One Blogger's Adventure with the Washington Huskies

Dec. 12, 2009

Part 2: Todd MacCulloch, Nate Robinson, Bob Bender, and The Guy Who Had an Unrelated Band of Horses Song Named for Him: One Blogger’s Adventure with the Washington Huskies

 

 

You can barely make it out anymore.

 

 

I’m not sure why anyone thought an autographed basketball makes for a good souvenir. Unless you get one of those special ones with the white panels, it’s kind of awkward to sign. Often the textured surface means it’s being signed on an area of small bumps that make the signature erratic. And once it’s signed, you better get yourself a replacement because you’re never using that to play ball again.

 

 

But regardless of its illegibility, I know exactly what it says. Detlef Schrempf.

 

 

It’s a small basketball, one of the ones you give to a kid until he reaches the age of eight and can start using regulation sizes. Did I mention it’s purple and gold? That’s kind of important.

 

 

It was 1994 and, absent baseball, Detlef Schrempf was the coolest thing in my eyes. This was at that age when you pick favorite players for all sorts of strange reasons that have little to do with their skill. I think it was because he was German, or maybe it was just because his name was fun to say and impossible to spell, but Detlef Schrempf was by far my favorite Seattle Sonic. (Other players who would contend for this honor included Nate McMillan and Sam Perkins, so it wasn’t necessarily a ticket to the Hall of Fame.) And now, at a small electronics store in Chehalis, Washington, I had an autographed University of Washington basketball.

 

Growing up a UW basketball fan in the early 1990s wasn’t easy. For one thing, the Husky cagers lived in the sizable shadow of Steve Emtman and the 1991 co-national* champion football team. It had been half a century since the Huskies’ last period of sustained success, the 27-year tenure of Hec Edmundson, for whom the Huskies’ on-campus home is named. By the early 1990s, the Huskies had been hovering around the .500 mark and the bottom of the Pac-10 for seasons on end, and 1994, the first season of head coach Bob Bender, saw the Huskies post a 5-22 mark. Bender turned the program around with solid, fundamental basketball and got UW to their first NCAA Tournament in a decade in 1998. Palpable excitement about the Huskies’ chances grew as the Todd MacCulloch-led squad reached the Sweet 16, but that would be it for UW as Khalid El-Amin and Rip Hamilton combined for one of the NCAA Tournament’s most memorable buzzer-beaters to lead UConn over their Husky counterparts from Seattle.

 

 

(*Should have been sole national champions, thanks a lot Wide Right I)

 

Following disappointing seasons in the early part of the decade, Lorenzo Romar took the reins of the UW program in 2002-2003 and wasted no time in turning the program around. Explosive athleticism and running the floor were hallmarks of the Romar-led Huskies, typified by the explosive Nate Robinson at guard. The high-energy Huskies would return to the Tourney in 2004 and post their winningest season since the 1950s the following year, going 29-6 and returning to the Sweet 16. Led by future Blazer star Brandon Roy, the Huskies made it back to the Sweet 16 the following year, but winning a third game in the Tourney has proven elusive for the men from Montlake.**

 

 

After two rebuilding years, last year’s Husky squad made it back to the Tournament and is attempting to build on that momentum this year. Per Ken Pomeroy, the Huskies have been in the top 15 nationally in average tempo in four of the past seven years. UW is equally quick to the offensive boards as they are running in the open floor, as one of the top ten offensive rebounding teams in the country in six of the past seven years. Despite losing bruising power forward Jon Brockman to the NBA, they have grabbed offensive rebounds at an astounding 45.5% rate to date this year, second-highest in the country, posing a tough test for Georgetown. What is surprising is that the Huskies are managing such impressive rebounding numbers despite a lineup that is relatively small compared to the Hoyas. The Huskies start three guards in Isaiah Thomas, Venoy Overton, and Elston Turner and a frontline of 6’6” Quincy Pondexter and 6’9” Matthew Bryan-Amaning. Due to their quick pace, ball control (33rd lowest turnover percentage in the country), and offensive boarding prowess, the Huskies have been especially adroit at getting to and converting from the free-throw line. For the second consecutive game, the Hoyas would appear to have the height advantage, but the Huskies have proven an ability to crash the boards and push the tempo in a way that should prove a challenge the Hoyas.

If this is Big East Week, think DeJuan Blair’s Pitt team with a few dozen cups of Starbucks coursing through their veins.

 

 

Paul Campbell (MSB '09)

Generation Roy

 

**In Part 1, I mentioned my 2005-2006 freshman year home, New South 432. Three months after the Hoyas went to Eugene and beat the Ducks, I was next door in 433 watching a DJ Owens three-pointer come within an inch of a half of sending the Hoyas to the Elite 8, only to lose to eventual champion Florida. Packed around a TV with about eight other freshmen guys, the game cut immediately away from our heartbreak to the Huskies-Huskies Sweet 16 game that was a rematch of the Rip Hamilton 1998 buzzer-beater. CBS cut straight to the action taking place live 2.8 miles away right as the (Washington) Huskies took a six-point lead with two minutes to go. Disappointed as I was that the Hoyas’ season had just come to an end, I took solace in the chance that my childhood team would at least get revenge for 8 years prior, and knock UConn out of the tournament to boot. (Even then I sensed that Jim Calhoun and I would not be the best of friends.) UConn would go on to tie the game on a Rashad Anderson three-pointer with 1.8 seconds to go and pull away in overtime on the strength of five fouled-out Washington players and 24 more free throw attempts.

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December 8
7:00 PM
George Mason
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December 9
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Hoosier Open
Bloomington, Ind.
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All Day
Hoosier Open
Bloomington, Ind.
December 10
2:00 PM
La Salle
Miami, Fla.

ESPN2
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December 11
2:00 PM
Alabama
McDonough Arena
December 17
12:00 PM
Syracuse
Syracuse, N.Y.

ESPN
106.7 FM
December 22
6:30 PM
UNC Greensboro
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
December 28
8:30 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
99.1 FM
December 28
2:00 PM
DePaul
McDonough Arena

BEDN
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December 30
2:00 PM
Marquette
McDonough Arena

MASN2/BEDN
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December 31
11:00 AM
Xavier
Verizon Center

FS1
99.1 FM
December 31
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 1
All Day
Rose Bowl Regatta
Los Angeles, Calif.
January 4
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

CBSsn
99.1 FM
January 4
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

BEDN
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January 6
TBA
Pepperdine women only
Malibu, Calif.
January 7
12:00 PM
Butler
Verizon Center

FOX
99.1 FM
January 8
2:05 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

BEDN
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January 9
6:30 PM
St. Johns
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
January 10
7:00 PM
Providence
Providence, R.I.

BEDN
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January 13
7:00 PM
St. Johns
McDonough Arena

FS1
January 13
5:00 PM
George Washington/Bowling Green
Washington, D.C. (GW)
January 14
12:00 PM
UConn
Verizon Center

FOX
99.1 FM
January 14
1:00 PM
American
McCarthy Pool
January 14
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 14
All Day
Nittany Lion Challenge
State College, Pa.
January 15
2:00 PM
Seton Hall
McDonough Arena

BEDN
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January 16
9:00 PM
Providence
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
January 16
1:00 PM
Rider
McCarthy Pool
January 20
8:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

FS1
January 20
All Day
NY Gotham Cup
Staten Island, N.Y.
January 20
All Day
NY Gotham Cup
Staten Island, N.Y.
January 21
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 22
2:00 PM
Xavier
Cincinnati, Ohio

CBS
106.7 FM
January 22
1:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

BEDN
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January 25
7:00 PM
Creighton
Verizon Center

FSN
106.7 FM
January 27
1:00 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 27
5:30 PM
Drexel
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 27
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 27
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 28
8:00 PM
Butler
Indianapolis, Ind.

CBSsn
106.7 FM
January 28
1:00 PM
Villanova
McDonough Arena

BEDN
January 28
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 28
TBA
Penn
Philadelphia, Pa.
January 28
All Day
Penn State National Open
State College, Pa.
January 31
9:00 PM
DePaul
Rosemont, Ill.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 3
12:00 PM
Providence
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 3
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 3
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 4
12:00 PM
Seton Hall
Verizon Center

FS1
106.7 FM
February 4
All Day
USA Jr. Cross Country Championships
Bend, Ore.
February 4
TBA
Boston College
Chestnut Hill, Mass.
February 4
All Day
USA Jr. Cross Country Championships
Bend, Ore.
February 4
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 4
All Day
Scarlet & White Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 4
All Day
Scarlet & White Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 4
All Day
Armory Invitational
New York, N.Y.
February 5
1:00 PM
Creighton
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 5
TBA
Harvard
Boston, Mass.
February 7
7:00 PM
Villanova
Villanova, Pa.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 8
TBA
Morgan State
Arlington YMCA
February 10
7:00 PM
Seton Hall
South Orange, N.J.

BEDN
February 10
TBA
Florida International
Miami, Fla.
February 10
11:00 AM
Massachusetts
Washington, D.C.
February 10
All Day
FasTrack National Invitational
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 10
All Day
FasTrack National Invitaitonal
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 10
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 11
12:00 PM
Marquette
Verizon Center

FOX
106.7 FM
February 11
10:00 AM
Providence
Providence, R.I.
February 11
4:00 PM
Monmouth N.J.
Washington, D.C.
February 11
All Day
Liberty Elite Invitational
Lynchburg, Va.
February 11
All Day
Valentine Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 11
All Day
Liberty Elite Invitational
Lynchburg, Va.
February 11
All Day
Valentine Invitational
Boston, Mass.
February 11
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 11
All Day
Iowa State Classic
Ames, Iowa
February 12
2:00 PM
St. Johns
Queens, N.Y.

BEDN
February 15
TBA
Temple
Arlington YMCA
February 17
7:00 PM
Butler
McDonough Arena

MASN2/BEDN
February 17
6:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 18
2:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 18
All Day
Penn State Tune-Up
State College, Pa.
February 18
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 18
All Day
Penn State Tune-Up
State College, Pa.
February 18
All Day
Alex Wilson Invitational
Notre Dame, Ind.
February 19
3:30 PM
Creighton
Omaha, Neb.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 19
2:00 PM
Xavier
McDonough Arena

BEDN
February 19
1:00 PM
Davidson
Davidson, N.C.
February 22
7:00 PM
DePaul
Verizon Center

CBSsn
106.7 FM
February 22
3:00 PM
Coppin State
Baltimore, Md.
February 22
11:00 AM
Morgan State
Arlington YMCA
February 22
All Day
Day 1
Long Island, N.Y.
February 23
All Day
Day 2
Long Island, N.Y.
February 24
8:00 PM
Marquette
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
February 24
4:00 PM
USC Upstate
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 24
12:00 PM
George Washington
Washington, D.C.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
Day 3
Long Island, N.Y.
February 24
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
12:00 PM
St. Johns
New York, N.Y.

FSN
106.7 FM
February 25
2:00 PM
Wofford
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 25
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 25
All Day
Day 4
Long Island, N.Y.
February 25
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 25
All Day
BIG EAST Championships
Staten Island, N.Y.
February 26
1:00 PM
DePaul
Chicago, Ill.

FS1
February 26
12:00 PM
Dayton
Spartanburg, S.C.
February 26
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 27
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
February 28
6:30 PM
Seton Hall
Newark, N.J.

FS1
106.7 FM
February 28
2:00 PM
Navy
Annapolis, Md.
February 28
All Day
Kiawah Spring Invitational
Kiawah Island, Sc.
March 1
2:30 PM
George Washington
Arlington, Va.
March 3
2:30 PM
Chicago State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
12:00 PM
Villanova
Verizon Center

FOX/FS2
106.7 FM
March 4
TBA
First Round
Milwaukee, Wis.

BEDN
Watch
March 4
2:30 PM
Boston College
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 4
All Day
IC4A Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 4
All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
TBA
Quarterfinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS2
March 5
10:30 AM
Ball State
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 5
1:00 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
2:30 PM
UC San Diego
San Diego, Calif.
March 5
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 5
All Day
ECAC Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 5
All Day
IC4A Championships
Boston, Mass.
March 6
TBA
Semifinals
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
March 6
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
9:00 PM
Championship
Milwaukee, Wis.

FS1
March 7
4:00 PM
Central Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.
March 7
TBA
Long Beach State
Long Beach, Calif.
March 7
All Day
Battle at Boulder Creek
Las Vegas, Nv.
March 7
TBA
UC Irvine
Irvine, Calif.
March 8
2:30 PM
Western Michigan
Port Charlotte, Fla.