Cougars Begin Second Round of Pac-10 Play

Feb. 5, 2008

WSU BEGINS SECOND ROUND OF PAC-10 PLAY: The Washington State men's basketball team (17-4, 5-4) begins the second go-around in the Pacific-10 Conference as it hosts No. 5/4 UCLA (20-2, 8-1), Thursday, Feb. 7 at 7:30 p.m. and USC (14-7, 5-4), Saturday, Feb. 9 at 12:30 p.m. at Friel Court. Thursday's game can be seen on FSN, while Saturday's game will be shown on ABC.

• Washington State enters the weekend at 17-4 overall and tied for third in the Pacific-10 Conference at 5-4 in league play.
• Ranked 17th in the nation, the Cougars are coming off their first two home losses of the season after falling to California (69-64) Thursday and Stanford (67-65, overtime) Saturday.
• Leading the league and ranked third in the nation in points allowed per game at 55.2, WSU boasts three double-digit scorers on the offensive end.
• Derrick Low paces the offense with 13.9 points per game.
• Kyle Weaver and Aron Baynes are adding 11.9 and 11.4 points per game, respectively. Weaver and Baynes are the top-two rebounders on the team with 5.0 and 6.0 boards per game, respectively.
• Point guard Taylor Rochestie is chipping in 9.2 points an outing while leading the league in assists with 5.2 dishes a game. His 3.21 assists/turnover ratio is the second-best in the conference and sixth in the nation.
• The Cougars are 2-2 against ranked opponents this season and 0-1 at home.

ABOUT THE BRUINS• Currently ranked fifth in the Associated Press Poll and fourth in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll, UCLA enters Thursday's matchup at 20-2 overall while leading the Pac-10 at 8-1 in league play.
• The Bruins have won four straight, two on the road, since being upset by USC on their homecourt Jan. 19.
• Freshman center Kevin Love leads the team and is seventh in the Pac-10 with 17.8 points per game, and adding 11.2 rebounds per game for an average of a double-double each game.
• Three other Bruins are averaging double-digit points as Josh Shipp, Darren Collison and Russell Westbrook are adding 14.5, 14.4 and 12.0 points per game, respectively.
• Westbrook is second in the league with 5.0 assists per game.
• The Bruins have not lost on the road so far this season at 5-0, 4-0 in Pac-10 action. They are 3-1 against ranked opponents thus far this season.

• Washington State trails its series against UCLA, 13-92, and has dropped the last seven meetings, including the first between the two teams this season.
• WSU hit seven-straight 3-pointers in the final two minutes, but couldn't pull out the win as it fell, 81-74 at Pauley Pavilion, Jan. 12 .
• No member of this season's team has defeated the Bruins, as the last Cougar victory is also their lone victory on the road against the Bruins which came Feb. 5, 2004.
• WSU is 11-41 all-time against UCLA at home.
• Washington State has pulled off the L.A.-sweep just once in school history, under Dick Bennett Feb. 5 and 7, 2004.

• USC takes its 14-7 overall record and 5-4 league mark into Washington Thursday, before coming to the Palouse for Saturday's game.
• After dropping their first three Pac-10 games of the season, The Trojans have won five of their last six games, including an upset over then-No. 4 UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
• Freshman O.J. Mayo is second in the conference and 31st in the nation with 20.1 points per game, 20.9 in league play.
• USC has five players averaging double-figures in the points column this season as Davon Jefferson, Dwight Lewis, Taj Gibson and Daniel Hackett adding 12.8, 10.9, 10.4 and 10.1 points per outing, respectively.
• USC is 5-2 on the road this season, both losses suffered in league action, but haven't lost on the road since Jan. 5.

• Saturday's meeting between the Cougars and Trojans is the 105th in the two schools' histories as USC holds a 64-40 advantage in the all-time series.
• WSU holds a 26-22 record on its home court and has won four-straight games over USC at Friel Court.
• The Cougars won the first meeting between the two teams this season, 73-58 at Los Angeles Jan. 10.
• The Cougars swept the regular season series last year, including a thrilling, 88-86 double-overtime contest March 3 at Pullman, but fell to the Trojans, 70-61 in the Pac-10 Tournament six days later.

• With their two losses to California and Stanford last weekend, the Cougars were swept in a weekend Pacific-10 Conference series for the first time under second-year head coach Tony Bennett.
• The last time the Cougars lost three-straight games at home came in Dick Bennett's first year as head coach, 2003-04. WSU fell to Oregon State (Feb. 12), Oregon (Feb. 14) and No. 1 Stanford (March 4) in consecutive home games.
• The last time WSU lost two-straight Pac-10 home series came in 2002-03.
• WSU has swept four weekend series under Bennett (games against UW aren't counted).
• Only two teams have swept the Pac-10 season series over the Cougars under Bennett (UCLA and Oregon in 2006-07).
• On the contrary, WSU swept six season series last year (Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, USC and Washington).
• WSU had its seven-game home win streak snapped with its loss to California Thursday. It's previous loss came March 1, 2007.

• WSU is 1-69 all-time against opponents ranked in the AP top-5.
• The Cougars' only win over a top-5 team came over No. 4 Oregon State Feb. 16, 1980.
• This is the second-straight meeting between the two teams with UCLA as the No. 5 team in the nation.
• The Cougars are 41-98 all-time against top-25 opponents, including 2-2 this season.
• WSU is 34-19 when ranked in the top-25. The Cougars doubled their number or wins as a ranked team with 17 already this season.
• When ranked and playing a ranked opponent, the Cougars are 5-8. Five of their eight losses came to ranked UCLA teams (two to Oregon, one to Stanford).
• WSU is 3-64 against top-25 Bruin squads.
• The last time the Cougars defeated a ranked UCLA team came March 7, 1983 at Pullman. (The Bruins were ranked No. 6)

• Senior Derrick Low became the 28th Cougar to score 1,000 career points just three points into WSU's win over Oregon State Jan. 17.
• Kyle Weaver enters the weekend with 985 points, just 15 shy of 1,000 career points.
• Weaver is on pace to become the 29th Cougar to reach the milestone.• The last Cougar to reach the milestone prior to Low was Thomas Kelati (2002-05) who reached 1,081 points in Low and Weaver's freshmen season.
• The last teammates to reach the milestone together were Terry Kelly and Don Collins in 1980.
• Three Cougars have never reached 1,000 career points in the same season.

• Despite ranking seventh in the Pac-10 in assists per game, the Cougars boast two of the top-five assists men in the league.
• Junior Taylor Rochestie leads the league and ranks 44th in the nation with 5.2 assists per game.
• Rochestie is second in the league and sixth in the nation with a 3.21 assists/turnover ratio (104 assists to 33 turnovers).
• Senior Kyle Weaver ranks fifth in the league with 4.24 dishes per contest.

• WSU's game against Stanford marked the first time this season the Cougars have lost when both Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver score in double-figures.
• The Cougars are 7-1 this season when each of the backcourt duo puts up 10 or more points in the same game.

• The Cougars snapped a 13-game losing streak to Oregon with its 69-60 victory over the Ducks Jan. 20.
• The win was the first over Oregon for head coach Tony Bennett.
• It was also the first for all members of the team, including the seniors who have now defeated all Pac-10 teams with the exception of UCLA.
• If the Cougars can get the win over UCLA, this year's senior class will become the first since 1989 to accomplish the feat of defeating all nine other Pac-10 schools in their career.
• A win over UCLA would also allow this year's junior and sophomore classes to accomplish that feat.

• Derrick Low is averaging 9.2 of his team-leading 13.9 points per game in the second half this season.
• In the eight games WSU has trailed at the half, Low is averaging 17.4 points per game, over three points above his average.
• He is averaging four 3-pointers per game in those contests.
• Low is averaging 14.8 of those points in the second half. He is 29-for-42 (.690) from 3-point range in the second half when WSU trails at intermission.

• In the 107th game of his WSU career, Kyle Weaver reached the 20-point plateau for the first time with 23 points against Stanford.
• Weaver had scored in double-digits 49 times in his career prior to his 23-point performance.
• His previous career high was 19 which he reached twice, including once this season.
• In the same game, Weaver had his first double-double of the season and the fifth of his career. His 11 rebounds marked his first double-digit rebounding performance of the season.

• Junior Aron Baynes, at 6-10, 270, has been an effective inside presence for the Cougars this season.
• Baynes is third on the team with 11.4 points per game, leads the team with 6.0 rebounds per game and ranks second with 19 blocks this season.
• He's controlled 18 of the 21 jump balls he's vied for this season.
• Baynes is averaging nearly nine points and four rebounds more this season than through 21 games last season (3.0 points, 2.4 boards).

• Junior Taylor Rochestie's numbers have gone up tremendously this season compared to at this point last season.
• Fourth on the team this season in scoring with 9.2 points per game, he averaged just 2.1 points per game after 21 games last season.
• Rochestie is also up in assists (this year: 108; last year: 29), rebounds (this year: 3.0; last year: 14) and most notably, minutes played (this year: 32.7 mpg; last year: 10.7 mpg).

• WSU second-year head coach Tony Bennett reached his 40th career coaching victory as the team defeated USC Jan. 10.
• Last season Bennett put in the 13th-best coaching debut in NCAA Division I history as the team went 26-8.
• At 43-12, Bennett is just seven wins shy of 50 career wins, which would tie him for 10th in NCAA history for wins by a second-year head coach.
• Bill Guthridge holds the record with a 58-14 mark in his first two seasons at North Carolina.

• The Cougars are averaging 8,909 fans in their eight games thus far at Friel Court this season, ranking fourth amongst Pac-10 schools.
• WSU has played in front of 10,000 or more fans in seven of its nine Pac-10 games this season, including two games at Pullman.
• Home attendance average is up nearly 3,000 fans than at this point last season.
• Tickets for the general public are already sold out for five of WSU's final six home games (tickets remain for WSU's game against Arizona State Feb. 21).

• Derrick Low is one of 30 collegiate men's basketball players to be named to the midseason John R. Wooden Award candidate list.
• Kyle Weaver has been named to the Naismith Trophy midseason top-30 list.

• Washington State dropped to 20th in the latest RPI (Rating Percentage Index) standings released this week.
• Arizona, UCLA and Stanford are the only Pac-10 schools ranked about the Cougs at seventh, 10th and 18th, respectively.
• The Pac-10 as a whole ranks second in the RPI.

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