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January 21, 2009 at 9:49 PM

Who else should have number retired?

That Brandon Roy is having his number retired by the Huskies before Thursday night’s game against USC has brought up the inevitable question — who’s next?
At the moment, nobody, apparently.
UW officials say this isn’t necessarily the beginning of a flurry of number retirements.
Instead, it was felt it was a given that someday Roy’s number would be retired, so why not sooner rather than later?
But while there may be other deserving candidates, there are apparently no plans at the moment to retire anyone else’s number anytime soon.
UW coach Lorenzo Romar , who led the effort to retire Roy’s jersey, said this week that it was a no-brainer.
What Roy accomplished, Romar said, “was distinct” from others who played during his era, such as Nate Robinson, Will Conroy and Bobby Jones.
“When you talk about Brandon, you can’t match what he did,” Romar said.
There can be no argument there, as Roy was the Pac-10 Player of the Year as a senior in 2006, an All-American and led the Huskies to the Sweet 16 (and if he’s not whistled for the technical in the second half against UConn, who knows what might have happened?)
The only other UW player to have his number retired is Bob Houbregs, who played from 1951-53 and led the Huskies to their only Final Four appearance as a senior.
I was listening to an interview of Houbregs tonight on Romar’s radio show and he pointed out that the decision to retire his number was made at the post-season banquet, voted on by his teammates.
So doesn’t like there’s much precedent on how to do this.
For practical purposes — there is already a limited amount of numbers that can be worn in basketball — schools aren’t going to just retire the jersey for every good player who comes along. WSU, for instance, has retired just one number, that of center Steve Puidokas.
UCLA, which has more basketball history than any other school, has retired seven — Gail Goodrich, Ed O’Bannon, Bill Walton, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Sidney Wicks, Walt Hazzard and Marques Johnson — the most in the Pac-10.
Each of those guys played on at least one national champion.
Still, some of you out there think the Huskies ought to add to the list someday — I got several e-mails today making a case for Detlef Schrempf, who helped lead the mid-80s revival of the program and led UW to two NCAA Tournaments and one Sweet 16. He also had as good an NBA career as any Husky player, something not usually factored into these decisions.
Due to needing some time as a freshman to break in, however, Schrempf is only 12th on the school’s career scoring list.
Some might argue instead for Chris Welp, who is the school’s all-time leading scorer and played alongside Schrempf for two NCAA tourney bids, then helped lead UW to another after Schrempf graduated.
Two other possibilities are the centers of UW’s other two NCAA tourney teams of the last 50 years — James Edwards (who keyed the 1976 team and is fifth in career scoring) and Todd MacCulloch (the star of the 1998 team that advanced to the Sweet 16 and also a senior on the 1999 team that made it, as well, and third in career scoring).
You could maybe also make a case for Steve Hawes, who is No. 6 on the scoring list (but is first in scoring average at 20.8, playing only three years due to freshmen ineligibility, ala Houbregs) and was captain of the 1970 team that went 20-6 — obviously good enough to make the NCAA Tournament in the modern era — a squad that Marv Harshman has often said may have actually been the best he coached at Washington even if it didn’t make the post-season.
All would be worthy honorees, though for now, Houbregs and Roy stand alone, possibly to stay that way for a while.

Comments | Topics: UCLA


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