March 1, 2000
PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State and Washington meet in a battle of state rivals Saturday at 3:00 p.m. in Seattle's Key Arena. It will be the first time since 1927 that the two state schools will play a game in Seattle outside the friendly confines of Hec Edmundson Pavilion, the Huskies' venerable home facility is currently undergoing a much-needed renovation and will reopen this fall.
BUSH AMONG PAC-10's BEST: SO G Mike Bush has been impressive in Pac-10 play...he leads the team in scoring (15.6 ppg) and ranks second in all games (13.4 ppg)...he is WSU's top rebounder (6.6 rpg) and also leads the Cougars in steals (2.1 spg) and assists (2.5 apg)...the Riverside, Calif., native posted his fourth double-double of the season with 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds in WSU's 81-78 overtime victory against Cal last Saturday...he set a career high with 26 points at Oregon State Feb. 19...in the last eight games, Bush has reached double figures seven times and is averaging 16.9 ppg during that span...he has improved his career high in scoring five different times this season...for his well-rounded play, Bush could receive consideration for all-Pac-10 honors...in addition to his team-leading statistics, he ranks among the league leaders in scoring, rebounding and steals, in fact Bush is one of only three players to rank among the Pac-10's top 20 in scoring and rebounding and top 10 in steals...the other two are Arizona State's Eddie House and USC's Jeff Trepagnier.
CROSBY IMPRESSIVE IN HOME FINALE: SR F Chris Crosby saved his best for last...the Littleton, Colo., native scored 33 points in WSU's 81-78 overtime victory against Cal last Saturday...it was the most points Crosby had ever scored at Friel Court and the second-best effort of his career...he also entered WSU's top 10 in career scoring during the Cal game and currently has 1,278 career points, seven back of ninth-place Carlos Daniel (1,285 points/1995-98).
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.
WSU at Washington Saturday, March 4, 2000 3:00 p.m. PST Key Arena (17,072)
Records: WSU is 6-19 overall, 1-14 in the Pac-10, following a controversial and shocking 55-52 non-conference loss to Texas-Pan American in Edinburg, Texas. The Cougs had been riding high after snapping their 15-game losing streak with an 81-78 overtime win against Cal last Saturday. Washington is 9-18 overall (4-11 Pac-10) and is looking to snap a seven-game home losing streak, which is tied for the longest in school history. The Huskies lost a pair of games to Cal (75-64) and No. 1 Stanford (77-52) last weekend.
Crosby and Walcott Won't Miss Round II: Saturday's game features two players who were non-factors when the teams met in February -- UW's Chris Walcott and WSU's Chris Crosby. Walcott was recovering from knee surgery, while Crosby suffered a sprained ankle two days before the game.
Senior Night: Saturday is the second of three "senior nights" WSU will endure this season. The first was Monday at UTPA and the last will be next Saturday at USC. Washington has three seniors on its roster -- Deon Luton, Andrew Moritz and Chris Walcott -- who will be recognized in pre-game ceremonies.
On Deck: The Cougars wrap up the season in Los Angeles for games against UCLA (Thursday) and USC (Saturday).
WSU COACH PAUL GRAHAM: Paul Graham is in his first season as a head coach...he has a 6-19 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 (.635)...the Cougars were 5-8 at Friel this season...WSU has a 209-120 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 19 losses, 14 have come to teams making postseason plans...near-locks for the NCAA Tournament include Stanford (24-1), Arizona (24-4), Oregon (19-7), Utah (20-7) and Gonzaga (21-8)...bubble/NIT teams include Arizona State (16-10), California (15-11), UCLA (15-11), USC (14-12) and Colorado State (17-10)...that's a combined record of 185-73 and a winning percentage of .717!
SCOUTING WASHINGTON: The Huskies are struggling this season after back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances..."Shootin'" Deon Luton is the Huskies' leading scorer (15.3 ppg) and is one of three seniors on the team...starting forward Chris Walcott (9.2 ppg) and little-used reserve Andrew Moritz are the other two...Walcott missed the first WSU-UW game this season due to a knee injury...SO G Senque Carey, the Huskies' starting point guard (4.7 apg) suffered a sprained left hip flexor last Saturday against Stanford and missed practice earlier this week...he is expected to play against WSU...junior forward Michael Johnson continues to be one of the most-improved players in the Pac-10...he's averaging 10.3 points per game this year (1.7 ppg in 1999)...the Huskies have shuffled their starting lineup since their last meeting with Cougars as only Luton and Carey remain the same.
WSU-WASHINGTON SERIES: Washington leads 159-88. Since 1990: Huskies lead 13-8. The Huskies have won six of the last seven meetings and five straight in Seattle...the Cougs' last victory in the Emerald City was a 67-46 decision in 1994...Washington earned an overtime win at Pullman 74-68 back on Feb. 5 in the first game ever played on WSU's new parquet floor...the series dates back to a 13-9 Washington win in 1910 and has been uninterrupted since the 1916-17 season...the WSU-UW series ranks sixth in NCAA history in number of games played (247).
WASHINGTON RECAP: Deon Luton scored 26 points, including a slam dunk with 49 seconds left in overtime, as Washington overcame Washington State's second-half comeback to win 74-68 Feb. 5 in Pullman. The Cougars, playing on their new parquet floor at Friel Court for the first time, jumped out to a 3-point lead early in overtime before the Huskies came back to tie the game 65-65...Thalo Green then set a screen to set up Luton's dunk, which put the Huskies ahead for good, 67-65. The Cougars' Jan-Michael Thomas had a chance to tie the game with 31 seconds left, but hit just one of two free throws...Washington State was forced to foul in the closing seconds, in which the Huskies hit seven free throws...Eddie Miller scored on a tip-in with 3 seconds left for the Cougars' final basket. Luton finished 8-for-16 from the field and 4-for-5 from 3-point range to lead Washington, which also got 12 points from Greg Clark...Green added nine points. The Cougars got a career-high 23 points and eight rebounds from Miller and 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds from Mike Bush, who fouled out with 1:41 left in overtime...it was Bush' second career double-double...Thomas finished with 10 points. Chris Crosby, who entered the game as Washington State's leading scorer, saw just 18 minutes of playing time after spraining an ankle in practice...he was held to one point. Washington led 36-24 at halftime and held Washington State to 27 percent field-goal shooting in the opening half...the Cougars went on an 18-5 run midway through the second half and took their first lead, 54-52, with 7:41 to go.
TEXAS-PAN AMERICAN RECAP: Brian Merriweather's 17 points accounted for nearly a third of Texas-Pan American's scoring in a 55-52 victory over Washington State Monday night. On their final possession and trailing by two, 54-52, with :07 to play, the Cougars worked the ball around to a wide-open Mike Bush who drove the lane for what should have been the game-tying bucket...but Bush was whistled for an offensive foul with :02 remaining for charging into UTPA's Matt Palmquist, who was obviously late in his attempt to get in front of Bush. The baseline official saw it differently and blew his whistle, costing the Cougars the game...an animated WSU coach Paul Graham, who received a technical in the first half, was outraged at the call and was ejected after receiving his second technical. "I've been coaching for 37 years and I've seen a lot of things, but I've never seen anything like that," Graham said. "It's tough because even though we didn't play particularly well, we got ourselves in a position to win the game and then to have that happen, well obviously there were some things that happened out there that I didn't agree with." Merriweather broke the school's single-season record for 3-pointers made with 111...Monday, he went 3-for-11 from 3-point range...the Broncs led 35-20 at halftime, but made just six of their 22 shots from the field in the second half. The Cougars shot just 19 percent from the field in the first half, making five of 27, but outscored the Broncs 32-20 in the second half behind 12-of-21 shooting. Bush led Washington State with 14 points...Bush and Milton Riley paced the team in rebounds with six, while Bush climbed into WSU's single season top 10 with two against the Broncs...the sophomore now has 50 steals on the season.
CALIFORNIA RECAP: Chris Crosby scored 33 points, including seven in overtime, to lead Washington State to an 81-78 upset of California last Saturday at Friel Court...the win broke a 15-game losing streak for the Cougars...Cal, which suffered a major blow to its NCAA Tournament hopes, fell to 15-11 and 6-8. WSU used an early 14-0 run to grab a 14-4 lead and went on to a 38-33 advantage at the break...the Cougars shot 52 percent from the floor and made 6-of-8 three-pointers in the opening period...in the second half, Cal turned the tables, opening with a 17-2 spurt to grab a 50-40 lead with 12:57 left...the Bears were still up by 10 at 57-47 with 9:57 to go. Crosby, who finished with eight three-pointers on the night, and Mike Bush hit back-to-back treys to put WSU back into the game...Cal still led, 68-64, and had the ball with under a minute left, but Shantay Legans turned the ball over on an ill-advised lob attempt with 37 seconds left. Crosby hit another three-pointer to put WSU within one, but Cal's Donte Smith push the Bears back ahead by three with a pair of free throws...then with the Bears up, 70-69, Sean Lampley missed two free throws with 15 seconds left to give WSU another chance...this time, Bush sank one of two free throws with six seconds to go to send it into the extra period. In overtime, Lampley put Cal ahead 72-70 with a jumper, but Crosby gave the Cougars the lead for good with a three-pointer...he then hit two more free throws with 2:55 left and WSU was on its way to its first Pac-10 win.
KNEE INJURY ENDS THOMAS' CAREER: Team doctors confirmed that WSU senior guard Jan-Michael Thomas sustained a season-ending knee injury during practice Feb. 22...Thomas, WSU's third-leading scorer at 12.6 points per game this season, suffered extensive damage to the medial collateral (MCL) and anterior cruciate (ACL) ligaments in his right knee...he will undergo reconstructive surgery next month...RS-JR G Cedric Clark, a walk-on from Birmingham, Ala., assumed Thomas' starting spot. Thomas was WSU's third-leading scorer, averaging 12.6 points per game this season, and netted 51 three-point baskets...last year, Thomas set a WSU single-season record with 89 three-point field goals...he finishes his career as WSU's all-time leading free throw shooter, having made 82.9 percent of his total attempts (121-146), just edging Byron Vadset's mark of 82.5 percent...Thomas also ranks fifth in career three-point field goals (140) and ninth in three-point field goal percentage (.385).
COUGS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: A glance at this week's Pac-10 stats (2/28) finds several Cougars ranked in the conference in assorted categories...Chris Crosby ranks fifth in scoring (15.9 ppg), seventh in free throw shooting (81.7 pct.) and eighth in three-point field goal percentage (.408)...Mike Bush is 18th in scoring (13.3 ppg), fourth in steals (2.08 spg) and 11th in rebounding (6.7 rpg)...Jan-Michael Thomas is 20th in scoring (12.6 ppg) and eighth in free throw shooting (81.5 pct)...David Adams is sixth in three-point field goal percentage (41.7)...Tyrone Evans is eighth in blocked shots (1.24 bpg) As a team, WSU is second in three-point field goal percentage (.380), fourth in rebounding defense (rebounds allowed) at 34.2 rpg, fifth in free throw percentage (.704) and third in three-pointers made per game (6.50).
COUGS PLAY PART IN NCAA RECORD: Isn't this ironic...though much has been made of WSU's losses this season, it's a Cougar win that found its way into the NCAA record book...remember back on Nov. 22 -- WSU's second game of the year -- when the Cougars defeated Grambling State 83-55?...at the time it didn't seem significant, but after losing to Alabama A&M 76-69 Monday night in their season finale, the Tigers posted a 1-29 mark and established an NCAA record for most losses in a season...Grambling broke Prairie View A&M's season record of 28 losses, set in 1992...and wouldn't you know it, the last game Grambling scheduled last summer was none other than that Nov. 22 date at Washington State (a pay out game en route to the Tigers' appearance in the Great Alaska Shootout).
CROSBY ENTERS TOP 10: With his finest performance ever at Friel Court, senior forward Chris Crosby moved into the top 10 in WSU career scoring...his 33 points on Senior Night last Saturday versus California (second-best career and top performance at home) lifted his career total past Eddie Hill (1,242/1991-94) and Larry Beck (1,162/1955-57)...he comes into the Washington game with 1,278 career points and is only seven points behind No. 9 Carlos Daniel (1,285/1995-98)...Crosby is the 22nd member of WSU's 1,000-career point club...he ranks fifth in the Pac-10 in scoring and seventh in FT Pct.
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 282 field goals with only 48 percent (134) 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 third-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 43 percent from the field through 25 games (122-282)...and make no mistake, his three-point shooting is just as good as ever, if not better, he's 53-134 (39.6 percent) from three-point land this season and the inside-out dual threat makes his threes all the more devastating. Crosby is also grabbing 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 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.
THREE-POINT PLAYERS: Seniors Chris Crosby and Jan-Michael Thomas both rank in WSU's top five in career three-point baskets. Crosby leads the pair with 194 threes (fourth) and looks to close in on the 200 barrier by season's end...Thomas, in just two seasons wearing the Crimson and Gray, finished his career in fifth with 140.
THOMAS SHOOTING FOR WSU CAREER FT MARK: It looks like SR G Jan-Michael Thomas will establish the WSU career record for free throw percentage...his career average through two seasons is 82.9 percent (121-146)...the previous school record was 82.5 percent (255-309) by Byron Vadset (1962-64)...Thomas, who suffered a knee injury in practice Feb. 22, is not expected to return...teammate Chris Crosby is currently in eighth (78.4 percent). In the single season chase, Crosby is hitting 81.7 percent at the charity stripe...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.
INJURY UPDATE: WSU's athletic trainers have been earning their keep this semester...Jan-Michael Thomas (see p. 4 note) is only the latest casualty...RS-FR F Milton Riley fractured the little finger on his right hand Feb. 15 during practice...Riley has been playing with the little finger padded and taped to his ring finger...another of WSU's more serious injuries is FR G Nick Graham, who suffered a severe right ankle sprain during practice on Jan. 17...Graham is likely out for the remainder of the season...WSU's back up point guard had played in all 13 games prior to his injury, averaging 1.7 points per game...JR F Tyrone Evans has suffered a lion's share of injuries this season...he has sprained his left knee twice (the first time, Dec. 30 at Colorado State, caused him to miss three games)... Evans also cut his right hand on the backboard Jan. 17 during practice, and required 10 stitches...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 Jan. 27 against Cal...so far, five Cougars have missed games due to injury this season: Graham (12 games), Whitehead (6 games), Evans (3 games), Thomas (3 games) and Riley (1 game).
COUGS IN PRO ARENAS: Saturday's game at Washington will be WSU's second this season in an arena that houses an NBA team...the first was the Dec. 20 game versus Portland State at the Rose Garden (home of the Portland Trailblazers)...the Cougars won that game 68-62...it will also be WSU's first-ever game at Key Arena, home of the Seattle Supersonics.
BUSH ENTERS STEALS CAREER TOP 10: The best defender on the Cougar team and one of the most underrated players in the Pac-10 players, SO G Mike Bush entered the WSU career top 10 in steals -- AS JUST A SOPHOMORE! He passed Neil Derrick (95/1991-92) during the Cal game. Bush also cracked the single-season top ten in steals, and now ranks tied for ninth Isaac Fontaine (52/1995)...Bush can jump all the way to fourth with eighth more steals this season...
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 2.1 steals per game to rank fourth in the Pac-10. Bush continues to show much improvement during his sophomore season...he is WSU's leading rebounder (6.6 rpg)...Bush had 10 boards in WSU's win over Idaho and has been WSU's leading rebounder 13 times this season...he also had 15 points versus the Vandals which gave the 6-6 Bush his first career double-double...against Washington, Bush notched his second career double-double with 19 points and a career-high 12 rebounds...versus Arizona State Feb. 12, Bush scored 20 points to go with 10 rebounds -- his second straight double-double...most recently, Bush set a career-high in scoring with 26 Feb. 19 at Oregon State. The Riverside, Calif., native has also shown more scoring punch with 16 double-figure scoring games this year...for the season, Bush is averaging 13.4 points per game, up from his 6.6 ppg mark of his rookie campaign.
EXTRA FACTS ON OVERTIME: WSU has played four overtime games so far this season, tying the record set by the 1982-83 team and the 1985-86 team.
MILLER SEEING DOUBLE-DOUBLE: Since returning to WSU's lineup 17 games ago, junior forward Eddie Miller has been solid...he's averaging 8.4 points and 6.4 rebounds per game and has notched career-highs in rebounds twice (14 vs. USC and Arizona) and points once (23 vs. Washington)...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), versus Oregon (12 pts, 9 reb) and against Cal (19 points, 8 reb.)...the Reseda, Calif., native has been the Cougs' leading rebounder in seven of the last 17 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.
CLARK TOPS CAREER TOTAL AT STANFORD: Redshirt junior forward Cedric Clark scored a career-high seven points Jan. 29 at Stanford...the walk-on from Birmingham, Ala., also notched a career high in steals with two...Clark came into the Stanford game with six career points...he had his second-best scoring game Feb. 24 in Pullman versus the Cardinal -- four 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 18 games and has started the past two games in place of the injured Jan-Michael Thomas...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 343 minutes this year, nearly 15 times the total of his last two years combined -- 23 minutes.
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 ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in three-point field goal percentage (.417)...the Tacoma, Wash., native is averaging 7.4 points per game and has six double-figure scoring games this season: Grambling State (12), Portland (12), Colorado State (17), Arizona (10), Oregon (10) and Oregon State. Adams recently had back-to-back double figure games with 10 points versus Arizona and 11 at Oregon.
ROSTER ADDITIONS: WSU has added three players to its roster since the beginning of the season...the last 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 re-join the team after 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...he scored four points Feb. 24 versus Stanford and set his career-high with six points Monday at UTPA. Taylor is a former NFL player who lettered in football in 1982-83 and 1985-86 and in basketball in 1985 and 1987. 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 62, followed by Jan-Michael Thomas (46).
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)
G11-22 Crosby, Miller, Thomas, Bush, Adams (0-12)
G23-25 Crosby, Miller, Bush, Clark, Adams (1-2)
NEW OPPONENTS: WSU faced 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, reached game No. 260 this season...Washington State and Idaho met for the 255th time this season...the second Oregon was 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.
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.
I WANT MY COUGTV: Washington State will be on the Fox network nine times this season...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, WSU played home games against five different ranked teams...the games came Nov. 29 versus No. 25 Gonzaga (Spokane), Dec. 11 versus No. 25 Utah, Jan. 8 vs. No. 20 UCLA, Feb. 12 vs. No. 7 Arizona and Feb. 24 against No. 1 Stanford...the Cardinal were the first top-ranked team to visit Pullman since Arizona in 1989...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 has played seven games against top 25 teams in 1999-2000...the last time WSU defeated a ranked opponent was February 22, 1997, when the Cougs beat No. 25 Cal 89-87...WSU played eight games versus ranked opponents during the 1996-97 season.
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.
COUGARS BID FAREWELL TO THOMAS AND CROSBY: Seniors Jan-Michael Thomas and Chris Crosby are coming to the end of their WSU careers...Thomas, a 6-0 guard from Inglewood, Calif., had his career come to an abrupt end Feb. 22 when he suffered a knee injury in practice (see page 4 for more details)...a transfer from San Joaquin Delta Junior College, Thomas finishes his WSU career as the Cougars' all-time leader in free throw percentage (.829)...as a junior, Thomas set a school record with 89 three-pointers...he played in 50 career games and ranks fifth in WSU career three-pointers with 140...Thomas is scheduled to graduate this summer with a degree in social science. Crosby, a 6-8 forward, is a four-year letter winner who will finish his career in WSU's all-time top 10 in scoring...he is currently 10th with 1,278 points...the Littleton, Colo., native's name is scattered throughout the Cougar record book...in addition to his impressive point total, Crosby ranks fourth in three-point field goals (194) and eighth in free throw percentage (.792)...Saturday will be Crosby's 113th career game...Crosby is scheduled to graduate this summer with a degree in business management. WSU will also bid farewell to senior manager Jake Hamblin...a native of Preston, Idaho, Hamblin is a two-year Cougar manager who will graduate in May with a degree in sport management.