On opening day of this UW season, some of the realistic possibilities seem pretty exciting: Pac-10 championship, Elite Eight, beyond?
It all starts at 1 p.m. against McNeese State. The Cowboys were 10-20, but naturally coach Lorenzo Romar doesn't want this season of promise beginning with any disaster brought on by looking past anyone.
"They have a veteran team," he said yesterday. "They have a lot of experience they’re returning. They have some shooters on the peremeter. They were 10-20 last year, however, they lost a lot of close games. And we’ve been there before where you lose close games because you’re younger and the next game you’re older and now you win all those close games. … They’re going to be a good opponent for us to play the first game."
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And a quick overview:
MCNEESE STATE AT NO. 18 WASHINGTON1 p.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion.TV: None. Radio: 950-AM.Series: McNeese won the only previous meeting, 96-92 in overtime in the 1985 First Bank Tulsa Classic. UW is 3-3 all-time against members of the Southland Conference. Scouting report: McNeese is located in Lake Charles, La. It is the alma mater of former Detroit Pistons star Joe Dumars. … Coach Dave Simmmons is 49-71 over his first four seasons leading the Cowboys. … This is the first game of the season for each team. UW went 26-10 last season and advanced to the Sweet 16. McNeese went 10-20. … Junior forward Patrick Richard is the Cowboys’ top returning scorer, after averaging 12.8 points last season. He was named to the all-Southland Conference preseason team. Other starters back are senior guard Diego Kapelan, who averaged 12.6 points; forward P.J. Alawoya, who averaged eight points and led the team with 7.4 rebounds; and point guard C.P. Collins, the team assists leader for the past two seasons. Last season, guard Stephan Martin averaged 9.9 points off the bench. … UW guard Venoy Overton (hamstring) and forward Darnell Gant (groin) are expected to be available. … UW is 6-2 in season-openers under Romar. … Approximately 8,000 tickets had been sold as of Friday afternoon, leaving about 2,000 available.Next: 7 p.m. Tuesday, vs. Eastern Washington, Hec Edmondson Pavilion.