David Crisp, who doesn’t mind salty back-and-forth smack talk with other guards around college basketball, said he will abstain from it Friday night.
It is because his cousin is within earshot.
Back in 2011, Crisp and Ahmaad Rorie used to be partners on the court, helping Clover Park High School – as ninth graders, no less –win the Class 2A state boys basketball crown in Yakima.
Now, they will play against each other – with Crisp leading the Washington Huskies in their final non-conference game, and Rorie pacing visiting Big Sky Conference contender Montana.
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It will be the first time the two point guards have squared off as opponents in a meaningful basketball game.
“I don’t think it is going to be weird,” Crisp said. “It is going to be really fun.”
After Crisp and Rorie won that state basketball title, they returned together as sophomores to make Clover Park the favorite to repeat.
But early in the 2012 playoffs, Crisp broke his right foot, leaving Rorie to lead the charge. The Warriors were upset by Lindbergh in the 2A quarterfinals.
“We were trying to win four straight (2A titles), but I got hurt,” Crisp said. “And since people were not respecting the 2A class, we knew we could get down with anybody (at a higher classification).”
That summer, Rorie announced he was transferring to Lincoln High School, which created some friction with former teammates, including Crisp, from Clover Park.
And during the following fall-league series at Tacoma Community College, the two schools played each other in a game.
“It was packed,” Rorie said. “We won by one (point). It went down to the wire.
“I guess I am 1-0 against him.”
There were other times the two players thought they would face each other again – like when Rorie went out of state to Montverde Academy in Florida, and Crisp played at Rainier Beach when both programs were nationally-ranked in 2013-14. But Rorie returned to Washington beforehand.
The next year, Rorie went off to Oregon, and started 14 games. Crisp was expected to join the Huskies, but instead opted for prep school at the prestigious Brewster Academy in New Hampshire.
It has taken three more years to finally reunite them.
Crisp is in his first season as the undisputed floor leader of the Huskies, averaging 13.0 points and 3.6 assists per game while leading the team with his 26 made 3-pointers.
“I definitely think he has matured a lot with his leadership,” Rorie said. “I tell him all the time that I am proud of him how he has taken on that role.”
Rorie has been given free reign over this Grizzlies’ offense under coach Travis DeCuire, who initially got the guard to commit to California when he was a Bears assistant.
He is averaging 17.8 points, 4.0 rebounds, 3.7 assists and 1.7 steals in a whopping 36.8 minutes per game.
Rorie is one of nine players in NCAA Division I basketball to rank in the top 100 nationally in both scoring and steals.
“I am not going to try and one-up him, or do anything outside what we’ve been doing,” Crisp said. “It has been successful, and I am not bored with success.”
But what will he do if he pops in a 3-pointer over Rorie?
“I might tap him on the butt,” Crisp said with a smile. “But I know he will come right back at me.”
MONTANA (7-4) vs. WASHINGTON (89-3)
8 p.m., Hec Edmundson Pavilion, Seattle
TV: Pac-12 Network Radio: 1000-AM, 97.7-FM.
All-time series: UW leads 44-9
Statistics for 2017-18:
14 Ahmaad Rorie, G (6-1, r-jr.): 17.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg.
0 Michael Oguine, G (6-2, fr.): 15.3 ppg, 5.4 rpg.
15 Jamar Akoh, F (6-8, r-jr.): 11.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg.
24 Bobby Moorhead, F (6-7, jr.): 9.1 ppg, 5.1 rpg.
4 Sayeed Pridgett, G (6-5, so.): 8.4 ppg, 4.3 rpg.
1 David Crisp, G (6-0, jr.): 13.0 ppg, 3.6 apg.
15 Noah Dickerson, F (6-8, jr.): 16.0 ppg, 8.0 rpg.
5 Jaylen Nowell, G (6-4, fr.): 17.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg.
4 Matisse Thybulle, G (6-5, jr.): 11.2 ppg, 3.5 spg.
33 Sam Timmins, F (6-10, so.): 5.9 ppg, 5.7 rpg.
Scouting report: Washington’s final non-conference came comes after what was easily the team’s most dominant effort of the season. UW cruised to a 106-55 win Tuesday over Bethune-Cookman. It was the first time the Huskies reached the 100-point barrier since last season when they scored 104 against Cal State-Fullerton. One more win and UW surpasses last year’s total of nine. It would also be the first time the Huskies have won 10 games before January since the 2014-15 season when they were 11-1 before the New Year. ... Montana has won three of its last four games and its one loss was a 71-68 defeat to Georgia State. The Grizzlies are 0-1 against the Pac-12 this season having dropped a 70-54 contest at Stanford in late November. Montana was supposed to play Dec. 6 at UCLA but the game was canceled because of the Thomas fire in Southern California.
Ryan S. Clark