Washington Preview and Tyler Talk

In this Bootleg first, we have tapped one of our own beloved hoopsters for unique insight into the preparation and outlook for Thursday's home game against Washington. Redshirt junior and crowd favorite Tyler Besecker gives his perspective on his homestate Huskies, an opponent he always circles on the schedule.

Washington @ Stanford   2/13/03
Tip-off: 7:00 pm (PST)
TV: none

Sponsored by the The Cafe at the Arrillaga Alumni Center: Official Pre-Game Hangout of The Bootleg

Bootleg:  How would you describe this year's Stanford team?

T-Bes:  Here are some adjectives that I would use to describe this year's team. Relentless, hard working, team-oriented, and focused. I use the word relentless and hard working first because this team just battles and uses guts and will to give us that ultimate advantage in what we like to refer to as the X-factor. The X-factor is a combination of all of the little things that helps a team win, whether it be fan support, leadership, momentum, hustle, etc. This X-factor has given this team the ability to pull out the close games in crunch time. We have won several games by one point, and a couple in overtime, and the X-factor has had a lot to do with that.

Bootleg:  What are the keys to Stanford's success this year?

T-Bes:  This team is very team-oriented and I think that our play on the court shows that. This may sound corny but everyone on this team cares a lot about each other and we really like being together. With togetherness comes a bond that helps us especially late in the season. We have a quote in the locker room that is by John Wooden that states: "It's incredible how much can be accomplished when no one cares who gets the credit."  This team truly lives by those words of wisdom and I think that Coach Wooden is correct because we are all amazed at what we have accomplished and are continuing to accomplish due to such an unselfish group. This team, including our coaching staff, is very focused and we do not look ahead and consume ourselves with things that we cannot control. Instead, we are taking one game at a time and putting forth our best performances and we are letting that focus and energy take control of our destiny.

Bootleg:  What has surprised you most about this year's team?

T-Bes:  I think what has surprised me most about this team is how much each player has stepped up their role as a player and teammate from their roles last year. Much of that has to do with all of the effort that everyone put in over the summertime to develop their skills. Guys like Matt Lottich, Nick Robinson and Justin Davis are great examples that come to mind.

Bootleg:  Tell us about the Huskies.

T-Bes:  I can't tell you yet exactly what our game plan is against the Huskies because we will most likely start preparing for them tomorrow (Tuesday). But I can tell you that this team is definitely the most athletic team in the league (No, I don't say that just because I am a Seattle Area native), and we will have to prepare ourselves for their quickness and tempo. Washington is very explosive and has some serious leapers in Nate Robinson and Doug Wrenn. They have some good floor leaders in sophomore Will Conroy and junior Curtis Allen. They have slashers in C.J. Massingale, Bobby Jones and Brandon Roy.  Their inside presence is made up of Anthony Washington, Mike Jensen, Jeff Day and Marlon Shelton. And somewhat of an unknown is a serious shooter in David Hudson who occasionally comes off the bench for three-point shooting.

On offense, Washington is an up-tempo run-and-gun team with some guys who can really put the ball in the basket. On defense, they have a pestering half court defense and an occasional full court defense that has caused some serious problems this year.

They proved that they could beat anyone on any given night by their performance this past weekend against the Arizona schools, where they pushed both schools into overtime. They are a very young team in that they started four freshmen (including redshirts) and a sophomore in last week's games. Washington thrives off of intensity and momentum, especially Will Conroy, Doug Wrenn and Nate Robinson.

Bootleg:  What are the keys for a Stanford victory?

T-Bes:  For us to win against Washington we need to have the advantage in the X-factor and we need to hold their streaky players to sub-par performances. We must also handle their pressure. If we can manage those three things I am confident in this team on our home floor to have an opportunity to win the game.

Bootleg:  How will you prepare for the Huskies during the week?

T-Bes:  Throughout this week we will try to simulate the Huskies in practice - my guess is that I will probably be Bobby Jones - and we will watch film and go over their sets to try to get the best feel for their style of play and ways to keep them from executing their offense the way that they would like. At the same time, we will fine-tune our offense to best exploit their weaknesses.

Bootleg Note – Washington has had trouble on the road. It will be important for all Stanford fans to be loud and support our team.

The Starters

P No Name          Ht  Wt  Yr  Ppg  Rpg Ast

G 2  Nate Robinson 5-9 170 Fr  12.2 3.9 2.2

G 5  Will Conroy   6-1 190 So  13.3 4.0 4.3

F 15 Bobby Jones   6-6 200 Fr  5.9  4.1 0.9

F 24 Doug Wrenn    6-6 215 Jr* 12.8 6.2 2.0

F 42 Mike Jensen   6-8 230 Fr* 5.8  3.8 0.6

The Bench

P No Name            Ht   Wt  Yr  Ppg Rpg Ast

G 20 Curtis Allen    6-0  170 Jr  9.4 1.8 1.9

F 4  Jeffrey Day     6-9  235 So  6.5 5.0 0.9

C 30 A. Washington** 6-9  250 Fr  5.1 3.3 0.6

G 1  C.J. Massingale 6-3  210 Jr  3.3 1.7 0.7

G 52

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