Lorenzo Romar scheduled a teleconference call with local media for 6:30 PST but he wasn't even sure where his team would be playing, or if they would be playing at all. The Huskies' head coach said he would not take his team to the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) if they weren't selected by the NIT.
Once the NIT selection show got underway Washington (18-15, 9-9) didn't have to wait long to hear they had been selected as the No.6 seed facing No.3 seeded BYU (21-11, 10-6). The Huskies haven't faced BYU since 1998 and hold a 10-8 series lead against the Cougars, 4-4 at the Marriott Center.
Washington will leave for Provo tomorrow afternoon with the game being Tuesday. Junior guard C.J. Wilcox will be making his return to the Provo area having graduated Pleasant Grove High School.
"I actually called it two days ago that we would be playing at their place, so I wasn't too shocked" Wilcox Said. "I was shocked that it actually happened but I was ready for it I guess."
"It will be good to see some people, but as far as playing I know it's going to be pretty hyped from their
side of things."
Head coach Lorenzo Romar wasn't as sure as Wilcox was about receiving an NIT invitation but was excited about the news.
"I knew we weren't going to be in the NCAA tournament" Romar said. "I was hopeful that we would get a bid for the NIT, but we weren't sure. I thought it was 50-50 going in. I would say it's more excitement for our guys, especially our seniors to continue to play."
Romar admitted he doesn't know too much about playing at BYU but highlighted their passionate fan base.
"They seat 18,000. They fill it up. They're very loud. They're very excited about their basketball team. They get it going. They don't lose very often there. I know that much BYU at their place."
The early scouting report on BYU is their up-tempo style of play highlighted by sophomore guard Tyler Haws and senior forward Brandon Davies. The 6-foot-5 Haws averaged just under 21 points per game during the regular season at 20.9.
Davies, one of three seniors on the Cougars roster, averaged almost a double-double this season with 17.6 points per game and a hair under eight rebounds per game. Sophomore guard Matt Carlino also turned in a solid regular season averaging close to 11 points per game at 10.7 to go along with 3.2 rebounds per game and 4.3 assists per game.
BYU head coach Dave Rose spoke highly of Washington when his team heard the news.
"They have a nationally respected coach in Lorenzo Romar and compete in one of the top leagues in the country" Rose said. "Our staff and players are really looking forward to Tuesday."
Tipoff is set for 6:30 PM PST Tuesday March 19th on ESPN.
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