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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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September 28, 2007

B-Roy on the Huskies

Posted by Bob Condotta at 12:08 AM

Here's that Andy Katz story on Brandon Roy's thoughts on the Huskies some of you have referenced.

It's an Insider story so all of you may not be able to get it, so I'll pass along some highlights. It's also not quite as optimsitic an outlook as a lot of you might hope.

In the story, Roy says the NIT may be the most realistic goal for the Huskies this year, saying "the NCAA is going to be tough'' due to the strength of the Pac-10.

"Definitely, they'll make the NIT,'' Roy said.

Roy also said that he thinks Venoy Overton will help the team a lot calling him "a creative guard from the perimeter'' who can break down a defense, something he said the Huskies were missing last season.

Katz also paraphrases Roy as saying that Justin Dentmon "is not a penetrating point guard, or at least not as savvy as Overton''

Roy also said that Tim Morris will give the team a better defensive presence on the perimeter than it had last year with Ryan Appleby.

Katz writes that UW will likely be picked no higher than seventh in pre-season polls with a chance at even slipping behind Cal into eighth.


.

September 25, 2007

Overton eligible (UPDATED)

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:22 PM

Word has come today that Venoy Overton has been declared eligible and will begin classes at UW tomorrow.

Overton is a guard from Franklin High who signed last spring and is expected to make an immediate impact on UW's backcourt adding depth as well as an athletic defensive presence.

"He's a leader, a winner and a hard worker,'' said UW coach Lorenzo Romar today. "Those are definitely qualities you like to have as part of your program.''

He was one of four members of UW's Class of 2007 and all four have now been admitted into school. The others are center Matthew Bryan-Amaning, forward Darnell Gant and swingman Justin Holiday.

It's a recruiting class that isn't as heralded as the class a year ago that featured Spencer Hawes, who left after one year and became a lottery pick of the Sacramento Kings.

But it's one Romar predicts can do big things at UW.

"They are not spoiled in any way,'' he said. "They want to come in, they want to work. They don't feel like the game owes them anything. That's a great thing to have. They just come in and want to be part of a team situation and give you all that they have.''

The 6-foot Overton originally committed to USC last fall but never signed with the Trojans, in part due to concerns over his academics as well as the Trojans getting commitments from other guards.

He took some on-line courses over the summer to improve his grade point average and those courses, as well as his test scores, had to get approval from the NCAA Clearinghouse.

That word came today and Overton is on campus and will take his first classes at UW tomorrow (Wednesday).

Romar said Overton was hanging out with a few of the other freshmen when he found out.

"He was pumped up,'' Romar said. "He was running around excited.''

Overton's addition means UW will have a full complement of 13 scholarship players for this season.

The Huskies began daily conditioning drills on Sept. 15 and can also do supervised individual workouts for a total of two hours a week. Overton will now be able to join those actitivites.

"Venoy has been watching us for a long time, so he has some idea what we are trying to accomplish,'' Romar said. "So I would imagine he will jump right in and fit right in with what we are doing.''

Here is Overton's player bio from GoHuskies.com. As you can see, he 21.1 points, 3.5 rebounds. 5.7 assists and 3.0 steals last season for Franklin.

Romar also said that guard Adrian Oliver will have minor surgery on his nose on Wednesday to repair an injury suffered during the team's trip to Greece. The injury won't sideline Oliver long, Romar said.

September 24, 2007

Rivals.com writer lauds Morris

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:12 AM

Here's a piece from the national writers at Rivals.com with an item about the improved play of Tim Morris on UW's trip to Greece.

Also, several of you have asked if UW is back in Terrance Jennings' plans now that he has decommitted from Maryland. Doesn't sound like it according to this story in the Louisville Courier-Journal.

The article quotes his coach as saying he's looking at Kentucky, Louisville, Memphis, LSU and some other ACC schools. So looks like he wants to stay back East.

September 19, 2007

Overton update

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:45 PM

And really, there's nothing much to update, but since a few of you have asked, just figured I'd report that I asked around again today and Venoy Overton's situation is still pending.

His academics are being reviewed by the NCAA Clearinghouse, which is an unpredictable organization. So while everyone hopes it gets done soon, no one really knows for sure. Apparently, Overton's summer classes were pre-approved, which was hoped would make this all an easier process. But as of Wednesday, still no official word, and no real word on when there will be word, if that makes any sense.

September 18, 2007

Newell coaching in China

Posted by Bob Condotta at 10:07 PM

Wanted to alert you to some news about Tom Newell, the former Sonics assistant who organized the "11-foot'' basketball game this summer at Edmundson Pavilion and is one of the leading voices for the sport in the Seattle area.

Here is the release announcing his new position:

Former NBA Assistant Tom Newell announces that he is leaving this week to assume the position of Head Coach of the Jilin Northeast Tigers professional basketball team, a member of the Chinese Basketball Association.

"The new 'frontier' for Asian basketball players today, is China: they have the most participants, coaches and programs to facilitate the ongoing development and disciplines to produce a large number of future NBA players," said Coach Newell. "I am really excited about the prospects of visiting another Asian country and sharing basketball knowledge with this country and its coaches and players. The League is very competitive and Jilin is an up and coming team."

Newell will write a blog, release podcasts, and hold live chats about his experiences on his web site, FamilySportsLifeToday.com. "I am thankful and honored for this opportunity and look forward to sharing my adventures on my FamilySportslifeToday.com network," declared Newell. "I will be blogging from time to time to fill in my experiences with the culture and the players who are on our team..."

The Tigers feature Chinese National Team player Wang Bo, a 6'7" Guard/Forward who led the league in assists last year and is considered one of the better athletes in the League. Newell will have 2 American players that were recently drafted by the CBA: first round pick DeJuan Tate, 6'4" 2G/SF from Cleveland State and Steve Castleberry, 6'11" Post player from Rider college in Philadelphia.

Coach Newell will be the first NBA coach to ever be a Head Coach of a Chinese Basketball Association team. Previously, Newell was an Assistant Coach for the Seattle Supersonics, Director of Player Personnel for the Indiana Pacers, and Scout for the Golden State Warriors. He also was an Assistant Coach for the WNBA's Portland Fire.

There are 16 teams in the Chinese League, which has partnered with the NBA to do the marketing and public relations.

FamilySportsLifeToday.com provides resources for coaches, parents, and athletes participating in kids sports. FamilySportsLifeToday organized the first televised basketball game with 11-foot hoops in June of this year, kicking off a national discussion on the state of professional basketball.

And here is Newell's blog with some interesting insights into life in China.

September 17, 2007

UW season tickets for sale

Posted by Bob Condotta at 6:02 PM

Season tickets for the UW men's basketball team are now on sale.

Here's the release from GoHuskies.com.

September 16, 2007

McGillis back in Montana

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:42 PM

I somehow missed this story about Oregon State's Jack McGillis transferring to Montana but felt it still deserved some mention here.

This story has some UW connections, if you remember, because McGillis --- who is from Missoula --- was set to walk-on at UW before the 2005-06 season before the Beavers offered him a scholarship and he went there, instead.

Now, after two years in Corvallis, he's decided he wants to play in Montana after all.

McGillis is at least the sixth player from last year's OSU team that won't be returning.

The Beavers, however, recently added a 6-9 transfer from Utah, Daniel Deane.

September 12, 2007

Former Husky assistant hired by Raptors

Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:51 PM

Eric Hughes, who was an assistant at UW under Bob Bender from 1993-2002 was hired today by the Toronto Raptors as the team's basketball development consultant.

Here's the release from the Raptors:

The Toronto Raptors announced Wednesday they have hired Eric Hughes as their basketball development consultant. He will be responsible for assisting the players with the development of their on-court skills.

Hughes, 42, has worked since 2002 as the director of summer player development for Goodwin Sports Management in Seattle, creating workout programs and training NBA players Jamal Crawford, Kevin Durant, Al Horford, Dwight Howard, Gary Payton, Nate Robinson and Rodney Stuckey. He has also been the head coach at Spokane Community College in Spokane, Washington during that time. He has compiled an 88-61 (.590) mark in his five seasons, leading the Bigfoot's to the Eastern Region championship in 2005 and 2006. He was named Eastern Region Coach of the Year in 2005 and 2006.

Hughes also served as an assistant coach under current Atlanta Hawks assistant Bob Bender at the University of Washington from 1993-2002, as an assistant at the University of California from 1991-93, and as a graduate assistant at Illinois State from 1989-91.

September 11, 2007

Reviewing Athlon's preview

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:46 PM

The pre-season magazines are beginning to hit the stores, and as we did on the football blog, we'll parse them here to see what they say about UW and the Pac-10.

First up is Athlon's, which misses the hoop by a wide margin on its cover by referring to WSU's Derrick Low as Derrick Lowe. Quincy Pondexter is also on the cover and they did get his name right.

Like every one of these is likely to do, the magazine is high on the Pac-10, picking seven conference schools to make it to the NCAA Tournament --- UCLA, Oregon, WSU, Stanford, Arizona, Washington and USC, in that order of finish. The final three in the Pac-10 are Cal, ASU and Oregon State.

UCLA is picked as the national champ, with Oregon to the Elite Eight, WSU to the Sweet 16 and Stanford and Arizona to the second round. UW and USC are listed as "one and done.''

As mentioned above, UW is picked sixth in the Pac-10 with this one-line summation: "Without Spencer Hawes, the Huskies will run again and be unbeatable in Seattle.''

UW's Jon Brockman is rated as the No. 3 player on its list of the the top "inside-out'' players in the country and is also rated as "honorable mention'' All-American.

Pac-10 players on the All-American team are UCLA's Darren Collison (first team) and Arizona's Chase Budinger (second).

Other conference players receiving honorable mention are Low, WSU's Kyle Weaver, Oregon's Malik Hairston, Cal's DeVon Hardin and Stanford's Brook Lopez.

Two Pac-10 players are also on its "Super 6 Freshmen'' --- UCLA's Kevin Love and USC's O.J. Mayo.

The First-Team All-Pac-10 Team is Budinger, Collison, Hairston, Hardin and Brook Lopez.

The second team is Brockman, Love, Low, Mayo and Weaver (which sounds like one of the best second teams I can ever remember this conference having).

The third team is Pondexter, Stanford's Lawrence Hill, USC's Taj Gibson, UCLA's Luc Richard Mhab a Moute, and Oregon's Tajuan Porter.

Collison is named the Player of the Year, Weaver the best defensive player, WSU's Robbie Cowgill as the most underrated, and Love as the Newcomer of the Year.

I really don't have huge arguments with any of it. This conference is so stacked with good players and teams this year that it's hard to go wrong picking just about anything --- unless you picked Oregon State to finish higher than ninth or something.


September 10, 2007

Bobby Jones traded

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:55 PM

Former Husky Bobby Jones was traded from Philadelphia today to Denver as part of a multi-player deal (details here).

I'm reminded that the first Bobby Jones also played for both the Nuggets and 76ers in his career.

This also sends the UW Jones to play for George Karl, who always has had an appreciation for "floor burn'' type of players, so maybe this will be a better fit for him. I also know that Jones had supposedly built a pretty good relationship with Allen Iverson, so maybe that will help him create more of a role in Denver, as well.

September 7, 2007

No Midnight Madness, Romar on Greece

Posted by Bob Condotta at 8:53 PM

Had a chance to catch up with Lorenzo Romar for a few minutes today as the team has arrived home from Greece.

I asked him how the trip went, as well as the team's schedule for the next month or so, and among the things he said is that the Huskies will not be connducting a Midnight Madness celebration to kick off the season as they did last year.

"We're just going to concentrate on preparing for our season,'' Romar said. "We just want to maximize our time.''

UW held a Midnight Madness for the first time of the Romar era last season, in part due to the all the hype created by the incoming freshman class and on the heels of two straight Sweet 16 appearances. But Romar likes to take the team away to start practice (which this year will begin on Oct. 12) and may do that again this year. He felt that wasn't possible last year with a Midnight Madness.

ON THE GREECE TRIP, Romar said the biggest thing the team got out of it was how to "really, really compete through adverse circumstances.''

Romar said the settings for the games was unlike anything the team would face during the season. For instance, most days the team did sightseeing up until shortly before game time, driving an hour or so each way "things you would never do during the season,'' he said.

Also, he said "the gyms were extremely hot and muggy'' and that the officials "were not U.S. officials, and I'm being very kind when I say that. There was very physical play and we were forced to play through that.'' He said an example is the broken nose suffered by Adrian Oliver in the last game, which he said looked pretty intentional. Oliver is having the nose reset in the next few days and should be fine for the season.

There was also no chance to gameplan as the Huskies didn't know what the opponent would look like until arriving at the gym. He said the teams could be called at the mid-to-high Division I level.

As for the team, Romar said he thought the Huskies "turned the ball over at times probably too much'' but that he liked the team's effort on defense. "We were looking for effort and we pretty much had that,'' he said.

As for individual players, he said Jon Brockman --- as might be expected --- was the team's best player throughout the trip. Brockman averaged 18.6 points and 10.8 rebounds per game.

"He was outstanding,'' Romar said. "You could see that he has become a better player than he was last year. He's hitting his shot consistently and is becoming a better shooter.''

After Brockman, Romar said the best player on the trip was Tim Morris. "He did what we were hoping he would do,'' Romar said. "He shot the ball really well and he was a presence out there. Besides Jon Brockman, he was our best performer.'' Morris averaged 12.8 points and shot 52 percent.

The surprise of the trip might have been center Joe Wolfinger, who had the big outing in the first game with 17 points and six rebounds, and while he never approached those numbers again, he was able to play in all five games after having sat out last season with a stress fracture in his foot. He averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds.

"He exceeded my expectations for the trip,'' Romar said. "Considering that in February, March he couldn't even run, to do what he did that first game was impressive. I think after that game his legs caught up with him and he hit a wall. He showed he can shoot the ball and he was big around the rim. And while he's not the greatest shot blocker in the world, when he just stands with his arms upraised it makes a difference. We could see that he can definitely help us.''

One player of interest heading into the trip was point guard Justin Dentmon, who has vowed to rebound from some struggles last season. Romar said Dentmon had some good moments but that overall "he played okay. He wasn't great, but he was okay.'' Dentmon struggled with his shot a little bit, hitting 3-11 three-pointers and shooting 45.8 percent overall.

Quincy Pondexter, who many figure could take a big leap in scoring this season, was tied for Dentmon for third on the team at 11.6. Romar said Pondexter was bothered a bit early on by a slight knee injury but then shook it off and played well the end of the trip. He averaged 14 points in the last two games.

The team will take a few days off but will then be able to begin holding workouts for two hours a week and doing conditioning and other work for up to eight hours before beginning full-scale practice in October.


September 6, 2007

Dickie V. says Huskies to be improved

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:31 PM

Dick Vitale is showing the Huskies some major love of late, rating them in his pre-season Top 40 a few days ago, and now saying UW will be among the Top 10 most improved teams in the country this year.

His one-paragraph summation of UW doesn't say anything we haven't heard before, but interesting that he sees the Huskies as being better without Spencer Hawes (something that is a growing feeling around campus, as well).

Vitale also recently completed his Top 40, and as I surmised, he had both Oregon (No. 10) and UCLA (No. 5) on his list.

So to summarize, Vitale sees UW as being one of the 10 most improved teams in the country and also the No. 34 overall team in the country, yet also sees them as being the No. 7 team in the Pac-10 (behind UCLA, Oregon, Stanford, WSU, USC and Arizona, in that order).

That's obviously more evidence of how highly-regarded the Pac-10 will be this season. Also makes you wonder if the Pac-10 could really get seven teams in the NCAA Tournament this year, something that has never happened.

September 5, 2007

Conroy fourth pick in NBA D-league draft

Posted by Bob Condotta at 3:29 PM

Former Husky Will Conroy was the fourth pick in the NBA Developmental League Draft today, selected by the Iowa Energy.

Conroy recenty signed to play in Italy, however, so not sure if this will amount to anything. (Actually, I've since been told he has followed through with plans to play in Italy for Virtus Bologna).


Lodrick Stewart update

Posted by Bob Condotta at 2:18 PM

I know he's not a former Husky, but I'd been wondering what had been going on with Lodrick Stewart when I found in Scott Wolf's USC blog that he's apparently working out for the Lakers today.

So thought I'd pass it along.

September 4, 2007

Huskies end Greece trip 2-3

Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:31 PM

The results are in on UW's final game in Greece, and it was a 93-85 win for Daphni Athens over the Huskies.

UW ends its trip in Greece with a 2-3 record. The team is scheduled to return home Thursday.

Here are the cumulative stats from the Greece trip which may be more relevant than any individual game box score.

I wouldn't have thought going in that Tim Morris would emerge as the team's second-leading scorer. That he did, however, adds some fuel to the argument I did make a few weeks ago that Morris may be a much bigger addition to this team than his stats from Stanford would indicate.

Also notice that Joe Wolfinger averaged 8.2 points and 4.2 rebounds per game and I would bet that the UW coaches would be more than happy with that for the season.

As a team, what may stand out most is that the opposition shot 50.9 percent, indicating that the Huskies may still need some work on the defensive end.

On the other hand, the Huskies had a plus-2.4 turnover margin, which indicates some improvement in that area.

Speaking of Wolfinger, someone asked earlier why he's shooting 3-pointers. He has shown a good ability to do that previously and UW coaches have said that is something they think he can add. That he went 2-13 in Greece could just be rust and all that as much as anything (as well as a slightly longer line).

September 3, 2007

More on win over Peresteri

Posted by Bob Condotta at 4:10 PM

Here's the complete report on Washington's win today in Greece from GoHuskies.com:

Coach Lorenzo Romar wants his team to play better in road games. The Washington men's basketball team traveled to 6,200 miles to progress toward that goal.

The Huskies scored four points in the final nine seconds Monday to complete an impressive late rally that resulted in a 103-100 triumph over Peresteri of the Greek Professional League at Papandreou Gym.

The Huskies improved to 2-2 during their five-game tour of Greece. UW defeated Ment 93-81 on Thursday and lost 87-82 at Iraklis on Friday, both in Thessaloniki. On Saturday, UW was dealt a heart-breaking 84-83 setback at Trikala on Saturday.

"We have been playing on the road here in Greece. We played on the road last year and we didn't do very well," Romar said of his Huskies, who had a 1-10 record in away games during the 2006-07 collegiate campaign.

"We need to learn to win on the road. Tonight, the one-point victory was much better than a 20-point victory because these are the wins that you just pull out. Maybe we didn't play our best, but we pulled it out on the road. We're really pleased with that."

Seven Huskies scored in double-figures, and the eighth, Joel Smith, tallied nine points. Jon Brockman had 16 points to lead UW, which went ahead for good on his tip-in with nine seconds left to play. Tim Morris rebounded a missed Ryan Appleby trey and attempted a shot that Brockman pushed back into the hoop.

"There were a couple misses and down low there were just a bunch of bodies," Brockman explained. "I just kind of timed it off the rim and went up and tipped it right off the front of the rim. It kind of hit the backboard and went in. Being down low, I think I pushed a couple bodies before I jumped up there and got the tip in."

Appleby, Tim Morris and Quincy Pondexter each netted 14 points for UW. Appleby hit four 3-point baskets.

The decisive rally, during the final four minutes, was typical of the entire game as several Huskies contributed.

Peresteri scored six straight points, building a 97-90 advantage on a basket by Christos Deleganis with 4:10 remaining. The Huskies closed the game on a 13-3 run with points coming from four different players.

After Brockman tied the game 99-99 on a free throw at 1:27, Ralph Bucci converted one of two free throws to forge Peresteri's last lead at 100-99.

Brockman's tip-in followed at 0:09 after which the Greek squad called a timeout, allowing them to inbound the ball from midcourt.

Philipos Moscovitis was unable to put the ball in play and attempted to throw it off the nearest Husky. That was Morris, who gained possession of the ball before it went out of bounds.

Morris credited his teammates for enabling him to steal the ball.

"The great defense off the ball was the key to stealing the ball off the inbounds play. We just had to stay with our defensive principles and get a true stop without fouling."

Romar explained that the players successfully implemented the defensive strategy on the crucial inbounds play.

"We were going to switch everything. When we did and they set their screens, they had no open receivers to throw the ball to. The guy in-bounding the ball just tried to throw the ball off Tim's body, it wasn't effective and Tim caught it."

Pondexter sank two free throws with two seconds left to play to secure the UW win.

Peresteri again inbounded the ball from midcourt, this time trailing by three with three seconds remaining. Nikos Kotenis attempted a game-tying 3-pointer from the right baseline that fell short at the buzzer.

Along with displayed improved road play, Brockman believes Monday's result could help the Huskies in future close games.

"That was our problem last year, that we couldn't finish games. We would do what we did tonight, get ahead by one and there would be a couple seconds left and then we wouldn't stay focused until the clock said 0:00.

"It was good tonight, especially because we had to defend an inbounds play at the end. We didn't just end on a shot that we made, we had to get a stop."

A change in the lineup sparked the first solid start UW has achieved on the trip. The Huskies faced a double-digit, first-quarter deficit in each of the previous three games.

Adrian Oliver and Joel Smith started for the first time in Greece and paid immediate dividends. They joined Brockman, Morris and Justin Dentmon, who started every game.

Oliver recorded the first points of the game and Smith slammed in a dunk with 3:24 left in the first quarter that sparked a 10-2 lead. The Huskies led 34-26 after the first quarter, a margin that increased to 47-35 on the strength of a 11-2 run midway through the second period.

Peresteri closed the quarter with a 13-2 surge to draw within 49-48 at halftime.

The lead changed hands five times during the third quarter that ended with the scored tied 74-74.

Bucci scored 22 points to lead Peresteri, which also got 13 from Manzalis Vangelis.

"We've got a chance to end this trip on a good note tomorrow," Romar concluded.

The Huskies remain in Athens to play Daphni, Tuesday night. UW returns home to Seattle on Thursday.


WASHINGTON 103, PERESTERI 100

Washington (103) -- Smith 3-3, 2-2, 1-2, 9. Brockman 5-11, 0-0, 6-8, 16. Oliver 3-8, 2-4, 3-4, 11. Morris 7-13, 0-1, 0-2, 14. Dentmon 5-11, 0-2, 3-4, 13. Appleby 5-9, 4-7, 0-0, 14. Pondexter 3-4, 0-1, 8-10, 14. Wolfinger 4-11, 0-3, 4-5, 12. Totals: 35-70, 8-20, 25-35, 103.

Peresteri (100) -- Mar. Vangelis 5-7, 0-0, 3-5, 13. Kotenis 3-5, 0-1, 0-0, 6. Amato 2-3, 0-0, 6-7, 10. Moscovitis 3-5, 1-1, 2-4, 9. Bucci 8-10, 1-2, 5-8, 22. Manzaris 2-6, 2-3, 4-4, 10. Kokalis 2-6, 0-4, 2-2, 6. Man. Vangelis 0-1, 0-0, 0-2, 0. Cuic 1-3, 0-0, 4-6, 6. Deleganis 2-2, 0-0, 2-3, 6. Kukulis 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0. Trybanski 4-6, 0-0, 4-5, 12. Totals: 32-54, 4-11, 32-46, 100.

Rebounds -- Washington 34 (Pondexter 9), Peresteri 37 (Mar. Vangelis 8). Turnovers -- Washington 17, Peresteri 24. Fouls -- Washington 31, Peresteri 24.

Score by Quarters -- Washington 34 - 15 - 25 - 29 -- 103. Peresteri 26 - 22 - 26 - 26 -- 100.


Huskies even Greece record with win

Posted by Bob Condotta at 1:47 PM

The Huskies got a win today in their fourth game in Greece, beating Peresteri Athens 103-100. UW is now 2-2 on its Greece trip.

Here's the box score from GoHuskies.com.

Looks like a real nice, balanced effort with seven players in double figures and the other with nine.

Couple other notable thoughts from me:

--- Nice to see them win the turnover battle, creating 24 while committing 17.

--- Joe Wolfinger had his second-best game of the trip with 12 points and five rebounds after getting a day of rest, so his foot must be doing okay.

--- The Huskies finally got off to a good start, leading 34-26 at the end of the first quarter, after trailing early in the first three games.

--- Tim Morris looks like he's becoming a consistent offensive player, getting 14 points on 7-13 shooting.

--- Looks like Quincy Pondexter had his best game of the trip with 14 points and a team-high nine rebounds. Most positive sign there is getting to the line 10 times (making eight) the kind of thing the Huskies will need from perimeter players this season.

--- The Huskies have one more game left tomorrow morning.

--- We'll post the story and quotes once we get them.

September 2, 2007

Dickie V. ranks Huskies 34th

Posted by Bob Condotta at 9:27 PM

Here are the bottom 30 teams in Dick Vitale's pre-season top 40, and he has the Huskies at No. 34.

Vitale makes this comment "Jon Brockman leads the way as Lorenzo Romar wonders what would have been if Spencer Hawes came back.''

I honestly don't think Romar will spend more than about 10 seconds ever wondering that since I don't think the coaches ever really thought he was coming back, hence the "over recruiting'' of last season.

I also note that Vitale is also ranking UW as at least No. 6 in the Pac-10. Of the picks we can see, he has four other conference teams ranked ahead of UW --- Stanford (13), Washington State (16), USC (17) and Arizona (28).

He obviously has to have UCLA somewhere in the top 10. And guess I'm not sure about Oregon. Some people do have Oregon pretty high so maybe Vitale does too.

If he doesn't have the Ducks there, he would be one of the first I've seen placing the Huskies ahead of Oregon.

MORRIS POSTCARD: And as others have mentioned, here's Tim Morris' postcard from Greece. You'll see Morris wasn't all that impressed with Athens, an honesty that is actually kind of refreshing for these kinds of things.

UW will be back in action on Monday.


September 1, 2007

Huskies drop a close one

Posted by Bob Condotta at 7:02 PM

Playing their third game in three days, the Huskies lost a lost close one today on their off-season trip to Greece.

Here's the story from GoHuskies.com:

The Washington men's basketball team overcame a sluggish start Saturday, but was unable to turn back a late rally by their opponent from the Greek Professional League.

Trikala scored the game's final five points, including a free throw by Nikos Katsares with six seconds remaining that capped a 74-73 win over the Huskies at Trikalon Gym.

The Huskies dropped to 1-2 on a five-game tour of Greece. UW defeated Ment Thessaloniki 93-81 on Thursday before losing 87-82 at Iraklis on Friday.

UW led 58-55 entering the last quarter. Senior guard Tim Morris scored the team's first 10 points of the fourth quarter, on two 3-pointers and two other baskets. He pushed the Huskies' lead to 68-61 with 6:17 left to play.

"Tim played an exceptional game. He was aggressive on the boards and everywhere," said Husky coach Lorenzo Romar. "Tim's got a lot of pride. He didn't play real well the night before, but he came out tonight and you could see that he was very focused."

Morris had five points and one rebound in Friday's game.

"I wanted to win and when we needed to push, I tried to turn it up a little," Morris said of his fourth-quarter flurry. The Stanford transfer finished with 21 points.

Ryan Appleby's third 3-pointer, with 58 seconds remaining, put UW ahead 73-69.

Katsares hit one free throw at 0:35 and then the Greek squad regained the ball. Kostas Balafas tied the score 73-73 on a 3-pointer from the right wing at 0:12.

On the ensuing possession, the Huskies turned the ball over and Justin Dentmon was whistled for a four with six seconds on the clock. Katsares missed the first free throw, but sank the second for the final margin.

Appleby's potential game-winning trey at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

The Huskies committed 22 turnovers, including nine during the fourth quarter.

"We played well enough to win. For a large part of the game we may have had our best effort," Romar remarked. "But, we had too many turnovers down the stretch. Nine turnovers in the fourth quarter is not going to get it done."

Jon Brockman recorded his third straight double-double during the trip. He scored 18 points and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead a 47-29 board advantage for UW.

Saturday's game was the third in as many nights for UW and it was played in a humid arena that topped 90 degrees on the court.

"Playing three straight nights isn't as bad as the heat," exclaimed Morris. "But, we turned it over too much late in the game. It will help us, playing a close game like this. Nobody likes to lose and we'll learn from this."

Romar agreed that being involved in a tight, late-game situation could benefit his Huskies.

"It's always good to have close games in exhibitions. The rules are a little different and you don't get to call timeouts like you'd like. But at the same time, if they were 20-, 30-point blowouts I don't think you would get a lot out of that."

For the third straight game UW came out of the blocks slow and faced a double-digit, first-quarter deficit.

Trikala raced out to a 16-4 lead. Morris netted a layup for UW's first basket 6:15 into the game, snapping a string of 11 missed shots.

The Huskies took their first lead of the game at 34-33 on a put-back by Brockman with 3:37 left in the second quarter. Morris finished a baseline drive with a dunk to even the halftime score at 37-37.

Appleby finished with 11 points for UW.

The Huskies leave Trikala Sunday to visit Athens where they will remain until returning home to Seattle Thursday. Washington has two more games in Greece, Monday against Peristeri and Tuesday against Daphni.


TRIKALA 74, WASHINGTON 73

Washington (73) -- Pondexter 1-4, 1-4, 2-2, 5. Brockman 7-13, 0-0, 4-9. 18. Wolfinger 1-7, 0-1, 0-0, 2. Morris 8-14, 3-4, 2-2, 21. Dentmon 3-8, 0-2, 1-2, 7. Oliver 1-3, 1-2, 0-0, 3. Appleby 4-11, 3-10, 0-0, 11. Pondexter 2-6, 0-0, 2-2, 6. Totals: 27-66, 8-23, 11-17, 73.

Trikala (74) -- Foros 2-4, 1-3, 2-2, 7. Bogdanos 4-6, 2-3, 1-1, 11. Xarismidis 12. Lepeniotis 4-10, 0-3, 0-0, 8. Kakiamanos 5-15, 3-12, 0-2, 13. Katsades 2-3, 0-0, 5-8, 9. Balafas 4-6, 1-1, 1-3, 10. Foupas 1-2, 0-1, 2-2, 4. Papavasilioy 0-3, 0-1, 0-0, 0. Totals: 27-60, 7-24, 13-22, 74.

Rebounds -- Washington 47 (Brockman 13), Trikala 29 (Xarismidis 5). Turnovers -- Washington 22, Trikala 11. Fouls -- Washington 23, Trikala 20.

Score by Quarters -- Washington 15 - 22 - 21 - 15 -- 73. Trikala 27 - 10 - 18 - 19 -- 74.

A FEW COMMENTS:

--- The overall turnovers sound a little concerning, but that so many of them happened in the fourth quarter strikes me as an eight-man team playing its third game in three days getting a little tired.

--- The scoring output from Morris is encouraging. I detailed his effort to improve his shooting this off-season in a story last week and sounds as if it's beginning to pay off.

--- Looks like Wolfinger may have hit a little wall, as well, and it certainly was unrealistic to expect he would do what he did that first game every night. That he took seven shots indicates he at least played a little bit.

--- Pondexter's knee must be bothering him a little bit as he hasn't seemed to be scoring as much as I would have thought. He has 29 points in three games, or just under 10 points a game.

--- No surprise that Brockman seems unaffectedby playing three games in three days putting up his third straight double-double.

--- Noteworthy that UW has fallen behind in the first quarter of every game on the trip. Not sure why, obviously, but at least the team is getting some good experience in rallying.

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