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Cougars Head Back to the Desert

Men's basketball visits Arizona schools in season's first Pac-10 road trip.

January 5, 1999

PULLMAN, Wash. - It's the first road trip of the Pac-10 season, but it's WSU's second road trip to the desert Southwest in the last two weeks when the Cougars visit No. 8 Arizona on Thursday and Arizona State on Saturday.

Tentative Cougar Starters

No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
13 Kojo Mensah-Bonsu F 6-5 1/4 217 SR 13.1 ppg, 6.5 rpg, 1.1 bpg
34 Chris Crosby F 6-7 215 JR 16.1 ppg, 4.8 rpg
41 Steve Slotemaker C 6-9 221 SR 5.3 ppg, 2.4 rpg
3 Blake Pengelly PG 5-10 163 JR 4.9 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.7 apg
4 Jan-Michael Thomas G 5-10 1/2 169 JR 13.9 ppg, 2.4 rpg

Reserves

44 Eddie Miller F 6-6 216 SO 10.1 ppg, 5.9 rpg
5 Mike Bush F 6-5 186 FR 8.0 ppg, 2.7 rpg
12 Kab Kazadi G 6-0 184 SR 4.6 ppg, 2.4 rpg
40 Brian Stewart C 6-10 1/4 223 SO 3.7 ppg, 1.3 rpg
42 Will Hutchens G 6-3 1/2 201 SR 2.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg
54 Leif Nelson C 6-10 1/2 272 SR 2.5 ppg, 2.2 rpg
10 Cedric Clark G 5-11 1/2 175 SO 0.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg

WSU-ARIZONA SERIES: Wildcats lead 33-10. Arizona owns a remarkable 26-game winning streak versus the Cougars that dates back to the 1985-86 season. WSU's last win over the Wildcats was a 65-63 overtime decision, January 30, 1986, in Pullman.

Arizona's domination during the streak has been impressive. 20 of the 26 wins have come by 10 or more points and 14 have come by 15 or more. The closest WSU has come to snapping the streak recently was the controversial 114-111 double-overtime loss at Pullman in 1995.

In games at Tucson, WSU has dropped 14 in a row since last winning there 51-49 on January 14, 1984. The Wildcats' average margin of victory in those home games is 16.4 points per game. In fact, Arizona has defeated WSU by at least 10 points in all but two of those 14 games (eight points in 1995 and one point in 1986).

The series dates back to 1960 in a game WSU won 64-58. Prior to the 1983-84 season, the Cougars led this series 8-4.WSU is 5-16 all-time in Tucson. Last year, UA won 83-61 in Tucson.

WSU-ARIZONA STATE SERIES: This has been one of the best series in the Pac-10 with the Sun Devils holding a slight 22-21 edge. Dating back to a 94-70 ASU win in 1960, neither team has been able to win more than five in a row. Last year, ASU snapped WSU's five-game series winning streak with a season sweep (82-68 in Tempe). Prior to last year, WSU had won eight of the last nine games. WSU is 8-14 all-time in Tempe.

THIS WEEK

Radio: The Crimson & Gray Sports Network will broadcast all WSU games on its 16-station network with Bud Nameck (6th season) calling the play-by-play. Broadcasts are also available via the Internet, www.broadcast.com

WSU at No. 8 Arizona
Thursday, January 7
5:37 p.m. PST (6:37 MST)
McKale Center (14,489)
Television: None.

Records: WSU is 7-5 on the year (1-0 conference) after upsetting Washington 72-71 in the Pac-10 opener last Sunday. WSU has now won six of its last seven games. Arizona (9-1, 1-1) split a pair of games last weekend in Los Angeles, losing to UCLA 82-75 Saturday before rebounding to stop USC 72-70 on Monday.

WSU at Arizona State
Saturday, January 9
5:00 p.m. PST (6:00 MST)
UAC (14,733)
Television: None.

Records: ASU is 8-6 overall (0-2 Pac-10) following a pair of losses in Los Angeles last weekend. The Sun Devils play host to Washington Thursday night before Saturday's game.

On Deck: The Cougars will make their first appearance at Friel Court in 37 days when WSU hosts Oregon on Thursday, January 14. The Cougs' last game at home was a 70-69 win December 8 against BYU. WSU will host Oregon State two days later.

PAC-10 POWER: A week of conference play has gone by and all 10 Pac-10 teams still own better-than .500 records entering this weeks play.

CLOSE ONES GO WSU'S WAY: Last year, WSU was 2-9 in games decided by seven points or less. This season in that same category, WSU is 3-0 with a pair of one point victories.

EASTMAN NEARS 200 VICTORIES: Kevin Eastman is in his fifth season as head coach at WSU. He has a 66-64 (.508) five-year record. Among Cougar coaches with at least a four-year tenure, Eastman's winning percentage is fourth, just ahead of Kelvin Sampson's .500 (103-103/1988-94). The New Brunswick, N.J., native's winning percentage also trails three WSU coaching legends, Jack Friel's .568 (495-377/1929-58), Fred Bohler's .561 (226-177/1909-26) and George Raveling's .551 (167-136/1973-83).

Overall in 11 years as a head coach, Eastman holds a 190-139 (.579) record. Included in that are a 65-22 mark at Belmont Abbey and a 59-53 mark at UNC-Wilmington.

Eastman is 0-8 all-time versus Arizona and 5-3 all-time against Arizona State.

SWITCHING STARTERS: Mainly due to injury, WSU has used seven different starting lineups in 12 games this season. Only senior forward Kojo Mensah-Bonsu and junior guard Blake Pengelly have started all 12 games. Nine of WSU's 12 players have made at least one start this year. Here's a look:

G 1-3   Mensah-Bonsu, Crosby, Nelson, Pengelly, Bush
G 4	    Mensah-Bonsu, Crosby, Miller, Pengelly, Thomas
G 5     Mensah-Bonsu, Crosby, Nelson, Pengelly, Thomas
G 6     Mensah-Bonsu, Slotemaker, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush
G 7-10  Mensah-Bonsu, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush
G 11    Mensah-Bonsu, Miller, Pengelly, Thomas, Hutchens
G 12    Mensah-Bonsu, Crosby, Slotemaker, Pengelly,Thomas

1998-99

Career

Player

Starts

Starts

Mensah-Bonsu

12

15

Pengelly

12

44

Crosby

10

31

Thomas

9

9

Bush

8

8

Nelson

4

28

Miller

2

2

Slotemaker

2

15

Hutchens

1

1

Kazadi 0 18

KOJO'S MOJO: Senior forward Kojo Mensah-Bonsu recorded his third double-double in his last seven games in Sunday's upset of Washington. Kojo had 19 points and 10 rebounds. He also helped hold Washington All-America center Todd MacCullough to just two points. During the last seven games, Kojo is averaging 14.2 points and 7.6 rebounds per game. WSU is 6-1 during that span.

THE MILLER'S TALE: Since returning from the ankle injury that sidelined him for the Gonzaga and Portland State games, sophomore forward Eddie Miller is looking like the solid inside force he was developing into pre-injury. After seeing limited action in the Eastern Washington game, Miller scored a career-high 18 points in the win over BYU. More recently, the Reseda, Calif., native collected a career-high 11 boards against UTEP and 17 points and eight rebounds versus Grambling State. One area Miller can work on is fouls. He has been DQ'd in three of 10 games this year.

PRIDE OF DAYTON EARNS FIRST CAREER START: Senior guard Will Hutchens, a former walk-on, continues to see his role increase. After playing a career-high 19 minutes at Idaho, the "Pride of Dayton" topped that with 23 minutes of action versus UTEP. He then earned his first career start against Grambling State where he grabbed a career-high six rebounds to go along with nine points. The 1995 state B player of the year, Hutchens is second on the team in assists with 15.

KAZADI A SURPRISE AT THE LINE: After missing three of his first four free throw attempts on the season, senior guard Kab Kazadi has now made 13 straight attempts dating back to the BYU game on December 8, raising his season average to .824. The Newton, Kan., native has not missed a free throw in nearly a month; his last misfire came during the second half at Eastern Washington on December 5. That's good news for the Cougars who are shooting just .668 at the line this season. Kazadi came into 1998-99 a 67 percent career free throw shooter.

COUGS LEAVE MARK ON EL PASO: Though WSU went 1-1 in the 1998 Sun Bowl Classic Basketball Tournament, the Cougars certainly left their mark on El Paso. The Cougs set two Haskins Center and two Classic Tournament records during the December 28-29 event. WSU set a Haskins Center record for most points scored with 114 in the consolation final versus Grambling State. WSU's Jan-Michael Thomas set Haskins Center and tournament records with eight three point baskets versus UTEP in the first game. WSU's 46 point margin of victory against Grambling State (114-68) was the largest in tournament history.

WSU's 114 points was the most scored by the Cougars since they defeated Alcorn State 119-81 on December 16, 1991. It was also WSU's first 100-point game since defeating Arizona State 103-78 on March 2, 1996, the Cougars' first 100-point effort in 74 games.

JAN-MICHAEL EARNS ALL-TOURNEY NOD, BEATS UW: Junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas set Sun Classic and Don Haskins Center records when he buried eight three pointers in WSU's first round loss to UTEP. Thomas, who was named to the all-tournament team, tied a career high with 26 points on eight three pointers and a pair of free throws. He followed that performance with nine points in the Grambling State win. Against UTEP, the Inglewood, Calif., native was eight-of-15 from three-point range. He was just one three pointer made and attempted short of equaling the WSU marks of nine made (by Chris Crosby and Bennie Seltzer) and 16 attempted (by Seltzer).

Thomas' fireworks weren't over. Though he made only one field goal against Washington, Thomas sure made it count. His three-pointer with three seconds remaining gave the Cougars the 72-71 upset.

SCOUTING ARIZONA: The Wildcats (No. 8 in the AP poll, No. 11 ESPN/USA Today) suffered their first setback of the season last week when UCLA stopped them 82-75 in Los Angeles. Arizona started three freshmen in their last game, an 87-78 win at USC. The Wildcats are led by the Pac-10's leading scorer, Jason Terry who averages 19.8 points per game. Terry is also one of the best assist men in the league at 5.4 per game. UA leads the Pac-10 in scoring at 82.8 points per game and also paces the league in rebound margin at +11.0 per game (WSU is ninth in that category at -2.3). Conversely, Arizona ranks ninth in three-point field goal pct. (.313), while the Cougs lead the conference (.420).

Tentative Wildcat Starters

No. Name Pos. Ht. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
21 Michael Wright F 6-7 FR 14.0 ppg, 7.8 rpg
44 Richard Jefferson F 6-6 FR 11.8 ppg. 5.2 rpg, 2.3 apg
42 A.J. Bramlett C 6-10 SR 14.8 ppg, 10.6 rpg, 1.7 bpg
11 Traves Wilson G 6-2 FR 5.9 ppg, 2.3 apg
31 Jason Terry G 6-2 SR 19.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 5.4 apg

SCOUTING ARIZONA STATE: All five starters are averaging at least 2.0 assists per game, which makes ASU the best passing team in the Pac-10. Eddie House is the No. 2 scorer in the Pac-10 at 19.6 points per game (just behind Arizona's Terry). Bobby Lazor is also among the top five at 17.9 points per game. The Sun Devils are the best free throw shooting team in the conference at 72.5 percent. But ASU ranks last in the conference in field goal percentage defense, allowing opponents to shoot 45.5 percent from the field.

Tentative Sun Devil Starters

No. Name Pos. Ht. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
4 Bobby Lazor F 6-9 SR 17.9 ppg, 9.1 rpg, 2.6 apg
24 Mike Batiste F 6-8 SR 18.3 ppg, 8.5 rpg, 3.5 apg
5 Eddie House G 6-1 JR 19.6 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg
12 Kenny Crandall G 6-4 FR 6.5 ppg, 2.7 rpg, 2.0 apg
13 Alton Mason G 6-2 SO 7.1 ppg, 2.8 rpg, 4.2 apg

ARIZONA FIRST RANKED OPPONENT: No. 8 Arizona is the first ranked opponent WSU will face in 1998-99. The last time WSU defeated a ranked opponent was February 22, 1997, when the Cougs beat No. 25 Cal 89-87. The last time WSU beat a ranked opponent on the road was February 22, 1996, a 68-59 decision at No. 24 Stanford.

WSU has not defeated a Top 10 team since beating No. 8 USC 82-68 on March 8, 1992. WSU last defeated a Top 10 team on the road on March 6, 1976, when the Cougars downed No. 10 Washington 61-59. That is the only time in WSU history the WSU has defeated a Top 10 team on the road.

WHAT'S THIS, A FULL CUPBOARD?: For the first time this season, all 12 WSU players were in uniform and healthy when the Cougars took the floor December 28 versus Texas-El Paso. One day later, all 12 Cougars saw action in the rout of Grambling State.

From game one, WSU had at least one player unavailable due to injury. The first four games, back-up point guard Kab Kazadi was nursing a deep thigh bruise. Then just as Kazadi returned for the Gonzaga game, another player, sophomore forward Eddie Miller went down during the last 15 minutes of the last practice before the Gonzaga game. He was the first of WSU's six left ankle injuries.

Sophomore center Brian Stewart was ankle No. 2 just three days later, while senior forward Steve Slotemaker suffered the team's third left ankle sprain during the first half of the December 2 win against Portland State when he fell on a Viking player following a three-point shot attempt. That was a span of six days when three players sprained their left ankle. Miller and Stewart each missed two games, while Slotemaker was lost a span of three games.

In mid-December, freshman guard Mike Bush sprained his left ankle walking on an icy sidewalk, while Kazadi suffered a left ankle sprain during a finals week practice. Both returned in time for the Idaho game.

Perhaps the strangest left ankle sprain happened to senior center Leif Nelson who suffered the injury on December 13 while playing with some local youths during a Cougar appearance in the Pullman community. Nelson missed the Idaho game but returned to play versus UTEP.

Cougar players have sat out a combined 12 games in 1998-99 due to injury.

DARE WE SAY EN FUEGO?: Junior forward Chris Crosby was nearly unstoppable in WSU's 84-69 December 20 win 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 and nearly set another 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 WSU history) on 13-of-17 shooting and was a perfect three-for-three at the free throw line. His 38 points was the most by a WSU player since Isaac Fontaine had 38 in a double-overtime loss to Arizona on March 2, 1995. Crosby's 13 field goals and 17 attempts were also career-highs.

SUN BOWL CLASSIC WRAP: WSU fell behind early and a 20-1 run put WSU in a hole that it could not recover from in dropping the tournament opener to Texas-El Paso 76-66 on Monday. Jan-Michael Thomas (26) and Kojo Mensah-Bonsu (14) were the only Cougars in double figures. Eddie Miller had a career-high 11 rebounds. Junior guard Blake Pengelly snapped a personal three-game scoreless streak with a first half three pointer versus the Miners. It was his 100th career three pointer. WSU fired up a season-high 27 three-point attempts, but kept UTEP to a season-low three three-pointers made.

WSU rebounded with a vengeance in the consolation final versus Grambling State. The Cougs hung a 114-68 decision on the 0-10 Tigers. Sophomore center Brian Stewart had a career-high 18 points and three blocks. Chris Crosby also added 18 points, while Miller had 17 and Mike Bush added 12. The Cougars set a number of season highs versus Grambling State, including points (114), field goals made (39), field goals attempted (66), field goal percentage (.588), assists (19), steals (15), blocked shots (5) and turnovers forced (25). WSU also held the Tigers to opponent season lows in field goals made (21) and field goal percentage (.339).

THOMAS NAMED PAC-10 POTW - Junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas was named the Pac-10 Player of the Week on December 14 for his performance in the Cougars' 70-69 win against Brigham Young December 8 in Pullman.

Thomas scored 17 of his team-high 22 points in the second half. He converted three of his final four free throw attempts, including the game-winner with nine seconds remaining. On the night, Thomas shot six-of-10 from the field, five-of-eight from three-point range and five-of-six at the free throw line. It was the first time this season WSU won after trailing at the half (34-31) and marked the Cougars' third straight victory.

Thomas, a native of Inglewood, Calif., is among the Pac-10 leaders in three-point field goal pct., having connected on 40 of 88 attempts (.455). As a team, the Cougars lead the conference in both team three-point percentage (.427) and three-pointers made per game (8.55). It was the first career award for Thomas and the first Pac-10 player of the week award for WSU since Mark Hendrickson was honored on January 23, 1995. It is the Cougars' 13th all-time player of the week award.

At his current pace of 3.6 three-point baskets per game, Thomas would record 99 during WSU's 29-game regular season, which would easily shatter the Cougar single-season record of 83 set by Eddie Hill in 1994. As a team, WSU is also on pace to break the school record of 221 set in 1994.

HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK AT 41: By defeating Brigham Young 70-69 on December 8, WSU posted its ninth straight perfect home non-conference season. The BYU win was WSU's 41st consecutive non-conference victory in Pullman. 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 41 wins include 36 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).

WSU WINS 200th AT FRIEL COURT: Washington State's 74-71 victory December 2 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 (.653). WSU has a 201-107 all-time record at 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
CROSBY EARNS ALL-TOURNEY NOD: Junior Chris Crosby was named to the all-tournament team for his play at the Top of the World Classic, November 19-22, in Fairbanks, Alaska. It was the first career all-tournament selection for the Littleton, Colo., native. Crosby was among the tournament's top scorers and rebounders, averaging 17.8 points and 7.3 rebounds per contest for the three-game event. Included in that was 25 points and career-highs in rebounds (13) and free throws (12) versus Alaska-Fairbanks.

MANAGER COHN HONORED: Perhaps the surprise of the Top of the World Classic came during the awards ceremony when WSU student manager Jeff Cohn was honored with the Order of Nanook Award. The Fairbanks Princess Hotel presents the award to the top manager, "for meritorious demonstration of courtesy, cooperation and competence." Cohn, a senior from Foster City, Calif., majoring in communications, was honored with two different plaques and a giant collectable polar bear (stuffed, of course).

ABOUT THE SCHEDULE: Washington State is again playing a challenging schedule. The Cougars have eight games against teams ranked in the preseason polls (Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Arizona - twice) and 13 games versus teams that played in the 1998 postseason (NCAA: Stanford, UCLA, Washington and Arizona - twice, Nebraska - once; NIT: Arizona State - twice, Gonzaga - once; NAIA: Central Washington).

THE PENGELLY IS MIGHTIER THAN: Junior guard Blake Pengelly is climbing WSU career lists in assists and three-point shooting. He currently ranks ninth in assists with 246 (nine behind No. 8 Anthony Kidd), second in three-point field goal percentage at .431 (behind No. 1 Isaac Fontaine, .457), ninth in three pointers made with 103 and 10th in three-pointers attempted with 239.

Junior Chris Crosby tied Brian Wright (111) for seventh in career three-pointers made during the Grambling State game and needs just three more to pass Shamon Antrum (113) for sixth. Here's a look at where Pengelly and Crosby rank:

Assists
1. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 473
2. Keith Morrison (1983-86) 456
3. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 441
4. Marty Giovacchini (1974-77) 371
5. Dan Steward (1970-72) 277
6. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 269
7. Brad Johnson (1972-74) 263
8. Anthony Kidd (1986-89) 255
9. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 246
Three-Point Field Goals
1. Eddie Hill (1991-94) 233
2. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 230
3. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 208
4. Terrance Lewis (1991-92) 137
5. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 128
6. Shamon Antrum (1995-96) 113
7. Brian Wright (1986-89) 111
7. Chris Crosby (1997- ) 111
9. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 103
10. David Sanders (1986, 88-90) 93
Three-Point Field Goal Attempts
1. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 585
2. Eddie Hill (1991-94) 561
3. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 455
4. Terrance Lewis (1991-92) 343
5. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 322
6. Brian Wright (1986-89) 302
7. Shamon Antrum (1995-96) 294
8. Chris Crosby (1997- ) 287
9. David Sanders (1986, 88-90) 251
10. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 239

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball