Nov. 23, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Eight miles of lonely two-lane blacktop on Washington Highway 270 is all that separates Friel Court and the Kibbie Dome, but to the loser of the annual Border War, it might as well be a cross-country trip. Bragging rights of the Palouse are on the line when Idaho crosses the line on the map that marks 117 degrees West and visits WSU in the Evergreen State Saturday at 1:00 p.m.
HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK AT 42: The Cougars come into Saturday's game with the third-longest non-conference winning streak in the nation...win No. 42 came Monday night against Grambling State (80-55). The Cougars have not lost at home to a non-conference foe since December 14, 1989, when Idaho escaped Friel Court with a 56-52 win. The streak began with a 112-81 win over BYU-Hawaii in the first game of the 1990-91 season...WSU's 42 wins include 37 at Friel and five at Bohler Gym (all during the 1990-91 season)...the streak also includes NIT victories in 1992 (Minnesota), 1995 (Texas Tech) and 1996 (Gonzaga). Streak leader Maryland defeated Farleigh Dickinson Monday night to reach 67 straight...the Terrapins' next home game comes Dec. 7 versus Winthrop...No. 2 North Carolina does not play its first home game of the season until Dec. 1 versus Michigan State...No. 4 Penn State hosts Loyola (Md.) Wednesday night...the Nittany Lions also host Boston College on Saturday.
THIS WEEK at Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum (12,058)
Radio: The Crimson & Gray Sports Network will broadcast all WSU regular season games on its 13-station network with Bud Nameck (7th season) calling the play-by-play. Broadcasts are also available via the Internet, www.wsucougars.com.
Idaho at WSU Saturday, November 27, 1999 1:00 p.m. PST
Records: The Vandals are 1-1 on the young season after a respectable showing in Oklahoma State's season-opening tournament. Idaho edged Oral Roberts 71-70 in overtime in the opening round before succumbing to host Oklahoma State 81-50 in the title game. New WSU head coach Paul Graham was an assistant for the Cowboys for seven years before coming to Pullman.
On Deck: WSU plays host to the 1999 Cavanaugh's Classic Monday, Nov. 29 in Spokane. The Cougars will meet 1999 Elite Eight participant Gonzaga at 7:30 p.m. in the Spokane Arena. The game will be televised live to a regional audience on Fox Sport Net Northwest. Next Saturday (Dec. 4), WSU hosts Southern at 1:00 p.m. in a doubleheader with the Cougar women's basketball team. The women will battle Eastern Washington immediately following the men's game.
WSU COACH PAUL GRAHAM: Paul Graham is in his first season as a head coach...he has a 1-1 record overall and at Washington State...Graham was an assistant coach for seven seasons under Eddie Sutton at Oklahoma State prior to accepting the head position at WSU...he is the 13th former Sutton assistant to land a Division I head coaching job...Graham is the 14th head coach in the 99-year history of Cougar basketball...against Grambling State, Graham became the 11th WSU head coach to win his home debut. Though Graham lost his first game (Nevada) as WSU's head coach, it may not be a bad thing...the last Cougar head coach to lose his first game on the Cougar sideline was George Raveling in 1972, who would later become the only man in WSU history to lead the Cougars to two NCAA Tournament appearances (1980, 1983). WSU AT FRIEL COURT: Washington State's 74-71 victory December 2, 1998, against Portland State was the Cougars' 200th all-time win at Friel Court...beginning with an 80-78 WSU victory against Louisiana State on December 1, 1973, the Cougars have won nearly two-thirds of the games they have played there (.647)...WSU has a 205-112 all-time record in Beasley...milestone wins at Friel:
No. 1 WSU 80, LSU 78, 12/1/73
No. 3 WSU 71, USC 56, 1/5/74 (first league win)
No. 25 WSU 77, Cal 63, 1/8/77
No. 50 WSU 77, USC 57, 1/24/80
No. 100 WSU 75, Oregon 71, 2/14/86
No. 150 WSU 95, Oregon 79, 1/21/93
No. 200 WSU 74, Portland State 71, 12/2/98
PENGELLY SETS CAREER HIGH, REACHES 300 ASSISTS: Senior guard Blake Pengelly has had quite an impressive showing during the season's first two games...in the season opener Friday at Nevada, he set a career high with nine assists and had no turnovers...he followed that with another career high -- 10 assists versus Grambling State!...with his first assist during the Grambling game, the senior became only the fifth WSU player with 300 career assists...the Eugene, Ore., native needs 63 more to pass Marty Giovacchini for fourth place...Pengelly will most certainly lead the Pac-10 in assists when the conference stats are released Monday as he looks more and more like the player he was his sophomore year when he had 120 assists.
SCOUTING IDAHO: WSU coach Paul Graham will probably be looking to his former employer for help scouting the Vandals, Idaho opened the 1999-2000 season at Oklahoma State's tournament...the Vandals edged Oral Roberts 71-70 in the opening round Friday night before falling to the Cowbows 81-50 in the championship game...Idaho has a potent senior scoring punch of guard Gordon Scott (16.0 ppg) and forward Clifford Gray (15.5 ppg)...junior forward Kaniel Dickens is also in double figures (12.0 ppg)...against Oral Roberts, he had 18 points and 11 boards, while Gray had 20 points and 13 rebounds...the Vandals like the three -- they tried 25 of them against OSU and 12 against Oral Roberts...Idaho is searching for a consistent point guard...so far, Gray, a forward, is leading the team in assists at 3.5 per game.
WSU-IDAHO SERIES: Cougars lead 149-105...In the 1990s: Cougars lead 7-5...WSU's second longest rivalry reaches its 255th meeting on Saturday...WSU has played only Oregon State (258) more times...the Cougars have won two straight and five of the last six games...Idaho last won 73-66 at Moscow in 1996-97...WSU has won five straight at Friel...Idaho was the last non-conference team to defeat WSU in Pullman, 56-52 on Dec. 14, 1989...the Cougars have won 42 straight non-conference games at home since that game.
LAST MEETING -- CROSBY TIES RECORD: Senior forward Chris Crosby was nearly unstoppable the last time WSU and Idaho met -- WSU's 84-69 win December 20, 1998, at Idaho...he tied a school record with nine three pointers (set by Bennie Seltzer, vs. Stanford, 2/27/93), was one shy of the Pac-10 record...he nearly set another WSU record by hitting 90 percent (9-10) of his three point attempts (Eddie Hill's 1.000/6-6 is the school mark). Crosby scored a career-high 38 points (tied for the fifth-highest single game total in school history) on 13-of-17 shooting from the floor and was a perfect three-for-three at the free throw line...the 38 points were the most by a Cougar player since Isaac Fontaine scored 38 in a double-overtime loss to Arizona on March 2, 1995...Crosby's 13 field goals and 17 attempts were also career-highs.
CROSBY CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Senior forward Chris Crosby took another big step toward the 1,000 career-points mark with 29 Monday against Grambling State...that upped his career total to 937 points, needing just 63 more to become the 22nd member of the 1,000-point club at WSU...at this season's pace of 22.5 points per game, the Littleton, Colo., native will reach that milestone Dec. 4 versus Southern.
MORE ON CROSBY: Pop quiz -- how do you transform a 6-8 shooting guard into a pretty well-rounded inside player? Answer -- Paul Graham...for the first three years of his career, Chris Crosby was a shooting guard inside a forward's body...nearly half of his career field goal attempts (365 of 739) came from beyond the arc...but this season, Crosby has attempted 26 field goals with only nine coming from downtown. And to those who thought he was just a gunner, check out the box from the Grambling State game, his 29 points were the second-highest of his career, but only one of his 12 field goals was a three-pointer...he also had six boards and a pair of steals...Crosby is shooting a blistering 65.4 percent from the field through two games (17-26)...and make no mistake, his three-point shooting is just as good as ever, if not better, he's 5-9 (55.6 percent) from three-point land this season and the inside-out dual threat makes his threes all the more devastating. Crosby is also grabbing 5.0 rebounds per game and setting screens in the offensive set that eventually lead to a lot of open looks at the basket...he still needs cut down his turnovers, he's at 3.0 per game...but if Crosby makes it to the next level, he can thank one man with a reputation for developing big men -- Paul Graham.
GRAMBLING STATE RECAP: WSU got its first win of the 1999-2000 season and Paul Graham got his first win as a head coach by stopping Grambling State 83-55 Monday night at Friel Court...it was WSU's 42nd straight non-conference win in Pullman...the Cougars shot 64.5 percent from the field in the first half (34-60)...Chris Crosby scored 29 points, while David Adams had 12...Blake Pengelly and Mike Bush had career highs in assists with 10 and seven, respectively...Tyrone Evans tied a Coliseum record with five blocked shots...Evans, who played in just 10 minutes, equaled the effort put forth by Oregon State's Steve Johnson, WSU's Carlos Daniel and Cal's Francisco Elson...Grambling State tied a Friel Court record with 29 turnovers...WSU is now 7-0 all-time against teams from the SWAC (2-0 vs. Grambling). The Cougars play Southern, another SWAC school, Dec. 4 in Pullman.
YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS: Washington State opened the season with five freshmen on its roster (David Adams, Nick Graham, Mike Malloy, Milton Riley and Bryan Whitehead) for the first time in 14 years...the last time WSU had at least five rookies on its opening day roster was the 1985-86 season...that year, the Cougs actually had six -- Neil Evans, David Hairston, John Hodges, Anthony Kidd, David Sanders and Brian Wright...five of those six names should be very familiar to the Cougar faithful, Evans (who redshirted the 1985-86 season), Hodges, Kidd, Sanders and Wright all went on to become four-year letter winners for WSU...the 1985-86 Cougars went 15-16 overall and 8-10 in the conference for Coach Len Stevens...this year's crop of freshmen would certainly like to have at least one thing in common with the 1985-86 rookies -- they were the last WSU team to defeat Arizona.
WOW - WHAT A SCHEDULE: For the first time since 1994-95, odds are that WSU will play home games against five different ranked teams...five opponents are currently ranked in the AP poll: No. 10 Arizona, No. 12 UCLA, No. 9 Stanford, No. 16 Utah and No. 25 Gonzaga...and Oregon and USC were listed among the teams that also received votes...in 1994-95, all five teams were from the Pac-10: No. 17 California, No. 23 Stanford, No. 17 Oregon, No. 12 Arizona and No. 15 Arizona State (WSU was 4-1 versus those schools at home)...if one more Pac-10 team finds its way into the top 25, WSU will have home games against six ranked teams for the first time ever.
WSU VS. RANKED TEAMS: WSU currently has eight games scheduled against top 25 competition...the first is Nov. 29 against No. 25 Gonzaga...the last time WSU defeated a ranked opponent was February 22, 1997, when the Cougs beat No. 25 Cal 89-87...WSU also played eight ranked opponents during the 1996-97 season.
NEW OPPONENTS: WSU will face two opponents for the first time ever this season -- Southern and Texas-Pan American...Utah will visit Pullman for the first time since 1939, it will also be the first game between the two schools overall since 1972...the Cougars also renew dormant rivalries with Nevada (last meeting 1972), Colorado State (1978) and Portland (1990).
OLD OPPONENTS: WSU's oldest rivalry, Oregon State, will reach game No. 260 this season...Washington State and Idaho will meet for the 255th time this season...the second Oregon game will be No. 254 in the series...WSU and Washington inch toward the 250 mark with games 247 and 248 this season...it will be just the second meeting with Grambling State, the first came last season when the Cougars handcuffed the Tigers to a 46-point, 114-68 loss at the Sun Bowl Classic in El Paso, Texas.
THREE FOR THREE: Seniors Chris Crosby, Blake Pengelly and Jan-Michael Thomas all rank in WSU's top 11 in career three-point baskets...combined, the trio has netted 357 career treys. Crosby leads the group with 146 threes (fourth) and looks to close in on the 200 barrier by season's end...Pengelly ranks seventh in three-point baskets (185) and is chasing No. 6 Dominic Ellison (1994-96) with 128...Thomas, in just his second season wearing the Crimson and Gray, netted two threes versus Grambling State to enter the top 10 in a tie with David Sanders (1986, 88-90) at 93.
I WANT MY COUGTV: Washington State will be on the Fox network nine times this season, with the possibility of a tenth game (UCLA - March 9) if that contest has a bearing on the conference title race...three games will be shown nationally (Fox Sports Northwest locally) -- Dec. 11 Utah, Jan. 22 Oregon and Feb. 5 Washington...Fox Sports Northwest will broadcast an additional four games -- Nov. 29 Gonzaga, Jan. 13 Arizona, Feb. 12 Arizona and Feb. 26 California -- to a regional audience...two other road games will be shown in their local market -- Jan. 29 Stanford (Fox Sports Bay Area) and March 11 USC (Fox West 2).
STARTING LINE-UPS: Here's a breakdown of WSU's starting five in 1999-2000:
G1-2 Evans, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush