Here’s an early look at the non-conference games on next season’s schedule.
The 2010-11 Non-conference schedule:
Nov. 6 — Saint Martin’s (exhibition)
Coach Lorenzo Romar likes to play an in-state team as a tune-up to start the season. In past years, UW has played Seattle Pacific, Western Washington and Central Washington. The Huskies played the Saints in 2006 and won 108-74. Saint Martin’s had a 14-13 record last season and returns its best player, 6-foot-5 center Blake Poole, who was a Division II Bulletin All-American honorable mention.
Nov. 13 — McNeese State
Traveling to Seattle from Lake Charles, Louisiana is the first hurdle for the Cowboys, which finished 10-20 in the Southland Conference last season. Beating the Huskies in the regular-season opener is another matter for McNeese State, which lost just one player from the previous squad. Only one returner, 6-4 junior F Patrick Richard, averaged double-digit points last season.
Nov. 16 — Eastern Washington
The Eagles return to UW’s schedule after a year hiatus. Washington has played Eastern every year since 2003 except last season. Other than the first game, UW has won every time by a double-digit margin. Their next encounter figures to have similar outcome. The Eagles (9-21) are led by a sophomore backcourt of 5-10 Glen Dean from Seattle’s Roosevelt High and 5-10 Jeffrey Forbes from Federal Way High.
Nov. 22-24 — Maui Invitational
We’ll break this down in more detail when the schedule is released. The tournament includes: Connecticut, Kentucky, Michigan State, Oklahoma, Virginia, Wichita State and host Chaminade University of Honolulu. Every team plays three games.
Nov. 30 — Long Beach State
This is just the second game ever between the schools. Washington won 84-69 in 2007. The 49ers are led by 6-8, 210-pound forward T.J. Robinson, who was one of a handful of Division I players to average a double double. He averaged 15.4 points per game and 10.1 rebounds. He led the Big West in rebounding and was a first-team all-conference selection. Long Beach was 17-16 last season.
Dec. 4 — Texas Tech
The first of two games in the Pac-10/Big 12 Hardwood Series for the Huskies. Washington gets a chance to avenge last season’s 99-92 overtime loss to the Red Raiders in Lubbock, Texas. Texas Tech started 12-2, but finished 19-16 and ninth in the Big 12. Leading scorer Mike Singletary, a 6-6 forward, returns as does junior guard John Roberson, who torched UW for 25 points.
Dec. 6 — Portland
The Pilots lost five seniors and four starters from a team that posted a 21-11 record last season and finished third in the WCC. The Pilots were expected to challenge UW last year, but were dominated in an 89-54 defeat. Jared Stohl, a 6-1 senior guard, who was shutout against the Huskies scored 30 points following the UW defeat. He’s Portland top returning scorer. Senior forward Luke Sikma, Jack’s son, is also expected to provide leadership.
Dec. 11 — Texas A&M
It would have been interesting if the NCAA had granted Derrick Roland, the Aggies player who broke bones in his leg during UW’s 73-64 win last year, a medical redshirt and a sixth season. It would also be interesting if A&M and UW play in the 2011-12 season when former Huskies sharpshooter Elston Turner becomes eligible. The Aggies had a nice year last season finishing 24-10, fourth in the Big 12 and losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament. It figures to be a tough bounce back year for A&M, which lost seniors Donald Sloan, Bryan Davis and Roland, its three leading scorers. Still Mark Turgeon is a quality head coach and his recruiting class ranks among the best in the conference. Daniel Alexander, a 6-8 incoming freshman, should provide immediate help. Forward David Loubeau and guard B.J. Holmes are expected to be the team leaders. Texas A&M is also recovering from the loss of recruit Tobi Oyedeji who died in a car accident.
Dec. 18 — San Francisco
The Dons lose do-everything senior Dior Lowhorn, but they return junior-to-be guard Kwame Vaughn, their second-leading scorer from a team that posted a 12-18 record last season. Washington easily dispatched San Francisco last year 86-71 in a game that was more of a blowout then the score indicates. The Huskies led 35-19 at halftime, but were outscored 52-51 in the second half. The Dons received 38 points from its bench, including 14 apiece from guard Rashad Green and center Moustapha Diarra.
Dec. 22 — Nevada
The Wolf Pack’s hopes took a severe blow in the offseason when 6-9 sophomore forward Luke Babbitt and junior guard Armon Johnson declared early for the NBA draft. Babbitt averaged 21.9 points, 8.9 rebounds and 2.1 assists last season. He was also the 2010 WAC Player of the Year and an honorable-mention All-American. Johnson averaged 15.7 points. Babbitt and Johnson were the stars of a team that was third in the WAC and finished 21-13. Nevada is completely rebuilding after losing its top four scorers. Junior-to-be forward Dario Hunt, who averaged 6.5 points, is the leading returning scorer.
Feb. 22 — Seattle University
Former Washington assistant Cameron Dollar begins Year Two with the Redhawks and he’ll have to do it without sensational forward Charles Garcia, who left early for the NBA with a year of eligibility remaining. Seattle U. also lost senior guard Chris Gweth, forward Mike Boxley and Taylor Olson. Guard Cervante Burrell, Aaron Broussard and Alex Jones figure to take on more responsibilities. Since the series between the former cross-town rivals renewed two years ago, UW has won 87-60 in 2009 and 123-76 last season.