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Huskies Open Season Against McNeese State
Release: 11/12/2010
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Nov. 12, 2010

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Online Coverage: Gametracker | Live Audio

Opening Statements
The AP's 18th-ranked Huskies (0-0) open their ninth season under head coach Lorenzo Romar against McNeese State on Saturday, Nov. 13 at 1 p.m. in Hec Edmundson Pavilion. After winning the 2010 Pac-10 Tournament, advancing to the NCAA Sweet 16 and returning four starters, UW was picked by media writers to win the Pac-10 Conference for the first time in school history. The Huskies return 63.6 percent of their scoring and 66.4 percent of their rebounding, both higher percentages than last season. UW is 6-2 in season-openers under Romar, losing their home opener in Romar's first season in 2002-03 vs. Montana State and at Portland in 2008-09.

The game will not be televised. The ISP Sports Radio Network will carry live coverage with Bob Rondeau calling play-by-play and Jason Hamilton providing color commentary.

About McNeese State
McNeese State is from the Southland Conference and is coming off a 10-20 record. Head coach Dave Simmons is entering his fi fth year as the Cowboys' head coach and has a 49-71 in his fi rst four seasons. Patrick Richard heads up this year's McNeese team, after leading them in scoring last season with 12.8 ppg. The junior is a 6-4 forward and has been named to the Southland Conference pre-season squad. Other starters back are Diego Kapelan, C. J. Collins and P. J. Alawoya. Kapelan is a 6-3 senior guard that averaged 12.6 ppg. Alawoya is a 6-7 forward that scored 8.0 ppg and led the team with 7.4 rpg. Collins is the team's fl oor general and has led the team in assists two-straight seasons. Guard Stephan Martin was the team's top six man last year, coming off the bench to score 9.9 points per game.

UW-McNeese State History
The Huskies and Cowboys have only played each other one previous time. McNeese State holds the 1-0 advantage after a neutral site 96-92 overtime victory on Dec. 27, 1985 at the First Bank Tulsa Classic. That McNeese State squad went on to play in the 1986 NIT at season's end, while the Andy Russo-led Huskies would go 19-12 that season and lose to Michigan State in the fi rst round of the NCAA Tournament. Washington is 3-3 all-time against the Southland Conference, with Nicholls State being its last opponent from the conference in 2007.

Head Coach Lorenzo Romar (9th Year)
The 2009 & 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Lorenzo Romar is entering 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. UCLA's Ben Howland is second, entering his eighth season. Romar owns a 171-91 (.653) record at Washington and is 264-179 (.596) in 15 seasons as a head coach. The fi rst African-American head basketball coach at UW, he moved to third alltime in victories at UW after passing Tippy Dye against Cal on Jan. 16, 2010. That win was also the 250th overall during his coaching career. Romar has led Washington four NCAA Tournament Appearances, including three-straight (2004, 05, 06) and the school's fi rst 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 fi ve 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.

Coach Romar In The Media
Coach Romar will generally hold his weekly press conferences on Tuesdays at 2:00 p.m. in the Hec Edmundson Media workroom (room 140). Audio fi les of the press conference are available upon request by contacting Brian Tom (briantom@uw.edu), or archived audio and video fi les of the press conference can be found on GoHuskies. com. In addition, UWTV will broadcast a replay of the press confernce at 11:00 p.m. PT each Tuesday night. UWTV can be found on channel 27 in the Seattle area.

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 appearnaces, two 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 2010, the Huskies won 142 games, the most ever in a six-year span of UW basketball history. He has averaged 21.3 wins per season and has amassed four of the seven largest single-season win totals in UW history.

The Pick Of The Pac
For the fi rst time in school history, Washington was selected by media that covers the Pacifi c-10 Conference as the preseason favorites. Washington garnered 348 votes including 33 of 35 fi rst place nods in becoming the fi rst non-California or Arizona school to be annointed as conference favorites.

Place Team (1st place votes) Total Points
1. Washington (33) 348
2. Arizona (1) 296
3. UCLA (1) 281
4. Arizona State 215
5. Washington State 191
6. USC 178
7. California 151
8. Oregon State 120
9. Stanford 98
10. Oregon 47

Huskies In The Rankings
Washington begins the season as the only Pac-10 team ranked in the national polls. The Huskies are 17th in the ESPN/Coaches poll and 18th in the Associated Press poll. Additionally, several publications and websites have the Huskies ranked, including: FoxSports.com's Jeff Goodman (7th), Slam Magazine (8th), Bleacherreport.com (9th), ESPN's Dick Vitale (14th), ESPN's Andy Katz (18th), CBSSports.com's Gary Parrish (18th), Rivals.com (21st), Athlon Sports (22nd), The Sporting News (23rd) and Blue Ribbon Yearbook (23rd).

Huskies By The Numbers...
• The Dawgs have won their last seven games against Pac-10 foes, equaling the third longest conference winning streak in UW history.
• UW has led the Pac-10 in scoring two-consecutive seasons, putting up 79.2 last year and 78.6 points per game in 2009.
• The Huskies have also led the conference in rebounds and rebound margin over the past two years. In fact UW has led the lead in rebounds in four of the last six seasons and rebound margin in four-of-five.
• Washington's 52 wins over the past two season lead the conference (ASU 2nd with 47).
• In 2010, UW averaged 83.5 points in wins, 68.1 points in losses.

Thanksgiving In Maui
For the fi rst time in school history, Washington will play in the EA Sports Maui Invitational from Nov. 22- 24. Washington will open the tournament against a Tony Bennett-led Virginia squad. Also playing in Maui are Kentucky, Oklahoma, Michigan State, Connecticut, Wichita State and host Chaminade. The UW-Virginia winner will player either Kentucky or Oklahoma.

Thomas Scores A Record
With 1,134 points through two seasons, Isaiah Thomas has scored more points than any Husky in their fi rst two years. He is one of two players to reach 1,000 points in their fi rst two seasons, joining Doug Smart (1,021). Smart accomplished his feat in 1957 & 1958 and needed just 52 games to do so, while IT has played in 70 career games. Thomas is the 35th Husky to eclipse the 1,000-point plateau and enters the year ranking 26th on the all-time scoring list.

Thomas Climbs Scoring Ladder
Isaiah Thomas is 26th all-time on the UW scoring list. For perspective, Quincy Pondexter began last season No. 27 and moved all the way up to No.3.

Thomas Named To Watch List
Junior Isaiah Thomas was one of 50 players named to the 2010-11 John R. Wooden Award pre-season list. He was also a Wooden Award and Naismith nominee in 2009-10.

Great Brit
Matthew Bryan-Amaning had an outstanding finish to the 2009-10 season. He ended the year by averaging 11.8 points and team-bests of 7.5 rebounds and 1.8 blocks over the fi nal 14 games of the year. He also shot 59.8% from the fi eld and was a main reason UW went 11-3 over those 14 games. MBA has also made his mark on UW's all-time blocks list and is third with 104, trailing only Chris Welp (186) and Todd MacCulloch (142) on the all-time list.

Holiday's Season
Through the fi rst 13 games of the 2009-10 season Justin Holiday came off the bench and was ninth on the team in scoring with 3.5 ppg and played just 14.7 minutes per game. After being inserted into the starting lineup on Jan. 14 vs. California, Holiday averaged 7.4 ppg to rank 4th on the team over the fi nal 21 games. He also averaged 26.9 minutes, grabbed 5.3 rebounds and shot 47.4% in his starting role after averaging 3.2 rebounds and shooting 29.6% coming from the bench. Holiday also proved to be one of the Huskies top shut-down defenders earning an All- Pac-10 Defensive Team nod.

Putting the "O" in "D"
Joining Holiday on the 2010 Pac-10 All-Defensive Team was Venoy Overton. The brash guard has earned a reputation as one of the nation's toughest defenders and spends much of the game getting under the opponent's skin. In an anonymous poll of several Pac-10 players by ESPN The Magazine, Overton earned the nod by 66% as the conference's Biggest Trash Talker,. But, as all those that watch him on the court, Overton prefers to let his play do the talking. He ranks 4th all-time in UW history with 141 steals and needs just two assists to enter the all-time top-10 list.

Five New Faces
Washington welcomes fi ve players that will see their fi rst Husky action this season. C.J. Wilcox spent the 2010 season redshirting but quickly earned the reputation as the team's best shooter. UW added 7-foot JC transfer Aziz N'Diaye out of the College of Southern Idaho who will help provide an inside presence. Coaches rave about 6-5 guard Terrence Ross' athletic ability and say 6-7 forward Desmond Simmons has a non-stop motor. UW also added walkon guard Antoine Hosley, a teammate of Ross at Portland's Jefferson High School.

Romar Signs Four Players For 2011-12
Lorenzo Romar signed four high school seniors to NCAA Letters of Intent on Nov. 10 for the 2011-12 season. Perhaps the biggest name and highest-rated of the bunch is 6-4 guard Tony Wroten from Seattle's Garfi eld HS. Wroten was a member of the gold medal winning 2010 USA Basketball Men's Developmental National Team and was named to the Long Beach Press Telegram's Best in the West poll. At an October Clash of the Classes all-star game featuring the top Washington and Oregon prospects, Wroten scored 42 points, grabbed nine rebounds and dished out seven assists to earn MVP honors. Hikeem Stewart is a 6-3 guard that was a second-team All-Seattle Metro member as a junior and helped lead Rainier Beach to the Class 3A State Tournament. Jernard Jarreau is a 6-10 forward from New Orleans that has grown seven inches since starting high school but still possesses guard skills. Andrew Andrews is a point guard from Portland's Benson HS and will either go to a prep school after graduating or redshirt his fi rst season at UW.

Washington Men's Basketball
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