Cougars Host No. 13/11 Bruins Thursday at 6 p.m.
Jan. 20, 2009
COUGARS HOST NO. 13/11 UCLA:
The Washington State University men's basketball team (11-6, 3-2) returns home as it hosts No. 13/11 UCLA (14-3, 4-1), Thursday, Jan. 22 at 6 p.m. at Friel Court. The game will be televised live on FSN.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars got their third-straight Pac-10 win with a 74-62 victory over Oregon in Eugene Saturday, completing the sweep of the Oregon schools.
Taylor Rochestie scored in double figures for the ninth-straight game...hit the 20-point plateau for the second time in a week (21 against Stanford-Jan. 10)...scored a career-high 30 points...previous high was 24 points last year against Oregon State...first Cougar with 30 points since Derrick Low scored 37 Jan. 27, 2007 vs. Oregon.
Marcus Capers got the first start of his career...played a career-high 31 minutes...previous high was 26 minutes against Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 15).
Rochestie set a career high with 16 free throws made...went 16-for-16 from free throw line...previous high was nine...ties school record...Marcus Moore also went 16-for-16 Jan. 12, 2002, against Arizona State.
Aron Baynes recorded his second-consecutive double-double, the second of the season and the fifth of his career (19 points and 12 rebounds). Baynes hit his first career 3-pointer...1-for-3 in his career.
WSU held Oregon to tie its season-low first-half point total with 17.
A BRIEF LOOK AT LAST SEASON:
UCLA has won the last eight meetings, including a sweep of WSU last season.
Last year the Cougars entered the first matchup between the two teams unblemished, holding a 14-0 record, and were ranked ahead of the fifth-ranked Bruins at No. 4.
The Cougars trailed by as many as 18 in the first half 35-22 at halftime.
Trailing 68-53 with 1:46 to go, WSU rattled off seven 3-pointers without a miss to pull within three points at 77-74 with 13 seconds to go.
After two more UCLA foul shots, the Cougars finally missed a 3-pointer and ended up falling 81-74 at Pauley Pavilion.
In the first meeting with the Bruins, Derrick Low scored a team-high 24 points, hitting 6-of-9 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Three of Low's 3-pointers came in the final 1:34 of the game.
The Cougars were out for revenge in the second meeting, as UCLA came to Pullman with a 21-2 record and a 9-1 conference mark, compared to WSU's 17-5 and 5-5 records.
The Bruins took advantage of offensive rebounds and turnovers, outscoring the Cougars 12-4 on second-chance points and 21-11 on points off of turnovers.
Kyle Weaver led the Cougars in points with 13, assists with seven and rebounds with four in the second meeting with UCLA.
Aron Baynes was the only other WSU player in double figures with 11 points in 22 minutes, tying Weaver for game-high honors with four rebounds.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
The Cougars are 42-205 all-time against the Associated Press Top-25....they are 18-154 against teams ranked in the top 15.
UCLA comes in as the No. 13 team in the AP Poll...WSU is 0-4 all-time against No. 13...three of the four meetings have been against UCLA...below is a look at the Cougars' matchups against the 13th-ranked team:
March 5, 1981-UCLA (L, 50-59) March 8, 1994-UW (L, 51-67) March 8, 2001-UCLA (L, 76-86) Feb. 9, 2006-UCLA (L, 30-50) WSU's last home win against a top-25 team came March 3, 2007 against No. 23 USC (88-86, 2OT).
The Cougars' last win over a ranked opponent when they weren't ranked came Jan. 6, 2007 over No. 7 Arizona (77-73, OT).
WSU is 0-3 against ranked opponents this season (No. 4 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Gonzaga, No. 24 Baylor).
COUGARS SET FREE THROW RECORDS:
With a 28-for-28 performance from the free throw line Saturday, Jan. 17 at Oregon, WSU set a Pac-10 record for free throw percentage.
The previous record held by USC was set against Oregon, March 8, 2002.
The NCAA record is 34-for-34 set in 1981 by UC Irvine and in 1990 by Samford.
The Cougars broke the school record, bettering the 19-for-19 performance from the free throw line March 1, 1968 against Oregon.
WSU's 28-for-28 performance is the best in NCAA Division I this season, bettering Mississippi's 22-for-22 performance against South Alabama, Nov. 18.
Taylor Rochestie tied Marcus Moore for the WSU free throw percentage record, going 16-for-16 from the free throw line.
Moore set the record against Arizona State, Jan. 12, 2002.
Rochesite holds the second-best free throw performance in NCAA Division I this season...Jeremy Wise of Southern Mississippi went 19-for-19 from the free throw line, Dec. 18.
Former Cougar Josh Akognon, now of Cal State Fullerton, holds the third-best mark in the NCAA this season with a 15-for-15 performance against Cal State Bakersfield, Dec. 13.
UCLA ONLY ONE LEFT ON LIST:
UCLA is the only Pacific-10 Conference team that WSU third-year head coach Tony Bennett has not defeated.
Bennett is 0-4 against the Bruins.
The four seniors and one junior have notched wins against every Pac-10 team except UCLA.
MIXING IT UP:
The Cougars have used five different starting lineups this season.
Last year head coach Tony Bennett used just three different starting lineups, including an all-senior lineup on `Senior Day'.
Here is a list at the different starting lineups.
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Harmeling Baynes (10)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Forrest Baynes (3)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Forrest Baynes (2)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (1)
Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-17, Capers-1, Casto-1).
ROCHESTIE SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINTS:
Redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie scored the 1,000th points of his career, Thursday, Jan. 15 at Oregon State.
His first bucket of the game at the 12:22 mark in the first half put him at 1,001 career points.
Between his freshman season at Tulane University and the last two years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 1,043 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 739 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
WSU FRESHMAN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
DeAngelo Casto leads all Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.4 and is third overall in the category.
Klay Thompson is fourth among Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 0.7 an outing and is ninth overall.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in nine different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 2nd (.610, 75-for-123)
Blocked Shots - 4th (1.2 bpg)
Rebounding - 6th (6.8 rpg)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (4.8 drpg)
Minutes Played - 1st (36.5 mpg)
Free Throw Percentage - 2nd (.909, 50-for-55)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (1.9 a/t ratio)
Assists - 6th (4.6 apg)
Points - 17th (12.7 ppg)
FRESHMEN MARKING UP RECORD BOOKS:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto ranks fourth in the WSU freshman class record book in blocks with 23...he is two shy of Carlos Daniel in third (25) and four away from Robbie Cowgill in second (27).
With 196 points this season, freshman Klay Thompson ranks 10th in the WSU freshman class record books for points...he is five shy of David Adams in ninth (201) and 20 points from Donminic Ellison in eight (216).
Thompson is tied with Marcus Moore for 10th on the 3-point list with 26 3-point field goals...he is two 3-pointers shy of the three-way tie for seventh (28).
With 12 blocks, Thompson is just one from matching Aron Baynes for 10th on the list (13). He's two from eight place (14), three from sixth place (15) and four from meeting Caleb Forrest at fifth place (17).
ROCHESTIE HEATS UP FOR PAC-10 PLAY:
Taylor Rochestie became WSU's leading scorer this season after putting up 21 against Stanford Jan. 10.
Rochestie has scored 96 points in WSU's five Pac-10 games this season, averaging 19.2 points per game.
He has led the Cougars in scoring in four of their five conference games.
Rochestie scored 12 against Washington (1/3), 19 against California (1/8), 21 against Stanford (1/10), 14 at Oregon State (1/15) and 30 at Oregon (1/17).
He's shooting .460 from the field in the five league games.
Rochestie scored 120 points in the Cougars first 12 games, averaging 10.0 points per game during nonconference play.
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 824 career points, Baynes needs a total of 176 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
Four of the five players that started the first 10 games for the Cougars 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.
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 eight of WSU's 14 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 81 appearances in the first 17 games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2 and Montana State, Dec. 13, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action in each game.
FALLING AT HOME:
Prior to WSU's game against Stanford Jan. 10, the Cougars had lost their last four home games (Dec. 6-Baylor, Dec. 10-Gonzaga, Jan. 3-Washington and Jan. 8-California).
The last time WSU lost four-straight at home was during Dick Bennett's first year as head coach for the Cougars, 2003-04.
In 2004 WSU fell to Arizona (Jan. 31), Oregon State (Feb. 12), Oregon (Feb. 14) and Stanford (March 4).
Like this season, two of the teams were ranked as Arizona was No. 9 and Stanford No. 1...this season Gonzaga was No. 4 and Baylor No. 24.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season four of the Cougars' 11 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 Nov. 28'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.
WSU's one-point victory over Stanford was its first single-digit win of the season...its four-point victory over Oregon State was its second...the Cougars had won by double-digits in each of its last 10 wins.
Five of the Cougars' 16 players are the roster are left-handed on the basketball court. (Marcus Capers, Abe Lodwick, Nikola Koprivica, Taylor Rochestie and Nick Witherill).
Capers is only left-handed on the basketball court.
All five of the lefties are guards.
On top of that, Aron Baynes writes with his left hand, and can shoot with both.
The Cougars are led by a sharp-shooting left-handed point guard in head coach Tony Bennett.
ROCHESTIE CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD:
Senior point guard Taylor Rochestie was named one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, Dec. 19.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award honors the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education bring.
A two-year starter, Rochestie ranked third on last season's team with 10.4 points per game and is third this year with 9.8...he was 10th in the country last year with a 2.81 assists/turnover ratio.
Last fall, Rochestie announced he would give up his scholarship for his senior season so that the Cougars could sign a fifth player to their early signing class...an extra scholarship opened up during the summer and Rochestie was awarded a scholarship for the season.
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.
THREE COUGS PLAY 100TH GAMES:
The Cougars' game Dec. 21 at Idaho was the 100th game of Aron Baynes' career.
The senior played 28 games as a freshman, 26 as a sophomore and 35 as a junior.
He has started 70 of the 106 games he's played so far.
WSU's Dec. 6 game against Baylor was the 100th game of Daven Harmeling's career.
The redshirt senior played 26 games as a true freshman, one during his redshirt year, 33 as a redshirt sophomore, 32 as a junior and now 17 as a senior.
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career...he's now played in 114 games.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane and has played 86 games at WSU.
The point guard has started 82 of his 114 games thus far, including 57 starts at WSU.
COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
Five of WSU's opponents this season are ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls, including the No. 1 team in the country, Pittsburgh.
Two others are receiving votes.
Pittsburgh (4), UCLA (13/11), Arizona State (17/16), Baylor (NR/23) and Gonzaga (23/NR)...California and Washington are receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls...LSU is receiving votes in the AP Poll.
COUGARS' HOME NONCONFERENCE STREAK ENDED:
WSU's loss Dec. 6 to No. 24 Baylor at home marked its first nonconference loss at Friel Court since falling to No. 25 Gonzaga, 54-52, Dec. 7, 2004.
The Cougars' back-to-back losses to Baylor (Dec. 6) and Gonzaga (Dec. 10) marked the first time WSU lost back-to-back nonconference games since 2004-05 with losses at Oklahoma State (Dec. 4) and against Gonzaga (Dec. 7).