Men's Basketball Opens Play at College Basketball invitational on Wednesday

March 17, 2009

HOUSTON COUGARS (21-11 • 10-6 C-USA) at OREGON STATE BEAVERS (13-17 • 7-11 Pac-10)
March 18, 2009 • Gill Coliseum (10,400) • Corvallis, Ore. • 9 p.m. (CDT) / 7 p.m. (PDT)

Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network • 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston • Tom Franklin, PxP
TELEVISION: HDNet (DirecTV ch. 306 / Dish Network ch. 9422)

Houston Notes vs. Oregon State (March 18, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Oregon State Notes vs. Houston (March 18, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Conference USA Notebook (March 17, 2009) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

2009 College Basketball Invitational Bracket in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

CORVALLIS, Ore. - The University of Houston men's basketball team opens its postseason at 9 p.m. (CDT)/7 p.m. (PDT), Wednesday, against Oregon State inside Gill Coliseum.

This marks the second straight season and the 29th time in school history that the Cougars have earned a postseason berth. A year ago, the Cougars earned wins at Nevada and against Valparaiso before bowing out in the CBI semifinals at eventual champion Tulsa.

The Cougars (21-11 • 10-6 C-USA) enter the College Basketball Invitational after posting a 2-1 record and advancing to the Conference USA Tournament semifinals for the third time in the last four seasons. UH enjoyed wins against SMU and an overtime thriller against 2009 CBI participant UTEP before falling to host No. 4/3 Memphis.

UH is led by a pair of All-Conference USA performers. Junior guard Aubrey Coleman, who was named to the league's First Team, leads the Cougars with 19.7 points and 8.4 rebounds and is looking to become the first pure guard in school history to win the team's scoring and rebounding titles in the same season.

Junior guard Kelvin Lewis, who was a Third-Team honoree, ranks second on the team with 18.0 points per game and ranks among the national leaders in 3-point field goals per game and 3-point field goal percentage. In addition, the Fort Worth native remains a defensive leader for the Cougars after being named to the C-USA All-Defensive Team.

Senior center Marcus Cousin is a close second on the team with 8.3 rebounds per game and ranks third among the Cougars with 11.2 points per game. Junior forward Qa'rraan Calhoun ranks fourth on the team with 10.6 points and third with 5.3 rebounds per game.

Freshman point guard Desmond Wade leads the Cougars with 3.9 assists per game and ranks among the top-10 national leaders in assist:turnover ratio, while sophomore guard Zamal Nixon has started 12 of the last 14 games and moved into fourth on the Cougars' scoring charts this season.

Cougar Men's Basketball games can be heard live on 790 AM The Sports Animal or on the Internet at UHCougars.com with Tom Franklin calling the play-by-play action. The pregame show is slated to begin 15 minutes before tip-off.

In addition, Wednesday's game can be seen live on HDNet (DirecTV ch. 306 / Dish Network ch. 9422) with Rich Cellini calling the play-by-play action and Craig Ehlo providing analysis.

At Home

Fans must have an HDTV and receiver box in addition to the high definition programming package from their cable or satellite provider. A full list of cable and satellite providers who carry HDNet can be found here.

HDNet is not yet carried on some Comcast or Cox cable systems.

If fans already receive HDNet as a high-definition channel choice, nothing more is needed nor additional purchases to make.

At a Restaurant
Most restaurants and sports bars that offer sports programming are served by either DirecTV or Dish Network. If that is the case (and they broadcast programming on HD sets), then they WILL have HDNET. A good rule of thumb is that, if the establishment has access to ESPN-HD, they also carry HDNet.

Fans may want to call ahead to see if restaurants tune their HDTVs to channel 79 and/or 306 (DirecTV) or channel 9422 (Dish Network) for HDNet at that location.

Tickets for Wednesday's game go on sale at 10:30 a.m., Monday. Prices are $25 for chairback seating and $15 for bench seating. To order tickets, fans can purchase in person at the Oregon State Ticket Office or by calling 1-800-Go-Beavs.

Fans also can order online at OSUBeavers.com.

For only the second time in school history, the Cougars will face Oregon State on the hardwood. The Beavers own a 1-0 lead in the series after taking a 63-60 win on March 11, 1966, in the NCAA Tournament West Regional in Los Angeles.

Wednesday's game will be the first time that the Cougars have faced Oregon State in Corvallis. It will be the first home game for either team in the all-time series.

Loser of its last four games, Oregon State enters Wednesday's game with a 13-17 overall record. The Beavers also finished with a 7-11 mark in Pac-10 play to finish eighth.

In their most recent game, the Beavers dropped a 62-54 decision to Stanford in the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament on March 11. Against the Cardinal, guard Lathen Wallace led the Beavers with 18 points, while center Roeland Schaftenaar added 12 points and five rebounds.

This season, sophomore guard Calvin Haynes lead the Beavers with 14.1 points per game, making him the only OSU player to average double digits. Junior guard Seth Tarver ranks third on the team with 7.9 points per game but leads the Beavers with 5.0 rebounds per contest. Schaftenaar ranks second with 9.8 points and nearly one block per game.

Now In his first season at Oregon State, head coach Craig Robinson - who is the brother-in-law of President Barack Obama - has posted a 13-17 (.433) record in Corvallis. Robinson, who coached the previous two seasons at Brown, has compiled a 43-45 (.489) record during his career.

This marks the second straight season that the Cougars will compete at the College Basketball Invitational. The Cougars join Nevada, Richmond and fellow Conference USA-member UTEP as the only schools to make two College Basketball Invitational appearances.

A year ago, the Cougars took an 80-79 win at Nevada in the CBI First Round and followed that with a 91-67 rout of Valparaiso in Hofheinz Pavilion before falling at eventual champion Tulsa in the semifinals.

For the second straight season, the Cougars will compete in the College Basketball Invitational when they meet Oregon State on Wednesday.

UH can boast of a rich history in postseason tournaments. The Cougars will compete in their 29th postseason event during the 2009 College Basketball Invitational. UH has appeared in 18 NCAA Tournaments with nine berths to the NIT. After posting a 2-1 record at the inaugural College Basketball Invitational, the Cougars now own a 33-33 all-time record during postseason tournaments.

Those numbers break down as a 26-23 (.531) mark in the NCAA Tournament, a 5-9 (.357) record in the NIT and a 2-1 (.667) mark in the College Basketball Invitational.

The Cougars' NCAA slate includes five Final Four Appearances, including three straight from 1982 to 1984 and two berths in the national championship game (1983 and 1984).

The winner of Wednesday's game will face the winner of the Green Bay-Vermont game on March 23 in the College Basketball Invitational quarterfinals. Time and location for that quarterfinal game will be announced at a later date.



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