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Husky Men's Basketball Blog

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

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October 31, 2006

Romar welcoming "big challenge''

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:22 PM

Washington's officiall basketball media day has just concluded and there was no real "news'' to speak of, just a lot of interesting notes that we will try to disperse here and in other places over the next few days.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar opened it by speaking of "the big challenge'' that this season represents with so many new players taking over for all of the seniors who were part of last year's team.

"There are a lot of uncharted waters here for this team, but it's a great group of kids trying to do everything that we ask them to do,'' he said.

The team plays its first exhibition game Friday night against St. Martin's at 7 p.m. at Hec Ed. Romar said he has yet to decide on a starting lineup and likely won't until shortly before game time.

Spencer Hawes may be able to play as he is just "a few days away,'' in Romar's words, from returning to full duty. He began shooting on Monday and was scheduled to do even more today. "His progress has been real good,'' Romar said.

Joel Smith said he is two weeks away from being 100 percent and may be able to play in the regular season opener against Pepperdine on Nov. 12.

Romar said that all of the four freshmen who have been healthy have earned spots in the team's regular rotation, though Romar stressed the words "at this point.''

Romar said Harvey Perry "hasn't missed a practice or a drill so his back issues are behind him.'' As for his play, Romar said that the time Perry missed last year makes it evident that "there's some rust that needs to come off.''

And he again praised Phil Nelson, saying he can play the two, three or four, though as he said "in our system there are just bigs and smalls and he has been playing both. He's very versatile.''

(I apologize that apparently this didn't get posted sooner in the day.)

Jones to D-League?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:38 AM

Several stories out of Philadelphia today indicate that while Bobby Jones has made the final roster for the 76ers, he may have to play in the NBA Developmental League for a while this season.

Here's one that explains the process.

Here's another from the Philadelphia Inquirer that runs down the team's roster, with a mention of Jones.

October 30, 2006

It's game week

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:37 AM

Believe it or not, the Huskies play a game this week.

OK, it's just an exhibition. But the Huskies will face Saint Martin's on Friday night at Hec Ed, your first chance to see the team in actual action (as opposed to the Hoopla).

It won't be the team's first action of the year, however. UW played St. Mary's of the West Coast Conference in a practice game Saturday. Each team is allowed one under NCAA rules and UW almost annually plays St. Mary's.

However, fans and media aren't allowed, stats aren't allowed to be kept, and coaches can't officially comment on it to the media. So I can't give any kind of report about it here.

What I have heard is that the coaches have been pretty pleased with things the past week or so of practice. Standouts have mostly been who you would expect --- Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, Ryan Appleby, Adrian Oliver and Quincy Pondexter.

The surprise, I keep hearing, is Phil Nelson. Lorenzo Romar mentioned again last week how hard Nelson is working, something coaches were worried about coming in. But he is apparently playing so well that he is almost certain to be a regular part of the rotation, the only question is how much and in what role.

The team's official media day is Tuesday, so watch for reports on that here and elsewhere in The Times.

October 27, 2006

UW-GU scheduling fires temper

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:36 PM

You wouldn't have expected Lorenzo Romar to add any fuel to the fire seemingly started by Mark Few on Thursday, and predictably enough, Romar didn't.

In case you missed it, Few said Thursday, as reported by the Tacoma News Tribune, that "if we were ever in a situation where we lost seven of the last eight games, I'd probably look to get rid of that team.''

Few made the remark after UW officials said the Huskies may not be able to schedule Gonzaga for the 2007-08 season due to other pending commitments. Gonzaga won seven straight against UW before the Huskies beat them last season.

I read the quote to Romar today hoping for fireworks and got this: "I have no reaction.''

Instead, Romar again calmly stated the reasons why the Huskies may not be able to fit GU on the schedule for the 07-08 season, and emphasized that it could be a "temporary'' interruption.

"It has nothing to do with Gonzaga,'' Romar said. "It's just what we are trying to do with our schedule here. As our program continues to grow and we've had some success, it has given us some opportunities here on a national stage and we have to temporarily look at it [stopping the Gonzaga series].''

Among those opportunities in 2007-08 are the pre-season NIT and a possible spot in the Pac-10-Big 12 Challenge. Washington already has games set that year at Louisiana State and home to Pittsburgh, and Romar said the Huskies' schedule is simply getting pretty full.

In fact, he said UW also had a game on the hook with another "top-10 name'' and had to back off when the possibility of the Challenge arose.

The question some of you may have is why can't UW simply schedule them all and kick off the Portland States of the world.

Romar points out that UW is already set to face a grueling 18-game Pac-10 schedule each year, followed by the conference tournament. So the nonconference schedule has to be a mix of games against top teams for exposure and to gain experience along with games against teams that the Huskies are likely to beat, that allow for working out some early-season kinks.

"We do have a very difficult schedule in the Pac-10 year in and year out,'' Romar said. "You have to be smart with how you schedule and I think the schedule we are putting together for next year, when you factor in the overall schedule, will be one of the toughest schedules around. Whether you are deleting someone or not is not the issue. The issue is whether you are putting the best schedule together for your program. That's what it is about.''

When we contacted Few today, he seemed to understand that, as well.

Few, in fact, said that his comment on Thursday wasn't meant to be taken as literally as it might read and that he didn't intend for it to be quoted.

"From our point of view, it's been fun, it's been great,'' Few said today of the series with UW. "But I truly, totally understand what a bear scheduling is.''

That's a larger point with which Romar concurs.

The Huskies took some flak for last year's schedule, which turned out weaker than anticipated for a variety of reasons and also didn't include a road game before Pac-10 play began. Romar said that simply pointed out the vagaries in scheduling.

"Last year was an aberration, the way things worked out,'' Romar said. "Typically you would like to have a road game or two to get yourself acclimated on the road. We did not have a road game last year but we were 6-3 on the road so it wasn't like it hurt us. But I think that you want to try to do that.

"You want to try to play some tough opponents, some that are going be very, very competitive and are going to push you. I think that it's really good to have a couple of high-profile opponents come in and play here in our facility for our [fans] to reward them. It's also important to play games where you can maybe experiment and do some things and play some people that you want to look at.

"Sometimes you have freshmen that aren't getting an opportunity early and maybe that gives them an opportunity for some early looks and to gain some experience. There are a lot of things that you want covered in a nonconference schedule.''

Huskies 16th in pre-season poll

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:21 AM

Couple quick notes:

First, UW is 16th in the pre-season coaches poll, which strikes me as just about right. With so many unknowns, it's hard to make a case that they deserve to be a lot higher than that right now. I stress the "right now'' part of that sentence. This is obviously a team that will get a lot better as the year goes on.

Second, here's a link to our take in today's paper on the UW-Gonzaga schedling deal. I stress that this is a column by our college basketball writer Bud Withers and understand it may not be completely popular with all readers of this blog, knowing most of you are died-in-the-wool Husky fans. But Bud brings a worthy perspective to this issue.

October 26, 2006

No more UW-Gonzaga series?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:34 AM

Word today is that the long-standing Washington-Gonzaga basketball series is in danger of not continuing past this season, due in part to UW's increasingly full non-conference schedule.

UW athletic director Todd Turner said this morning that a possible Pac-10-Big 12 Challenge series beginning in the 2007-08 season could mean the Huskies won't have room to play Gonzaga anymore.

"If that comes to pass, we're probably going to have to take a hiatus on the Gonzaga thing,'' Turner told our newspaper today.

The Pac-10-Big 12 Challenge would be an annual series of games pitting teams from the two conferences against each other. Here are the details in a story from our paper in June. Basically, each Pac-10 team would play a Big 12 team every year.

The Huskies are already hoping to play in the pre-season NIT next year and have a home game with Pitt and at LSU. Adding the Big 12 series would potentially give UW four big-time non-conference games that season, apparently meaning no room for Gonzaga.

"We'll keep talking,'' Turner said. "Both of us are still working on our schedules for next year.''

One thing that should be noted is that basketball schedules aren't like football schedules that are planned years in advance. There is always some wiggle room in basketball schedules, usually until just a few months before the season begins, so this could be something that isn't settled for some time.

As I noted earlier, UW is also attempting to get into some pre-season tournaments, but likely can't get into the Maui tournament until after 2009 at the earliest.

Gonzaga and UW have played every year since 1998 in a series that began when Bob Bender was Washington's coach. Bender and the GU staff had a good working relationship back then.

The two teams will play this year on Dec. 9 in Spokane, a game that will be televised on FSN-NW.

And a quick add --- Andy Katz is reporting in his Insider blog on ESPN that Washington, Syracuse, Boston College and Ohio State are four of the bigger names that will be in the pre-season NIT in 2007, apparently more confirmation that UW will be in that tournament in the 07-08 season.

Romar to stay even longer

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:29 AM

Not that there was any real thought he was going anywhere anytime soon, but the Washington Huskies are about to make it a virtual certainty that Lorenzo Romar will be their coach for a very long time.

We published a story today about an impending contract extension for Romar that will enhance both the length and salary of his current deal.

The exact details aren't available yet, but I know it will include buyout clauses and deferred money. This will likely be announced around letter-of-intent time to make a point about Romar's commitment to the school.

Also, on the scheduling front, had some questions about the Maui Classic. UW won't be able to get into it until at least 2009 as that is a hard tournament to get into. The Huskies may get into the pre-season NIT next year and are also looking into the Guardians Classic in the future.

The Huskies aren't interested in Hawaii tournaments over the Christmas holidays because the Pac-10 conference schedule has been moved up --- this year, the conference opener is Dec. 28. They don't see value in being in Hawaii so close to the beginning of conference play.

October 25, 2006

Dentmon taking charge

Posted by Bob Condotta at 6:32 PM

A few of us had a chance to talk with Lorenzo Romar before practice today.

No real big news came out of it, but he did say that Justin Dentmon is having a good start to his season and has all but nailed down a starting job. If you remember, Romar said two weeks ago only Jon Brockman was assured a starting spot.

Now, 40 percent of the lineup seems set --- which could have been predicted --- though Romar says the rest is wide open. Hard to figure Spencer Hawes won't emerge as a starter, though.

Romar again praised the hard work of Phil Nelson, saying he didn't always consistently bring it in high school, but is now. Word is Nelson has been the biggest surprise among the new players, and is competing for real playing time.

Romar said the health of the rest of the players is good, saying formerly injured players such as Hans Gasser and Brandon Burmeister are practicing without restrictions.

Brockman on Wooden Award list

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:57 AM

The list of the top 50 pre-season candidates for the John R. Wooden Award, given annually to the top college basketball player in the country, is out, and Washington's Jon Brockman has made the initial cut.

Here's the list, which also includes Eastern Washington's Rodney Stuckey, a Kentwood High grad, as well as Marcus Williams of Arizona, a Roosevelt High grad.

Here is a story with more detail about the award.

You'll recall that Duke's J.J. Redick won the award last year but that Brandon Roy was a finalist and was named to the Wooden Award All-American Team.

Bobby, Nate square off

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:42 AM

Bobby Jones and Nate Robinson met as professionals for the first time last night.
Robinson had 19 points in 24 minutes off the bench while Jones had two --- as the play-by-play on this link shows, he scored the last two points of the game.

Here also is what Jones has done so far this season.
As I've pointed out before, ignore the career numbers as those are obviously for the other Bobby Jones.

October 23, 2006

Hawes back next Wednesday

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:33 PM

Spencer Hawes should be able to resume all normal basketball activities next Wednesday, UW coach Lorenzo Romar said before practice Monday.

"It's amazing what they can do these days with that,'' said Romar, referring to the fact that Hawes had arthroscopic knee surgery on Oct. 11.

Romar said guard Joel Smith should be back "a week and a half after that.''

Other than Joe Wolfinger, who is likely out for the season with a foot stress fracture, Romar said everyone else is practicing full go.

The team conducted one of its mile run tests of conditioning today and Romar said all but two players made it in the necessary time --- which is five minutes, 30 seconds for guards and 5:35 for big men. (He didn't want to tell us who didn't make it). Artem Wallace again had the fastest time.

Asked an initial impression of the freshmen during the first week of practice, he said "They are doing a good job. Obviously they are behind conceptually. But it is not anything that they are not going to be able to overcome.''

October 20, 2006

Conroy released

Posted by Bob Condotta at 5:13 PM

Here's a more-detailed story on Will Conroy getting released today by the Charlotte Bobcats.

I know Conroy had some overseas options before he headed to Charlotte so maybe he will now pursue those.

October 19, 2006

Conroy, Jones update (Updated)

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:11 PM

Here are quick updates on Will Conroy, who is attempting to make the Charlotte roster as a free agent, and Bobby Jones, attempting to make the 76ers roster as a second-round draft pick.

Conroy was scoreless in six minutes for the Bobcats tonight in what looks like a pretty ugly loss to the Pacers.

And here are his stats before tonight. .

Here are Jones' numbers to date, which show that he hasn't done much (disregard the career numbers, which obviously are for the other Bobby Jones).

Doesn't look like either is getting much of a chance right now.

UPDATE - Will was cut by the Bobcats today (Friday). Word before he left was that he had some overseas options, so maybe he will explore those now.

Perry, Appleby, Artem impress early

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:18 PM

The Huskies are five practices into the new season, which seemed a good time to get an update from coach Lorenzo Romar.

Here's some of what he had to say today:

--- Asked which players have shown improvement from a year ago, Romar mentioned Harvey Perry, Ryan Appleby and Artem Wallace. Perry, he said, "takes care of the ball better'' than a year ago; Appleby "is doing more than spot shooting, he's penetrating more and dishing more.'' Wallace is "finishing plays, getting the ball to the basket and rebounding better.''

--- Asked about the incoming players, Romar mentioned Phil Nelson. "The one thing we talked to him about is working hard and he's been working hard,'' Romar said.

--- The Huskies now have 11 healthy players with walk-on guard Brandon Burmeister having returned from a foot injury. Spencer Hawes and Joel Smith are still out but Romar said the plan remains for them to be back by the first game (Joe Wolfinger, obviously, is also out, likely for the season).

--- Adrian Oliver missed a couple of practices with an ankle injury but is now back, Romar said.

--- Reflecing on Husky Hoopla a week later, Romar said "there are some adjustments that need to be made that we will make and it has the potential to be pretty good.'' He said "as of this time'' he plans on the event continuing. "We've got an entire year to plan for it now,'' he said, instead of it being a "last-minute decision.''

--- Romar said before practice began that the coaches would have to spend a little more time working on the basics of the team's system early on, with so many new players. "The've picked things up pretty well,'' he said.

More on Giles

Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:07 PM

There seemed to be a lot of interest in the C.J. Giles story on this space yesterday so I'll pass along this update.

It essentially says that Giles has to appear in court next week on charges that he has failed to pay child support.

As to the suggestion of some on here that the UW didn't want Giles, that's not true. They recruited him hard and would have gladly welcomed him in the fold. Remember, he played at Rainier Beach with Nate Robinson and that's when Nate was the leader of the Huskies. I remember Nate blurting out in a group interview after a game one night that "Once we get C.J. we'll be unbeatable'' or something to that effect.

October 18, 2006

Giles in limbo at Kansas

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:46 AM

Remember former Rainier Beach High star C.J. Giles? He was a player the Huskies wanted dearly a few years ago, and thought they had when he announced on a show on KJR-AM that he was "99 percent'' committed to coming to UW.

He ended up at Kansas, and as of now, his career there is in limbo. Here are the details. Most pertinent is that many of his problems appear to center on academics.

Also, saw that Jamaal Williams was working out with the Huskies on Tuesday. From what I understand, he's here in town for a few days before heading to play in France. But I'll try to find out more and pass it along here.

October 16, 2006

Practice begins

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:07 AM

OK, time to move on past Hoopla, as practice has now begun in earnest.

One note on our coverage of that here --- the coaches like for the team to be pretty undisturbed during the first week of practices, and because there is no game for three weeks, there isn't much need for us to be out there. So there might not be a lot of news here for a little while.

As for practice starting, coach Lorenzo Romar said Friday he anticipates more need for teaching this season than the past few years due to the youth of the team. He also said there might be a little less tinkering with roles early on in an attempt to let players get settled and enhance the learning process. That doesn't mean the lineup is set at all, just that early in practice it might be better to keep the lineups in practice fairly stable so everyone can concentrate on figuring everything out.

If there was anything to glean from Hoopla, it was that the battle for the other guard spot opposite Justin Dentmon should be a doozy. Adrian Oliver showed fans who had never seen him before what a lot of us have seen all summer -- he's a real player and ready to contribute big-time right now. Harvey Perry looks to be completely healthy and shows an increased range on his shot along with his obvious defensive fits. And Ryan Appleby looks to have picked up where he left off last season.

October 14, 2006

Hoopla redux

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:25 PM

I rather intentionally didn't opine much on my earlier post, wanting to hear what you had to think first.

Thanks for all the good responses, and I have to say I agree with the overwhelming sentiments expressed:

--- It dragged on and took too long to get to the actual basketball;
--- And it wasn't Softy's best night.

Here's what I'd do.

---- Condense all the non-basketball stuff. Maybe one skit or something if they must, but the dance thing took way to long.
--- Give the coaches the mics for the night and do away with the hosts. What I wanted to hear was what Lorenzo Romar had to say, not Softy or Angie Mentink. Give Romar the mic, have him introduce the players with a 30-second or so intro on each that tells us something about them, expectations for this year, etc.Then let him keep the mic throughout the dunk contests and the scrimmage.
---- If you're going to have a shooting contest, have a real shooting contest. I wanted to see if any other UW players could really sink more 3-pointers in 30 seconds or something than Ryan Appleby. That would have been fun to watch.
--- Let the players talk. Maybe have Romar conduct little interviews with each of his players to give us a feel of who they are, etc.
--- Have some other skill contests. The dunk thing is fine with me, but I would also have loved to see something like free throw shooting contests or dribbling contests among the players. Again, the event should be about them, not the hosts or the celebrity judges.

October 13, 2006

Hoopla a success?

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:14 PM

So if you were there tonight, I'm interested in what you thought.

I was surprised that as many people left the building after the volleyball game. The attendance for the volleyball game was 6,216 while the estimate for the Hoopla was 4,700.

And as it went on, I figured this meant that Lorenzo Romar --- who was hesitant to do this in the first place --- would wonder if it was worth doing again.

But Romar indicated afterward that he thought it was attended well enough to likely make it an annual event.

"We'll make a couple of adjustments but it was good enough to where we can build on it,'' Romar said. "As people become more aware of it, more people will come out. For a first-year turnout, I thought it was pretty good.''

As to what adjusments Romar was referring to, I think he hopes the pace of the night will quicken in the future.

As for the basketball, there wasn't a whole lot to really judge anything on as this was more an exhibiation and a showcase for the students.

Quincy Pondexter won the dunk contest with his toughest competition coming from UW long jumper Norris Frederick, who leaped over three students bent at the waist. Pondexter won when Frederick missed his final dunk.

The 10-minute scrimmage revealed little as there was no defense played.The most interesting thing might have been Harvey Perry hitting a few 3-pointers.

He said Thursday he's been working on his shot and thinks it is much improved.

Ryan Appleby also looked in mid-season shooting form and Adrian Oliver again made some savvy plays.

Those three will stage what likely be the most interesting position battle of the year for the off-guard spot.

For more on the hoopla, check my story in the paper and on our main website Saturday.

Alumni updates

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:37 PM

Here are two quick updates on UW alumni learned here at Husky Hoopla:

--- Mike Jensen played in China for a little while but hurt his thumb and has returned home.

--- Jamaal Williams, who had been scheduled to play with the LA Clippers developmental teams, is instead heading to France to play.

From the arena

Posted by Bob Condotta at 7:49 PM

It's midway through the second game of the UW-WSU volleyball match and there is a pretty good crowd here. It's loud, enthusiastic, and assuming they all stay afterward, probably big enough to make Lorenzo Romar want to do one of these things again.

If you're still planning on coming out, the general plan is for a three-point shooting contest, then the dunk contest, then 10-minute scrimmages for the men and women.

One news note: Brandon Burmeister's MRI showed no break in his foot and he is officially listed as day-to-day.

Also, here's the box score from Will Conroy's game with the Charlotte Bobcats tonight. Looks like a typo on the minutes as he obviously played a little bit to pick up three assists, three turnovers and four fouls.

Hoopla preview

Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:39 PM

If you are still within shouting distance and thinking of heading to Hec Ed, I recommend you doing so if you ever want to see a Husky Hoopla type event again.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar said he'll decide whether to do something like this again based in large part on how well received it is.

Asked Thursday what would constitute a good crowd, Romar said every seat didn't have to be filled but that he would like "the place to look like it's full.''

Romar isn't taking the team away for the first weekend of practice as he has every other year at UW, in large part because of Husky Hoopla.

The most exciting aspect of the night figures to be the dunk contest. Several players talked of having some trick dunks in store, such as leaping over one or two people on their way to the hoop. An early favorite might be freshman Adrian Oliver, who won a competition in his native Modesto, Calif., this summer.

Artem Wallace is also a surprisingly good dunker for those who have never seen him do it before, and Quincy Pondexter and Phil Nelson also have good hops.

Romar was asked Thursday if he was worried about any players getting hurt trying elaborate dunks. He evoked laughter by comparing such dunks to guys who dive off cliffs, saying that he never understood how somebody practiced diving off a 70-foot cliff. His point was that these guys have been practicing these dunks for a while --- and likely would anyway whether there was a competition or not --- so it wasn't anything worth worrying about.

There will apparently also be some skits, as well as scrimmages featuring the men's and women's teams.

We'll have full coverage here and on our Web site and in the newspaper Saturday, so keep checking back.

October 12, 2006

Hawes "best-case scenario"

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:41 PM

Spencer Hawes met the media here a little while ago and said he was told by doctors that his surgery Wednesday was the "best-case scenario.''

He talked to us with his knee in ice but otherwise was walking normally. He said he should be able to run in about two weeks and take it from there.

As far as other injury updates:

UW coach Lorenzo Romar said Hans Gasser is pretty much back to full health and should be fine.

Joel Smith will get his boot off in another week and then may be able to start practicing two weeks or so after that, so sounds as if he's still iffy for the first game of the year.

Romar said Brandon Burmeister will have an MRI on his foot tomorrow to determine the problem there. Burmeister is still in a boot.

There is no real change on the status of Joe Wolfinger. Romar said for now, it's best to assume he is out for the year.

Also, Quincy Pondexter has been battling some knee tendinitis and sat out a few days last week with a back injury that he said was due to overcompensating with the knee. But he said he's close to 100 percent now and doesn't anticipate it being a major problem.

Pondexter said he has put on about 20 pounds since arriving on campus in June, now up to about 212.

He's not alone in that department. Phil Nelson said he has put on about 15 pounds since leaving high school and is now at about 212; Justin Dentmon said he's added 10 pounds and is now at 195; and Jon Brockman said that while he weighs about the same, he has less body fat and feels a lot stronger.

Also, Harvey Perry attended the media session and said his back feels as good as new.

"It feels like nothing ever happened,'' he said.

Hoopla seats still remain

Posted by Bob Condotta at 12:45 PM

Got a few e-mails from people saying that tickets to the volleyball game Friday night preceeding Husky Hoopla are no longer available on

A UW spokesman says there is a problem with the software and that there are still plenty of tickets available. All 1,800 of the reserved seats have been sold, but that means there are still lots of general admission tickets available.

But tickets now have to be purchased in person at the ticket office or by phone at 206-543-2200.

The volleyball team is hoping to break its attendance record of 5,712 set against Stanford in 2004.

Husky Hoopla is free, but the best seats will go to those who buy tickets for the volleyball game. After the game, fans can come in for free to watch the basketball.

Opportunity knocking

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:07 AM

Coaches always say that an injury to one player means an oppotunity for another.

So the temporary loss of Spencer Hawes and the more long-term absence of Joe Wolfinger means big-time opportunity for Artem Wallace and Hans Gasser.

I asked UW coach Lorenzo Romar about Artem the other day and he said that Wallace has "put on 10 pounds of muscle. He is the one that we are watching really closely because when he came here, we recruited him to come in and be a scorer for us, to be a presence down there. So we are pulling for him to be able to do that.''

Asked if he had seen signs that Wallace is on track to become that kind of player, Romar said, "we saw signs earlier. We saw signs last year in practice. Now he's got to transition that over to game situations.''

As for Gasser, his momentary hurdle is getting completely recovered from a shoulder separation suffered in August. But Romar said he thinks Gasser has a chance to emerge as a major contributor this season. He said he thinks he erred at times last year in not putting Gasser on the floor more, pointing out how Gasser had a key role in the Wooden Classic win at New Mexico.

That game came just before Mike Jensen returned. Once Jensen came back, Gasser moved one spot down the rotation and found it hard to get back in the lineup.

But for now, with Hawes and Wolfinger sidelined, Wallace and Gasser have their chances.

The Huskies will hold a media day today in part to promote the Husky Hoopla Friday night, so we'll have more in this space after that, including, hopefully, an update on Hawes.

Finally, it's worth pointing out again that if you can't make it to Husky Hoopla, it will be televised live on FSN.

October 10, 2006

More injury news

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:31 PM

While we were talking with Lorenzo Romar today about the Spencer Hawes injury, we also had a chance to talk about the other injured players.

Romar said Joel Smith is scheduled to have the boot on his foot removed tomorrow (Wednesday) and he will then be able to begin rehabilitation. Romar said he thinks there is a good chance Smith could be available for the opening game Nov. 12 against Pepperdine.

We also asked about Harvey Perry, and Romar said "I think we are out of the woods'' in regards to Perry's back. Romar said "he winces every once in a while" but hasn't had to miss any time this fall due to the back.

Romar said again that Joe Wolfinger will be out for quite a while and possibly the season. "We won't rush it,'' he said.

Hans Gasser is doing well enough that he should be available for the start of practice Friday.

Finally, Romar called Brandon Burmeister's foot injury "appears to be stress related'' but that it's still uncertain exactly what it is.

As for Hawes, Romar sounded pretty unconcerned from a long-term standpoint, saying "it's a clean comeback as far as I'm concerned'' and that he fully expects Hawes back for the Pepperdine game.

Conroy makes debut

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:31 PM

Will Conroy made his NBA debut tonight with Charlotte and had no points but three rebounds in 15 minutes as the Bobcats lost to Orlando 109-90.

Here's the box score.

Also, Bobby Jones didn't play for the 76ers today against the Suns in Italy. I couldn't find anything to indicate why he didn't play.

Jones did play in Philly's first game in Spain last week. Here's that box score indicating he had no points in three minutes.

Interesting name on that Barcelona team - Rodrigo de la Fuente. He played at Washington State and I remember covering the UW-WSU game when it was announced that he had left the Cougars to go play in Spain. Looks like he's doing all right.

Hawes "Just a little setback"

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:44 PM

Spencer Hawes just met the media here and described his surgery tomorrow as
"just a little setback.''

Hawes will have arthroscopic surgery to remove a loose particle in his right knee.

Hawes said the knee began bothering him a week or two ago, and after he had more pain, he met with doctors and all parties decided that surgery was the best option.

"We want to make sure it doesn't flare up in the future,'' he said.

UW coach Lorenzo Romar said that the four-week timetable would have Hawes out until Nov. 7, which is five days before UW begins the season on Nov. 12 against Pepperdine.

But both coach and player expect that Hawes will be back before that.

"I'm pretty optimistic,'' he said. "I feel good about it.''

Hawes said the worst aspect of it is that he could lose a little of his conditioning. But Romar pointed out that Hawes just ran a 5:22 mile in a conditioning test a few weeks ago, so he doesn't think Hawes will have a tough time getting right back into things.

Hawes out 2-4 weeks (Updated)

Posted by Bob Condotta at 12:49 PM

The injury bug continues to bite the UW men's basketball team.

As just announced by the school, freshman center Spencer Hawes will undergo arthroscopic surgery Wednesday (Oct. 11) to remove a loose particle in his right knee.

The school's release continues to say that the 7-foot center is projected to be sidelined for two to four weeks, but a true timeline for his return won't be available until the day after the surgery at the earliest.

"This is obviously a setback for Spencer and our program," UW coach Lorneno Romar said in the release. "But, we are very optimistic based on what we have been told that he shouldn't be out for very long. It also helps that he was already in great condition."

The release continues to say that Romar served as the head coach of the United States' team during last summer's FIBA Americas under-18 Championships. Hawes was a member of that team that won the gold medal in San Antonio, Texas.

"We spent time together in July with the USA team to where he learned a lot of the things we'll be going over during preseason practice," Romar said in the release. "So, he's already somewhat familiar with our system. We don't anticipate him being too far behind."

Hawes has apparently been bothered by the knee for a while and it was decided to do the surgery now rather than take any more chances.

UW is already without center Joe Wolfinger, out for possibly the season with a stress fracture, and guard Joel Smith, out another 3-4 weeks with a stress fracture.

Also, Hans Gasser has been slowed due to a shoulder separation suffered in August and G Brandon Burmeister was limited last week with a foot injury. Burmeister is still in a boot, though Gasser has been back playing in recent days.

So that means the Huskies may only have 10 healthy players for Friday's Husky Hoopla event.

We'll have more on this later.

Conroy tips tonight

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:10 AM

The NBA preseason begins in earnest this week, which obviously means a lot of former Huskies will be in action.

Among those is Will Conroy, who is hoping to make the roster of the Charlotte Bobcats as a free agent. Charlotte opens play tonight at home against Orlando.

I haven't been able to find much on how Conroy is doing in the Charlotte press, but here is one story from last week about his participation in the team's Rookie Day ritual.

We'll keep tabs on him and the rest of the former Huskies now that play is beginning.

October 9, 2006

TV for hoopla

Posted by Bob Condotta at 5:00 PM

A few of you have asked if the the Husky Hoopla Friday night will be televised.

The answer is yes, on FSN.

FSN will first televise the volleyball game between UW and Washington State and then stay live there to televise the Husky Hoopla, also incorporating its nightly 10 p.m. news show into the coverage as well, from what I understand.

The volleyball game starts at 7 p.m. with the Hoopla to begin 30-45 minutes afterward.

October 7, 2006

Answer time

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:18 AM

Sitting here waiting for the USC-UW football game to start so there's some time to answer some of the basketball-related issues that have come on this board recently. So here goes:

--- What's Tre Simmons doing these days? He's in Spain playing for Gran Canaria, whose roster is here. If you check this site here you can find updates on American players playing overseas.

The same questioner asked about Curtis Allen. He is done playing basketball and is an assistant at Portland State University, which will play at UW on Dec. 16.

--- Can Joe Wolfinger get an injury redshirt for this season? Highly unlikely. He redshirted last year voluntarily. Sixth years are almost always granted only in the case of a player missing two straight seasons due solely to injury The only UW player I remember getting a sixth year in a major sport is receiver Patrick Reddick, who played as a true freshman, then missed two straight years due to injury. But you almost never hear of players getting an extra redshirt year when one of those redshirt years was voluntary. I also think the UW coaches want him to come back and play this season if he can recover, even if it's just for a month or so.

---- Is the national media finally respecting the Huskies? I'm not one to usually jump on the "no respect'' bandwagon. But I see why Husky fans are sometimes leery when I picked up the new USA Today Sports Weekly College Basketballl Preview in the airport and turned to the Pac-10 preview page.

Here's verbatim how the magazine concluded its preview of UW: "After losing G Nate Washington before last season and then Brandon Roy after 2005-06, the Cougars are in a rebuilding phase.''

Yes, USA Today called maybe the most memorable player in UW history "Nate Washington'' and then referred to the Huskies as the Cougars.

There is, however, a nice photo of Spencer Hawes.

October 5, 2006

Husky Hoopla officially announced

Posted by Bob Condotta at 11:26 AM

We've written on here several times before about Washington's version of Midnight Madness to be held on Friday.

Here is the official announcement from UW about what it will call Husky Hoopla. This has all the details you should need about this event.

October 4, 2006

Another Husky sidelined

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:26 PM

The body count keeps getting lower for the Huskies as walk-on guard Brandon Burmeister is now in a boot.

It's unknown the exact nature of the injury or how serious it may be, and it could be nothing much.

But for now, it's making it that much harder for the Huskies to get a full squad together for their daily pick-up games.

Jon Brockman joked with some media guys today that they might be needed soon to help fill in.

Already on the shelf are Joel Smith and Joe Wolfinger, each with stress fractures. Smith is likely out another month or so; Wolfinger could be out several months and might miss the season.

Also still not 100 percent is Hans Gasser, recovering from a shoulder separation suffered during the summer.

October 2, 2006

Vote for Nate, Oregon rising

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:41 PM

Interesting what you can find out there on the Web -- or what gets sent your way.

First, here's a link to a place to vote on for its photo of the year. One of the finalists is a picture of Nate Robinson doing -- what else? -- a high-wire dunk.

Second, here's Ken Pomeroy's blog where he speculates that the Oregon Ducks could be one of the surprise teams in the country this year. It's in the second entry.

I agree that the Ducks could be vastly improved this season. And there's no doubt that Oregon will be one of the most interesting programs to watch this season. If they aren't a lot better, there could be a whole lot of changin' goin' on down there.

Not sure I agree with his premise that all those close losses means a team is about to break through. As a coach told me once, coming close just means you just aren't good enough to win.

We'll soon see which way it turns out for Oregon.