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November 16, 1998

The 1998-99 Texas Tech University men's basketball team, marking James Dickey's eighth season as head coach, opens the regular season Thursday, Nov. 19 at 7:00 p.m. CT against Texas-San Antonio. The Red Raiders were 13-14 overall last season, 7-9 (tie, 7th) in the Big 12. Texas Tech returns five letter winners, including starters Stan Bonewitz, Cliff Owens, Johnny Phillips and Rayford Young. Two-time letter winner Ross Carmichael also returns for the Red Raiders. Texas Tech posted a 1-1 mark in its two exhibition games. The Red Raiders defeated Arkansas Express, 80-73, but lost to Global Sports Next Level, 88-82.

The Roadrunners won their first game of the 1998-99 season on Sunday with a 79-48 victory over Ouachita Baptist in San Antonio. Freshman Devin Brown scored 20 points, while senior Steve Meyer added 18 to lead UTSA. Texas-San Antonio was 16-11 overall last season. Head coach Tim Carter, in his fourth year at UTSA, has a 40-42 record in San Antonio.

The 99-51 win for Texas Tech over Texas-San Antonio (Dec. 17, 1996) in Lubbock is the only meeting between the two men's basketball programs. Tony Battie scored 23 points and grabbed 15 rebounds, while Gracen Averil added 17 to lead the Red Raiders. Texas Tech shot 53.0 percent from the field while limiting the Roadrunners to 32.1 percent from the floor. Steve Meyer, one of only two Roadrunners to score in double figures, notched 22 points to lead UTSA.

Texas Tech men's basketball coach James Dickey is in his eighth season guiding the Red Raiders on the hardwood. A 1976 graduate of Central Arkansas, he has posted a 132-72 record, a winning percentage of .650. Dickey was named Tech's head coach on April 10, 1991 after serving one year for the Red Raiders as an assistant under longtime coach Gerald Myers. Over the last four seasons, Tech is 82-35 for a .701 winning mark. Dickey has earned district coach of the year honors four times and has been conference coach of the year on three occasions. He has guided Tech to two NCAA Tournaments, including the '96 Sweet 16. Before his arrival at Tech as an assistant coach in 1990-91, Dickey previously worked at Kentucky (1986-89) and Arkansas (1982-85) as an assistant under Eddie Sutton.

The 1998-99 schedule will require Texas Tech to blend the six newcomers in with the returning players quickly, considering a hefty non-conference schedule is awaiting the Red Raiders. The likes of WAC champion TCU plus improving SMU, Tulsa and Southwestern Louisiana are among the teams Tech will face prior to the 16-game Big 12 Conference slate. The Red Raiders will travel to Hawaii to the BYU-Hawaii Pearl Harbor Classic, where Tech will play Tulsa. The tourney field also includes Alabama, Michigan State, Pepperdine, Oregon State and Weber State. In the third year of the Big 12, Texas Tech will host Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska while visiting Iowa State, Kansas State and Missouri. Texas Tech will play Big 12 South rivals Baylor, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas and Texas A&M home and away.

With the addition of four appearances on FOX Sports Southwest, the Texas Tech men's basketball team is scheduled to play 12 televised games this season. The Red Raiders will play SMU (Dec. 3), TCU (Dec. 8), and Baylor (Jan. 2, Feb. 10) on Fox Sports Southwest. Tech will play one national televised game on ESPN Feb. 20 against Nebraska at 8:30 p.m. Tech will appear seven times on ESPN Regional via the Big 12 television package.

Point guard Rayford Young, a starter in all 27 games last season, was named to the All-Underrated squad, selected by a panel of sports writers who regularly cover the Big 12. The 5-11 Pampa, Texas, junior joined Baylor's Patrick Hunter, Texas A&M's Shanne Jones, Oklahoma State's Adrian Peterson and Kansas' Ryan Robertson. He is Texas Tech's top returning scorer (15.4) and led the club last season in assists (116) and steals (46). Young averaged 3.7 rebounds, grabbed three or more boards in 21 games and was third on the team with 11 blocks.

Texas Tech lost its last three home games of 1997-98 to Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma. The three-game losing streak is Tech's first at home since early in the 1993-94 season. The three-game skid is also Tech's first in conference action since the 1990-91 campaign. Texas Tech has won 51 of its last 60 games in Lubbock Municipal Coliseum for an 86.4 winning percentage. From 1993-94 (against Texas A&M) until the Colorado game in 1996-97, Texas Tech won a school-record 35 consecutive games at home. All-time, Texas Tech is 387-153 in the "Bubble." The Red Raiders own a 67-21 mark under James Dickey at home.

Texas Tech utilized four different starting combinations last season, any of which would be among the youngest quintet in James Dickey's seven seasons as head coach. For the first time since the 1993-94 season, Texas Tech started only two upperclassmen. The Red Raiders have started at least two seniors for the majority of the season in all but three of James Dickey's previous seven years as head coach, 1992-93, 1993-94 and 1997-98.

A total of nine true freshmen have started at least one game for Texas Tech during head coach James Dickey's seven previous years. Johnny Phillips started the last 15 games of 1997-98 - the most by a true freshman since Jason Sasser started 19 in 1992-93. Lance Hughes also started 19 during his freshman year in 1991-92.

Rayford Young tied for second behind teammate Cory Carr in the Big 12 in free throw percentage with an 84.3 clip. Twice last season he provided late-game heroics from the stripe to help Tech win. He made four free throws in the final 10 seconds against Kansas State, each time going to the line with Tech up one point. Young sank two free throws - his first attempts of the game - with four seconds remaining to send the game at Nevada into overtime. He made all eight of his free throw attempts at Nevada, six in the overtime period.

Known for his long-range shooting and uncanny passing ability, Stan Bonewitz added another facet to his game last season - rebounding. The San Antonio junior came into the year with a career rebounding average of 2.1. He doubled that mark last year with a 4.9 average and led the team on the boards five games. He helped his average in the Big 12 Tournament against Texas with 10 boards for his first career double-double in the points and rebounds variety. Twice against Iowa State and Prairie View A&M, Bonewitz grabbed a career-high 11 rebounds. For the year, Bonewitz had five or more rebounds in 15 games.

Stan Bonewitz, who hit a team-high 84 three-pointers last season, has made at least three treys in the last 20 of 24 games. He now ranks third all-time at Tech with 175 career 3's. Bonewitz tied the single-game school mark of seven against Texas A&M on Feb. 21 in College Station. For the year, Bonewitz ranked second in the Big 12 with a 41.8 three-point percentage and 3.1 3's a game. He led the Big 12 in three-point percentage as a sophomore with a 46.3 mark.

Sophomore forward Cliff Owens of Santa Fe, Texas, had a team-high 7.7 rebounds last season to rank in a tie for sixth in the Big 12. He finished third in the league with 5.8 defensive rebounds. In league games, Owens ranked in a tie for second with 8.4 boards and led the league with 6.9 defensive rebounds per game. Owens upped his totals to six double-doubles and eight games with 10 or more rebounds. He notched two consecutive double-doubles late in the regular season against Texas A&M and Nebraska.




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