Three wins in a row on the road to start a conference season? Against Stanford, the Huskies have a shot at it — a first since the Taft administration.
GAME: Washington (10-5 overall, 1-0, Pac-12) at Stanford (10-6 overall, 1-2 Pac-12). WHEN: Saturday, 8 p.m., Maples Pavilion, Palo Alto. TYPE: Conference. MEETING: 138th (Stanford leads 70-67). STREAKS: UW W 2; Stanford L 1. RANKINGS: Neither ranked. COACHES: Lorenzo Romar, Washington; Johnny Dawkins, Stanford. TV: FSN. RADIO: KJR 950 AM
The Huskies, who have won eight of their past 10, conclude a four-game road swing, three in Pac-12 play, at Stanford, a club coach Lorenzo Romar says presents his team with significant matchup problems. But if they win, they will accomplish a feat not done since before Hec Edmundson (1921-47) coached at UW.
This year marks just the sixth time that Washington has started league play with three games on the road (also 1911, 1912, 1943, 1993, 1999). In only two of those years, 1911 and 1912, when Warner Williams and Oscar Williams coached, did Washington win all three. It’s not often the Huskies have a chance to match a 101-year-old feat, but the opportunity is upon them.
In addition, Washington will be looking for its third 3-0 overall conference start in the Romar era (also 2005, 2011). The Huskies have some momentum after crushing California Wednesday night in Palo Alto 62-47, largely on the basis of a season-high 48 rebounds.
“We are facing a dangerous team that could be very explosive offensively,” Romar said Friday. “They have a lot of weapons, and across the board it might be difficult for us to match up with them. Against WSU, we thought we had someone (Desmond Simmons) who could match up with Brock Motum. And against Cal, we felt we could match up with their guards. But Stanford has some frontline players who are going to be difficult. This game is definitely going to be different.”
Based on his season to date, 6-foot-10 junior forward Dwight Powell will be one who could present Washington with a ton of difficulty. He’s averaging 14.5 points and 7.7 rebounds and makes nearly 50 percent of his shots.
“Powell doesn’t shoot threes a lot, but he’s capable. He shoots well and he drives it,” Romar said. “He’s become a pretty well-rounded player.”
Sophomore guard Chason Randle also scores in double figures for the Cardinal, averaging 13.3. Aaron Bright, a graduate of Bellevue High School, averages 9.6.
“When they really need a bucket, Aaron Bright can step it up,” Romar said.
One major difference between the Huskies now and early in the preseason is the improved offensive play of center Aziz N’Diaye. In Washington’s two Pac-12 games, N’Diaye is shooting 76.5 percent from the floor and averaging 13 points, 11 rebounds and three blocks. He had his 12th career double-double Wednesday at Cal (Huskies are 10-2 in those games).
“Our guys are much more comfortable with Aziz offensively,” said Romar. “They feel he’s going to catch it and do something positive with it. With him making really good decisions, it frees up our shooters and perimeter guys. It makes everyone a better offensive player because now you have to guard Aziz.”
Downside for the Huskies: UW ranks seventh in the Pac-12 at 70.1 points per game. That the lowest during the Romar era (72.4, 2003) and lowest since 2001 when UW scored 67.6.
SERIES: Dates to Feb. 1, 1916, when UW (not yet known as Huskies) scored a 35-19 decision over Stanford in Palo Alto. Washington has won two in a row from the Cardinal and eight of the past nine, including a 76-63 decision Jan. 21, 2012 at Alaska Airlines Arena. In that game, Tony Wroten scored 21 points, Terrence Ross 18 and Darnell Gant 17 as Coach Lorenzo Romar recorded his 300th career win and his 100th at Washington.
UW STATS / NOTES
UW HEAD COACH: Lorenzo Romar (321-206 overall, 228-116 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
STANFORD NOTES: Stanford opened the season with three consecutive wins and has since had two multi-game winning streaks. The Cardinal played two ranked opponents, losing to No. 13 Missouri Nov. 22 (78-70) and to No. 25 North Carolina State Dec. 18 (88-79). Stanford dropped its first two conference games, to USC (71-69) amd UCLA (68-60) in Los Angeles, before rebounding to defeat Washington State Wednesday 78-67 . . . Stanford ranks 8th in the Pac-12 in scoring offense (70.0) and 7th in scoring defense (64.6) . . . Stanford is No. 2 in the league in offensive rebounds (13.19) . . . The roster includes two players from the state of Washington, guard Aaron Bright from Bellevue High School and forward John Gage from Vashon Island High . . . Bright is Stanford’s third-leading scorer at 9.6 points per game while Gage, who has appeared in all 16 games with one start, averages 4.8 . . . Stanford is 66th in RPI.
STANFORD HEAD COACH: Johnny Dawkins, a former All-American at Duke University, is in his fourth season. Dawkins has produced two 20-win teams during his tenure, 20-14 in 2008-09 and 26-11 in 2011-12, when the Cardinal, after failing to make the NCAA Tournament, won the NIT. Dawkins joined the Cardinal after spending nine years as Duke’s associate head coach. As a player, Dawkins was a part of three NCAA Tournament teams. He played nine NBA seasons.
COMING UP: The Huskies return to Alaska Airlines Arena to face Colorado Wednesday and Utah Jan. 19 before heading to Oregon to face the Ducks and Beavers.
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