW's 1,000-point club.
Center Artem Wallace (Toledo, Wash.) started 25 games as a junior last season, but suffered a serious knee injury in the first minute of the team's final game of the season against Valparaiso. He underwent surgery following the season, but a strong summer of rehabilitation has the 6'-8" Russia native playing at 100 percent entering the season.
In addition to Brockman and Dentmon, head coach Lorenzo Romar suggested that junior Quincy Pondexter and freshman guard Isaiah Thomas will comprise four of the team's starting five. The fifth slot will be determined prior to game time.
Western Washington, a NCAA Division II institution located in Bellingham, Wash., was 15-12 overall last season and 8-10 in the Great Northwest Athletic Conference. The Vikings were 12-6 in early February and in contention for a West Regional berth before suffering a late-season slide. Led by senior guard Ira Graham (Fontana, Calif.), the team's leading scorer (18.5 ppg), three starters return from 2007-08, as do three of the top four reserves. Coach Brad Jackson is in his 24th year at WWU, has a 424-251 overall record and is the winningest coach in school history in both victories and percentage (.628).
Next week, for the first time since Lorenzo Romar became the program's head coach, Washington opens the regular season on the road. The Huskies travel to Portland for a Nov. 15 contest against the University of Portland in the Chiles Center. The game will tipoff at 8 p.m., will be televised live throughout the Pacific Northwest by Comcast SportsNet Northwest and will be broadcast live on radio stations throughout the Washington ISP Sports Network.
Washington returns home the next week for the first of a pair of games that are part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic. The Huskies will face Horizon League favorite Cleveland State on Nov. 18 and Florida International on Nov. 20 before traveling to Kansas City to play Kansas, Florida and/or Syracuse in the event's final two rounds.