Washington Preview

Stanford heads to Seattle for another road test, and hope to continue their streak of five straight years sweeping at the Washington schools. Truth be told, though, the early returns for the Card on the road in Pac-10 aren't encouraging: a loss at Cal and the slimmest of wins in an overtime affair at conference doormat Wazzu. As we collectively hold our breath headed into Hec Ed for Saturday's contest, read on for this Husky preview brought to you by our friends at Dawgman.

Stanford @ Washington  1/18/03
Tip-off: 4:00 pm (PST)
TV: Fox Sports

Washington Huskies roster

The Huskies are currently 1-4 in the Pac-10, 6-8 overall. Stanford is 3-1 in conference and 12-4 overall.

The biggest surprise this year for UW has been the play of sophomore point guard Will Conroy. The 6-2 former walk-on from Garfield High School in Seattle leads the Huskies in scoring (13.8 ppg), assists (56), and steals (22). Conroy has been the most consistent player on the Husky squad. His emergence has allowed coach Lorenzo Romar to put junior Curtis Allen in at the two-guard. Allen is quick and can fill it up from outside when he's hot. So far he's connected on just over 35% from long range this season, but has only missed one free throw all season in 25 attempts. Washington needs him to score more consistently from outside in order to take some heat off of Doug Wrenn.

Wrenn is Washington's leader, but has struggled with his offense this season. He is averaging 13.2 points per game, well down from last season, but he's picked up his game in the areas of defense. Wrenn has 13 steals and a team-high 18 blocked shots, and is second on the team in assists (33). Turnovers have plagued him a bit, but the biggest bane has been at the foul stripe, where Wrenn is converting just 50% of his free throws. He leads the team in rebounding, getting 6.2 per contest.

Nate Robinson, a 5-9 true freshman that also starts at cornerback on the football team, provides Romar with a shot in the arm in terms of both quickness and offense. Robinson, despite having to join the team late because of football commitments, is third on the team in scoring (10.1 ppg). He is a streaky shooter that can light it up when he gets hot, and he is extremely disruptive on defense despite his diminutive stature.

CJ Massingale has not been a factor at the two-guard position this year. Since Robinson joined the squad, Massingale's minutes have been reduced. He is averaging just over four points per game, and provides good offensive rebounding skills when he's in.

Walk-on David Hudson sees sparing action but when he's in, expect the ball to be launched from downtown. D-Hud has taken 19 three-pointers, converting 11 of them, in just 40 minutes of action this season.

Inside, Romar is still searching for more production out of his forward positions. Mike Jensen (6-9 220) started the first 12 contests but has been away from the game for nearly two years. He has not quite found his comfort zone. Jensen is a prolific leaper and likes to play above the rim, but when he's in rhythm and not tentative, he has a sweet stroke. He has averaged 5.5 points and 3.7 rebounds per game, but lost his starting spot to true freshman Bobby Jones (6-7 195)  in the Arizona contest. Jones is a quick 6-6 swing man whose forte is defense. Jones averages 5.5 points and 3.8 rebounds per game. He has stolen the ball 10 times and also blocked four shots.

Sophomore Jeff Day (6-9 220) is back with the team after missing three contests due to academics. Day averages 5.8 points per game to lead all Husky big men. True freshman Anthony Washington starts in the post. AW has averaged just under five points and 3.2 rebounds per game.

Marlon Shelton's minutes have been reduced due to a knee injury that he suffered two years ago.

Washington had been finishing games strong until the road trip to Arizona, where both schools took it to the Huskies in the second half. Romar will hope to reverse that trend on this road trip, where the Huskies hope to gain at least a split. Washington has improved dramatically over last year in the area of turnover ratio (+2.6 this year), but needs to shoot the ball better both from the field (42.4% overall, 35.6% from three-point) and the free throw line (64.6%). With so little of the offense coming from inside the paint, the Huskies really need Allen, Conroy, and Robinson to have their shots drop.

That will also create more space for Wrenn to take the ball in isolation.

Late addition: freshman guard Brandon Roy was just declared eligible by the NCAA Thursday.  He did not play in that night's game versus Cal, but it is anybody's guess whether he might see action Saturday against the Card.

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