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Tuesday, April 26, 2005 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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UW Men's Basketball

Roy staying for senior season

Seattle Times staff reporter

After announcing yesterday that he has decided to stay at Washington for his senior season, Brandon Roy talked of possibly being the "glue" for what will be a new-look Huskies team next season.

So maybe that's what it is that keeps Roy tied to Seattle time and again.

The Garfield graduate had all kinds of offers to leave town out of high school — most notably from Arizona — but decided to remain home and help the UW program rebuild. He then briefly flirted with heading straight to the NBA out of high school, but decided instead to become a Husky.

And now he will stay in town, deciding he won't test the NBA waters by attending the pre-draft camp.

He made the announcement yesterday at Edmundson Pavilion, saying he arrived at a decision last Wednesday after talking with his father, Tony.

Roy said weighing the options after the Huskies' season ended in the Sweet 16 against Louisville on March 24 "has been real tough for me." Some days, he favored heading straight to the NBA, even though he had heard that most analysts pegged him as a second-round choice at best. He said the competitor in him knew he could show he was better than that.

He said he also thought about declaring for the draft so he could at least attend the pre-draft camp in Chicago, as teammate Nate Robinson did a year ago.

But finally, he decided that if he was going to ultimately stay, he wanted to get it over with and not have his uncertain future prove a distraction to the program.

"After next year, I think the sky will be the limit for me," Roy said. "I didn't want to go to the NBA through the back door. I want to go in the front door, and I think coming back next year is the best way for me to do that."

Roy's decision provided a needed sigh of relief to Huskies basketball fans, who have already witnessed the loss of Robinson to early entry to the NBA and are likely to find out soon that star recruit Martell Webster of Seattle Prep will bypass UW for the NBA.

Washington coach Lorenzo Romar acknowledged that Webster is leaning strongly to the NBA, saying Webster is "much more open than he was in the past" to going straight to the NBA. Romar also said he thinks Webster is a certain first-round pick "and it won't be later in the first round."

But Roy will give the Huskies a big piece of proven talent to build around as they head into the post-Robinson era.

"I definitely see [Roy's] role expanding," Romar said. "With the makeup of the team next year, I expect him to score a lot more points."

Roy surely would have scored a lot more last season than the 12.8 he ended up averaging if he hadn't injured his right knee in the third game of the season. He scored 25 points in the second game against Utah in the Great Alaska Shootout and seemed on the verge of a breakout season.

But the injury required arthroscopic surgery, and Roy never completely recovered. He missed nine games and played limited minutes in many others, almost always coming off the bench.

Still, he was the team's third-leading scorer, second-leading rebounder at 5.0, was third in assists (2.2) and led the team in field-goal percentage (56.5).

"No one has seen the real Brandon Roy," Romar said. "We saw glimpses of it earlier in the year before he injured his knee and I thought we began to see it at the end of the year. He is a phenomenal player and I think in coming back for his senior year, the world will really be able to see what he can do on a basketball court."

Notes

• Romar said Hans Gasser will definitely be on scholarship for his final two years at Washington. The forward from Issaquah, who was little-used as a sophomore last season, agreed last week to play as a walk-on next season to help alleviate UW's scholarship situation. The Huskies could have too many scholarships promised for next season if every incoming freshman shows up. They also wanted some flexibility to possibly welcome a transfer such as Lorenzo Wade, formerly of Louisville. Coaches had discussed with Gasser the possibility of transferring somewhere he might play more. Instead, Gasser wanted to stay, and Romar said, "We thought of a creative way" to keep him with the team. Gasser is almost certain to redshirt next season, then go back on scholarship.

• Romar said the decision of Bremerton's Marvin Williams to enter the NBA draft almost certainly kills the hopes of North Carolina playing in Seattle next season. He said, however, there is still a chance the schools could agree to a series that would see UW playing at North Carolina next season. Romar also said the Huskies are committed to playing in the Wooden Classic in Anaheim on Dec. 10.

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

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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