Nov. 28, 1999
PULLMAN, Wash. - Packers-49ers on Monday Night Football? FORGETABOUTIT...Washington State moves to its second home -- the Spokane Arena -- for an intriguing non-conference regional showdown with Gonzaga. Fox Sports Net Northwest will show this battle between the Cougars and the 25th-ranked Bulldogs. It is the first of eight games scheduled against top 25 competition for WSU. Tip is slated for 7:30 p.m. Monday night.
HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK AT 43: The Cougars own the third-longest non-conference winning streak in the nation...win No. 43 came Saturday afternoon against Idaho (70-65). 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 43 wins include 38 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's next home game comes Dec. 7 versus Winthrop...No. 2 North Carolina plays its first home game of the season Wednesday versus Michigan State...No. 4 Penn State kept pace with WSU with a win Saturday against Boston College...the Nittany Lions host Clemson on Wednesday.
THIS WEEK 1999 Cavanuagh's Classic WSU vs. Gonzaga Monday, November 29, 1999 7:30 p.m. PST Spokane Arena (12,000)
Television: Fox Sports Net Northwest will televise the Gonzaga-Washington State game live to the Pacific Northwest. Tod Pickett and Dave Harshman are the announcers.
Fathers & Sons -- A Little History: There will be a little family history at tonight's WSU-Gonzaga game. Only twice in the 99-year history of Cougar basketball has a father coached his son. The second of those occasions is an act in progress as current WSU head coach Paul Graham coaches his son, freshman guard Nick. Fox Sports Net Northwest commentator Dave Harshman, who is calling Monday night's game, was part of the first father-son combination at WSU when he played for the legendary Marv Harshman during the 1970 season. That team finished second in the Pac-8 to UCLA with a 19-7 record.
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.
Records: The Cougars are 2-1 on the season after defeating Grambling (83-55) and Idaho (70-65) at home following a season-opening loss at Nevada (80-55). The Bulldogs are 2-0 with a season following defeats of Montana (76-61) and Eastern Washington (81-47).
On Deck: It's a doubleheader at Beasley Coliseum Saturday when the men's team hosts Southern and the women's team hosts Eastern Washington. The men open the double-dip with a 1:00 p.m. tip.
WSU COACH PAUL GRAHAM: Paul Graham is in his first season as a head coach...he has a 2-1 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 THE SPOKANE ARENA: The Cougars are 7-3 all-time at the three-year old Spokane Arena. WSU's losses at the facility have come to a pair of defending NCAA champions -- Arizona (1998) and UCLA (1996) -- and to Gonzaga last season. The Cougars and Bulldogs have met three times at the new arena, with WSU holding a 2-1 edge...overall, WSU and Gonzaga have played 10 "neutral site" games in Spokane away from the Bulldogs' on campus home court (The Kennel) and the Cougs hold a 7-3 edge.
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 (.648)...WSU has a 206-112 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
BUSH BIG ON BOARDS: Sophomore guard Mike Bush has been WSU's leading rebounder in each game this season...he tied his career high with eight in both the season opener at Nevada and the home opener versus Grambling State...then he broke his career mark with 10 boards in WSU's win over Idaho Saturday...he also had a career-high 15 points versus the Vandals which gave the 6-6 Bush his first career double-double...the Riverside, Calif., native is averaging 8.7 rebounds per game this season, compared to 3.1 his rookie campaign.
SCOUTING GONZAGA: Once a well-kept secret in the Inland Empire, Gonzaga University had a breakout season with last year's Elite Eight appearance...seven players return from that Cinderella team which nearly upset 1999 NCAA champion Connecticut in the quarterfinals...the Bulldogs are a well-balanced team with four players averaging about 14 points per game...Gonzaga also returns three starters from last year's team in Richie Fraham, Matt Santangelo and Casey Calvary...the Bulldogs like the three-point shot as six different players hoisted at least three threes in the Montana win...redshirt freshman guard Zach Gourde has emerged as a new contributor for Gonzaga and currently leads the team in scoring at 14.0 points per game...Mark Few is the third new head coach WSU will face in four games...Nevada's Trent Green and Grambling State's Larry Wright were the other two.
WSU-GONZAGA SERIES: Cougars lead 95-39...In the 1990s: Cougars lead 4-1...this is the 135th meeting of the two Inland Empire rivals...Gonzaga's 70-61 win last season snapped WSU's four-game winning streak... the Cougars have dominated this rivalry lately and have won 18 of the last 22 games...the last five games have been decided by nine points or more...however, the eight games prior to that had been decided by eight points or less...WSU is 108-44 all-time versus current members of the West Coast Conference...Gonzaga is the first of two WCC teams the Cougars will face this season...WSU hosts Portland Dec. 7.
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.
PENGELLY LEADS PAC-10 IN ASSISTS: Senior guard Blake Pengelly has been quite impressive through WSU's first three games...he leads the Pac-10 at 9.3 assists per game...what's more impressive is his assist-to-turnover ration of 4-to-1!...in the season opener 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 -- and nine versus Idaho...with his first assist during the Grambling game, Pengelly became only the fifth WSU player with 300 career assists...the Eugene, Ore., native needs 54 more to pass Marty Giovacchini for fourth place as Pengelly looks more and more like the player he was his sophomore year when he had 120 assists.
CROSBY CLOSING IN ON 1,000: Senior forward Chris Crosby should become the 22nd member of the 1,000-career point club sometime in the month of December...he had nine Saturday versus Idaho to bring his total to 946 points and needs just 54 more to reach 1,000...at this season's pace of 18.0 points per game, the Littleton, Colo., native will reach that milestone Dec. 7 versus Portland.
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 34 field goals with only 11 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 blistering 58.8 percent from the field through three games (20-34)...and make no mistake, his three-point shooting is just as good as ever, if not better, he's 5-11 (45.5 percent) from three-point land this season and the inside-out dual threat makes his threes all the more devastating. Crosby is also grabbing 4.7 rebounds per game and setting screens in the offensive set that eventually lead to a lot of open looks at the basket...he could still work on his turnovers, but he had none against Idaho, cutting his season average to 2.0 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.
IDAHO RECAP: WSU won its 43rd straight non-conference game in Pullman by defeating Idaho 70-65 Saturday afternoon...the Cougars scored the game's first 11 points and never trailed, though WSU had to fend off a couple of Vandal second half runs...Mike Bush was outstanding with his first career double-double...the 6-6 sophomore guard had career highs in points (15) and rebounds (10)...the Vandals bottled up WSU's Chris Crosby (to be expected after he scored 38 against them last year), but Jan-Michael Thomas capitalized with 24 points on eight-of-17 shooting...redshirt freshman forward Milton Riley made his first career start and scored seven points with four rebounds...Blake Pengelly was solid again with nine assists, five rebounds, two turnovers and four points in 38 minutes.
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. 9 Stanford, No. 10 Arizona, No. 12 UCLA, 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 games versus ranked opponents during the 1996-97 season...WSU's last win versus a ranked non-conference opponent was Dec. 26, 1970 -- an 83-80 victory by Marv Harshman's Cougars' over No. 11 Indiana at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore.
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 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.
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 359 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 (119) and is chasing No. 6 Dominic Ellison (1994-96) with 128...Thomas, in just his second season wearing the Crimson and Gray, is now in the 10 spot after passing David Sanders (1986, 88-90. 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
G3 Riley, Crosby, Pengelly, Thomas, Bush