WSU Closes Out Regular Road Season at Stanford
Feb. 29, 2008
COUGARS LOOK FOR REVENGE AGAINST THE CARDINAL: The 22nd ranked Washington State University men's basketball team, fresh off a 21-point win at California, takes on eighth-ranked Stanford, Saturday, March 1 in its final road game of the regular season. Tip-off is set for 1 p.m. at Maples Pavilion at Stanford, Calif. and the game can be seen live on FSN.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
The Cougars hold third place in the Pacific-10 Conference and are ranked 22nd in the nation at 22-6 overall and 10-6 in league play.
WSU enters the weekend having won five of its last six games, as well as its last four road games after defeating California, 70-49, Thursday night at Haas Pavilion.
Leading the league in defense, the Cougars are holding opponents to 55.3 points per game this season, ranking third in the nation.
Ball control has also been a strong-point for WSU this season as it leads the conference in turnovers per game (10.2-third in the nation) and assists/turnover ratio (1.4-10th in the nation).
Derrick Low leads the team with 13.8 points per game as four Cougars are averaging double-figure scoring per game.
Kyle Weaver (11.6 ppg), Aron Baynes (10.8 ppg) and Taylor Rochestie (10.7 ppg) join Low in double digits.
Rochestie and Low have both scored in double figures in each of the last six games, averaging 16.7 and 14.8 points per game, respectively, in those games.
ABOUT THE CARDINAL
The Cardinal holds second place in the Pacific-10 Conference and ranks eighth in the nation at 12-3 in league and 23-4 overall.
Stanford has won 10 of its last 11 games, its only setback, a 72-68 loss to Arizona State in overtime Feb. 14.
The Cardinal defeated Washington, 82-79, in its last outing at Maples Pavilion Thursday.
Brook Lopez leads the team with 19.0 points per game as one of two Cardinal players in double-figures. He is adding a team-best 7.9 boards per game.
His twin brother Robin is second in the conference with 2.26 blocked shots a game.
Anthony Goods is adding 11.2 points per outing.
THE SERIES WITH STANFORD
The Cardinal leads the all-time series 64-55 including 36-21 on its home court.
Brook Lopez and Lawrence Hill each scored 18 points in the first meeting as Stanford defeated WSU, 67-65 in overtime Feb. 2.
Kyle Weaver put up his first-ever 20-plus point production with 23 points, including his lone double-double of the season. He's averaging 11.3 points per game against the Cardinal in his career.
Derrick Low added 19 points in the first meeting and leads the team with an 11.7 points per game career average against Stanford.
Stanford has won five of the last six meetings as the two teams split the series last season.
A WIN SATURDAY WOULD...
Split the season series with the Cardinal.
But the Cougars just a game and a half behind Stanford for second place.
Give the Cougars 11 Pac-10 Conference wins this season, making it the first time in school history WSU has recorded 11-plus Pac-10 wins in consecutive seasons.
It would be the first time since the 1936-37 and 1937-38 seasons that WSU has won 11-plus conference games in back-to-back seasons.
Tie the Cougars for the third-most road wins in school history with 11. Put head coach Tony Bennett one away from 50 career wins.
RECAPPING THURSDAY'S WIN AT CAL
The Cougars improved to 45-68 all-time against California and 17-42 against the Golden Bears on the road...WSU has won three of the last four meetings.
Chris Henry's appearance at the 11:34 mark in the first half marked the first time this season the redshirt junior (playing his final season for the Cougars as a walk-on) has played in the first half of a game...just his eighth appearance this season...played a season-high eight minutes.
Taylor Rochestie scored in double figures for the sixth consecutive game...he finished with 18 points...his six assists are the most since he had at Arizona Jan. 24.
Derrick Low also reached double-figure points for the sixth-straight game...he hit his 200th career 3-pointer in the second half. Kyle Weaver moved into 23rd place in the WSU career scoring books...he now has 1,060.
Low moved into 15th in the WSU career scoring record books...he now has 1,182.
Rochestie moved into a tie for eighth place in the WSU season record books for assists...he now has 129.
Robbie Cowgill's birthday performance: eight points (3-for-3 from the field), four rebounds and an assist...his eight points ties him for the 10th-best birthday performance in WSU history.
The win is WSU's largest on the road in Pac-10 play this season...previous was 15 at USC.
For just the third time this season and first since Nov. 25 against Air Force, three Cougars scored 15 or more points (Rochestie-18, Weaver-17, Low-15).
COUGARS RECORD BACK-TO-BACK 20-WIN SEASONS
The Feb. 16 win at Oregon gave WSU its 20th win of the season. Last season the Cougars went 26-8.
With its 20-win season, WSU has recorded 20 wins in back-to-back seasons for the first time since the 1940-41 and 1941-42 seasons. Jack Friel led his Cougars to four-straight 20-win seasons from 1938-42.
Not only is Tony Bennett the second WSU head coach to lead his team to consecutive 20-win seasons, he is just the third Cougar coach to notch multiple 20-win seasons at the helm for WSU.
...AND BACK-TO-BACK 10 PAC-10 WIN SEASONS
The Feb. 28 win at California gave WSU its second-straight 10-win Pac-10 season for the first time since the 1993-94 seasons.
Going with the theme of the Pac-10 season thus far, the Cougars have been solid on the road this season at 10-2.
The 10 road wins marks the first time since 1946-47 that the Cougars have accomplished that feat. It is also just the 11th time in school history a WSU squad has won 10 or more games on the road.
WSU is 14-2 in games played outside Pullman this season, tied with Robert Morris for the second most wins outside a home court in the nation this season. Butler leads the nation at 15-2 in road and neutral games.
ROCHESTIE AND LOW PRODUCING
In the last six games, the backcourt duo of Taylor Rochestie and Derrick Low led the Cougars in scoring with double-figure performances in those games.
Rochestie and Low accounted for 48 percent (189) of WSU's 390 points in the last six games.
Rochestie recorded back-to back 20-point games with a career high 24 at Oregon State and 21 points at Oregon.
He was a combined 21-for-25 from the free throw line in the last four games, including 7-for-8 in the final minute at Oregon.
THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE THE ROAD...
Taylor Rochestie has shown a noticeable difference in his shooting on the road this season compared to games played at Friel Court.
In games played on the road (including the tournament at Spokane and the neutral-site game at Seattle), Rochestie is shooting .539 from the field (62-for-115) and .542 from 3-point range (32-for-59).
He is averaging 12.3 points per game in those contests.
In games played at Pullman's Friel Court, Rochestie is shooting .402 from the field (35-for-87) including .270 from 3-point range (10-for-37). He is averaging 8.7 points per game at home.
WEAVER DOES IT ALL
Kyle Weaver is believed to be the first player in Pac-10 history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 150 steals and 75 blocks in a career. He currently has 1,033 points, 517 rebounds, 425 assists, 174 steals and 85 blocked shots.
Weaver currently ranks in the top-10 among active career leaders in the Pac-10 in assists (first), steals (first), blocks (sixth), rebounds (ninth) and points (ninth).
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS
The Cougars are 41-99 all-time against top-25 opponents, including 2-3 this season.
WSU is 38-21 when ranked in the top-25. The Cougars doubled their number or wins as a ranked team with 21 already this season.
With Stanford ranked eighth in the nation, Saturday's game will be the sixth time this season the Cougars have faced a ranked team (Gonzaga, UCLA (twice), Arizona State, Stanford).
When ranked and playing a ranked opponent, the Cougars are 5-9. One of their nine losses came to a ranked Stanford team (this season) (six to UCLA, two to Oregon).
WSU is 3-19 all-time versus ranked Stanford opponents.
The Cougars are 1-6 all-time against the eighth team in the nation and 7-114 against teams ranked in the top-10.
THE 1,000-POINT MILESTONE
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 became the 29th Cougar to score 1,000 career points on his first basket against USC Feb. 9.
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.
Low and Weaver became the first Cougar teammates to reach the milestone in the same year since Terry Kelly and Don Collins in 1980. Three Cougars have never reached 1,000 career points in the same season.
DISHING IT OUT
Despite ranking eighth in the Pac-10 in assists per game, the Cougars boast two of the top-five assists men in the league.
Junior Taylor Rochestie is third in the league and ranks 79th in the nation with 4.6 assists per game.
Rochestie leads the league and is eighth in the nation with a 2.8 assists/turnover ratio (124 assists to 44 turnovers).
Senior Kyle Weaver ranks fifth in the league with 4.3 dishes per contest. With 129 and 120 assists this season, respectively, Rochestie and Weaver are the first WSU teammates to dish out 100-plus assists in the same season since 1990 when Bennie Seltzer had 114 assists and David Sanders dished out 100.
WHEN WEAVER AND LOW SCORE DOUBLE-DIGITS
WSU's game against Arizona Feb. 23 marked the second time this season the Cougars have lost when both Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver score in double-figures.
The Cougars are9-2 this season when each of the backcourt duo puts up 10 or more points in the same game.
LOW IN THE CLUTCH
In the nine games WSU has trailed at the half this season, Low is averaging 16.8 points per game, three points above his average.
He is averaging 3.8 3-pointers per game in those contests.
Low is averaging 13.9 of those points in the second half. He is 38-for-58 (.667) from 3-point range in the second half when WSU trails at intermission.
WEAVER GETS PAST 19
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 10.8 points per game, leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game and ranks second with 23 blocks this season.
He's controlled 25 of the 28 jump balls he's vied for this season. Baynes is averaging eight points and three rebounds more this season
than through the team's 28 games last season (3.6 points, 2.7 boards).
ROCHESTIE PICKING IT UP THIS SEASON AS WELL
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 10.7 points per game, he averaged just 3.0 points per game after 28 games last season.
Rochestie is also up in assists (this year: 129; last year: 45), rebounds (this year: 3.2; last year: 0.9) and most notably, minutes played (this year: 33.8 mpg; last year: 13.0 mpg).
BENNETT REACHES 40TH CAREER VICTORY
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 47-14, Bennett is just three 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.
COUGARS IN RPI
Washington State rose to 22nd in the latest RPI (Rating Percentage Index) standings released this week.
UCLA (eighth), Arizona (20th) and Stanford (21st) are the only Pac-10 schools ranked above the Cougs.
The Pac-10 as a whole ranks third in the RPI.
The Cougars return home for their regular season finale as they host cross-state rival Washington, Saturday, March 8 at 4:30 p.m. at Friel Court. The game can be seen live on FSN Northwest.
The Cougars have won the last six over the Huskies, including a 56-52 win at UW in their Pac-10 opener.