Times Set for 10th Pete Newell Challenge
Nov. 3, 2006
BERKELEY - Stanford will face Texas Tech at 3:30 p.m. and Cal will play Nevada at 6 p.m. in the 10th annual Pete Newell Challenge doubleheader on Sunday, Dec. 3.
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 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.
Texas Tech head coach Bob 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 Dean 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.
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. All-American Nick Fazekas, a 6-11, 240-pound senior., 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.
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 UNLV campus.
Among the players who stood out in the weeklong camp were: 7-foot center Andrew Bynum of the Los Angeles Lakers and 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).