After getting a lot of criticism last season for a soft nonconference schedule, Washington has beefed it up, playing games at Oklahoma State...

After getting a lot of criticism last season for a soft nonconference schedule, Washington has beefed it up, playing games at Oklahoma State and Louisiana State and hosting Pittsburgh. The Huskies are also entered in the Preseason NIT, where they could face Utah, Texas A&M, Ohio State and/or Syracuse.

After playing to almost constant sellouts the past three seasons, season-ticket sales are down, about 700 from last season.

The Huskies won’t have to worry about keeping Lorenzo Romar around. The coach signed a new contract in August that will keep him at UW through the 2015-16 season and pay him a guaranteed $1.105 million per season — the first UW hoops coach to break the $1 million barrier.

Washington’s coaching staff is intact for the third consecutive season. Cameron Dollar, who has been with Romar for all of his six UW seasons, leads the staff in experience, followed by Jim Shaw (fourth year) and former Huskies forward Paul Fortier (third year).

The Huskies are expecting four letters of intent for the recruiting class of 2008 — 5-8 ½ guard Isaiah Thomas, formerly of Curtis High and now playing at South Kent (Conn.) School; 6-6 guard Scott Suggs of Washington, Mo.; 6-6 forward Tyreese Breshers of Price High in Los Angeles; 6-4 guard Elston Turner Jr. of Houston.

The Huskies could have three games on ESPN this season if they make it to the semifinal round of the Preseason NIT. Washington already is set to play on ESPN on Dec. 1 against Oklahoma State in the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.

Bob Condotta