Monday, September 16

Pauley: a virtual house of pain for Huskies


Pauley: a virtual house of pain for Huskies

Washington invades Pauley Pavilion for men’s hoops Pac-10 home
opener

By Randy Satterburg

Daily Bruin Staff

Plain and simple, Pauley Pavilion has been a house of horrors
for the Washington men’s basketball team over the years.

In the last 31 seasons the Huskies (4-6 overall, 0-2 Pacific 10)
have won only twice in Pauley, including an eight-year dry spell
dating back to 1987. They will try to end that streak tonight when
they come calling to Pauley Pavilion for a 7:30 tip-off against the
No. 6 Bruins (7-1, 1-1).

Home court advantages aside, UCLA has won 14 of the last 16
meetings overall, so Washington has not fared much better against
the Bruins in Seattle than in Los Angeles.

But then again, nobody has ever accused Washington of being a
basketball school in the last few years. There hasn’t been a whole
lot to cheer about in Husky-land since the days when current UCLA
assistant coach Lorenzo Romar donned the purple and gold.

* UW has not had a winning season for the last seven years.

* The Huskies last made an appearance in the NCAA Tournament
back in 1986, making a quick exit after losing to Michigan State in
the first round.

* Washington’s all-time leading scorer is Chris Welp, with 2,071
career points. Chris Welp? Distant second and third-place finishers
were Bob Houbregs and Eldridge Recasner respectively. Seattle
natives maintain to this day that Recasner would have been higher
if he didn’t come down with the mumps his sophomore year.

* There is little statistical evidence that Washington even
participated in the Pac-10 last year. Not a single Husky made the
Pac-10′s All-Conference or All-Freshman team, although Scott
Didrickson did make the All-Academic team with a 3.27 in
history/education. Nor did Washington lead the conference in any
statistical category or have an individual leader in any one
area.

The Huskies’ search for a new coach led to former Duke star Bob
Bender (’80) who promptly went out and guided UW to a 5-22 record
and a ninth-place finish in the Pac-10, just ahead of an Oregon
State team that was consoled by the fact that the Beavers at least
led the conference in steals with 8.7 per game.

Despite all of this negativity, there is reason for optimism in
Seattle. Bender is a quality coach who is bringing a quiet
confidence to his players and who, more importantly, is bringing
quality players to the program.

Washington’s best player, Mark Pope, plays for another team,
Kentucky, to which he transferred after being named the Pac-10
Freshman of the Year in 1992. Yet Bender has brought in a talented
five-man freshman class of his own, including Mark Sanford, the
Division IV California Player of the Year, along with fellow
Californians Alex Lopez and Jason Hartman.

Patience is required with this young team that has impressed
some people with a 65-61 win against Michigan earlier this year,
and depressed others by getting blown out against Loyola Marymount,
81-60, and dropping both prior Pac-10 games at home to
Stanford,65-51, and Cal, 84-76.

UCLA head coach Jim Harrick is weary of the Huskies after their
deliberate style of play and aggressive defense made the Bruins
sweat out a 79-76 win in Pauley Pavilion last year, in a game that
was every bit as close as it sounds.

"(Bender’s) team will defend you very well, but they are a young
team," Harrick said. "What concerns me the most? Emotion. I’m going
to go to our players’ pride during practice (to avoid playing
without intensity)."

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