Nov. 13, 2006
Basketball Travelers Classic
Sunday-Tuesday, November 12-14
Bank of America Arena (10,000); Seattle, Wash.
MONDAY, NOVEMBER 13 --
Game 3 - Pepperdine vs. Northern Iowa, 4:30 p.m. (No TV)
Game 4 - Nicholls State vs. (#17) Washington, 7:30 p.m. (FSN Northwest)
(Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area)
TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14 --
Game 5 - Nicholls State vs. Pepperdine, 4:30 p.m. (No TV)
Game 6 - Northern Iowa vs. (#17) Washington, 7:30 p.m. (FSN Northwest)
(Washington ISP Sports Network / KJR-AM 950 in Puget Sound Area)
The 17th-ranked (AP) Washington Huskies (1-0) continue hosting the season-opening, three-day Basketball Travelers Classic at Bank of America Arena. Washington has a second-round matchup with Nicholls State (0-2), Monday, Nov. 13 at 7:30 p.m. Pacific Time. The Huskies were 99-91 victors over Pepperdine (0-1) Sunday while Northern Iowa (1-0) defeated Nicholls State 68-63. The four-team, round-robin event concludes Tuesday. Doubleheaders are scheduled each day with opening games starting at 4:30 p.m. followed by 7:30 p.m. nightcaps. UW will play the late game every day.
One of the most highly acclaimed recruits in school history lived up to his billing Sunday in his collegiate debut. Freshman Spencer Hawes (Seattle, Wash.) tallied 12 points, five rebounds and seven assists in 19 minutes against Pepperdine. The 7-foot center was a McDonald's All-American. Another highly regarded freshman, Quincy Pondexter (Fresno, Calif.) opened his UW career with a 21-point, seven-rebound performance.
This weekend marks the second straight season-opening tournament Washington has hosted at Bank of America Arena. Last year, the Huskies won the eight-team BCA Classic with an 85-74 championship-game victory over Air Force. The BCA event was the first tournament Washington hosted since conducting the US West Cellular Tournament four straight years from 1992-95. The Huskies won the last two regular-season tournaments in which they participated, the 2004 Great Alaska Shootout and the 2005 BCA Classic.
At least 21 Washington men's basketball games will be televised live this season. All three Basketball Travelers Classic games involving UW will be televised live on FSN Northwest. Brian Davis describes the action alongside analyst Bob Weiss.
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 calls the play-by-play with commentary from Jason Hamilton.
Season tickets are still available for fans wanting to guarantee themselves a seat for every home Husky men's basketball game. For details visit www.GoHuskies.com or contact the Husky Ticket Office (206-543-2200). A limited number of Husky men's basketball single game tickets for all November games are currently on sale. Tickets for remaining non-conference games, excluding LSU, will go on sale on Dec. 1. On the Monday prior to each home game, there is the possibility of additional single game ticket releases.
What is Basketball Travelers?
Founded by former Seattle Pacific University women's coach Nels Hawkinson, Basketball Travelers, Inc. is America's leader in arranging domestic and international basketball competition. Headquartered in Edmonds, Wash., the company was founded in 1985. Over 200 collegiate and high school teams participate annually in tours and tournaments organized by BTI. In addition, the company organizes NCAA foreign exhibition games and international Olympic-qualifying tournaments for national teams.
"For the first time since we have been at Washington we have size. We will have size without sacrificing quickness. This team has really good chemistry even though they are young. I think that this team will really play well together." --Lorenzo Romar
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 are 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.
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 nine underclassmen on the 13-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.
Home Heavy Schedule
The Huskies play 19 of their 30 regular-season games at Bank of America Arena where they posted a 17-2 record last year and a perfect 15-0 mark in 2005. The three Basketball Travelers dates start a stretch of seven straight home games for UW, matching last season as the longest season-opening homestand since 1945. The Huskies venture away from Seattle twice during non-conference play. They travel to Gonzaga on Dec. 9 and visit fourth-ranked Pittsburgh on Feb. 17.
The Huskies will be young in 2007 with underclassmen comprising nine of the 13 spots on the active roster. UW has six freshman (two of them red-shirts) and three sophomores. The four active upperclassmen (two seniors, two juniors) have a combined two games of starting experience at UW.
The Basketball Travelers Classic Field
Washington has never before played any of the other three teams in the field.
The first head coaching job for UW's Lorenzo Romar was at Pepperdine where he served three seasons from 1997-99. The Waves earned an NIT berth in 1999.
Pepperdine -- The Waves have picked up the pace under first-year coach Vance Walberg. Pepperdine averaged 106.5 points in their two exhibition games, an increase of 40.5 points over last season's average of 66.0. Walberg is coming off four successful seasons at Fresno City College where his teams amassed a 133-11 record. The Waves had a 7-20 record last season with a 3-11 mark in West Coast Conference play.
Nicholls State -- The Colonels have a hectic travel itinerary that has them playing four games in four days. Nicholls plays Saturday afternoon at Mississippi State before playing the next three days in Seattle. In his NSU debut East Tennessee State transfer Aaron Scott, a 6-6 junior forward, hit six of eight 3-point shots in an 83-75 exhibition win over Southern University at New Orleans.
Northern Iowa -- UNI is one of 23 schools (including Washington) that have participated in the last three NCAA Tournaments. The Panthers return three starters from last year's 23-10 squad, including 6-8 senior forward Grant Stout who averaged 11.8 points and 8.9 rebounds. Only two teams tallied more than 70 points last season against UNI, which ranked No. 7 nationally in scoring defense by yielding just 57.8 points per game.
Six players registered double-figure points as Washington won its exhibition game 108-74 over Saint Martin's on Nov. 3. Freshman Quincy Pondexter had a double-double with 18 points and 13 rebounds. Junior Ryan Appleby and freshman Adrian Oliver led all scorers with 20 points apiece.
Washington ranked among the nation's top-six scoring teams in each of the last three seasons, finishing fourth with 82.0 points per game last season after ranking No. 2 in 2005 (86.5 ppg) and No. 6 in 2004 (82.0 ppg).
When they arrived on campus, Hans Gasser and Brandon Burmeister joined a UW team coming off four 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. A Pac-10 All-Freshman Team member last season, Brockman led the Huskies with 6.5 rebounds per game and averaged 8.4 points.
Home Sweet Home
The Huskies play all of their home games in the renovated Bank of America Arena at Hec Edmundson Pavilion. The pavilion underwent a 19-month renovation from March of 1999 to November of 2000. The interior was completely redesigned while the building's exterior went unchanged. Despite an increased seating capacity from 7,900 to approximately 10,000, the arena features a more intimate, basketball-only configuration. The Huskies have won 809 games in the Pavilion since it opened on Dec. 27, 1927, more victories than any other school in its current arena. They registered a perfect 15-0 home record in 2005 and were 17-2 last season.
The Washington men's basketball team begins the season as the nation's 17th-ranked team in the preseason Associated Press poll released Nov. 6. The Huskies are one of three Pac-10 teams in the top-25 and the only ranked school from the Northwest. NCAA runner-up UCLA is listed fifth and Arizona is 10th. UW has six games scheduled against four opponents ranked in the top-10, including Pittsburgh (4), LSU (5), UCLA (6) and Arizona (10). UW was not ranked in last year's preseason polls, but finished the 2006 season ranked No. 17 in the final AP poll and No. 12 by ESPN/USA Today. The Huskies are ranked No. 16 in the preseason ESPN/USA Today coaches poll.
In only four years, Coach Lorenzo Romar has elevated Washington to the elite level of college basketball. UW earned three straight NCAA Tournaments berths for just the second time in school history and advanced to consecutive Sweet Sixteens for the first time. Romar was honored at the Final Four as the winner of the John Wooden "Keys to Life" Award following a 2006 season in which he directed the Huskies to a 26-7 record. UW was 13-5 in Pac-10 play, finishing as the Pac-10 runner-up for the third straight season. UW won two NCAA tournament games before an overtime setback against top-seed Connecticut. Romar already ranks fifth among all-time UW coaches with 85 victories. He guided the Huskies to a 29-6 record in 2005, tying the 1938 squad for the highest win total in school history. After receiving their first ever No. 1 seed, the Huskies posted two NCAA Tournament victories to advance to the Sweet 16. Romar was named the 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year and the Black Coaches Association National Coach of the Year. Romar directed a spectacular turnaround during his second season. UW posted a 19-12 record in 2004 and participated in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1999. Romar coached the Huskies to their first second-place regular-season finish since 1986 and their first Pac-10 Tournament championship game appearance since 1987. After opening the conference campaign with an 0-5 record, UW reeled off 12 wins in its final 13 Pac-10 outings. Capping the run was a 75-62 triumph over No. 1 and previously undefeated Stanford. In 2003, Romar guided the Huskies to a 10-17 record. He was named to lead 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 UW's 104-year history and the first African-American to lead the program. In his 11th season overall, Romar has compiled a 178-130 record as a head coach, including an 85-42 mark in four years at Washington. In three years at Saint Louis from 1999-2002, he compiled a 51-44 (.537) mark. He led Pepperdine 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 en route to the Conference USA tournament title and automatic NCAA berth. 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 national championship. 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 degree at Cincinnati, receiving his bachelor's 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 had stints at 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 the Giant Killer
Washington has a 2-26 all-time record against top-ranked opponents and Lorenzo Romar played a part in both victories. He coached UW to a 75-62 over No. 1 Stanford, Mar. 6 in Seattle. On Feb. 22, 1979 the Huskies upset No. 1 UCLA 69-68 in Seattle. Romar was a Husky player then. He registered 10 points and six assists off the bench in 25 minutes against the Bruins. In his first season at Saint Louis, Romar's Billikens toppled No. 1 Cincinnati in the 2000 Conference USA Tournament.
Lorenzo Romar's staff is comprised of fifth-year assistant coach Cameron Dollar, third-year assistant Jim Shaw and second-year assistant Paul Fortier. 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. A native of Chimacum, Wash., Shaw joined the Husky staff after five years on Kelvin Sampson's Oklahoma staff that included a 2002 Final Four appearance. Fortier, a former All-Pac-10 forward at UW (1983-86) returned after two seasons at Cornell. He played 16 seasons professionally in Europe.