Nov. 11, 2011
SEATTLE -- The Huskies (0-0) open their 10th season under head coach Lorenzo Romar (110th overall season in UW history dating back to 1896) against Georgia State on Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2:00 p.m. in Alaska Airlines Arena.
Fans can follow the action on the radio with Mike Gastineau and Jason Hamilton calling the action on KKNW (1150 AM) and on the internet via the GoHuskies.com Live Chat or live audio streaming.
Washington will play host to the World Vision Basketball Classic, which will run Saturday, Nov. 12 through Monday, Nov. 14. Joining UW in the round-robin tournament besides Georgia State are Portland and Florida Atlantic. Each team will play three games over three days, with a champion and all-tournament team declared at the conclusion of play on Monday.
Washington is 7-2 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. Last year, the Huskies opened the season with a 118-64 victory over McNeese State, equaling the third highest scoring output in UW history.
The 2011-12 Dawgs
Washington returns 42.2 percent of its scoring and 43.2 percent of its rebounding from last year's team that went 24-11 overall, won the Pac-10 Conference Tournament and advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament.
Washington loses three starters (Matthew Bryan-Amaning, Justin Holiday and Isaiah Thomas) from last season but returns six players that started at least four games and combined for 69 starts. Aziz N'Diaye leads the way with 25 starts under his belt last season, but Darnell Gant has made 56 career starts while Abdul Gaddy has 42.
The Huskies have eight players on their roster that enter this year having never played in a college game during their careers, unless you count Desmond Simmons appearing in last year's exhibition game vs. St. Martin's before deciding to redshirt the season. Besides Simmons, Washington's new faces include seven true freshmen: Andrew Andrews, Martin Breunig, Jernard Jarreau, Shawn Kemp Jr., Hikeem Stewart, Tony Wroten and walk-on Alex Wegner.
Did You Know ... ???
The Huskies and Georgia State each opened their 2010-11 seasons against a common opponent? Washington beat McNeese State 118-64 on Nov. 13, 2010, while the Panthers started their year with a 68-62 loss at McNeese State on Nov. 16.
UW Vs. Georgia State
The Huskies and Panthers are meeting for the first time.
About Georgia State
The Georgia State Panthers are coming off a 12-19 season (6-12, Colonial Athletic Association) in 2011. They are led by veteran first-year coach Ron Hunter. Hunter spent the previous 17 seasons at IUPUI, where he compiled a 293-219 record. Despite their record, the Panthers can claim a victory over eventual Final Four participant VCU last season. Georgia St. returns four starters from last season, led by 6-8 forward Eric Buckner. So far, the Panthers have won their two exhibition contests, 90-65 over Southern Poly and 90-49 against Ogelthorpe. Senior Brandon McGee led the Panthers in the two games with 18.5 ppg and 7.5 rpg.
UW Vs. Florida Atlantic
The Huskies and the Owls are meeting for the first time.
About Florida Atlantic
Four starters return for a Florida Atlantic team that went 21-11 last season, including 13-3 in Sun Belt Conference action. The Owls won the East Division in the 12-team conference and went on to play in the NIT. Coaching legend Mike Jarvis is entering his fourth season a Georgia State and is hoping to lead his fourth different team to the NCAA Tournament. Eight letterwinners -- including four starters -- return to Sun Belt Coach of the Year Jarvis' squad. Leading the way for the Owls is 5-foot-6 dynamo Ray Taylor, who averaged 11.6 ppg and 3.9 apg.
UW Vs. Portland
Washington holds the all-time series advantage 13-2, including 8-0 all-time at home versus the Pilots, beating them 94-72 last season. Coach Lorenzo Romar is 6-4 all-time against Portland, 3-3 as coach at Pepperdine and 3-1 at UW.
The Portland Pilots are coming off their second-consecutive 20-win season for the first time in their Division I history. Head Coach Eric Reveno has led the Pilots to three-consecutive trips to the post-season CIT and is 77-81 in five years at the helm. Nemanja Mitrovic is the top returner from a 20-12 squad (7-7, WCC) after averaging 13.6 ppg and 46.3% from 3-pt range. The Pilots are going to be young this season as Mitrovic is the only player that has more than one year under his belt at Portland.
Coach Lorenzo Romar (10th Yr. at Washington, 16th Yr. Overall)
The 2009 & 2005 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Lorenzo Romar is in his 10th season as the 18th head men's basketball coach at Washington. Romar is the dean of coaching in the Pac-12 having spent more seasons at Washington than any other current Pac-12 coach at their school. Romar owns a 195-102 (.658) record at Washington and is 288-190 (.603) in 16 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 2004-2005 -- Romar's third season at UW -- to now, the Huskies have won 166 games, the most ever in a seven-year span of UW basketball history. He has averaged 21.7 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.
Gaddy Returns From ACL Injury
Junior Abdul Gaddy, one of the Huskies three team captains, is returning from a season-ending anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear in his left knee suffered during practice on Jan. 4, 2011. Gaddy was cleared to return to action on Sept. 7, 2011 and has hardly missed a beat. He does not play with a brace and has competed fully since practice started in October. Gaddy was leading the Pac-10 in assist to turnover ratio at 3.1 (49 assists/16 turnovers) when he went down last season. His 3.8 assists per game was the seventh best average in the Pac-10 Conference and he also ranked ninth in three-point shooting percentage (40.6%). A starter in all 13 games, Gaddy raised his scoring average to 8.5 points per game, up from 3.9 ppg as a freshman. Overall, Gaddy had played in 49 games, 42 starts - 41 of which have came consecutively.
Darnell Gant and Scott Suggs have a chance to become the first Huskies to EVER make four NCAA Tournaments. They have already had a championship-laden career earning the 2009 Pac-10 regular season championship, plus the 2010 and 2011 Pac-10 Tournament Championships. The Dawgs are 76-30 over their first three seasons. The pair also share team captain duties with Gaddy.
Washington shot and made a school record 305 three-pointers in 821 attempts in 2010-11. The Huskies return three of five players who each hit at least 44 3-pointers, led by a UW freshman record 63 from C.J. Wilcox. Scott Suggs made 49 in 109 attempts (45%) to finish third in the Pac-10 percentage-wise and fifth in UW single-season history. Suggs has made 89 three-pointers in his career, the 10th most in UW history. Terrence Ross hit 44 as a true freshman.
Ouches In October
Before the Huskies even started the season, they received a double dose of bad news. Senior sharpshooter Scott Suggs underwent surgery on his right foot on Oct. 14. and is expected to miss 8 to 12 weeks -- placing him on pace for a return to action in New York City by early December. Highly touted freshman Tony Wroten also went down on Oct. 20 and underwent minor arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. He was able to return in time to play in the Nov. 4 exhibition game and should be ready for the regular season.
In conjunction with the Huskies' trip to New York City to participate in the Jimmy V Classic and CARQUEST Auto Parts Classic, the 15 members of the team are taking an independent study drama class. Players have been attending seminars on the history of Broadway, the study and reading of plays plus the basics of acting, directing and producing in theater. Then once in New York, the plan is to attend at least two Broadway productions over some of the six days there outside the Dec. 6 game day against Marquette and the Dec. 10 date against Duke. UW drama professor Shanga Parker will teach the independent study course while fulfilling his professional responsibilities as a director. He is planning to accompany the Huskies to New York and onto Broadway to give expert eyes to what the players are seeing.
Seven Dawgs In The NBA
Seven former Huskies that played or were recruited by Lorenzo Romar are currently in the NBA. Nate Robinson is the veteran of the bunch having played six NBA seasons, most recently with Oklahoma City. Brandon Roy has played five years with the Portland, while Spencer Hawes has four seasons in the NBA - last year with Philadelphia. Jon Brockman has played two NBA seasons, one with Sacramento and one with Milwaukee. Quincy Pondexter was a 2010 first round pick and played for New Orleans. Martell Webster, who never played at UW but signed, has played six years, last season with Minnesota. Isaiah Thomas hopes to join the fray when the lockout ends after being selected in the second round by Sacramento.
Introducing The Young Pups
Of Washington's 15-man roster, eight players will be seeing their first college action. Seven are true freshmen and one is a red-shirt freshman. The Huskies have never have as many freshmen on their varsity squad to start a season. The collection of newcomers is headlined by 6-foot-5 Tony Wroten, who was one of the top point guard recruits last year. The most familiar name of the group is 6-foot-9 Shawn Kemp, Jr. who is the son of the former Sonics' legend. Guard Hikeem Stewart is also a familiar name as his brothers -- twins, Rodrick (USC/Kansas) and Lodrick (USC) -- played collegiately. Forwards Martin Breunig and Jernard Jarreau give UW three newcomers that stand taller than 6-foot-8. Forward Desmond Simmons redshirted last season and is chomping at to be unleashed. Alex Wegner is a walk-on that played in four state tournaments while at Vashon Island HS, and Andrew Andrews is a touted point guard from Oregon that will redshirt this season.
Husky Block Party
Last season, Washington amassed 179 blocks -- the most in UW single-season history surpassing the previous record of 151 set in 2010. Among returners, Aziz N'Diaye had 39 blocks to tie for the eighth most in UW single-season history. With an average height of 6-foot-6 and 1/2, the Huskies are poised to threaten the blocks record for a third-consecutive season.
Vs. Ranked Foes
The Huskies were 1-4 against teams ranked in the AP top-25 during the 2010-11 season. Their lone win came over No. 16 Arizonza in the championship of the Pac-10 tournament. Overall, the UW is 28-57 against AP ranked opponents since Jan. 1, 2000. UW has won its last four against ranked foes in the confines of Alaska Airlines Arena and are 16-5 over the last 21 contests against ranked foes at home. Overall, Washington is 19-14 all-time at home during the decade. UW had lost its previous 8 decisions against ranked non-conference opponents before ending a three-year drought by beating Texas A&M on Dec. 22, 2009.
UW Leads Division I With Most All-Time Wins At Their Home Arena
Washington has 861 wins inside of Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the most by any Division I team at its current home arena. Minnesota has the next most at its arena -- Williams Arena -- more than 50 behind UW.