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Tuesday, May 16, 2006 - Page updated at 12:00 AM

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Huskies will host men's basketball tourney

Seattle Times staff reporter

The Washington Huskies, taking quick advantage of recent NCAA rule changes regarding men's basketball schedules, have reached agreement to host the Basketball Travelers Classic at Edmundson Pavilion, Nov. 12-14.

The three-day tournament, which will open the season for the Huskies, will feature four teams playing a round-robin format. Each team will play the other once, meaning every school involved will play three games. Opponents aren't set, but Pepperdine and Illinois State are two possible entrants.

"It'll be great for a young team such as ours," said UW athletic director Todd Turner, referring to the fact that the Huskies will be breaking in four incoming freshmen, including center Spencer Hawes of Seattle Prep.

NCAA rules were changed late last month, allowing schools to play in a preseason tournament every season instead of twice every four years.

It was too late, however, for UW to get into any of the more established tournaments, such as the Maui Classic.

So the Huskies instead teamed with Basketball Travelers. The organization — founded in 1985 by Nels Hawkinson, former Seattle Pacific women's coach — works with colleges and high schools to put together tournaments and summer tours.

It is the second straight season Washington will open with a three-game tournament at home. The Huskies hosted the Black Coaches Association Classic last November.

The Nov. 12 opener for the Basketball Travelers Classic will mark the earliest season opener in UW history.

Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company

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