These frosh don't act the part

They lived up to every ounce of hype they came in with. 'They' is the group of five freshmen that all played in Washington's 114-48 dismantling of Simon Fraser Sunday night in an exhibition game. Even a broken nose wouldn't sideline them from making their Washington hoops debut. The class - Jon Brockman, Justin Dentmon, Artem Wallace, Harvey Perry and Joe Wolfinger - accounted for 34 points, 17 rebounds and 9 assists. Not a bad way to start.

"Obviously Jon Brockman played very well," said Washington Head Coach Lorenzo Romar after the game. "8-9 from the floor and played within what we were doing. He played like he had played with us before. Artem Wallace did some good things out there. He took the ball to the basket and I thought he rebounded very well."

Dentmon and Wallace actually led the team in minutes played, with 24 and 23 respectively. Even Joe Wolfinger, who played sparingly, got in for ten minutes of action.

Brockman and guard Justin Dentmon earned starting positions against the Clan, and it was through their hard work during fall camp. "We picked starters based on the number of rebounds they had from the fall practices," said Romar, eager to see if the frosh - the most-heralded recruiting class to ever suit up for the Huskies to date - could thrive in a basketball meritocracy.

They can, and they proved it in spades against an out-matched and out-gunned Simon Fraser team. But it wasn't as if they expected it to be this easy.

"I was really nervous," said Brockman, who finished the game with 18 points in his first career start. "I get nervous before any game, but this one was a lot more nerve-wracking. But that's what exhibition games are for. They are there to get us ready, so that when we get to the league, we're ready to face whoever."

Brockman, who probably felt like the game was a breather compared to the practice where his nose was broken, will wear a clear mask around his nose for another week or two. "I think I found one blind spot with it," he said. "For the most part, it's so close to my face that I don't even really notice that it's there. It has a little 'no fear' aspect to it."

"He's a warrior," senior forward Jamaal Williams said of Brockman and the game he brings to the gym. "It's so much fun to play with him. He makes up for mistake that you make because he plays so hard. He's worked hard on our post progression and things like that to get better on the offensive end and he showed that. He was able to finish around the basket."

The frosh was more than happy to throw a compliment right back at Williams, who led the Huskies in scoring with 24 points. "The seniors are so good on this team, they take a lot of the load. They look for opportunities to help out the freshmen."

Dentmon might have the most difficult job of all the true frosh - he's the one that is replacing the irreplaceable Nate Robinson. How do you do that, exactly?

"I know it'll be tougher when we play tougher teams, but it felt like I was back in high school," said Dentmon, who came to Seattle from Carbondale, Ill. "I feel like I'm replacing a lot, but BRoy (Brandon Roy) and Bobby (Jones) are the main threats, so right now I've got to back off a little bit. But I still want to be aggressive and fill that role that Nate Robinson had last year."

"He (Dentmon) has been a scoring guard all of his life," added Romar. "But with other guys shooting a high percentage, he knows those guys have to have the basketball in their hands. And he realizes that, because he's so coachable."

One trait the frosh guard shares with the diminutive Robinson - a need to use his voice on the court. On multiple occasions, Dentmon was seen up in another player's face, screaming at him while defending him. If the five-second count hadn't been given an exchange rate of 7-seconds Canadian, Dentmon would have caused a lot more turnovers than he was officially given credit for.

"It just gets the crowd pumping," said Dentmon. "For me, yelling gets him out of what he wants to do. It gets him scrambled up. As long as I'm getting after it, he (Romar) doesn't mind." Top Stories