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Originally published Thursday, March 13, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Notebook | Brockman doesn't like role as UW cheerleader

Jon Brockman is usually happy and willing to accept any role the Huskies give him. But cheerleader, not so much. "It was terrible," said...

Seattle Times staff reporter

Player of the game: California sophomore forward Ryan Anderson showed again why he was one of five players named to the All-Pac-10 first team, scoring 22 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. He scored 16 points in the second half.

Turning point: After UW opened the second half with a 15-5 run to take a 55-43 lead, Cal scored the next 16 to take the lead for good. Anderson scored 10 points to key the run.

Next: Waiting for Selection Sunday to see if a bid comes from the NIT or CBI.

LOS ANGELES — Jon Brockman is usually happy and willing to accept any role the Huskies give him.

But cheerleader, not so much.

"It was terrible," said Brockman, UW's junior forward who was forced to sit out Washington's 84-81 loss to California in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament Wednesday due to a sprained ankle suffered Saturday at WSU. "The worst feeling ever."

Brockman tried to warm up before the game and get the ankle passable enough to play, first at a shoot-around at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion, then at Staples Center.

But he said he felt he was no closer than 50 percent and that as much as he wanted to play, "I just had to realize that if I went out there at 50 percent, I would be a weakness for our team."

Brockman said there also was some worry of injuring it further.

Brockman said he had never before sat out a basketball game, even in summer league, and doesn't plan to do it again.

Should UW get invited to a postseason tournament he said he would be ready to go.

UW guard Ryan Appleby said "it was weird" not having Brockman out there. "With Jon in the game, we always can get easy baskets. So it's tough not playing with him."

Huskies optimistic about postseason

Despite the loss, UW officials are optimistic about being invited to a postseason tournament, either the NIT or the new College Basketball Invitational.

Washington officials say they have been in contact with the NIT, including committee chair C.M. Newton, to let them know of their interest.

"I think they know all about us and that we are definitely interested," said UW interim athletic director Scott Woodward. "We've made the case as best we can make it. [If the Huskies don't get invited] it won't be because they don't know who we are or what we are about."

Woodward said UW also aggressively pursued a bid last year, but the Huskies were left out despite a 19-13 record, news that caught them by surprise. They were so confident of a bid a year ago they were in uniform and ready to hit the court for a practice when they learned of the snub.

The Huskies say they don't want to take any chances this year.

"We're making sure the whole world knows we are stating our case," Woodward said.

Ultimately, however, it is the team's record that figures to determine whether a bid comes, and falling to .500 might make it difficult to get into the NIT, which has a 32-team field and has to take every regular-season conference champion that does not receive a bid to the NCAA tournament.

If the NIT doesn't call, the Huskies are likely to get invited to the CBI, a 16-team tournament originating this season. The CBI is thought to favor taking big-name schools.

Brockman to pursue summer draft camp

Brockman said that while he intends to return for his senior season he will accept an invitation to the NBA Pre-Draft camp if it comes.

"If I get it, I'll go to it and see what happens," he said. "That doesn't mean I'm going to the NBA. It just means any time you can play against top players and get a grasp of where you are at and what you need to work on and get feedback is a good thing."

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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