Dawgs head to Hank's House

The date was March 4th, 1990, and Hank Gathers had just finished making a foul shot and was jogging backwards down the floor to play defense. Shortly after reaching midcourt, Gathers collapsed. He died of a condition where the heart muscle thickens and causes a loss of blood to the brain.

The building where Gathers and his teammate Bo Kimble starred for Loyola Marymount, Gersten Pavilion, now has a banner on the north wall that proclaims it to be "Hank's House".

Washington will visit Hank's House Sunday afternoon to take on the hometown LMU Lions at 12:30 PM in a contest that will be televised by Fox Sports Northwest.

LMU, from the West Coast Conference (the one Gonzaga wins every year), is out to a 5-1 start this season. They get extremely balanced scoring from sophomore guard Brandon Worthy (13.7 ppg), big man Matthew Knight (13.5 ppg), and quick guard Charles Brown (13.3 ppg). Knight is a load at 6-8 inside.

6-9 forward Daryl Pegram pours in just under 10 points per game and pulls down 5 boards, while guard Adoyah Evans-Miller averages 6.7 points per game and 1.3 steals. He is a 6-5 and will remind some of Brandon Roy in stature, but not in offensive firepower.

LMU knocked off South Alabama by four in a close contest in their last game, while the Huskies absolutely destroyed a decent San Diego State squad by a 98-69 score.

Washington has been torrid from three-point range this season. The Dawgs are averaging 8 three-pointers per game, burying zone defenses as well as getting momentum rolling in a big hurry. Tre Simmons is the guy with the quickest release and probably the best pure shooter in the Pac-10. Both he and Nate Robinson have had five treys in a game this year already. UW is shooting 45 percent from 3-point range with four players at 50% or better: Will Conroy (53%), Nate Robinson (51%), Bobby Jones (50%) and Joel Smith (50%).

Key to the Huskies success is getting out of the gate early. The Huskies are outscoring their opponents by a combined 311-232 tally in the first half. In the second half of games, they are outscoring foes by a 305-301 count. Washington's average halftime score is 44-33. The only game they've trailed at the half was against Gonzaga, their only loss to date.

Nate the great has been more than outstanding this season thus far. The 5-8 skywalker leads Washington in points (21.7 ppg), assists (39) and steals (16). He distributed a career-high eight assists in a win over Oklahoma (Nov. 26) and matched that figure at Gonzaga (Dec. 1). Robinson registered five 20-point games after reaching the 20-point plateau five times all of last season. He was named the Nov. 29 Pac-10 Player of the Week after being voted the Most Outstanding Player of the Great Alaska Shootout where he led all UW scorers against Utah (29) and Oklahoma (19).

This game will be an excellent road test for the Huskies, who have yet to get their first win outside of either the Great Alaska Shootout or Hec-Edmundson Pavilion. LMU is a quality opponent and the game will be televised.

Will Conroy has been solid at the point. He doesn't stand out in the spotlight, but he has a calming presence on this team, dishing out 5.6 assists per game and hitting the long range jumper when needed.

The Huskies have six players averaging in double figures so far this season. Nate Robinson is at 21.7, Brandon Roy, who may be back for some playing time next weekend against North Carolina State, is at 18.0, Tre Simmons is at 15.4, Will Conroy is at 11.3, Bobby Jones is at 11.0, and Jamaal Williams is at 10.7.

With the addition of Williams, a transfer from New Mexico, Washington now has a legitimate low post threat in the paint. Jamaal has been brilliant in flashes this season, and really has a knack for getting the ball in the hole from inside 10 feet.

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