GAME: Washington (8-4 overall, 0-0, Pac-12) at Connecticut (9-2 overall, 0-0 Big East). WHEN: Saturday, 4:30 p.m., XL Center, Hartford. TYPE: Non-conference. MEETING: 4th (UConn leads 3-0). STREAKS: UW W 4; UConn W 3. RANKINGS: Neither ranked. COACHES: Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Kevin Ollie, Connecticut. TV: ESPN2. RADIO: KJR 950 AM.
The Washington Huskies and Connecticut Huskies have faced each other three times, but the two in the NCAA Tournament rank among the most memorable in UW history — and not in a positive way for UW Huskies fans.
In 1998, Washington entered an East Regional semifinal against UConn as nine-point underdogs and seemed to be on the verge of falling out of contention on multiple occasions. But UW rallied for its only lead, 74-73, with 29 seconds to play with victory seemingly in reach. In the final moments, UConn’s Richard Hamilton put back his own wild miss to vanquish Washington 75-74.
In the Sweet Sixteen of 2006 in Washington, D.C., UW fought through brutal officiating for the late lead only to watch UConn’s Rashad Anderson hurl a three with 1.8 seconds left to force OT, and then walk away for a 98-92 win.
UW and UConn meet for the fourth time Saturday with not nearly as much at stake, but holding opportunities to enter their conference seasons next week on positive notes.
Washington, coming off a 10-point win over the Northern Illinois Huskies, typically does not perform well in preseason East Coast games. In the Lorenzo Romar era (since 2003), the Huskies are 2-5. One of those wins, however, came Nov. 17 against Seton Hall in the Hall of Fame Classic, played in Uncasville, CT.
UConn is 9-2 and coming off an 88-73 victory over Fordham Dec. 21, its third straight win and fifth in six games. UConn has four players averaging in double figures, led by junior guard Shabazz Napier (16.8) and sophomore guard Ryan Boatright (16.1). Freshman guard Omar Calhoun (10.9) and sophomore forward DeAndre Daniels (10.1) are also averaging double figures.
Daniels also leads UConn in rebounding (4.3). Napier has scored 20 or more points four times, with a high of 29 against Quinnipiac.
Connecticut uses a three-guard backcourt of Napier, Boatright and Calhoun. The trio collaborated for 62 of UConn’s 88 points in the win over Fordham.
Washington (8-4), which has won its last four, is led by junior guard C.J. Wilcox (19.6 ppg) and senior center Aziz N’Diaye (9.7 rpg). Following a stretch in which it dropped three of four games, Washington has found a groove with six wins in its past seven contests, including 67-57 victory over Northern Illinois last week.
UConn is ranked 31st nationally in RPI vs. UW’s 109th. UConn is also 1-2 vs. RPI Top 50 and Washington 0-2. UConn is 1-2 vs. the Associated Press Top 25, Washington 0-2.
SERIES: UW and UConn first met in the 1998 NCAA Tournament regional semifinal at Greensboro, NC. Despite 22 points from Donald Watts, UW lost 75-74. The teams hooked up again in 1999 at the Great Eight tournament in Chicago. UConn, the No. 1-ranked team in the country, prevailed69-48. The schools last played in the regional semis of the 2006 NCAA Tournament with UConn winning 98-92 in Washington, D.C. Jamaal Williams scored 27 points for UW.
UW STATS / NOTES
- SEASON SUMMARY: Record: 8-4. Home: 6-3. Road: 1-0. Neutral: 1-1. Vs. Pac-12: 0-0. Vs. Pac-12 North: 0-0. Vs. Pac-12 South: 0-0. Vs. Non-Conference: 8-4. Points: 869 (72.4). Field Goal Pct.: 46.1. 3-Pt. FG Pct.: 37.6. Free Throw Pct.: 69.8. Rebounds: 434 (36.2). Assists: 148 (12.3). Turnovers: 158 (13.2). Steals: 48 (4.0). Blocks: 58 (4.8). Points Against: 818 (68.2). Opp. FG Pct.: 42.0. Opp. 3-Pt. FG Pct.: 37.5. Opp FT Pct.: 63.4. Opp. Rebounds: 394 (32.8) : Opp. Assists: 155 (12.9). Opp. Turnovers: 145 (12.1). Opp. Steals: 82 (6.8). Opp. Blocks: 31 (2.6). Ratings Percentage Index (RPI): Ranked 109th.
- PAC-12 RANKINGS: Scoring Offense — 7th (72.4). Scoring Defense — 11th (68.2). Scoring Margin –11th (+4.2). FG Pct. — 8th (46.1). FT Pct. — 7th (69.8). 3-Pt FG Pct. — 4th (37.6). Rebound Margin — 10th (+3.3). Blocked Shots — 4th (4.8). Assists — 10th (12.3). Steals — 12th (4.0). Turnover Margin — 9th (-1.08).
- C.J. Wilcox (19.6) ranks 3rd in Pac-12 scoring, Scott Suggs is 17th (13,6) and Abdul Gaddy 18th at 13.3. Wilcox ranks 1st with 2.8 3-pointers per game and Suggs ranks 4th in 3-point percentage at 44.0. Wilcox is the only Husky to have scored 10 or more points in all 12 games.
- Wilcox has scored 20 or more points in seven of his past eight games. Terrence Ross was the last Husky to score 20 or more in four straight. Brandon Roy scored 20-plus in nine straight during the 2006 season, the last streak over four games.
- Wilcox ranks 3rd in free-throw percentage (86.7), Suggs 6th (84.6) and Desmond Simmons 13th (77.5) in free throw percentage.
- Senior Aziz N’Diaye ranks 4th in Pac-12 rebounding at 9.7 per game. N’Diaye, who also ranks 1st in offensive rebounds (4.1), is T15 in blocked shots (1.2).
- Washington’s 14-point halftime rally vs. Cal-State Fullerton was the team’s largest comeback at the half since Dec. 29, 2007 at LSU. The Huskies trailed 41-27 and won 74-66.
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (319-205 overall, 226-117 UW) is coming off a year in which the Huskies won the Pac-12 regular-season title. Romar has taken the Huskies to the NCAA Tournament six times and won three Pac-10 Tournament titles (2005, 2010, 2011). Romar, who signed a 10-year contract extension in April 2011, won his his 200th game at Washington Dec. 16, 2011. He had his 300th career victory and his 100th as a conference coach on Jan. 21, 2012. Romar was selected the Pac-12 Coach of the Year for the third time in his career.
Romar played for the Huskies under head coach Marv Harshman during the 1979-80 seasons (served as team captain his senior year), and had a five-year NBA career with Golden State (1981-84), Milwaukee (1984) and Detroit (1984-85). He became a college head coach at Pepperdine in 1997, where he coached for three seasons, then spent three years (1999-02) at St. Louis University before taking the Washington job in 2002-03.
2012-13 Washington Statistics
UCONN NOTES: Connecticut has defeated Michigan State (66-62), Vermont (67-49), Wake Forest (77-71), Quinnipiac (89-83), Stony Brook (73-62), New Hampshire (61-53), Harvard (57-49), Maryland-Eastern Shore (84-50) and Fordham (88-73) and lost to New Mexico (66-60) and North Carolina State (69-65) . . . UConn is coming of an 88-73 win over Fordham, in which sophomore Ryan Boatright scored a career-high 26 points and added nine assists. UConn forced 21 turnovers.
UCONN HEAD COACH: Kevin Ollie is in his first year as head coach of the Huskies. Ollie is a UConn graduate who had a two-year (2010-12) stint as ab assistant under the Jim Calhoun as an assistant coach. Calhoun, 70, retired in September after winning 873 games in 40 years as a head coach, first at Northeastern and the last 26 years at UConn, where he put four teams in the Final Four, winning national titles in 1999, 2004 and 2011. Ollie, a 13-year NBA veteran, had a 29-game stint with the SuperSonics in 2003 after he came to the Seattle as part of Gary Payton’s trade to the Milwaukee Bucks.
COMING UP: The Huskies open Pac-12 play at Washington State Jan. 5. The Huskies will play two in the Bay Area against California and Stanford before returning to Alaska Airlines Arena Jan. 16 to face the University of Colorado.
University of Washington 2012-13 Schedule
(Rankings From Associated Press)
|Date||Opponent||UW Rnk||Opp Rnk||W/L||Score||Rec.|
|11/11/12||@vs. W. Washington||—||—||W||88-78||0-0|
|11/17/12||*vs. Seton Hall||—||—||W||84-73||2-1|
|11/18/12||*vs. Ohio St.||—||4||L||77-66||2-2|
|11/24/12||vs. Colo. St.||—||—||L||73-55||2-3|
|11/28/12||vs. Saint Louis||—||—||W||66-61||3-3|
|12/13/12||at Seattle U.||—||—||W||87-74||5-4|
|12/15/12||vs. Jackson St.||—||—||W||75-67||6-4|
|12/20/12||vs. Cal Poly||—||—||W||75-62||7-4|
|12/22/12||vs. N. Illinois||—||—||W||67-57||8-4|
|1/23/13||at Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|2/16/13||vs. Oregon St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/6/13||#Final 4 Semi||—||—||—||—||—|
|4/8/13||#Final 4 Champ.||—||—||—||—||—|
@=Exhibition; *=Hall of Fame Classic; ^=Pac-12 Tournament; #=NCAA Tournament