SEATTLE (AP) -- Washington coach Lorenzo Romar thinks his players
are focused on the right things, and haven't gotten caught up
reading press clippings.
"I haven't felt like guys have been going off worried about
themselves this year," Romar said after his Huskies (No. 24 ESPN/USA Today; No. 22 AP) earned
an 89-71 victory over Seattle Pacific in the season opener for both
teams Friday night.
"I think the team is still sharing the ball and is still
working hard in practice, which is not indicative of a team that
feels they have arrived," he said.
A near-sellout crowd of 9,851 turned out to see the team that
delighted Seattle last season with a surprise second-place finish
in the Pac-10 race and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first
time since 1999.
The 6-foot-6 Roy averaged 12.9 points last season and he's
determined to be more of a contributor this season. Washington was
ranked in the Top 25 in the preseason ratings for the first time
since November 1998.
"My role won't change, but I'll definitely be more
aggressive," he said. "I think me being more aggressive will help
our team because it puts a lot of pressure on the defense."
Freshman Joel Smith scored 15 points, and 6-foot-8 forward Mike
Jensen had 14 points and 13 rebounds for Washington.
Roy said he's been telling everyone about the talent of the 6-4
"Oh, man, that guy's good," he said. "He's got some Bobby
Jones in him. He's got a little bit of me in him. He plays hard.
He's an exciting kid. I love seeing him out there playing."
Smith didn't start, but he got to play 27 minutes because the
Huskies were missing four players.
Smith said he was recruited hard by USC and California, but
decided Washington was a better school for him despite all its
returning talent. He had two exciting dunks and was called for a
technical for hanging on the rim.
"This was the best fit," he said. "I'm just happy to be here.
This is fun."
Jordan Lee led the Falcons with 22 points, including six
3-pointers. Teammate Jason Chivers had 17 points, 15 in the second
The Huskies led 38-23 at halftime, scoring the last seven points
in the final 2:16 on an offensive rebound putback by Jensen, a
3-pointer by Robinson and another offensive rebound putback by
Jensen. That was their biggest lead of the opening half.
They didn't let the Division II Falcons back in the game in the
second half. Smith stole the ball and scored on a fastbreak layup
to put the Huskies in front 61-37 with 11:50 to play.
"We looked scared at times and we can't do that," Seattle
Pacific coach Jeff Hironaka said. "I don't care who you're
playing, you can't play scared. They took advantage of it."
Washington played without two starters, point guard Will Conroy
and forward Jones, as well as sixth-man Tre Simmons and New Mexico
transfer Jamal Williams. They were ineligible for the game because
they played in an unsanctioned league in May.
The Huskies improved their record against Seattle Pacific to
10-0 in the schools' first game since 1981.