Cougars Return Home For Three-Straight Games.
Dec. 1, 2008
COUGARS RETURN HOME TO HOST BENGALS: After a cross-country trip to Newark, N.J. for the 2008 Legends Classic, the Washington State University men's basketball team returns home for a three-game homestand beginning with Idaho State, Tuesday, Dec. 2 at 7 p.m. at Friel Court. The game will be shown live on FSN Northwest.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
WSU suffered its first loss of the season, falling to No. 4 Pittsburgh, 57-43, Saturday, Nov. 29 in the championship game of the Legends Classic held at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J.
Daven Harmeling led the Cougars with 12 points, all four of his baskets coming off of 3-pointers.
Klay Thompson looked on his way to his second-consecutive double-double with seven points and five rebounds in the first half, but was shut out in the second half, finishing with seven points and six boards.
WSU advanced to the championship game by defeating Mississippi State, 63-52, Friday in the tournament semifinals.
Thompson had the first double-double of his career with 19 points and 10 boards.
Aron Baynes added a season-high 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field.
WSU outscored MSU, 34-12 in the paint and had the advantage on points off turnovers, 23-6.
WSU AGAINST THE BIG SKY:
WSU holds a 172-48 record against current members of the Big Sky Conference.
Last season the Cougars defeated four Big Sky teams (Eastern Washington, Montana, Portland State and Idaho State).
The Cougars have already faced one Big Sky school (Sacramento State) and have one more on their schedule, against Montana State.
NONCONFERENCE STREAK COMES TO AN END: The Cougars had their regular season nonconference winning streak snapped at 21 games with their loss to Pittsburgh Saturday.
The streak had gone back to the 2006-07 season.
The 21-game winning streak is the second-longest in school history, passing the 19-straight streak during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.
WSU's record streak stands at 23 games set during the 1931-32, 1932-33 and 1933-34 seasons.
BENNETT NO LONGER PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU's Nov. 29 loss to Pittsburgh marked its first loss in November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
The Cougars had gone 19-0 under Bennett in November prior to that game...Bennett is now 19-1 in the month.
The Cougars have started the season 6-0 in all three of Bennett's seasons at the helm.
Four of the Cougars' five starters earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic accolades last season.
The only one of the five who didn't, Klay Thompson, was in high school last year.
Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie earned first-team honors, while Aron Baynes and Nikola Koprivica picked up second-team accolades.
Harmeling is a three-time conference all-academic honoree, while Baynes has earned the honors twice.
TOPS OF THEIR TOURNAMENTS:
Two of WSU's next three opponents (Baylor, Dec. 6 and Gonzaga, Dec. 10) made it to the championship game of their respective tournaments that they played in this past weekend.
Then-No. 10 Gonzaga took home the title in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., defeating Tennessee, 83-74, in the championship game.
Baylor fell to then-No. 19 Wake Forest, 87-74, Sunday in the 76 Classic. The Bears defeated then-No. 14 Arizona State earlier in the tournament.
The Cougars also played in the championship game of their tournament, the Legends Classic, falling to then-No. 4 Pittsburgh.
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
Klay Thompson ranks in the top-three amongst Pac-10 freshmen in three different categories.
He is third amongst freshmen in scoring with 12.5 points per game (19th overall), third in rebounding with 5.8 boards per game (15th overall) and first in 3-point field goals made with 2.0 per game (tied for sixth overall).
DeAngelo Casto is tied for the freshman lead in blocks per game with 1.5. He is tied for third overall in the category.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO: Seniors Aron Baynes, Taylor Rochestie and Daven Harmeling also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in seven different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 7th, .630 (29-for-46)
Blocked Shots - T-8th, 0.8 bpg
Rebounding - T-12th, 6.0 rpg
Steals - T-3rd, 1.8 spg
Assists - 4th, 5.8 apg
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 5th, 1.8 (35 assts/20 to)
3-Point FG Made - 10th, 1.7 made per game
THOMPSON OFFERS `FRESH' START:
With his start against MVSU Nov. 15, Klay Thompson became the first Cougar freshman to start a season opener since Kyle Weaver started against Montana State, Nov. 19, 2004.
He also became the first WSU freshman to start a game since Nikola Koprivica started against San Diego State, Dec. 21, 2006.
A total of six freshmen saw action in the season opener for the Cougs (Marcus Capers, DeAngelo Casto, Charlie Enquist, Abe Lodwick, Klay Thompson, Nick Witherill).
Four of the freshmen are true freshman (Capers, Casto, Thompson, Witherill). The last time four true freshman played in the season opener was in 2004 (Josh Akognon, Robbie Cowgill, Daven Harmeling, Kyle Weaver).
Five or more freshmen have seen action in four of WSU's six games.
Last season just two freshmen played for the Cougars, making a total of 20 appearances (one true freshman, one redshirt freshman). This year seven WSU freshmen have combined for 30 appearances in the first six games.
Thompson currently leads the team in scoring with 12.5 points per game. The last freshman to end the season with 12 or more points was Mark Hendrickson with a 12.6 average in 1993. (Second-best mark in WSU's freshmen record books.)
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season, four of the Cougars' five wins have come by margins of victory greater than 20 points.
WSU's final two wins of the 2007-08 season were also by 20 or more points (61-41 over Notre Dame-3/22; 71-40 over Winthrop-3/20).
Prior to Friday's 11-point win over Mississippi State, the Cougars had a margin of victory of 20 or more points in each of their last six wins, dating back to last season.
The Cougars have won by double-digits in each of its last seven wins.
ROCHESTIE PLAYS 100TH GAME:
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career.
He's now played in 103 games.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane and has played 75 games at WSU.
The point guard has started 71 of his 103 games thus far, including 46 starts at WSU.
BAYNES EYEING 1,000 POINTS:
Senior center Aron Baynes is looking to become the 30th player in Washington State history to score 1,000 points in his WSU career.
Now with 710 career points, Baynes needs a total of 290 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
ROCHESTIE CLOSING IN TOO:
Redshirt senior guard Taylor Rochestie is also closing in on the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Between his freshman season at Tulane University and the last two years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 887 points.
After a junior season in which he tied Baynes for third on the team in scoring with 365 points, Rochestie will need 477 total points this season to get to 1,000 as a Cougar.
Rochestie has 583 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
COUGARS RECEIVING VOTES:
Although the Cougars haven't been ranked this season, they still continue to receive votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls. WSU has 15 votes in the AP Poll and 14 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Five of WSU's opponents this season are ranked, including Pittsburgh, who the Cougars lost to Nov. 29.
Pittsburgh (3), Gonzaga (5), UCLA (12/9) and Arizona State (19) and Baylor (24/NR).
COUGS AMONG YOUNGEST TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY:
With nine total freshman, WSU is tied with three other schools for the most freshmen on a roster in the country. The Cougs are tied with Presbyterian, High Point and The Citadel.
The Cougars' group of seven true freshmen is tied for the fourth most true freshmen on an NCAA Division I roster in the nation. Duquesne, Saint Louis and Iona each have eight true freshmen on their rosters.
WSU's seven scholarship freshmen also ties them for third in the country for most scholarship freshmen. Duquesne and Saint Louis each have eight scholarship freshmen.
Although freshmen-heavy, the Cougars older players make up for it. Among the youngest teams by average age, the Cougars rank 10th in the country with an average age of 19.87 years old. Arizona State (19.81 years old) ranks directly ahead of the Cougs, while Oregon (19.93 years old) is right behind WSU at 11th.