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Cougars, Vandals kick off basketball season; Zags got next

Ferris graduate DeAngelo Casto is expected to be a major player for the Cougars this season (Photo: File / WSU Athletics) Ferris graduate DeAngelo Casto is expected to be a major player for the Cougars this season (Photo: File / WSU Athletics)

Idaho starts Friday, Zags wait until next week

Cougar fans will get their first opportunity to take a look at Ken Bone's basketball team Friday night at Bohler Gym in Pullman. It's Midnight Mayhem on the Palouse, even though it all gets started a little earlier than that.

The start to college basketball season starts tonight at many venues across the country. In Pullman fans can watch a slam dunk competition, a three-point contest, a scrimmage and an autograph session. The Cougar women's team will also be on hand to take place in the festivities that start immediately following the WSU-USC volleyball game - around 9:30 p.m.

Bone, along with women's coach June Daugherty will begin the event with team introductions. Both teams will open the on-court games with a 3-point contest. The men and women will compete in pairs for the title of best long-range shooter. Then a handful of the high-flying Cougar men will wow the crowd in a slam dunk contest.

After the individual contest winners are crowned, the men's team will put their talents on display in a 15-minute scrimmage.

Prizes will be on offer all night with drawings and contests for audience members. Two lucky fans will walk away with an iPod shuffle. Everyone will be able to pick up a team poster and autographs. The event will also be web cast on wsucougars.com.

Idaho closes first practice to public
Idaho will hold its first practice of the 2009-10 season on Friday as well, although the practice is closed to the public. The Vandals have an intra-squad scrimmage scheduled for Oct. 27 in Coeur d'Alene at North Idaho College. Their "Silver and Gold Sneak Peak" is slated for Oct. 30 as part of the school's homecoming festivities.

Craziness in the Kennel scheduled for Oct. 24
Gonzaga will hold their annual Craziness in the Kennel kickoff event Oct. 24 at the McCarthey Athletic Center. Doors open at 4 p.m., with the festivities beginning at 5 p.m.

The Bulldog cheerleaders, dance team, band and Bomb Squad will perform, and one student and one fan will each have a chance to win $10,000 compliments of Pizza Hut. Other special surprises will also be offered by Pizza Hut. One of the highlights will be the delivery of the EA Sports Maui Invitational surfboard to the Bulldogs. The surfboard is traditionally presented to each of the participating teams in Maui, but for the first time the surfboards are being delivered to the campuses of the eight competing teams. The Bulldogs will make their third appearance in the event Nov. 23-25.

DVD copies of the "Decade of Excellence" highlighting Gonzaga's recent string of NCAA Tournament appearances will also be available for sale at the event. The 100-minute chronicle of Gonzaga's rise to excellence was produced and narrated by Greg Heister, the KHQ/FSN television voice of the Bulldogs, in conjunction with KHQ-TV and IMG College, Gonzaga's multi-media rights holder.

Fans will have their first look at seven newcomers on this year's Bulldogs in the planned scrimmage. Returnees Matt Bouldin, Steven Gray, Demetri Goodson and Robert Sacre form the nucleus of a solid group of letter winners.

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