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Originally published Friday, December 28, 2007 at 12:00 AM

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UW Men's Basketball | Huskies hope to end road woes

The day that Tyrone Willingham was hired as Washington's new football coach, Dec. 12, 2004, marked another milestone day in Huskies athletics...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Saturday

Washington @ LSU, noon

The day that Tyrone Willingham was hired as Washington's new football coach, Dec. 12, 2004, marked another milestone day in Huskies athletics — it was the last time the UW men's basketball team won a nonconference road game.

On that day, the Huskies won at Loyola Marymount 100-93 behind 28 points from Nate Robinson, now in his third season in the NBA.

There haven't been a lot of opportunities to win nonconference road games. The Huskies have played just three since then, not including tournament games played at neutral sites. Washington lost at Gonzaga and Pitt last season and Oklahoma State on Dec. 1.

The Huskies get another chance Saturday when they play Louisiana State at noon at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center in Baton Rouge.

More relevant to Washington coach Lorenzo Romar is that the game represents an opportunity to gain some confidence on the road heading into Pac-10 games.

Washington was just 1-8 on the road in the Pac-10 last season, the biggest reason it was left out of the postseason, and is 1-11 in its past 12 road games dating to the end of the 2005-06 season.

And including tournament games, UW is 0-3 away from Seattle this season and has won just two of its past 16 games outside of Edmundson Pavilion.

"It falls under the 'sooner or later, we've got to do this' category," Romar said. "We've had several chances, and here's another opportunity. If you don't get it done, you don't throw in the season at all — we haven't even started conference play yet. But at the same time, you'd miss out on another opportunity to prove to yourself that this is something we can get done."

Youth was an easy rationale last season. But with all but one starter back and a more experienced backcourt, Romar hopes this team is better-suited to winning on the road.

"I think we are," he said. "But last year we had several games on the road that could have gone either way but we didn't quite get it done. Change those around and maybe the season is turned around."

Washington's first road foray this season, however, wasn't encouraging — a 96-71 loss at Oklahoma State, which is 6-5.

The LSU trip is the back-end of a home-and-home series that began last year when the Huskies beat the Tigers 88-72 in what might have been the high point of the brief Spencer Hawes era. Hawes had 23 points and 12 rebounds and UW took a 19-point first-half lead.

"I think we made him a lottery pick," LSU coach John Brady said Thursday.

Hawes is gone, as is guard Adrian Oliver, who also started that game. The Tigers have undergone a more significant facelift, with one starter back from that game — point guard Garrett Temple. Three are no longer on the roster, including forward Glen "Big Baby" Davis, now a member of the Boston Celtics, and forward Tasmin Mitchell is out with an ankle injury.

The Tigers (7-4) lost 83-77 to Oklahoma State in the Maui Invitational. LSU also lost there 87-84 in overtime to Arizona State, and in its most recent game, beat Oregon State 67-61.

"We're young. We're a team in progress," said Brady, whose team is 6-0 at home. "But we usually play well at home, so we'll see how it goes."

Dollar brothers

to face off

Saturday's game will feature brothers squaring off as opposing assistants — Cameron Dollar for UW and his older brother Chad for LSU. It's the first time the brothers have faced each other in a game as coaches. Chad Dollar, who is 35 and is three years older, spent last season at Murray State.

"I'm ultra, ultra, ultra competitive so I've tried to avoid him just because anything he says I'm going to use against him," Cameron Dollar said. "But we'll talk and get together because I want to see my nieces and nephews and sister-in-law."

Both got the coaching bug from their father, Don, who is one of the winningest high-school coaches in Georgia history. Now an assistant at the University of West Georgia, Don Dollar will attend Saturday's game.

Notes

• Romar said the Huskies will likely go with the same starting lineup as the past three games — Ryan Appleby, Tim Morris and Joel Smith in the backcourt and Jon Brockman and Artem Wallace up front. Appleby, who missed much of the Cal State-Northridge game Saturday with back spasms, should be able to play, Romar said. Morris suffered a broken nose in practice Thursday but is expected to play with a protective mask.

Bob Condotta: 206-515-5699 or bcondotta@seattletimes.com.

Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company

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