Men's Basketball Opens Season Monday at 2K Sports College Classic

Nov. 9, 2008

2K Sports College Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer
Houston Cougars (0-0 • 0-0 C-USA) vs. Georgia Southern Eagles (0-0 • 0-0 Southern)
Nov. 10, 2008 • Cameron Indoor Stadium (9,314) • Durham, N.C. • 3 p.m. (CST)

Houston-ISP Sports Network • 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston * Tom Franklin, PxP
INTERNET AUDIO/VIDEO: live broadcast at UHCougars.com
LIVE STATS: live stats at GoDuke.com
Houston Game Notes (Nov. 10, 2008) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Georgia Southern Game Notes (Nov. 10-11, 2008) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Duke Game Notes (Nov. 10-11, 2008) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader
Presbyterian Game Notes (Nov. 10-11, 2008) in PDF Format Get Acrobat Reader

DURHAM, N.C. - The University of Houston men's basketball team tips off the 2008-09 season for the entire country when it faces Georgia Southern at 3 p.m. (CST), Monday during the first round of the Durham Regional at the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.

Under the leadership of fifth-year head coach Tom Penders, the Cougars begin their 64th season of intercollegiate competition and are looking for their fourth postseason appearance in the last five seasons.

With a win over Georgia Southern, the Cougars will face the winner of the #8/5 Duke-Presbyterian game at 8 p.m. (CST), Tuesday. That game also will be televised live on ESPNU with Beth Mowins calling the play-by-play action and Bob Wenzel serving as analyst.

The winner of the Durham Regional advances to the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer Championship Rounds to be held Nov. 20-21 in New York's Madison Square Garden.

If the Cougars lose to Georgia Southern, they meet the loser of the #8/5 Duke-Presbyterian game at 5 p.m. (CST), Tuesday.

Whoever UH faces in this two-day tournament will be a first-time Cougar opponent.

All 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 Cougars return eight lettermen but only one starter (junior guard Kelvin Lewis) from last season's team which finished with a 24-10 record and advanced to the semifinals of the inaugural 2008 College Basketball Invitational.

Lewis averaged 10.2 points per game, scoring a career-high 28 points against Valparaiso during the CBI Quarterfinals at Hofheinz Pavilion.

Senior guard and senior center Marcus Cousin each snared four rebounds per game a year ago to lead all returning players.

Lewis, Williams and junior guard Aubrey Coleman were named team captains prior to the start of the season by Penders and his coaching staff.

In addition to the veterans, the Cougars also welcome four newcomers in Coleman, freshman guard Desmond Wade, junior guard Jamon Wilson and junior forward Jason Hurns.

Georgia Southern finished with a 20-12 overall record (13-7 in Southern Conference) in 2007-08. Sophomore guard Willie Powers enters the year as the team's leading returning scorer with 11.5 points per game and was named to the league's All-Freshmen Team.

Senior guard Julian Allen is the team's leading rebounder with 4.7 boards per game and recorded two double-doubles a year ago.

The Cougars have enjoyed tremendous success in season openers during the program's all-time history. Entering Monday's game against Georgia Southern, UH has posted a 45-18 (.714) all-time mark during season openers.

In addition, the Cougars have won each of their last four season openers, all under head coach Tom Penders. That four-game winning streak snapped a four-game losing skid in season openers from 2000 to 2004.

For the third consecutive season, the Cougars will compete in a regular-season tournament. The Cougars have posted a 108-59 (.647) record during regular-season tournaments in their all-time history and enter the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer on a two-game winning streak.

A year ago, the Cougars went 2-1 at the ESPNU Puerto Rico Tip-Off in San Juan, P.R. After falling 73-72 to VCU on Nov. 15, the Cougars posted back-to-back wins against Marist and College of Charleston.

Guard Robert McKiver was named to the All-Tournament Team after averaging 23.8 points in three games, including 37 points during the finale against College of Charleston.

This is the first time that the Cougars have competed at the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.



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