Stanford To Face Texas Tech In Pete Newell Challenge

June 28, 2006

San Jose, Calif. - Hall of Fame Coach Bob Knight, who is closing in on Dean Smith's record as the winningest coach in college basketball history, will lead Texas Tech against Stanford, while All-America forward Nick Fazekas heads a strong returning cast for Nevada against Cal in a battle of NCAA Tournament teams, all part of the 2006 Pete Newell Challenge. The event will be held Sunday, Dec. 3, at HP Pavilion in San Jose, site of the 2007 NCAA West Regional. The announcement was made today by Jeff Fellenzer, president of Pacific Palisades, Calif.-based Innovative Sports Management and creator of the Pete Newell Challenge.

The matchups and tentative game times for the 10th-anniversary doubleheader, which will be played for the first time in San Jose after nine years in Oakland, are as follows: 2:30 p.m., Texas Tech vs. Stanford; 5 p.m., Nevada vs. Cal. National television and national radio partners for the event will be announced at a later date.

Tickets for the 2006 Pete Newell Challenge will go on sale in early October at the HP Pavilion ticket office, online at, through all Ticketmaster ticket centers or by phone at 408.998.TIXS (8497), 415.421.TIXS or 510.625.TIXS.

Knight will be making his second appearance in the Pete Newell Challenge, having brought his Indiana University team to the inaugural event in 1997. In the very first game in event history, Indiana beat USF, 65-52. Knight, the winningest active coach in the country, will start the 2006-2007 season with 869 victories in 40 years as a college head coach, the past five at Texas Tech, trailing only Smith (879) and Adolph Rupp (876).

Among the players who will be part of Texas Tech's incoming recruiting class are 6-6, 230-pound sophomore forward Rogdrick Craig, a transfer from San Jose City College and the son of former San Francisco 49ers running back Roger Craig, and 6-6 freshman Decensae White from Serra High School in San Mateo, Calif.

Stanford has never lost in the Pete Newell Challenge, having won eight years in a row. Third-year head coach Trent Johnson returned to Stanford after five years as head coach at Nevada, where his top assistant was current Wolf Pack Coach Mark Fox. Johnson had formerly been an assistant coach at Stanford under Mike Montgomery.

Stanford will unveil two of the most promising young post players in college basketball next season in 7-foot freshman twins Brook and Robin Lopez.

Nevada won its third consecutive Western Athletic Conference regular-season title last year, resulting in its third trip in a row to the NCAA Tournament. The Wolf Pack finished 27-6, just one victory shy of the school record. Fazekas, a 6-11, 240-pound senior who was originally recruited by Johnson out of Arvada, Colo., averaged 21.8 points and 10.4 rebounds per game last season to finish in the top 20 nationally in both categories.

Nevada, which returns all five starters and nine lettermen, is ranked No. 24 in the Preseason Top 25. Fox is 52-13 in two seasons as head coach of the Wolf Pack, winning WAC Coach of the Year honors each year.

Cal will be led by All-Pac-10 senior point guard Ayinde Ubaka, 6-11 junior center DeVon Hardin, an All-Pac-10 honorable mention selection, and a strong recruiting class. Head coach Ben Braun, entering his 11th season at Cal, ranks 11th among active coaches in career victories with 519. He has led the Bears to five NCAA Tournaments, more than any other Cal coach, and four in the past six years. Braun is 186-121 in 10 years at Cal.

In its first nine years, the Pete Newell Challenge has become one of the premier invitational events in college basketball. The list of Pete Newell Challenge participants includes such top national programs as Duke, North Carolina, Kansas, Michigan State, Michigan, Gonzaga, Indiana, Princeton, Saint Joseph's, Temple, Brigham Young, Georgia and Mississippi State, plus Cal and Stanford.

Among the coaches who have brought teams to the Pete Newell Challenge are Hall of Famers Bob Knight (Indiana), Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) and John Chaney (Temple), plus Roy Williams (Kansas/North Carolina), Tom Izzo (Michigan State), Mark Few (Gonzaga), Phil Martelli (Saint Joseph's), Jim Harrick (Georgia), Tommy Amaker (Michigan), Joe Scott (Princeton) and Mike Montgomery (Stanford).

The Pete Newell Challenge was created to honor the Hall of Fame coach and teacher who won a coaching 'Triple Crown'--an NIT championship at USF (1949), an NCAA title at Cal (1959), and an Olympic gold medal for the United States (Rome, 1960).

Newell, who will turn 91 on Aug. 31, continues to work tirelessly teaching the game to young men and women through clinics and seminars around the world, including his highly acclaimed Pete Newell Big Man Camp in Las Vegas, and the Tall Women's Basketball Camp in San Diego. The Big Man Camp, which offers instruction to both college and professional basketball players in two daily sessions, will be held Aug. 7-11 at Cox Pavilion in the Thomas & Mack Center, on the Nevada Las Vegas campus. This summer marks the 29th anniversary of the camp. The Tall Women's Camp will be held for the first time at Alliant International University, with separate sessions for high school (July 8-10) and college (July 11-13) players.

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