Nov. 16, 2009
NICHOLLS STATE COLONELS (0-1 0-0 SLC) at HOUSTON COUGARS (0-0 0-0 C-USA)
Nov. 17, 2009 Hofheinz Pavilion (8,479) Houston, Texas 7 p.m.
RADIO: Houston-ISP Sports Radio Network 790 AM The Sports Animal-Houston Tom Franklin, PxP
INTERNET AUDIO: live audio broadcast at UHCougars.com
LIVE STATS: live GameTracker stats at UHCougars.com
Nicholls State Game Notes
Conference USA Notebook
HOUSTON - The University of Houston men's basketball team opens its 2009-10 season at 7 p.m., Tuesday, when it plays host to Nicholls State inside Hofheinz Pavilion.
The Cougars return four starters and seven lettermen from last season's team, which finished 21-12 and competed in a postseason tournament for the fourth time in the last five seasons. It also was the fifth straight season that the Cougars won at least 18 games, a first in school history.
Senior guards Kelvin Lewis and Aubrey Coleman lead the way for the Cougars and are the top two returning scorers in Conference USA from 2008-09. Lewis averaged 18.0 points per game a year ago and ranked among the league leaders in scoring, free throw percentage, 3-point percentage, 3-pointers made and minutes played per game.
For his impressive efforts, he was named to the All-Conference USA Third Team and was a member of the league' All-Defensive Team.
Coleman posted 19.4 points and 8.2 rebounds per game in 2008-09 to rank among the C-USA top-four individual leaders in both categories, making him the only player in the league to accomplish that feat. The 2009 C-USA Newcomer of the Year and Houston native recorded three games with at least 30 points, including a career-high 38 at C-USA rival Marshall.
Junior guard Zamal Nixon made a strong push toward the end of last season and will challenge for the starting nod at point guard, while Desmond Wade returns for his sophomore campaign after leading the team in assists.
Senior forward Sean Coleman was a member of the C-USA All-Academic Team and joins Lewis and Coleman as the team's tri-captains in 2009-10.
The Cougars welcomed an impressive signing class during the off-season. Freshman forward Kirk Van Slyke, freshman forward Kendrick Washington, junior guard Adam Brown, freshman forward Bryce Clark, junior forward Maurice McNeil, junior guard Cory Tellis and junior forward Kahmell Broughton give head coach Tom Penders and his staff one of the most athletic signing classes in recent history.
Penders returns for his sixth season at Houston and his 36th season overall. Ranked fifth among active NCAA Division I coaches, Penders has posted a 102-61 record during his stint at UH, reaching 100 wins faster than any coach in school history.
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 pregame show is slated to begin at 6:45 p.m.
Fans can follow live stats from Tuesday's game by clicking the GameTracker link at UHCougars.com.
ABOUT NICHOLLS STATE
Nicholls State (0-1) comes into Tuesday's game after falling 85-62 Friday at Duquesne. Junior Anatoly Bose, who was a Preseason All-Southland Conference Team honoree, led the Colonels with 23 points, including four 3-pointers and grabbed five rebounds.
Guard Fred Hunter added 12 points with a team-high five rebounds in the loss.
Head coach J.P. Piper is in his sixth season at Nicholls State, posting a 53-94 record during that time. Tuesday's game will be the first time that he has faced Houston.
SERIES HISTORY vs. NICHOLLS STATE
Tuesday's game will be the first time that the Cougars have faced Nicholls State on the hardwood.
Fans can purchase on-line at UHCougars.com by clicking the "Tickets" link, by calling 713-GO-COOGS (462-6647) or by visiting the Athletics Ticket Office on the first floor of the Athletics/Alumni Center during regular business hours, Monday through Friday.
Single-game tickets and a variety of packages also are available now and can be purchased for as low as $35.