Cougars Pass Torch From One Bennett To Another
May 11, 2006
COUGAR HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett finished his third season on the Palouse with a 11-17 record...Bennett posted a 36-49 in his WSU career...earned a .616 career winning percentage (490-306) in 27 collegiate seasons as head coach before announcing retirement effective at the end of the 2005-06 season...prior to WSU, Bennett coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin.
LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON: Tony Bennett will take to the sidelines as a head coach for the first time in his career at the top of the Washington State program in 2006-07...becomes the 16th man to lead the Cougars...succeeds his father Dick whose resignation took effect at the end of the 2005-06 season...younger Bennet was instrumental in signing sophomores Josh Akognon, Robbie Cowgill, Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver as well as junior transfer Ivory Clark...all but Low finished the 2005-06 season ranked among Pacific-10 leaders in at least one category...Cowgill and Low were named Pacific-10 Freshman Honorable Mention in 2004-05...Tony Bennett spent the last three seasons at WSU, including last two as associate head coach...came to Washington State from Wisconsin where he spent three seasons as an assistant coach for the Badgers.
RETURN TO SENDER: Washington State tied the school record for blocked shots in a season with 130 (set in 1985-86)...Cougars rejected 86 opponents attempts in conferene play to eclipse the previous school record of 72 set during 1985-86 campaign...Robbie Cowgill led the team with 33 blocked shots for an averaged of 1.32 per game.
COWGILL AND HENRY GARNER PAC-10 ALL-ACADEMIC HONORS: Sophomore Robbie Cowgill was named to the 2006 Pacific-10 Men's Basketball All-Academic First Team...Cowgill carries a 3.38 grade point average and is a management options major...is the ninth WSU men's basketball student-athlete and first since J Locklier in 2002 to be named to the first team...becomes the second underclassmen at WSU to garner the honor (sophomore Carlos Daniel, 1996)...sophomore Chris Henry was named Pac-10 All-Academic Honorable Mention...Henry has a 3.08 grade point average and is a business major...marks the first time since 1999 the Cougars have had two men's basketball student-athletes receive Pac-10 academic honors in the sameseason...Will Hutchens (first team), Leif Nelson (honorable mention) and Blake Pengelly (honorable mention) received recognition that season...Cowgill, a native of Austin, Texas, recorded a team-high 33 blocks and averaged 9.2 points per game in 25 starts...A Santa Ana, Calif., native, Henry made 11 starts in 2005-06 and shot 56 percent from the field.
COUGARS CONTINUED TO BREAK STREAKS: Washington State accomplished several firsts and broke many losing streaks under the tutelage of Dick Bennett...here is a look at Cougar highlights over the past three seasons.
COUGARS TAKE CARE OF THE BALL: In the Cougars 71-62 loss at Oregon State, Feb. 16, Washington State committed four turnovers...dating back to 1977 (school game records are incomplete prior), the four turnovers tied the school record for fewest in a game...WSU turned the ball over four times in an 82-79 win over Oregon Jan. 19, 1991.
WASHINGTON STATE DEFENSE: The Cougars lead the Pac-10 in scoring defense (57.7 points per game), field goal percentage defense (38.9) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.9)...Cougars also led in field goal percentage defense (40.6) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (31.0) during Pacific-10 play.
COUGARS IN NCAA RANKINGS: Washington State ranked nationally in scoring defense (sixth, 57.7 points per game), field goal percentage defense (12th, 38.9) and blocked shots (40th, 4.6 per game).
WHO STARTED?: Washington State has used 23 different starting line-ups in its 27 games this season...sophomore Derrick Low started the first 11 games before breaking his right foot in practice, Jan. 4...Low missed eight games, came off the bench against UCLA, Feb. 9 and returned to the starting lineup against USC, Feb. 11...Robbie Cowgill started all 25 games in which he has played after missing the first three due to a fractured right clavicle...seven players started 11 or more games.
BENCH SCORING: Washington State averaged 19.5 points per game off the bench in 2005-06...Aron Baynes scored 19 points off the bench in the Cougars' 81-55 season-opening victory over UC Riverside, Nov. 19...against Idaho, Nov. 26, Cougar bench players tallied 31 points in 63-37 victory...bench players scored 28 of the team's 60 points in win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...in 61-46 win over Portland, Dec. 17, Cougar bench players tallied 46 points led by Ivory Clark's team-high 12...Josh Akognon recorded a career-high 27 points in a 78-71 upset win at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 7...bench players combined for 45 points in the win over the Huskies...Akognon led all scorers with 16 points against USC, Feb. 11...in the eight conference games in which appeared off the bench, Akognon is averaged 10.6 points...Ivory Clark came off the bench in 13 Pac-10 games shot 57.1 percent from the field in those games.
COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.)
#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii)
#3 Steve Campbell (Kenmore)
#5 Chris Matthews (Washington, D.C.)
#11 Aron Baynes (Cairns, Australia)
#12 Randy Green (Renton)
#23 Antonio Chavers (Fort Worth, Texas)
#25 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.)
#33 Ivory Clark (New Orleans, La.)
#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas)
#42 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.)
#52 Caleb Forrest (Pagosa Springs, Colo.)
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