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Cougars Head to Los Angeles

Men's basketball team squares off against No. 15 UCLA, USC.

February 22, 1999

PULLMAN, Wash. - Washington State heads to the Southland to visit Pauley Pavilion and No. 15 UCLA Thursday night. Saturday, it's WSU's final trip to the L.A. Sports Arena where the Cougars will meet USC.

Tentative Cougar Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Wt. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
5 Mike Bush F 6-5 186 FR 6.7 ppg, 3.1 rpg
13 Kojo Mensah-Bonsu F 6-5 1/4 217 SR 13.4 ppg, 6.2 rpg
44 Eddie Miller C 6-6 216 SO 11.2 ppg, 5.4 rpg
4 Jan-Michael Thomas G 5-10 1/2 169 JR 14.7 ppg, 2.2 rpg
12 Kab Kazadi G 6-0 184 SR 3.6 ppg, 2.0 rpg
34 Chris Crosby F 6-7 215 JR 13.8 ppg, 3.9 rpg
41 Steve Slotemaker F 6-9 221 SR 4.4 ppg, 2.2 rpg
3 Blake Pengelly PG 5-10 163 JR 4.0 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 3.2 apg
40 Brian Stewart C 6-10 1/4 223 SO 2.9 ppg, 1.8 rpg
54 Leif Nelson C 6-10 1/2 272 SR 2.3 ppg, 1.8 rpg
42 Will Hutchens G 6-3 1/2 201 SR 2.0 ppg, 1.5 rpg
10 Cedric Clark G 5-11 1/2 175 SO 0.0 ppg, 0.5 rpg

WSU-UCLA SERIES: Bruins lead 75-12. In the 1990s: Bruins lead 18-1. UCLA has won 12 straight in this series, dating back to a 67-56 Cougar win at Pullman in 1993. The Bruins have also won 20 of the last 21 meetings between the two schools. UCLA eked out a 69-66 decision January 28 in Pullman. Last year, the Bruins swept 88-68 in Los Angeles and 78-75 in Pullman. The UCLA-WSU series has produced some of the most classic games in Cougar history. Two of the four triple overtime games in WSU history have come against the Bruins (both in Pullman) and the 1983 game at Friel Court ranks among the all-time great Cougar wins. Bryan Pollard's tip-in at the buzzer gave WSU a 70-68 upset of the sixth-ranked Bruins and sent the Friel Court record crowd of 12,422 into a frenzy. The Cougs have never won in 42 trips to Pauley Pavilion. That ranks as the second-longest winless streak in NCAA history; Clemson has never won in 45 games at North Carolina. The series dates back to a 33-23 WSU win in 1937.

WSU-USC SERIES: Trojans lead 53-32. In the 1990s: Trojans lead 12-8. The Cougars have won two of the last three in this series after a 95-86 game January 30 in Pullman. The 96 points was the most WSU has ever scored versus the Trojans. The two teams split last season with WSU winning 78-71 in Pullman and USC winning 75-69 in Los Angeles. WSU last won in Los Angeles in 1996 (84-64). This series has produced close games of late; five of the last seven have been decided by seven points or less. Prior to 1996, it was a series of blowouts with 10 of the previous 12 games being decided by 12 points or more. The series dates back to a 55-52 WSU win in 1949.


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,

WSU at No. 15 UCLA
Thursday, February 25
7:30 p.m. PST
Pauley Pavilion (12,800)

Television: None.

Records: WSU is 10-16 overall (4-11 Pac-10) following a split of the Bay Area schools last weekend. The Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Cal 79-73 on Thursday before falling 64-58 in a great effort versus No. 7 Stanford on Saturday. The Bruins are 19-7 overall (9-5 Pac-10) following an impressive week. UCLA defeated cross-town rival USC 68-63 on Wednesday before crushing Syracuse 93-69 on Sunday.

Saturday, February 27
5:00 p.m. PST
L.A. Sports Arena (15,509)

Television: Fox West 2 will broadcast the game live to portions of California. There will be no live television feed back to the state of Washington.

Records: The Trojans come into the weekend at 12-11 overall (4-10 Pac-10). USC lost to UCLA 68-63 Wednesday in its only game last week. Saturday night is senior night for the Trojans. USC hosts Washington on Thursday.

On Deck: The season finale should be a dandy as the Cougars go for a sweep of Washington Saturday, March 6, in Seattle.

1998-99 Schedule/Results
Date Opponent Time Score
11/19 at Alaska-Fairbanks+ L 75-88
11/21 vs. Nebraska+ L 84-95
11/22 vs. Virginia+ L 53-62
11/28 vs. Gonzaga* L 61-70
12/5 at Eastern Washington W 91-72
12/8 BRIGHAM YOUNG@ W 70-69
12/20 at Idaho W 84-69
12/28 at Texas-El Paso L 66-76
12/29 vs. Grambling State W 114-68
1/3 vs. WASHINGTON#* W 72-71
1/7 at No. 8 Arizona# L 87-98
1/9 at Arizona State# L 63-91
1/14 OREGON# L 83-87 3ot
1/16 OREGON STATE# W 84-79
1/21 at No. 3 Stanford# L 45-94
1/23 at California# L 68-75
1/28 No. 11 UCLA# L 66-69
1/30 USC# W 95-86
2/4 ARIZONA STATE# L 64-67
2/6 No. 10 ARIZONA# L 79-81
2/11 at Oregon# L 64-77
2/13 at Oregon State# L 64-83
2/18 CALIFORNIA# W 79-73
2/20 No. 7 STANFORD# L 58-64
2/25 at No. 15 UCLA# 7:30 p.m.
2/27 at USC (FW2)# 5:00 p.m.
3/6 at Washington# 3:00 p.m.
All times Pacific
# Pacific-10 Conference game
+ Top of the World Classic, Fairbanks, Alaska
* Spokane Arena, Spokane, Wash.
Sun Bowl Classic, El Paso, Texas
@ Doubleheader with WSU women

WSU COACH KEVIN EASTMAN: Kevin Eastman is in his fifth season as head coach at WSU. He has a 69-75 (.479) five-year record. Among Cougar coaches with at least a four-year tenure, Eastman's winning percentage is fifth, behind 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 .568 (495-377/1929-58), Fred Bohler .561 (226-177/1909-26) and George Raveling .551 (167-136/1973-83).

Overall in 11 years as a head coach, Eastman holds a 193-150 (.563) record. Included in that are a 65-22 mark at Belmont Abbey and a 59-53 mark at UNC-Wilmington.

Eastman is 0-9 all-time versus UCLA and 3-6 all-time versus USC.

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 (.646). WSU has a 204-112 all-time record in Beasley. WSU finished the year 6-5 at Friel Court this season with wins over Central Washington (91-78), Portland State (74-71), BYU (70-69), Oregon State (84-79), USC (95-86) and Cal (79-73); and losses to Oregon (87-83/triple overtime), No. 11 UCLA (69-66), Arizona State (67-64), No. 10 Arizona (81-79) and No. 7 Stanford (64-58). 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 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).

THOMAS FOR PAC-10 NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR: Junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas is the leading candidate for the Fred Hessler Award, given annually to the Pac-10's top newcomer. The transfer from San Joaquin Delta Junior College is third in the league in three-point field goal percentage (.420) and ranks fourth in free throw percentage (.845). What's more, he ranks 10th in scoring at 14.7 points per game. Sunday's game versus USC features two of the league's top newcomers in Thomas and the Trojans' Brian Scalabrine!

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. He is the only newcomer to be honored this season. 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.

The Inglewood, Calif., native is fifth nationally in three-point field goals made per game (3.36) and should finish the season with nearly 100 three-pointers. That will rank in the top four all-time the Pac-10 history.

THOMAS BREAKS SINGLE-SEASON THREE-POINT MARK: Junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas set the WSU single-season record three-point field goals record with his 84th of the season versus Stanford. He surpassed the previous mark of 83 set by Eddie Hill in 1994. He needs just one more trey to enter the Pac-10 season top 10.

Junior forward Chris Crosby is also threatening to join the single-season top 10; he's currently at 53.

WSU Single-Season Three-Point Field Goals
1. Jan-Michael Thomas (1999) 84
2. Eddie Hill (1994) 83
3. Bennie Seltzer (1993) 78
4. Eddie Hill (1993) 77
5. Isaac Fontaine (1997) 75
6. Terrence Lewis (1992) 74
7. Isaac Fontaine (1996) 66
8. Terrence Lewis (1991) 63
9. Bennie Seltzer (1990) 62
10t. Shamon Antrum (1995) 59
10t. Darryl Woods (1990) 59

As a team, the Cougars lead the conference in three-point field goal percentage (.382) and rank second in three-pointers made per game (7.27). WSU could still challenge the school record of 221 three-point goals set in 1994.

RECORD WATCH: The Cougars broke the school single-season record for three-point attempts versus Oregon State and now show 495 through 26 games. The previous record was 442 attempts set in 1995.

Another season record WSU is threatening is steals. The Cougars have 219 through 26 games (8.4 per game) and are on pace for 244 for the season. The school record is 254 steals set in 1992.

AIR FORCE: Junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas has really been impressive from beyond the arc. The Cougar gunman ranks fifth nationally in three-point field goals made per game at 3.36 (the national leader is Brian Merriweather of Texas-Pan American at 4.5 per game).

Jan-Michael, who was named after actor Jan-Michael Vincent, most recently tied the Oakland Arena college mark with five treys in WSU's loss to California.

The Inglewood, Calif., native set McKale Center and Arizona opponent records when he nailed eight threes at Tucson January 7. Thomas scored a career-high 34 points versus the Wildcats.

He also set Sun Classic and Don Haskins Center records when he buried eight three pointers in WSU's first round loss to UTEP on December 28. His first record of the season came at the Top of the World Classic in Fairbanks, Alaska, when he netted a tournament-record seven treys versus Nebraska.

CROSBY THRIVING OFF BENCH: Since moving to the bench eight games ago, Chris Crosby has seen a steady increase in offensive production. Prior to the move, Crosby had been averaging just 11.1 points per game (seven games). Since then, Crosby is up to 12.1 points per game and led WSU in scoring in back-to-back games this weekend with 15 against both Cal and Stanford. What's more impressive is that Crosby's three-point field goal shooting has improved dramatically during that span. He's hitting 55 percent (16-29) from long range in the last eight games! Crosby's season three-point field goal percentage is 42 percent.

ROOKIES RACK UP STATS: Washington State's three new players -- junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas, sophomore forward Eddie Miller and freshman guard Mike Bush -- have made quite an impact on the Cougar basketball squad. Combined, the trio accounts for 44 percent of WSU's total scoring (32.6 ppg), 50 percent of its three-point baskets and 44 percent of its total steals.

Thomas leads WSU in scoring (14.7 ppg), three-pointers (84), 3-pt. FG Pct. (.420) and FT Pct. (.845). Miller leads the Cougs in field goal percentage (.562) and ranks second in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and fourth in scoring (11.2 ppg). Bush leads WSU in steals (45) and is the only newcomer who has played in all 26 games. Bush leads Pac-10 freshmen with 1.7 steals per game.

KOJO FINISHING STRONG: Senior forward Kojo Mensah-Bonsu is finishing his WSU career with a strong statement. He has scored in double figures in eight of the last nine games. During that span, Kojo is averaging 14.4 points and 6.0 rebounds per game with a high of 21 points versus both USC and Arizona. The London, England, native has been WSU's leading scorer four times in the last eight games and the leading rebounder in five.

WSU VS. RANKED OPPONENTS: No. 15 UCLA will be the sixth ranked opponent WSU faces 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 defeated an opponent ranked 15th or higher was March 4, 1995 when the Cougars topped No. 15 Arizona State 84-71 in Pullman. WSU's last road win over a ranked opponent was February 22, 1996 when the Cougars stunned No. 22 Stanford 68-59. The Cougs have never defeated a team ranked No. 15 or higher on the road. The highest is No. 16 Washington on February 18, 1950 (60-42 at Seattle).

Date Score Location
1/7 No. 8 Arizona 98, WSU 87 Tucson, Ariz.
1/21 No. 3 Stanford 94, WSU 45 Stanford, Calif.
1/28 No. 11 UCLA 69, WSU 66 Pullman, Wash.
2/6 No. 10 Arizona 81, WSU 79 Pullman, Wash.
2/20 No. 7 Stanford 64, WSU 58 Pullman, Wash.

SWITCHING STARTERS: WSU has used 10 different starting lineups in 26 games this season. Only senior forward Kojo Mensah-Bonsu has started all 26 games. Ten 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, 13, 15-18   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
G 14             Mensah-Bonsu, Crosby, Miller, Pengelly, Bush
G 19-25          Mensah-Bonsu, Bush, Miller, Kazadi, Thomas
G 26             Mensah-Bonsu, Slotemaker, Nelson, Kazadi, Hutchens

1998-99 Career
Player Starts Starts
Mensah-Bonsu 26 29
Thomas 21 21
Pengelly 18 50
Crosby 16 37
Bush 16 16
Miller 15 15
Kazadi 8 26
Nelson 5 29
Slotemaker 3 16
Hutchens 2 2

SCOUTING UCLA: The Bruins are back on the right track following a two game losing streak by winning two straight. UCLA stopped USC 68-63 on Wednesday before an impressive 93-69 home win over Syracuse on Sunday. The Bruins' backcourt of Baron Davis and Earl Watson averages nearly 10 assists per game. Davis leads the Pac-10 with 2.5 steals per game. As a team, UCLA paces the league in steals with 10 per game. The Bruins are also second in the league in scoring with an average of 77.8 points per game.

Tentative Bruin Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
4 JaRon Rush F 6-7 FR 11.3 ppg, 6.6 rpg
30 Sean Farnham F 6-6 JR 1.5 ppg, 0.3 rpg
50 Dan Gadzuric C 6-10 FR 8.6 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.3 bpg
5 Baron Davis G 6-2 SO 15.8 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 5.1 apg
25 Earl Watson G 6-0 SO 12.8 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 4.7 apg

LAST TIME VS. UCLA: It was another in a long line of classic WSU-UCLA games in Pullman as the 11th-ranked Bruins prevailed 69-66 January 28 at Friel Court. The last four WSU-UCLA games played in Pullman have been decided by a total of 12 points. It was also the 13th time in the last 15 home meetings that have been decided by eight points or fewer. Jan-Michael Thomas led the Cougars with 16 points and grabbed a career-high five rebounds. Eddie Miller had 15 points while Kojo Mensah-Bonsu added 14 and nine boards. Blake Pengelly did not start for the first time in 47 games. He had started every game dating back to the first contest of his sophomore year. Pengelly played well off the bench with a pair of three pointers and four assists.

SCOUTING USC: The Trojans pulled off the upset of the Pac-10 two weeks ago with an 86-82 upset at Stanford. Both WSU and USC come into this weekend on similar slides -- WSU has just two wins in its last 10 games, while USC has only a pair of wins in its last 11 games. USC's Brian Scalabrine and WSU's Jan-Michael Thomas square off in a battle that might decide the Pac-10 Newcomer of the Year. In their last meeting, Thomas went off for 21 points, while Scalabrine was held to 13. Sam Clancy is the Pac-10's No. 2 shot-blocker at 1.45 per game. As a team, the Trojans ranks high in a couple of "Hustle Board" stats, steals and blocks. USC leads the Pac-10 in blocks at 4.4 per game, while the Trojans are second in steals at 9.0 per game.

Tentative Trojan Starters
No. Name Pos. Ht. Cl. 1998-99 Statistics
50 Sam Clancy F 6-7 FR 6.1 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.45 bpg
24 Brian Scalabrine C 6-9 SO 15.0 ppg, 6.7 rpg, 2.5 apg
5 Brandon Granville G 5-9 FR 7.7 ppg, 2.4 rpg, 5.0 apg
12 Jeff Trepagnier G 6-4 SO 10.8 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 1.2 bpg
20 Elias Ayuso G 6-2 SR 11.8 ppg, 2.0 rpg

LAST TIME VS. USC: The Cougars snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating USC 94-85 January 30 in Pullman. The 95 points were the most WSU has ever scored against the Trojans. Kojo Mensah-Bonsh and Jan-Michael Thomas both scored 21 points for the Cougs, while Chris Crosby added 16 and Eddie Miller had 13. Thomas netted five three-pointers. WSU's 84.6 free throw percentage (21-24) was its second-best of the season as was its 95 points scored.

STANFORD RECAP: The Cougars gave their raucous Senior Night crowd a thrilling game before falling to No. 7 Stanford 64-58 Saturday night in Pullman. WSU jumped out to a 7-0 lead thanks to a three-pointer from Will Hutchens and a bucket by Leif Nelson and set the pace for a close game throughout. Neither team led by more than eight points. Chris Crosby and Kojo Mensah-Bonsu led WSU with 15 points each. Nelson was one of WSU's brightest stars with a season-high 10 points in his Friel Court finale. Brian Stewart tied a career-high with six boards. It was the final home game for seniors Hutchens, Nelson, Mensah-Bonsu, Kab Kazadi and Steve Slotemaker.

CALIFORNIA RECAP: The Cougars snapped a four-game losing streak by defeating Cal 79-73 Thursday night in Pullman. Eddie Miller recorded his first career double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds (career high). Chris Crosby had 15 points off the bench to lead WSU, while Kojo Mensah-Bonsu added 13 and Jan-Michael Thomas had 11. WSU outrebounded Cal 38-36. That was the first time WSU had outrebounded a team since the first Cal game on January 23. The Cougs made nine-of-20 three-point field goal attempts, including three from Crosby and two from Thomas. The win was WSU's fourth in Pac-10 play (bettering last season's effort of three) and tied last year's overall victories mark of 10. Cal's Francisco Elson tied a Friel Court record with five blocked shots.

WHAT A STEAL: Not only is WSU on pace to threaten the team single-season steals record, but both senior forward Kojo Mensah-Bonsu and freshman guard Mike Bush look to crack the individual steals single season top 10. They will be the first teammates in that top 10 since Neil Derrick and Terrence Lewis in 1992. Bush needs five more steals for the top 10, while Kojo needs another six. With six more, Kojo will also enter the WSU career steals top 10.

ANOTHER GAME, ANOTHER RECORD: From Alaska to Texas, it seems like just about everywhere the Cougars travel this season, they set a record. Most recently, guard Jan-Michael Thomas tied the Oakland Arena record with five three pointers versus the Golden Bears on January 23. It was the sixth record of the season established or tied by Thomas alone. FYI: The Pauley Pavilion Record for individual three-point field goal record is 8 by Don Leary of Cal State Fullerton in 1992; the team mark is 13 by Arizona State in 1993. The L.A. Sports Arena individual three-point field goal record is 9 by Anthony Pendleton of USC in 1989. The team mark is 15 by USC versus Oregon State (1992) and Arizona State (1998). Here's a look at the marks WSU has left around the country:

Date	Record Set
11/21	Top of the World Classic (Fairbanks, Alaska)
		three-point field goals (7), individual single
		game, by Jan-Michael Thomas (vs. Nebraska)
12/20	TIE - WSU school three-point field goals (9),
		individual single-game, by Chris Crosby
		(at Idaho)
12/20	Kibbie Dome (Moscow, Idaho) three-point field
		goals (9), individual single-game, by Chris
		Crosby (vs. Idaho)
12/28	Don Haskins Center (El Paso, Texas) three-point
		field goals (8), individual single-game, by Jan-
		Michael Thomas (vs. Texas-El Paso)
12/28	Sun Bowl Classic (El Paso, Texas) three-point
		field goals (8), individual single-game, by Jan-
		Michael Thomas (vs. Texas-El Paso)
12/29	Don Haskins Center (El Paso, Texas) points
		(114), team single-game, by WSU (vs.
		Grambling State)
12/29	Sun Bowl Classic (El Paso, Texas) margin-of-
		victory (46 points;114-68), team single-game,
		by WSU (vs. Grambling State)
1/7		McKale Center (Tucson, Ariz.) three-point field
		goals (8), individual single-game, by Jan-
		Michael Thomas (vs. Arizona)
1/7		Arizona opponent three-point field goals (8),
		individual single-game, by Jan-Michael
		Thomas (at Arizona)
1/14	Friel Court (Pullman, Wash.) fouls -- two teams
		(62), by Oregon (30) and WSU (32)
1/23	TIE - Oakland Arena (Oakland, Calif.) three
		point field goals (5), individual, single-game, by
		Jan-Michael Thomas (vs. California)
INJURIES TAKE TOLL: WSU had to wait nearly two months into the season before all 12 players were available for action (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.

The flu bug hit junior guard Jan-Michael Thomas for the January 9 Arizona State game as he missed his first contest of the year. Cougar players have sat out a combined 13 games in 1998-99 due to injury or illness.

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 passed Dan Steward (277/1970-72) for fifth in assists during the Oregon State game. Pengelly is now closing in on 300 career assists. The Eugene, Ore., native ranks fifth in three-point field goal percentage at .412 and tied for seventh in three pointers made (113).

Junior forward Chris Crosby has entered the career top five in three pointers with 136 and is closing in on No. 4 Terrence Lewis (137/1991-92). Here's a look at where Pengelly and Crosby rank:

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. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 284
6. Dan Steward (1970-72) 277
7. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 269
8. Brad Johnson (1972-74) 263
9. Anthony Kidd (1986-89) 255
Three-Point Field Goals
1. Eddie Hill (1991-94) 233
2. Bennie Seltzer (1990-93) 230
3. Isaac Fontaine (1994-97) 208
4. Terrence Lewis (1991-92) 137
5. Chris Crosby (1997- ) 136
6. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 128
7t. Shamon Antrum (1995-96) 113
7t. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 113
9. Brian Wright (1986-89) 111
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. Chris Crosby (1997- ) 352
5. Terrence Lewis (1991-92) 343
6. Donminic Ellison (1994-96) 322
7. Brian Wright (1986-89) 302
8. Shamon Antrum (1995-96) 294
9. Blake Pengelly (1997- ) 274
10. David Sanders (1986, 88-90) 251

Washington State Cougars Cougar Athletic Fund