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Washington State at Nevada
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 11/17/1999
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Nov. 17, 1999

PULLMAN, Wash. - Two first-year head coaches, Washington State's Paul Graham and Nevada's Trent Johnson, take to the sidelines in the season opener for both teams when the Cougars meet the Wolf Pack Friday night at 7:00 p.m. in Reno. It will be WSU's first trip to the Silver State in 26 years, the last appearance was a 57-48 loss to Nevada-Las Vegas during the 1973-74 season.

HOME NON-LEAGUE STREAK AT 41: The Cougars come into the 1999-2000 season with the third-longest non-conference winning streak in the nation...win No. 41 came last season when WSU defeated Brigham Young 70-69 on December 8...it marked WSU's ninth straight perfect home non-conference season. 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).

THIS WEEK

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 Nevada
Friday, November 19, 1999
7:05 p.m. PST
Lawlor Events Center (11,200)

Television: None.

Records: Season opener for both teams. Both went 2-0 in the exhibition season and both played USK Erpet Praha. WSU defeated the Czechs 72-58, while Nevada won 67-62. Last year, WSU was 10-19 overall and 4-14 in the Pac-10. Nevada was 8-18 overall, 4-12 in the Big West.

Series History: Cougars lead 2-0. This will be the first meeting since 1971-72 when WSU won 106-65 in Pullman. The Cougars also forged a 90-68 win under coach Bob Greenwood in 1970-71 in their only previous appearance in Reno. That was legendary coach Marv Harshman's last season at WSU. The Cougs are 159-116 all-time versus teams from the Big West Conference with a majority of those wins (149) coming against Idaho. When the Wolf Pack return the game to Pullman next season, they will do so as a member of the Western Athletic Conference.

On Deck -- The Home Opener: WSU opens the 1999-2000 home season Monday at 7:00 p.m. versus Grambling State. It marks the beginning of a six-game homestand for the Cougs.

WSU COACH PAUL GRAHAM: Paul Graham is in his first season as a head coach...he has a 0-0 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...of the 13 previous coaches, 10 have garnered wins in their inaugural game at WSU...if he defeats Nevada, Graham will become the first WSU coach to earn a "W" in his road debut since Len Stevens in 1983-84...of the 13 WSU coaches, five have picked up wins in their first road games, including Marv Harshman (1958-59 season), Jack Friel (1928-29), J. Fred Bohler (1908-09), John Bender (1907-08) and Stevens.

WSU WINS 200th 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 (.646)...WSU has a 204-112 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

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 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.

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 were ranked in the AP preseason poll: No. 9 Arizona, No. 12 UCLA, No. 13 Stanford, No. 15 Utah and No. 24 Gonzaga...and Oregon was 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 15 competition...the first is Nov. 29 against No. 24 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 ranked opponents during the 1996-97 season.

Date Opponent/Score Location
11/29 No. 24 Gonzaga Spokane, Wash.
12/11 No. 15 Utah Pullman, Wash.
1/8 No. 12 UCLA Pullman, Wash.
1/13 No. 9 Arizona Tucson, Ariz.
1/29 No. 13 Stanford Stanford, Calif.
2/12 No. 9 Arizona Pullman, Wash.
2/26 No. 13 Stanford Pullman, Wash.
3/9 No. 12 UCLA Los Angeles, Calif.

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 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.

SCOUTING NEVADA: The Wolf Pack are looking to rebuild under new head coach Trent Johnson after an 8-18 season in 1998-99...Johnson is familiar with the State of Washington and Pac-10, having spent three years at Washington (1990-92) and Stanford (1997-99) as an assistant coach...Johnson and Wolf Pack assistant David Carter spent time on Lynn Nance's Husky staff...Nevada's top returning players are senior guard Tommy Zapata and senior forward Calvin Criddle...Zapata averaged 7.3 points and 3.3 assists per game, while Criddle had 7.5 points per game...Nevada has 10 newcomers on its roster...of those 10, six saw action during the exhibition games and four drew starts...College of Idaho transfer Adrian McCullough led the Wolf Pack in scoring in the first two exhibition games...the junior from Oakland scored 12 versus USK Erpet Praha and 25 against the Global Sports All-Stars...Terrence Green, another newcomer, impressed with games of 10 and 19 points.

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).

CROSBY CLOSING IN ON 1,000 POINTS: Senior forward Chris Crosby enters the 1999-2000 season needing just 108 points to become the 22nd member of the 1,000-point club at WSU...at last season's pace of 13.1 points per game, the Littleton, Colo., native would reach that milestone in WSU's ninth game -- Dec. 30 in his homecoming at Colorado 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 344 career treys. Crosby leads the group with 141 threes (fourth) and looks to close in on the 200 barrier by season's end...Pengelly ranks seventh in three-point baskets (114) and is chasing No. 6 Dominic Ellison (1994-96) with 128...Thomas, in just his second season wearing the Crimson and Gray, needs just four threes to enter the top 10 with David Sanders (1986, 88-90) at 93.

PENGELLY CLOSING IN ON 300 ASSISTS: Junior guard Blake Pengelly is climbing the WSU career list in assists. He enters the 1999-00 season needing just 10 more to become only the fifth WSU player with 300 career assists...if the Eugene, Ore., native recaptures the magic of his sophomore year when he had 120 assists, he will eclipse the 400-assist mark this season as well.

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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