Oct. 16, 1999
PULLMAN-Wash. -- Intensity was literally written all over the members of the 1999-2000 men's basketball team as the Cougars broke fall camp Saturday morning in the first of two practice sessions at the Physical Education Building gyms. In a move strikingly reminiscent of Kelvin Sampson-era practices, the practice jerseys worn by the Cougar players bore their number and one word: "INTENSITY."
"What's that old saying? Tough times don't last, but tough people do," new head coach Paul Graham said as he addressed the media following the morning session. "Based on what we've done in the past, I do think we have to become tough, especially being that we're shorthanded with size and depth. We have to learn how to compete. Like I just told the team a few moments ago, don't let fatigue turn you into a coward."
The session concluded with a brief five minute scrimmage where the white squad topped the crimson 6-5. Senior Jan-Michael Thomas scored first for the white, followed by a turnaround slam dunk from center J Locklier. Freshman Bryan Whitehead hit the game-winner, a seven footer from the left baseline, on the scrimmage's final possession. Junior Cedric Clark and freshman Nick Graham rounded out the white roster. Freshman Mike Malloy had a hand in all five of the crimson squad's points, hitting a three-pointer from the right wing, then later feeding senior Blake Pengelly on a perfectly executed screen play for an open lay-in. Freshman David Adams, sophomore Mike Bush and freshman Milton Riley rounded out the crimson roster.
ADDITIONAL PRACTICE NOTES: Three players missed the first day of practice...senior Chris Crosby is battling tonsillitis and has been quarantined from the rest of the team...junior Tyrone Evans is with his family in Texas attending the funeral of his aunt...junior Eddie Miller had some family matters to attend to in California..."I told those guys (Evans and Miller) to go be with their families. That's what's important."...Evans and Miller are expected to be available for practice early this week, while Crosby is listed as day-to-day...sophomore Mike Bush spent an extra 45 minutes after practice working on his middle-to-long range jump shots...in an effort to improve WSU rebounding, the coaching staff has implemented a drill involving a football-like blocking pad that that players must fight through in order to get to the basket.
YOUNG FRESH FELLOWS: Washington State opens 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 that 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 on 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...UCLA, Arizona, Stanford, Utah and Gonzaga have all been mentioned by various tabs in their 1999-2000 top 25...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, say USC or one of the Oregon schools, WSU will have home games against six ranked teams for the first time ever.
NEW OPPONENTS: WSU will face two opponents for the first time ever this season -- Southern and Texas-Pan American...also, 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)...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.
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).
FROM THE WEIGHT ROOM: Here are some of the pre-camp weight numbers taken earlier this week by assistant strength and conditioning coach Gary Calcagno...junior center J Locklier, who will redshirt this season under NCAA transfer rules, is the strongest Cougar by far with a 410-lbs. bench press, while senior guard Blake Pengelly is second on the team at 350 lbs...Pengelly also has the best vertical jump on the team at 36.5 inches from a standstill and 44 inches with a running start...his teammates are currently trying to talk Pengelly into participating in the team's slam dunk contest during the October 30 Basketball Bash '99...four of the six returning letterwinners showed a 50-lbs. or better improvement on their bench press from this time last season!...redshirt-junior forward Eddie Miller led the way by adding 60 lbs. to his bench (from 250 to 310)...Pengelly, one of the most diligent weight room workers, was right behind Miller with a 50-lbs. improvement (from 300 to 350)...redshirt-senior guard Cedric Clark and senior guard Jan-Michael Thomas also showed 50-lbs. improvements (both from 250 to 300)...sophomore guard Mike Bush went up 30 lbs. from 240 to 270...junior forward Chris Crosby had a modest 20-lbs. improvement (from 320 to 340) as of the August testing, but did not perform an October max with the team due to an illness...the top two frontcourt and backcourt weight room performers:
Bench Press Frontcourt J Locklier 410 lbs. Chris Crosby 340 lbs. Backcourt Blake Pengelly 350 lbs. Cedric Clark 300 lbs. Jan-Michael Thomas 300 lbs.
Vertical Jump Frontcourt Tyrone Evans 33.5 inches J Locklier 32 inches Milton Riley 32 inches Backcourt Blake Pengelly 36.5 inches Cedric Clark 30.5 inches Nick Graham 30.5 inches
Running Jump Frontcourt Tyrone Evans 38 inches J Locklier 36.5 inches Backcourt Blake Pengelly 44 inches Cedric Clark 36.5 inches
Body Fat Frontcourt Milton Riley 2.7 percent J Locklier 3.3 percent Backcourt Mike Bush 2.3 percent David Adams 4.4 percent
OPENING DAY QUOTES FROM PAUL GRAHAM: "We have three seniors coming back and a lot of new guys coming in and all positions are up for grabs. I don't care if we play all seniors and juniors or all freshmen, we are going to play with the five on the floor who will give us the best chance to win."
ON THE FRESHMEN: "They try hard. Two of them, Bryan (Whitehead) and David (Adams), probably don't understand what it takes to play at this level. Nick understands because he's been around that and he's seen it. The thing that freshmen have to do is understand how hard you have to play all the time, every trip down the floor. You can't get lazy. I'm sure this two-hour practice was as tough as any they've been through. Now they've got to come right back at three o'clock and do it again."
- GO COUGS -