Nov. 5, 2010
ABILENE CHRISTIAN WILDCATS vs. HOUSTON COUGARS
Nov. 6, 2010 Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) Houston, Texas 4 p.m.
HOUSTON - A new era in the history of the University of Houston men's basketball program opens this weekend when the Cougars play host to Abilene Christian in an exhibition game at 4 p.m., Saturday, inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
Admission is free to the game, and all Cougar fans are invited to attend.
Under the leadership of new head coach James Dickey and his staff, the Cougars embark on their 66th season of intercollegiate basketball. Dickey joined the Cougars in April and quickly assembled his staff, built the team's schedule and signed an impressive recruiting class.
Dickey earned seven conference and district Coach of the Year honors during a 10-year career at Texas Tech and led the Red Raiders to a pair of NCAA Tournament berths, including a Sweet 16 appearance in 1996.
A year ago, the Cougars won four games in as many days to win the GMC Sierra Conference USA Championship title and advance to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in nearly two decades.
The Cougars return seven student-athletes from that team, including senior forward Maurice McNeil. The New York native enters the 2010-11 season as the Cougars' leading returning player with 8.1 points and 7.4 rebounds per game.
Senior Zamal Nixon is the Cougars' lone 3-year letterman and was one of five Cougars to score at least 20 points in a game a year ago, posting a career-high 29 points at UTSA on New Year's Day.
Senior guard Adam Brown averaged 7.9 points per game, and sophomore forward Kendrick Washington emerged as a frontcourt force in the second half of the season, recording three straight games with 10 rebounds.
The Cougars welcome five newcomers to the team this season, including junior transfer guard Trumaine Johnson, junior college transfer Darian Thibodeaux and freshmen Mikhail McLean, Alandise Harris and Joseph Young.
Saturday's game will not be broadcast on radio or television.
Fans can follow live stats from Saturday's game by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.
Fans can purchase men's basketball season tickets now. General admission season tickets sell for only $135, while reserved season tickets can be purchased for only $195.
Fans also can buy the Family Fun Plan, which includes two adult and two youth general admission season tickets, for only $299. Additional youth season tickets can be purchased for only $75 each in the Plan.
Fans have several options when ordering their men's basketball season tickets. They can visit the Athletics Ticket Office, located on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center by the UH Fan Shop, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Fans also can call 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or click the Tickets link at UHCougars.com to buy season tickets today.
ABOUT ABILENE CHRISTIAN
Abilene Christian returns three lettermen from the 2009-10 team, which finished with an 8-19 record under head coach Jason Copeland.
Sophomore Dosh Simms averaged 5.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game a year ago on the way to being named the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year.
SERIES HISTORY vs. ABILENE CHRISTIAN
While Saturday's game will not count in the Houston records book, this marks the first time since the 1967-68 season that Cougars will meet Abilene Christian on the hardwood.
The Cougars own a 2-1 lead in the all-time series, which began in 1947. In the most recent meeting, Houston enjoyed a 90-75 home win against the Wildcats on Dec. 24, 1967.
Following their lone exhibition game, the Cougars open the regular season at 7 p.m., Nov. 12, when they play host to Nicholls State in Hofheinz Pavilion. This marks the second straight season that the Cougars will open the year against the Colonels after taking a 92-60 win in 2009.
From there, the team will meet Alcorn State at 2 p.m., Nov. 14. That game will be part of a doubleheader with the Cougar women's team, which meets UT Arlington at 5 p.m., Nov. 14.