Game Times Set For Pete Newell Challenge At HP Pavilion
Nov. 6, 2006
San Jose, Calif. - Texas Tech, led by 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 the Red Raiders against Stanford at 3:30 p.m. in the first game of the 10th-anniversary edition of the Pete Newell Challenge, which is set for Sunday, Dec. 3. In the second game of the doubleheader, starting at approximately 6 p.m., Nevada and All-America forward Nick Fazekas meets Cal in a matchup of NCAA Tournament teams with strong returning casts.
The event will be held for the first time at HP Pavilion in San Jose, site of the 2007 NCAA West Regional, after nine years in Oakland. Both games will be nationally televised for the fourth consecutive year by CSTV.
Tickets for the 2006 Pete Newell Challenge are now on sale at the HP Pavilion ticket office, online at www.ticketmaster.com, through all Ticketmaster ticket centers or by phone at 408.998.TIXS (8497), 415.421.TIXS or 510.625.TIXS.
Ticket prices range from $20 to $100. A special student discount of $15 per ticket for lower bowl seats for both games is available to students of the participating schools. Those tickets must be purchased through the schools.
To obtain media credentials for the Pete Newell Challenge, please call Laurie Lee of Leader Enterprises at 415.482.7506, or e-mail email@example.com.
Knight will be making his second appearance in the Pete Newell Challenge, having brought Indiana to the inaugural event in 1997. In the very first game in event history, the Hoosiers beat USF, 65-52. Knight, the winningest active coach in the country, will start the 2006-07 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).
Stanford has never lost in the Pete Newell Challenge, having won eight years in a row. Third-year 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. The Cardinal will unveil two of the most promising young post players in college basketball this season in 7-foot freshman twins Brook and Robin Lopez.
Nevada is ranked No. 25 in the preseason USA Today/ESPN Coaches' Poll, returning four starters and eight lettermen from a team that won its third consecutive Western Athletic Conference regular-season title, 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. He was one of 50 players selected to the preseason watch list for the John R. Wooden Award.
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, junior guard Omar Wilkes and a strong recruiting class. Ubaka joins Fazekas on the Wooden Award list. 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.
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 (Rome, 1960).
Newell, who turned 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 players, celebrated its 30th anniversary last August at Cox Pavilion in the Thomas & Mack Center, on the Nevada Las Vegas campus.
Among the players who stood out in the weeklong camp were: 7-foot center Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers, who started and collected career highs of 18 points and nine rebounds in the Lakers' season-opening 114-106 victory over Phoenix on Tuesday night; Golden State's Adonal Foyle, plus Dante Cunningham and Shane Clark (Villanova), Kyle Visser (Wake Forest), Rashaad Singleton (Georgia), Anthony Tolliver (Creighton) and DeVon Hardin and Jordan Wilkes (Cal).