The Washington Huskies will try to climb out of a hole when they meet the Saint Louis Billikens, once coached by Lorenzo Romar, Wednesday night at Alaska Airlines Arena.
GAME: Saint Louis (3-2 overall, 0-0, Atlantic 10) at Washington (2-3 overall, 0-0, Pac-12). WHEN: Wednesday, 9 p.m., Alaska Airlines Arena. TYPE: Non-conference. MEETING: 15th (Saint Louis leads 8-6). RANKINGS: Neither ranked. COACHES: Jim Crews, Saint Louis; Lorenzo Romar, Washington. TV: Pac-12 Networks. RADIO: KJR 950 AM.
Saddled with a losing record after five games for the first time since 2009, Lorenzo Romar’s Washington Huskies (2-3) play the second of eight consecutive games in Seattle late Wednesday night when they face the Saint Louis Billikens at Alaska Airlines Arena. The Huskies have lost two in a row overall, two in a row on their home court for the first time since 2008, and consecutive non-conference games at home, the first time that’s happened since December 2000.
Washington is coming off a 73-55 home beating administered by the Colorado State Rams of the Mountain West Conference (as a home encore to losing to Albany) and will contest a Saint Louis team that has alternated wins and losses in its first five games.
UW is banged up. Missing Shawn Kemp Jr. and Quinn Sterling until late December, the Huskies are without senior guard Scott Suggs. He has an injury to his right foot and will miss the game.
Beyond the issue of Suggs is a point brought up by guard C.J. Wilcox this week when he said of the spate of early-season losses, “I think the whole team’s mentality has to change. We need to be tougher. I’ve never been part of a team that’s not tough. We’ve just got to find it within ourselves to be tougher.”
Asked Tuesday whether the Huskies lack the junkyard-dog attitude of past teams, Romar said, “Let’s get everyone healthy, then see how we are.”
Saint Louis, coming off a 61-51 wire-to-wire victory over Southern Illinois, features junior forward Dwayne Evans, who leads the Billikens in scoring (14.6 ppg) and rebounding (7.4 rpg). Senior forward Cody Ellis comes off the bench and averages 12.8 ppg and 4.8 rpg.
Evans ranks fourth in the Atlantic 10 in field goal percentage, connecting at a 64.9 percent clip. He has led the Billikens in scoring three times.
Junior guard Mike McCall Jr. scores 11.0 ppg and shoots 45.2 percent from the floor, which includes a 53.8 percent rate (7-of-13) from 3-point range. McCall Jr. averaged 36.6 minutes per game as SLU is without two guards (senior Kwamain Mitchell and freshman Keith Carter) due to injury.
Saint Louis shoots 44.5 percent (110-247) from the floor, 35.6 percent (32-90) from 3-point range and 76 percent (76-100) from the line.
SERIES: Dates to Dec. 19, 1951, when the No. 8-ranked Huskies, coached by Tippy Dye, traveled to St. Louis and won 58-53 over the No. 4 Billikens. Saint Louis, coached by Lorenzo Romar from 1999-02, has taken three straight from Washington, including 77-64 last season. In that game, the Huskies fell behind 50-25 and never got closer than 13 points. Terrence Ross scored 17 and Tony Wroten 14 for the Huskies.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (314-204 overall, 221-116 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
SAINT LOUIS NOTES: Saint Louis has defeated USC Upstate (76-59), Texas A&M (70-49) and Southern Illinois (61-51) and lost to Santa Clara (74-62) and Kansas (73-59) . . . FYI: A Billiken is an elf-like creature with pixie ears and a mischievous smile created in 1908 by Kansas City art teacher Florence Pretz. The Billiken became associated with Saint Louis teams in 1911.
SAINT LOUIS HEAD COACH: Jim Crews, who entered the season with 354 wins as a head coach at Army and Evansville, is the interim head coach, having taking over for Rick Majerus, on medical leave. Crews has been a part of 14 NCAA Tournament teams as a player, assistant coach and head coach. Prior to joining the SLU staff, Crews served as head coach of Army for seven seasons, beginning with the 2002-03 campaign. Preceding his appointment at West Point, Crews coached for 17 years at Evansville and played and coached at Indiana. He has a career head coaching record of 354-348 in 24 seasons.
COMING UP: The Huskies play their next three, including Cal State Fullerton Sunday, at Alaska Airlines Arena before meeting Seattle University at KeyArena Dec. 13.
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||—||—||—||—||—|
|12/13/12||at Seattle U.||—||—||—||—||—|
|12/15/12||vs. Jackson St.||—||—||—||—||—|
|12/20/12||vs. Cal Poly||—||—||—||—||—|
|12/22/12||vs. N. Illinois||—||—||—||—||—|
|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