Feb. 2, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. - Hungry for apples? Well get your "Cup" full Saturday afternoon when the Cougars host the Huskies on the brand new parquet floor at Friel Court. Tip is slated for 3:00 p.m. in a game that will be televised nationally by Fox Sports Net.
CROSBY ENTERS TOP 15: Senior forward Chris Crosby moved two spots to 14th in WSU's career scoring last weekend...he comes into the Washington game with 1,167 career points...Crosby passed Steve Harriel (1,147/1979, 81-83 and Vince Hanson (1,153/1943, 45-46, 48 -- WSU's first 1,000-point scorer)...the Littleton, Colo...native needs just three points to eclipse No. 13 Terry Ball (1,169/1960-62)...Crosby is the 22nd member of WSU's 1,000-career point club and should climb into WSU's all-time top 10 by season's end...he is 95 points away from the top 10...he ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring and third in FT Pct.
DID YOU KNOW: Sure the Cougars scored just 38 points in last Saturday's loss at No. 2 Cardinal...but did you know that the 63 points Stanford scored was its second-lowest total of the season? Two days prior to the WSU-Stanford game, the Cardinal erupted for 92 points against Washington.
THIS WEEK 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.
Washington vs. WSU Saturday, February 5, 2000 3:00 p.m. PST
Television: The Washington State-Washington game will be shown live nationally on Fox Sports Net. Barry Tompkins and George Raveling are the announcers.
Records: Washington State is 5-12 (0-8 Pac-10) after dropping a 63-68 decision at Stanford last Saturday. Washington (7-13, 2-6) is coming off a buzzer-beating 54-52 win at Cal.
WSU-Washington Fun Facts: This is the 247th meeting between Washington and WSU. In NCAA history, only five other rivalries have been contested more frequently than that, all five involve Northwest schools: Oregon-Oregon State (312 games), Oregon State-Washington (264), Oregon-Washington (263), Oregon State-Washington State (259) and Oregon-Washington State (256). No current member of the Cougar squad has ever defeated the Huskies in Pullman (last season's win came in Spokane) and that covers two sports for Paul Mencke -- his football win over UW came at Seattle.
1980s Night: All fans dressed in 1980's garb will receive free admission.
On Deck: Washington State hosts Arizona State Thursday and No. 5 Arizona Saturday.
WSU COACH PAUL GRAHAM: Paul Graham is in his first season as a head coach...he has a 5-12 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's not a bad sign...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).
OH WHAT A FRIELING: Washington State's 74-71 victory December 2, 1998, against Portland State was the Cougars' 200th all-time win at Beasley Coliseum's 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 (.642)...WSU has a 208-116 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
HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK ENDS AT 45: The second-longest non-conference home winning streak in the nation ended at 45 games after No. 25 Utah stopped WSU 78-66 Dec. 11 at Friel Court...it was nearly a decade since WSU's last non-conference home loss...WSU was 45-1 versus non-conference teams at Friel during the 1990s!...the Cougars had 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 45 wins include 40 at Friel and five at Bohler Gym (all during the 1990-91 season)...the streak also included NIT victories in 1992 (Minnesota), 1995 (Texas Tech) and 1996 (Gonzaga).
PACK YOUR BAGS: Of WSU's 12 losses, 11 have come to teams making postseason plans...near-locks for the NCAA Tournament include Stanford (17-1), Arizona (17-4), Oregon (15-3), USC (13-6), Utah (17-3) and Gonzaga (16-5)...bubble/NIT teams include UCLA (12-6), Arizona State (11-8), California (11-8), Oregon State (10-8) and Colorado State (12-8)...that's a combined record of 151-55 and a winning percentage of .733!
SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies are struggling this season after back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances...like WSU, injuries have taken their toll on Washington...UW will be without Chris Walcott and Grant Leep Saturday..."Shootin'" Deon Luton is the Huskies' leading scorer (14.9 ppg)...1999 All-Pac-10 Freshman Senque Carey shows no signs of a sophomore slump at 12.7 points and 5.3 rebounds per game...junior forward Michael Johnson is one of the most-improved players in the Pac-10...he's averaging 11.2 points per game this year (1.7 ppg in 1999)...from the "it may not be pretty" category, UW and WSU rank at the bottom of the Pac-10 in scoring, field goal percentage, assists, rebound margin and turnover margin.
WSU-WASHINGTON SERIES: Washington leads 158-88. In the 1990s: Huskies lead 12-8. The two teams have split the last 12 games played "East of the Mountains," to borrow a title from Northwest author David Guterson...11 of those games have been in Pullman and one (last year's 72-71 WSU win) was in Spokane...Washington earned a season split by winning 76-59 in Seattle in the last men's game ever at Hec Ed Pavilion...the Huskies have actually won two straight in Pullman (74-72 in 1997, 70-51 in 1998)...WSU's last win in its own facility came in 1996 (76-66)...the series dates back to a 13-9 Washington win in 1910 and has been uninterrupted since the 1916-17 season.
FROSH ADAMS HITS FOR 20: When guard David Adams scored a career-high 20 points Jan. 20 versus Oregon State, he became the first WSU freshman to notch 20 points in a game since Isaac Fontaine went for 21 against Arizona State, Feb. 5, 1994...Fontaine also had a 33-point game earlier that season against Michigan State...Adams leads WSU in three-point field goal percentage (.462) and ranks fourth in the Pac-10...the Tacoma, Wash., native is averaging 8.2 points per game and has four double-figure scoring games this season: Grambling State (12), Portland (12), Colorado State (17) and Oregon State.
GAMES OF THE 1900s: The Colorado State game on Dec. 30, 1999, was the 2,510th and final game of the 1900s for Washington State...WSU's first season of basketball was 1901-02...the Cougars posted a 1,326-1,184 all-time record from 1901-99.
STANFORD RECAP: Jason Collins had 14 points as the Cardinal sent the Cougars to their ninth straight loss 63-38 Saturday at Maples Pavlion- their longest skid since an 18-game losing streak at the end of the 1989-90 season...despite scoring 38 points, however, WSU dictated the pace of the game and held the Cardinal to their second-lowest point total of the season. Casey Jacobsen and Jarron Collins each added 10 points for Stanford, which held the Cougars to 26 percent shooting. Chris Crosby had 16 points for the Cougars...the senior forward moved into 14th place in WSU career scoring with 1,167 career points...Crosby passed Vince Hanson, WSU's first 1,000-point scorer (1,153 points). The Cougars missed their first five shots of the game, and the Cardinal were up by 11 points by the time Eddie Miller hit a jumper with 13:48 left in the first half...Washington State then missed its next six shots, and Stanford built its 22-3 lead...a 10-2 run pulled the Cougars within 24-13 with 5:50 left in the first half, but Ryan Mendez hit a 3-pointer to begin a 10-0 Stanford run and Washington State never got close again. Stanford led 36-16 at halftime and built its margin to 23 points with 8:04 left in the second half on a three-point play by Jason Collins.
CALIFORNIA RECAP: Joe Shipp scored 22 points off the bench, including 16 straight during a decisive second-half California rally, leading the Bears to an 80-46 win over Washington State Thursday night...Cal broke a four-game losing streak, while the Cougars lost their eighth straight. The Bears scored 13 of the game's first 15 points and were never in trouble...they led 36-20 at the half, holding the Cougars to 34.8 percent shooting (8-for-23) and forcing 10 turnovers...freshman center Nick Vander Laan nearly had a double-double by halftime, with nine points and nine rebounds, and finished with 12 points and a season-high 12 rebounds...not one player in Washington State reached doubled figures...senior forward Chris Crosby led the Cougars with nine points. The game was delayed 22 minutes when steam from a hot dog stand set off a fire alarm 20 minutes before tipoff, forcing an evacuation and creating a logjam between fans exiting and those not yet in the building...it was the third game this season that a game was delayed by a fire alarm at Cal's new Haas Pavilion. WSU Redshirt junior guard Cedric Clark's first half field goal was the first he has made since the very first game of his WSU career -- Nov. 14, 1997, versus Central Washington...the walk-on from Birmingham, Ala., went 19 games between field goals. Freshman forward Bryan Whitehead saw his first action since injuring his knee in practice prior to the Jan. 6 USC game...he played three minutes and scored two points versus Cal...Whitehead missed six games.
CLARK TOPS CAREER TOTAL AT STANFORD: Redshirt junior forward Cedric Clark scored a career-high seven points last Saturday at Stanford...the walk-on from Birmingham, Ala., also notched career highs in steals (two) and minutes (20)...Clark came into the Stanford game with six career points. Clark, the only true point guard on the WSU roster with the injury to Nick Graham and the departure of Blake Pengelly, has seen action in each of WSU's last 10 games...when Clark made one of two free throws Jan. 15 at ASU, it was his first point since netting a free throw against Puerto Rico-Mayaguez on Nov. 30, 1997 -- more than two years ago...overall, Clark has played in 123 minutes this year, five times the total of his last two years combined -- 23 minutes. Clark's first half field goal last Thursday versus Cal was the first he had made since the very first game of his WSU career -- Nov. 14, 1997, versus Central Washington.
INJURY UPDATE: WSU's roster numbers have taken a hit lately...JR F Tyrone Evans is back in the infirmary after re-aggravating a left knee sprain that he initially suffered Dec. 30 at Colorado State game...Evans, who is averaging 4.7 points and 3.6 rebounds per game, is questionable for the Washington game...FR G Nick Graham will be sidelined for at least four more weeks after suffering a severe right ankle sprain during practice on Jan. 17...WSU's back up point guard had played in all 13 games prior to his injury, averaging 1.7 points per game...FR F Bryan Whitehead sustained a right knee injury during practice before the Jan. 6 USC game and missed six games...he returned to play three minutes and scored two points last Thursday versus Cal...Evans also cut his right hand on the backboard Jan. 17 during practice, and required 10 stitches...Evans saw limited action in the Jan. 20 Oregon State game, playing five minutes before the tissue surrounding the stitches became too tender for Evans to continue...WSU had only eight players to finish the second half, only six of whom were on scholarship...Evans played the last three games with a special glove covering his stitches, designed by team athletic trainer Mike Coco...Evans sprained his left knee during the Colorado State game (in which, he had a career-high 13 points) and missed three games...so far, four Cougars have missed games due to injury this season: Whitehead (6 games), Evans (3 games), Graham (4 games) and Milton Riley (1 game).
STARTING LINE-UPS: Here's a breakdown of WSU's starting five in 1999-2000:
G1-2 Evans, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush (1-1)
G3-4 Riley, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush (1-1)
G5 Bush, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Adams (1-0)
G6-9 Riley, Crosby, Thomas, Bush, Adams (2-2)
G10 Riley Crosby, Miller, Thomas, Adams (0-1)
G11-17 Crosby, Miller, Thomas, Bush, Adams (0-7)
THOMAS SHOOTING FOR WSU CAREER FT MARK: SR G Jan-Michael Thomas is on pace to establish the WSU career record for free throw percentage...his career average through one-plus seasons is 83.8 percent (114-136)...the school record is currently 82.5 percent (255-309) by Byron Vadset (1962-64)...teammate Chris Crosby is currently in eighth (79.54 percent).
In the single season chase, Crosby's and Thomas' roles are reversed...Crosby is hitting 87.5 percent at the charity stripe this season (improving on last season's .843 clip), while Thomas is at 84.1 percent...Crosby is just off David Sanders' 1988 record of 88.5 percent (54-61)...he tied a 35 year-old school record by hitting 11-of-11 attempts Dec. 4 versus Southern...Crosby had a streak of 25 consecutive free throws made snapped with a miss late in the Portland game.
COUGS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: A glance at this week's Pac-10 stats (1/31) finds several Cougars ranked in the conference in assorted categories...Chris Crosby ranks third in the conference in free throw shooting (87.5 pct.), fifth in scoring (16.2 ppg) and sixth in three-point field goal percentage (.425)...Mike Bush is third in steals (2.35 spg) and 16th in rebounding (6.0 rpg)...Jan-Michael Thomas is 14th in scoring (13.9 ppg) and sixth in free throw shooting (84.1 pct)...David Adams is fourth on three-point field goal percentage (44.2). As a team, WSU is frst in three-point field goal percentage (.389), third in rebounding defense (rebounds allowed) at 33.1 rpg, third in three-pointers made per game (6.59) and fifth in free throw percentage (.696) GIBBONS RANKS WSU NO. 2 IN PAC-10: College basketball recruiting expert Bob Gibbons has ranked Washington State's 2000 recruiting class as the 28th-best in the nation in his December newsletter...the four WSU signees are also listed as the No. 2 class in the Pac-10, trailing only Oregon...the Cougars signed four guards during the early signing period in November...slated to take the hardwood for WSU next season are high schoolers Tommy Johnson from Los Angeles' Crenshaw High School and Marcus Moore from Dominguez Hills High School in Compton, Calif., and junior college transfers Jerry McNair (Fullerton College) and Kendall Minor (Southern Idaho)...Moore enrolled at WSU in January and has been practicing with the team...both McNair and Minor will come in with three years of eligibility remaining...Oregon was ranked 25th, just three spots higher than WSU...other Pac-10 schools in the top 75 include No. 57 Stanford, No. 61 Washington and No. 72 Arizona State...WSU has one more newcomer who will join the four fall signees next year -- 6-10 center J Locklier who transferred from Miami, Ohio...Locklier must redshirt this season under NCAA transfer rules and will be a junior in 2000-01.
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 191 field goals with only 42 percent (80) 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 FGs was a three...he also had six boards and a pair of steals...Crosby is shooting a career-best 47 percent from the field through 17 games (89-191)...and make no mistake, his three-point shooting is just as good as ever, if not better, he's 34-80 (43 percent) from three-point land this season and the inside-out dual threat makes his threes all the more devastating. Crosby is also grabbing 3.9 rebounds per game and setting screens in the offensive set that eventually lead to a lot of open looks at the basket...he has even cut his turnovers of late down to less than two per game, a number that needs to continue to decline...but if Crosby makes it to the next level, he can thank one man with a reputation for developing big men -- Paul Graham.
BUSH ON VERGE OF CAREER, SINGLE-SEASON TOP TENS: The best defender on the Cougar team and one of the most underrated players in the Pac-10 players, SO G Mike Bush is on the verge of entering the WSU career top 10 in steals -- AS JUST A SOPHOMORE! He's four steals shy of the ten spot held by Craig Ehlo (91/1982-83).
Bush is also close to cracking the single-season top ten, with more than a third of the season yet to play...he has 40 on the season, 10 back of No. 10 Terrence Lewis (50/1992)...Bush could make a serious run at the WSU single-season steals mark of 76 set by Don Collins in 1980...17 games into the season (28 games total), Bush has 40 steals -- over halfway to Collins' mark.
BUSH, COUGARS TIE STEALS MARKS: Mike Bush reasserted himself as one of the best defenders in the Pac-10 Dec. 20 versus Portland State by tying Don Collins' 20 year-old single-game steals record of eight...led by his efforts, the Cougs also tied the team single-game steals record with 17...Bush is averaging 2.50 steals per game to rank fourth in the Pac-10. Bush continues to show much improvement during his sophomore season...he is one of WSU's top rebounders (6.0 rpg)...Bush broke his career mark with 10 boards in WSU's win over Idaho and has been WSU's leading rebounder six times this season...he also had 15 points versus the Vandals which gave the 6-6 Bush his first career double-double The Riverside, Calif., native has also shown more scoring punch this season, having set his career high in points, 19, versus UCLA...he followed that with 18 at Arizona and 18 versus Oregon State...for the season, Bush is averaging 11.7 points per game, up from his 6.6 ppg mark of his rookie campaign.
ANOTHER SERVICE RANKS WSU RECRUITS NO. 2 IN THE PAC-10: First Bob Gibbons did it...now Clark Francis of Hoop Scoop has ranked WSU's 2000 recruiting class as the second-best in the Pac-10...in the January edition of Basketball Times, Francis ranked WSU's four fall signees as the 37th-best in the nation and second in the Pac-10 to Oregon (26th overall)...other Pac-10 schools among the top 100 included No. 65 Arizona State, No. 85 California and No. 90 Washington.
MILLER SEEING DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Since returning to WSU's lineup nine games ago, junior forward Eddie Miller has been impressive...he's averaging 8.4 points and 8.0 rebounds per game and has notched career-highs in rebounds twice (14 vs. USC and Arizona)...during that stretch, Miller had a pair of doubles (13 pts, 14 reb vs. USC, 16 pts, 14 reb vs. Arizona) and just missed another at Arizona State (11 pts, 9 reb) and versus Oregon (12 pts, 9 reb)...the Reseda, Calif., native has been the Cougs' leading rebounder in seven of the last nine games...Miller, who was sidelined during the fall semester due to academic problems, would be among the Pac-10 leaders in rebounding if he had played in enough games -- he will not qualify for the Pac-10 stats until Feb. 28 -- following the Cal game on Feb. 26...Miller, a 1999 Pac-10 all-newcomer honorable mention, averaged 10.9 points and 5.4 rebounds per game last season.
THREE-POINT PLAYERS: Seniors Chris Crosby and Jan-Michael Thomas both rank in WSU's top 10 in career three-point baskets...by season's end, Thomas should join Crosby in the top five. Crosby leads the pair with 175 threes (fourth) and looks to close in on the 200 barrier by season's end...Thomas, in just his second season wearing the Crimson and Gray, is now sixth with 131...Thomas needs just six more threes to enter the top five.
THE SKINNY ON THE L's: There have been several inquiries as to the historical relevance of WSU's current losing streaks...in the interest of accuracy, here are the brief facts about the current streaks the Cougars are trying to snap out of:
9-game losing streak
, is WSU's longest since 18-game streak in 1990
, is tied for the sixth-longest in WSU history
18 games, 12-30-89 to 3-8-90
13 games, 1-11-28 to 2-21-28
12 games, 1-7-53 to 2-12-53
10 games, 12-10-52 to 12-26-52
10 games, 1-10-58 to 2-24-58
Last win: 12-20-99 (Portland State, 68-62)
12-game Pac-10 losing streak
, is WSU's longest since 17-game streak in 1990
, is the third-longest in WSU history
17 games, 12-2-89 to 3-8-90
15 games, 2-5-27 to 2-21-28 (Pacific Coast North)
Last win: 2-18-99 (California, 79-73)
20-game Pac-10 road losing streak
, is WSU's longest since 34-game streak 1954-58
, is the second-longest in WSU history
, is the second-longest in Pac-10 since expansion
34 games, 2-5-54 to 2-8-58 (Pacific Coast Conference)
Longer Pac-10 streaks:
Oregon, 27 games, 1991-94
Last win: 1-15-98 (Oregon State, 69-53)
0-8 to begin Pac-10 play
, is WSU's poorest start since 1928
, is third-worst in school history
Worse starts to conference play:
0-9, 1928, finished 1-9 (Pacific Coast North)
0-10, 1911, finished 0-10 (Northwest Conference)
YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS: WSU 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.
HENDRICKSON RE-SIGNED BY CAVS: Former WSU standout Mark Hendrickson (1993-96) signed a second 10-day contract with the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 18...it is the 21st straight season that WSU has had at least one player in the NBA, dating back to James Donaldson in 1979-80 and continuing with Craig Ehlo, Brian Quinnett and Hendrickson...this is Hendrickson's fourth year in the NBA, he was drafted by Philadelphia and has also played for Sacramento and New Jersey...Hendrickson is No. 4 on WSU's all-time scoring list (1,496 points) and second in rebounding (926) and field goal percentage (.567)...he also ranks sixth in free throws (400), first in fouls (335) and third in minutes played (3,570)...he was a two-time all-Pac-10 pick in 1995-96 and made the league's freshman team in 1993...Hendrickson was a three-time NABC District 14 All-America selection, team MVP in 1995 and 1996 and captained the 1996 Cougar squad.
STARTERS: Coming into the 1999-2000 season, only five of WSU's 13 players had ever started a college game...of the active players, Chris Crosby has the most starts with 54, followed by Jan-Michael Thomas (41).
RECENT ADDITIONS: WSU has added three players to its roster since the beginning of the season...the latest two additions are freshman guard Marcus Moore and junior forward Claude "CD" Doucet. Moore is a 6-5 guard who signed with WSU in the fall and passed his SAT in December to become eligible...Moore finished his brilliant career at Dominguez High School in Compton, Calif., last spring, leading the school to the 1999 state championship...he was the 1999 John Wooden Award winner for the state of California for coach Russell Otis and was ranked as the state's top point guard after averaging 13 points, eight assists and six boards a game. Doucet comes to WSU via Lamar...the Anchorage, Alaska, native signed with Lamar after playing two seasons at South Plains Junior College in Levelland, Texas, where he averaged seven points and four rebounds per game...Doucet, who transferred to WSU to be closer to home, will practice with the Cougars this semester, but will not be eligible until next year. Football player Paul Mencke was already a slash -- quarterback/tight end/receiver...now you can add two more words to that title -- guard/forward...Mencke, a two-time Greater Spokane League MVP, joined the Washington State basketball team on Dec. 13. During his junior year, the Spokane native was named MVP of the GSL and led Lewis and Clark High School to its first state tournament appearance in 32 years...the 6-5, 229-lbs., Mencke averaged 20 points and 11 rebounds per game as a senior and repeated his GSL MVP honors...playing for coach Glenn Williams, he led the GSL in scoring in back-to-back seasons. Mencke wears number 24 (he wanted to wear his football number 12, but the jersey was too small)...like he was in football, Mencke is a redshirt junior and has this season and next season of eligibility remaining...following basketball, Mecke will re-join the football team for spring drills and then stay with football through the fall...if all goes well this season, Mencke will play basketball again next winter following the conclusion of the 2000 football season.
SLASH MENCKE BECOMES TRUE TWO-SPORTER: To the delight of his hometown Spokane Arena crowd, Paul Mencke became the first two-sport football-basketball player at WSU since Kitrick Taylor in the mid 1980s when he played in his first basketball game Jan. 6 versus USC...Mencke played four minutes and grabbed two rebounds against the Trojans...it was the first time in four years that Mencke played in the Lilac City...Mencke scored his first point as a basketball player on a free throw Jan. 13 at Arizona and grabbed a career-high five rebounds Jan. 22 versus Oregon. Taylor is a former NFL player who lettered in football in 1982-83 and 1985-86 and in basketball in 1985 and 1987. 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).
WOW - WHAT A SCHEDULE: For the first time since 1994-95, odds are that WSU will play home games against five different ranked teams...the first three came Nov. 29 versus No. 25 Gonzaga (Spokane), Dec. 11 versus No. 25 Utah and Jan. 8 vs. No. 20 UCLA...two more opponents are currently ranked in the national polls: No. 2 Stanford and No. 5 Arizona...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).
WSU VS. RANKED TEAMS: WSU currently has eight games scheduled against top 25 teams...the next comes Feb. 12 versus No. 5 Arizona...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 games versus ranked opponents during the 1996-97 season.
PENGELLY LEAVES TEAM: Senior guard Blake Pengelly left the Washington State men's basketball team for personal reasons, announced prior to WSU's Dec. 7 game versus Portland. Pengelly, a native of Eugene, Ore., was averaging 4.0 points and 6.8 assists per game through five contests this season...he played in 93 career games with 56 starts...he ranks fifth in WSU career assists with 324 and is eighth in career three-point field goals with 119.
NEW OPPONENTS: WSU faces two opponents for the first time ever this season -- Southern and Texas-Pan American...Utah visited Pullman for the first time since 1939, it was also the first game between the two schools overall since 1972...the Cougars also renewed 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 met 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 was just the second meeting with Grambling State.