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Saturday, May 14, 2005 - Page updated at 04:00 p.m.

UW Men's Basketball

Wade to transfer to Washington from Louisville

Seattle Times staff reporter

Lorenzo Wade will have three years of eligibility.

Lorenzo Wade played just one minute for Louisville when the Cardinals beat the Washington Huskies in the Sweet 16 of the NCAA tournament in March.

Which gave him plenty of time to think about his future — and whether the Huskies might just be part of it.

"I hadn't spoken with anyone from the Washington program then, but in the back of my mind, I knew that might be the spot for me if I opted to leave," he said yesterday.

The 6-6, 205-pound swingman left Louisville shortly after its run to the Final Four, and yesterday he announced he will resume his college career at Washington.

Wade will sit out next season as a transfer redshirt, then will be eligible beginning with the 2006-07 season with three years of eligibility remaining.

He played in 35 games for Louisville last season as a freshman, averaging 9.9 minutes, 4.1 points and 1.8 rebounds as a backup to All-American Francisco Garcia, but saw decreasing playing time as the season progressed.

"It just wasn't the right situation for me," he said.

A native of Las Vegas, Wade had been recruited by UW out of high school, where he was a teammate of Harvey Perry, who signed with Washington last fall.

When he left Louisville, Wade immediately contacted UW coaches about coming to Seattle. But he also took trips to New Mexico State — where Reggie Theus, who recruited him to Louisville as an assistant, is now coach — and Nevada, where his girlfriend is enrolled.

But a trip to Washington last weekend sold him on becoming a Husky. He said he spent Saturday with coach Lorenzo Romar and was guided around campus by forward Jamaal Williams, who successfully transferred to UW from New Mexico.

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"I really got to connect with coach Romar on a personal level," Wade said. "He's a church-going guy but he's also a player's coach, having the background of having worked his way into the NBA, working through different camps and knowing what it's like for players trying to come up."

Wade cancelled trips to Oklahoma and San Diego State and called UW coaches with the news of his commitment yesterday.

His arrival all but solidifies UW's roster for next season. The Huskies have lost Nate Robinson and Martell Webster to the NBA and are still waiting to find out whether high-school recruit Roburt Sallie has achieved a qualifying test score.

Wade, ranked among the nation's top 20 shooting guards by RivalsHoops.com out of high school, will almost certainly be in the mix to replace Brandon Roy — who decided last month to stay at UW for his senior year — after next season.

BCA tourney in Montlake?

The Huskies are in negotiations to host a Black Coaches Association tournament next season.

"We have talked to them about it," said UW athletic director Todd Turner. "We'd love to host it if we can work it out."

The tournament would feature eight teams, including UW, playing three games each over three days in mid-November. Officials aren't sure of other teams that could be entered, but the tourneys usually feature at least two Top 25-caliber schools. A decision could come as soon as next week.

If the Huskies host one of the BCA tournaments, it would be the second high-profile tournament the team will play in next season, a sign of the program's continuing growth in national stature under Romar.

"It says a lot about Lorenzo and our program that they would want to come here," said Jeff Compher, UW's executive associate athletic director.

The Huskies are already scheduled for the Wooden Classic on Dec. 10 in Anaheim, Calif., though they are still attempting to finalize their opponent. New Mexico is thought the most likely foe, but Georgetown is also a possibility.

The BCA typically has two basketball tournaments every year — the BCA Classic, hosted last season by Marquette in Milwaukee; and the BCA Invitational, hosted by North Carolina State in Raleigh, N.C.

UW hasn't hosted a tournament since 1995, when it beat Gonzaga to win the US West Tournament at Edmundson Pavilion.

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

Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company

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