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Seattle Times staff reporter Bob Condotta provides a running commentary on the Huskies.

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July 21, 2008 10:15 AM

UW hoops program rated 124th by ESPN since 1985

Posted by Bob Condotta

Interesting new series debuting today on, rating college basketball programs since 1984-85, when the tournament expanded to its current 64 teams.

And there appears to be little subjectivity about it. Instead, developed a points system, and is unveiling the top 50 teams, in groups of 10, based on the totals. also has this list of teams 51-300 in the ratings, with the Huskies at 124.

That leaves UW sixth among Pac-10 teams --- here's the list of Pac-10 teams unveiled so far. UW is ahead of USC (132), ASU (181), WSU (237) and Oregon State (241).

Obviously, UW has been a mix of good and bad during that time --- three Sweet 16s (the cutoff date just misses the Sweet 16 appearance in 1984) but also the eight straight losing seasons from 1988-1995, then four more from 2000-2003.

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Posted by Derick

10:53 AM, Jul 21, 2008

This list is a JOKE.

The calculations make no sense.

Most people would agree over a 20 year period that 5th place in the Pac-10 > 1st place Patriot league

but you would get 3 points for winning the Patriot league. Thats just one example.

That makes no sense.

Never thought I would see a point system dumber than the BCS...I now have

Posted by fudazz

11:46 AM, Jul 21, 2008

Somebody at ESPN has way too much free time.

Posted by Ziasudra

1:49 PM, Jul 21, 2008

I don't believe any of our present squad members played on the Huskies back in 1986 or whenever.
So, what's the point?

Posted by MT Husky

2:40 PM, Jul 21, 2008

One utilization it does provide is a measurement of sorts as to how Lorenzo is doing. Is he moving UW up or down this scale during his tenure? When you look at other universities in the same range, how does UW and Lorenzo compare?

Whenever people began criticizing Romar it is typically because UW has missed the tourney the last two years, or because he lost out on recruits to UCLA, AZ, Louisville, etc.

But this serves as a good reminder that UW has not been an elite college basketball program in the past and that those who gripe about Romar are griping because they have quickly grown acclimated to success similar to the top 50 programs and have unreasonable expectations for Huskies to suddenly be a perennial contender.

However, thanks to Romar, Huskies are recruiting top talent, have been to the Sweet 16 as recently as two seasons ago and will likely be dancing again this spring; and doing so with quality young men who represent the school and program well.

So, if this ranking accomplishes anything I hope it is a reminder to Dawg fans that Huskies are fortunate to have Romar, to keep their expectations reasonable and realistic and to enjoy, support and root for the fine young talent currently in the program.

Go Dawgs!

Posted by G

4:18 PM, Jul 21, 2008

well said MT.....

Posted by tj

6:57 PM, Jul 21, 2008

MT Husky, i see your point with the whole "reminded" aspect of your post....since most Husky Hoop fans didnt even know they had a basketball team till 04' ......and that list is what it's a list to give sports fans something to talk about...... people like you who like to hear themselves talk and have a forum to do of the great aspects in sports is too talk about the history of any given sport.......but we all now it all comes down to "WHAT HAVE YOU DONE FOR ME LATELY"

Posted by AZ Dawg

7:12 PM, Jul 21, 2008

Kudos to the undergrad who came up with this for their sports management project and submitted it to ESPN. Football can't come soon enough!

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

8:24 AM, Jul 22, 2008

Well I'm glad reality has set in for some of you: 124th place doesn't give one goose bumps when they review your accolades. This is just ESPN's east coast biased way to show that the ACC has been the powerhouse conference the last 25 years. I'm sure with the unveiling of Duke at #1 and North Carolina at #2 Vitale and his cronnies will have plenty of airtime to share their favorite Dukie or Tar Heel moments. Kansas will come in at #3, with Kentucky at #4, and my beloved Arizona Wildcats at #5 (if Zach Randolph doesn't dislocate Gilbert Arenas shoulder my Cats would have won in 2001 or if they didn't have the meltdown in 2005 in Chicago they would have made another Final 4, so we could have been #2 or #3...oh, what would have been). UCONN will likely be #6, with Mich State, Florida, UCLA, and maybe Syracuse rounding out the Top 10.

But like some of you said, how does that help the players on the court in 2008-2009? It really doesn't unless some of that leadership has been maintained over the years....

Posted by Randy

11:21 AM, Jul 22, 2008

I absolutely agree with Derick. This rating is telling us that Coppin State, Montana, Weber State and Pacific just to name a few have a more prestigious program than Washington, a 3 time sweet 16 team in the last 10 years!!! BS

Posted by grant

11:44 AM, Jul 22, 2008

I agree with those of you that believe this list is stupid. Montana? Pacific? Come on! Didn't we just beat both of those teams in recent NCAA tournaments?

At the same time, MT makes an excellent point regarding expectations and Romar's impact on Husky hoops. Romar is NOT on the hot seat. He gives us a reason to scoff at this list thanks to recent success. Before he came around, we would deserve to be even lower.

At the end of the day, I really care more about this season than some list put together in Bristol.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

12:57 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Randy- Other than those 3 Sweet 16's, what has Washington done in the last 25 years? If I'm not mistaken, Romar wasn't around to recruit Roy and company who achieved the Sweet 16 status, so he was only basically reaping the rewards of past coaches. What has he done since? I'm not trying to be a thorn in your side, but looking back on 25 years of NCAA basketball, each conferences champions and how they have performed in the NCAA tourney needs to be credited.

As Husky fans, are you guys claiming that if you were in a smaller conference Washington would win the Conference title every year and hence, be higher ranked than the now 124th? Well, the reality is you get credit when you win Championships, and Washington haven't won many (if any) of those at the Conference or National Level.

3 Sweet 16's don't make for a top 50 Program in College Basketball, sorry but that's the facts. The National Media agrees with the Meatball, why can't you Husky fans?

By the Way, if the exercise was to look at the Top Programs in the last 5 years, you guys would likely make the Top 50, but just barely.

Posted by grant

3:20 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Romar may not have recruited B-Roy, but he was the one who coached him. Bender was fired before B-Roy ever came to UW. Which is more critical to a player's development, convincing him to play at your school, or being the coach for four years? How about another example. Bobby Jones was nowhere on the recruiting experts radar, and over four years, Romar turned him into a draft pick. The fact that Romar came in and had quick success shows his superior coaching talent when compared to Bender. Let's suppose the list was the past 5 years, which 50 teams would rank ahead of UW? Closer to top 25 than top 50 in my opinion.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

4:39 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Grant- Good points but you are only looking at it from one prespective; from the short term of Jones and Roy it could appear to the untrained eye that Romar is a good developer of talent, but the opposite argument could be made that he simply lucked out with superior players i.e He benefited from Benders recruits. If my memory serves me correct guys like Quincy Pondexter were higher rated than guys like Roy, and I haven't seen Quincy do anything except digress since his time at Washington. That is a bigger indicator of player development to me than Roy. Only time will tell, but like I said, over the last 5 years, you guys would be in the Top 50.

Posted by Ziasudra

5:23 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Meathead - I forget, how many Nat'l championships has Lute won? Where does that put him wrt Johnny Wooden?
(ex-UCLA student)

Posted by grant

5:25 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Let's judge Q-Pon when he is gone, not after only 2 seasons. The fact that he was rated higher than B-Roy and others just goes to show that recruit ratings and rankings are far from a science.
As far as Bender's recruits benefiting Romar...I'm not so sure. Mike Jensen and Will Conroy were solid contributors after a few years under Romar in his system (which benefited both of them a lot). If anyone should be given credit for helping Romar with recruiting, it is Rick Neweisel. When he refused to let Nate Robinson play RB, Nate switched to BB full time. We all know what happened after that.

Posted by Funny

6:03 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Watch doggies...GU will be in the top 10. Must suck being below Montana.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

6:39 PM, Jul 22, 2008

Grant- Very true, and I will be open to Quincy having 2 more years to develop but I just don't see that happening.

Zia- As usual you make no sense. From 1984-2008 John Wooden did not win any Championships. Lute Olson did.

I've never said Lute Olson had more history or was a better coach than John Wooden. I have said that Lute Olson is the best coach the Pac-10 has ever seen, which I stand by since John Wooden coached in the Pac-8. If I were to rank coaches of all-time, I would put John Wooden ahead of my dear Lute Olson.

Posted by Randy

7:35 AM, Jul 23, 2008


I couldn't begin to claim that Washington has had a great 25 year run. They haven't. But even though it's impossible to state absolutely factually, I would say Washington would fair much better if they were in the same conference as a Weber State or Montana. So would many other teams. I'm just saying it is not an equal comparison. Playing in the Big Sky or Western Athletic Conference is no comparison to playing in the PAC 10. Just ask Oregon State fans. I could almost bet if the Beavers played in the Big Sky, they're record would probably be good enough to rank them ahead of Washington.

But in all reality, it really doesn't matter. This upcoming season looks much more interesting than dwelling in the past and how that shapes up.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

8:14 AM, Jul 23, 2008

Randy- If the exercise seperated power conferences from smaller ones, where would you rank the Huskies over the last 25 years against teams from the ACC, Pac-10, Big-10, Big 12, Big East, SEC? If it's in the top half, that is where the problem lies...

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

9:48 AM, Jul 23, 2008

Florida Gators at #21 is rather surprising, I was definitely wrong about them but the rest of my Top 10 should be correct. I'm not sure who that bumps up then, maybe Indiana.

Posted by Randy

11:11 AM, Jul 23, 2008


Absolutely not. I wouldn't begin to rank Washington in the top half of the major conferences. Come on man, I'm not that blind!

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

1:58 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Randy- Fair enough; the other question is and please take the entire body of work, who ranks highest for just the Pac-10 since the 84-85 season? Would you say:

A) Arizona

Just so recent future (i.e. 3 straight FInal 4's) doesn't cloud your mind, discount the 4 Final 4's and 1 National Championship from both teams iin that time 1985-2008 time Span, and then tell me who you rank higher.

I will give you a hint; one team won 10 conference titles, 4 Pac-10 tournies, went to (3) additional Elite 8's, went to (3) additional Sweet 16's, and had at least 10 players picked in the Top 12 of the NBA draft. This team also had the longest consecuetive NCAA streak (still going) and most total wins for any team in the Pac-10 for that time frame. They had 23 (20) Win Seasons, and had no losing records.

The other team won 8 conference titles, went to (2) additional Eliete 8's, went to (5) additional Sweet 16's, won an NIT, and had 5 players picked in the Top 12 of the NBA draft. They had 18 (20) Win Seasons, and had at least 2 losing records.

What is your unbiased opinion?

Posted by Husky19

2:16 PM, Jul 23, 2008


I would think that UCLA would be ranked higher than AZ but that is my opinion.

Also regarding BRoy and his development, he really didn't excel until his senior year. QPon has 2 more years to excel.

I appreciate your passion for Az b-ball but you are a true fan. What I mean by that is you are such a big fan (a good thing) that you are blinded. Losing B Jennings was HUGE you can't spin it any other way. I know you said in the past that he would take AZ to the national champ game but without him AZ will be in the final four. But in the same sentence you say that the more you hear, the more you would think he would be a cancer to the team. Can't have it both ways.

Lute is a stud of a coach but much like Joe Paterno, it is time to give it up.

For the ranking of 124, I would argue but the problem is they only look at the last 20 years. With Marv Harshman, the dawgs were pretty good, Bender went back to back tourney appearances and with Romar, the team has raised the bar for fans. I am not delusional, I do not UW was that good the last 20 years but the other posters on this site have a point. Put UW in a lower conference and who knows how many wins/championships they would have won. Do I want UW in a lower conference, HELL NO. But someone needs to point out the obvious weaknesses of this ranking.

In the last 20 years,the dawgs have been pretty bad. I remember in the 90's going to games and at halftime they would let anyone in for free. The gym was often empty. But let's hope that in 2020 and looking back only 20 years, UW will have emerged higher than the 124 ranking. I would bet they would.

Interesting to see how Usc and Asu are ranked lower. I would expect that most younger fans would not remember the last 20 years when Usc and Asu sucked. But me, being older do remember that they have only become decent in the last 3-5 years.

Posted by Dave " The Meatball" Armistead

4:16 PM, Jul 23, 2008

Husky19- I never said the Cats would make the Final 4 without Brandon Jennings. I said he could likley get us to the National Championship game, I agree with that, but without him at best we are a Sweet 16 team. My statement was that in spite of the disturbance that he likely would have been, as a fan I would take it for the one year as it gave us the best chance at another ring.

But again, maybe Chase decides to completly dominate and puts out 25, 6, 5 a game and we cruise, or maybe we struggle. We'll see come January 2009 how we look, but I tend to think now that we are a legit Sweet 16 team. But then again, my 97 championship team was an afterthought, so you never know what is going to click on the court until they play the games.

I am a fan first, there is no doubt about that, but if you objectively look at the accomplisments of UCLA and Arizona over the last 25 years, you have to give the nod to my Wildcats. Anyone who disagrees is still relying on UCLA history and Wooden, which is not the argument at hand. If you stacked UCLA and Arizona up against eachother for All-Time, than my answer would easily be UCLA. Over the last 25 years though, my answer is easily Arizona. No question.

ASU and USC still aren't any good. (ASU will always be the worst! SEE, I am a true fan!)

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