Cougars Head to Pac-10 Tournament

March 11, 2008

COUGARS HEAD TO PAC-10 TOURNAMENT: No. 21 Washington State University men's basketball opens up its play at the Pacific Life Pacific-10 Tournament against Oregon, Thursday, March 13 at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. Tip-off between the third seeded Cougars and sixth seeded Ducks is slated for 6:04 p.m. The game can be seen live on FSN.

• Ranked 21st in the nation by both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls, the Cougars finished Pac-10 play with a 23-7 overall record.
• Their 11-7 league mark tied them with USC for third place in the league. WSU got the No. 3 seed in the tournament due to its season sweep of the Trojans.
• Four Cougars are averaging double-figure points this season lead by Derrick Low's 13.9 points per game.
• Kyle Weaver (11.6 ppg, 4.4 apg, 1.7 spg), Taylor Rochestie (10.8 ppg, 2.8 apg) and Aron Baynes (10.6 ppg, 5.9 rpg) join Low in double-digits.
• WSU is coming off an emotional 76-73 win over Washington in double-overtime, Saturday on `Senior Day.'

• The defending Pac-10 Tournament champions, the Ducks enter the tournament as the No. 6 seed after tying with Arizona for sixth place in league play after defeating the Wildcats at home Saturday.
• The 18-12 Ducks posted a 9-9 conference record and have won their last three games.
• Four players are averaging double-figure points for Oregon, led by Malik Hairston's 16.0 points per game.
• Second Team All-Pac-10 honoree Maarty Leunen is adding 15.4 points and 9.3 rebounds per game, followed by Tajuan Porter (13.6 ppg) and Bryce Taylor (13.1 ppg).

• Oregon leads the all-time series 154-118 and 9-4 at neutral sites.• WSU has won the last two meetings between the two schools, snapping a 13-game losing streak to Oregon Jan. 20.
• The Cougars' win at Eugene Feb. 16 marked their first win over the Ducks on the road in 13 years.
• Derrick Low is averaging 15 points per game against Oregon in his career and 21.5 points against the Ducks in the last four games.
• He and Taylor Rochestie combined for 37 of the team's 62 points in the last meeting Feb. 16.
• The Cougars and Ducks have met twice in the Pac-10 Tournament. The Cougs fell, 66-55, in the last tournament matchup in the opening round 2006 and defeated Oregon, 78-56 in the opening round in 1989.

• The Cougars are 3-8 all-time in Pacific-10 Tournament games.
• For more information on WSU in the tourney, see page seven of today's notes.

• The WSU athletics department will host a public event in Bohler Gymnasium, Sunday, March 16, to celebrate the Cougars' expected bid to the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
• Admission is free and doors open at 2 p.m. Events begin at 2:30 p.m.
• CBS will air the selection show of the 65-team field beginning at 3 p.m.

• Extend WSU's winning streak over Oregon to three games.
• Give the Cougars their second-straight appearance in the Pac-10 Tournament semifinals.
• Give WSU head coach Tony Bennett his 50th career win.
• Pit the Cougars up against the winner of Stanford versus the winner of Oregon State vs. Arizona.

• WSU brought in a school record total of 120,083 fans to Friel Court this season, bettering last season's 104,525.
• The Cougars averaged 9,237 fans per game at Friel Court this season (13 games.)

• 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.
• The 49 wins in two years ties the school record for most wins in a two-year span, last done with a 23-10 record in 1939-40 season and 26-6 mark in the 1940-41 season.

• 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.
• WSU's win over Washington March 8 gave the Cougars 11 Pac-10 wins. It is the first time since the 1936-37 and 1937-38 seasons that WSU has won 11-plus conference games in back-to-back season.

• Aron Baynes, Robbie Cowgill, Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver each received All-Pacific-10 Conference Accolades the league announced Monday.
• Weaver was named to the All-Pac-10 Second Team and Pac-10 All-Defensive Team, Low to the Third Team, Baynes as an honorable mention and Cowgill an honorable mention all-defensive honoree.
• The honors are the second-consecutive for Low and Weaver after earning all-league honors last season.
• The two Cougars are the first duo in school history to receive all-league honors two-straight seasons. Weaver is the first back-to-back first team member since Isaac Fontaine in 1996 and 1997.

• Going with the theme of the Pac-10 season thus far, the Cougars have been solid on the road this season at 10-3.
• 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 14-3 in games played outside Pullman this season, tied with Belmont for the fourth most wins outside a home court in the nation this season. Butler, North Carolina and Robert Morris lead the nation at with 15 road/neutral-site wins apiece this season.

• 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 .533 from the field (65-for-122) and .524 from 3-point range (33-for-63).
• He is averaging 12.1 points per game in those contests.
• In games played at Pullman's Friel Court, Rochestie is shooting .412 from the field (40-for-97) including .311 from 3-point range (14-for-45). He is averaging 9.2 points per game at home.
• Saturday's game versus UW, Rochestie scored a season-best at Friel Court with 16 points. He also made more than two 3-pointers for the first time at home this season, finishing with four (4-for-8).

• 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 1,084 points, 534 rebounds, 445 assists, 179 steals and 87 blocked shots.
• Weaver currently ranks in the top-10 among active career leaders in the Pac-10 in assists (first), steals (first), blocks (eighth) and points (ninth).

• 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.

• 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 second in the league and ranks 74th in the nation with 4.6 assists per game.
• Rochestie leads the league and is eighth in the nation with a 2.9 assists/turnover ratio (139 assists to 48 turnovers).
• Senior Kyle Weaver ranks fourth in the league and 98th in the nation with 4.4 dishes per contest.
• With 139 and 131 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.

• 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 are 10-2 this season when each of the backcourt duo puts up 10 or more points in the same game.

• 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.

• 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 53 times in his career prior to his 23-point performance.
• He added his second career 20-plus point game Saturday against UW with 20 points.
• 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 fourth on the team with 10.6 points per game, leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game and second with 25 blocks this season.
• He's controlled 26 of the 31 jump balls he's vied for this season (including overtimes).
• Baynes is averaging nearly six points and three rebounds more this season than through the team's 30 games last season (4.9 points, 2.8 boards).

• Junior Taylor Rochestie's numbers have gone up tremendously this season compared to at this point last season.
• Third on the team this season in scoring with 10.8 points per game, he averaged just 3.7 points per game after 30 games last season.
• Rochestie is also up in assists (this year: 138; last year: 53), rebounds (this year: 3.1; last year: 1.1) and most notably, minutes played (this year: 34.4 mpg; last year: 14.4 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 49-15, Bennett is just two 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.

• Washington State moved up to 20th in the latest RPI (Rating Percentage Index) standings released this week.
• UCLA (seventh) and Stanford (17th) are the only Pac-10 schools ranked above the Cougs.
• The Pac-10 as a whole ranks second in the RPI.

• Seniors Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver have been named to the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) Division I All-District 14 team• Both are now eligible for the State Farm Division I All-America teams which will be announced April 5.
• This is the second-consecutive season Weaver has been named to the team, while the honor is the first for Low.
• The two are joined on the first team by fellow Pac-10 student-athletes Brook Lopez of Stanford, Ryan Anderson of California and Jon Brockman of Washington.

• Redshirt junior Taylor Rochestie has been named one of 14 finalists for the eighth annual V Foundation Comeback Award.
• The annual award is open to men and women collegiate basketball student-athletes in all divisions.
• It is awarded to an individual or a team who has accomplished a personal triumph in the face of true adversity, be it in health, life or moral dilemma.
• The award is presented in memory of Jim Valvano, the late basketball coach and ESPN commentator, whose personal battle with cancer inspired the creation of The V Foundation.

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