Cougars Start Second Half of Pac-10 Season
Feb. 4, 2009
WSU HEADS TO BAY AREA: The Washington State University men's basketball team (12-9, 4-5) plays its third-straight road game as it heads to California to take on Stanford (13-6, 3-6), Thursday, Feb. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at Maples Pavilion. Thursday's game will not be televised.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars fell to the Wildcats, 66-56, in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, Jan. 31.
Taylor Rochestie led all scorers with 22 points, adding five assists in 40 minutes of action.
Aron Baynes recorded his fourth double-double of the season...the seventh of his career...is averaging 10.6 rebounds per game in the last seven games (74 total).
Baynes had a career-high 14 rebounds. His previous high was 12 done three times, last at Oregon (Jan. 17).
Daven Harmeling's nine points are his most since scoring 13 against Montana State (Dec. 13, 2008)...he made multiple field goals for the first time since the game against Montana State.
Taylor Rochestie played his sixth entire game...second in a row.
Rochestie reached 20-plus points for the second time this season.
The Cougars have lost three-straight against the Wildcats.
A BRIEF LOOK AT THE LAST MEETING:
The Cougars got their first Pac-10 win defeating Stanford, 55-54, Saturday, Jan. 10 at Friel Court.
Taylor Rochestie led the Cougars with 21 points, leading the team in scoring for the third-straight game.
Klay Thompson added 13 points, including eight of them in the first half.
DeAngelo Casto blocked three shots, including two down the stretch to give the Cougars the win.
The Cougars snapped a three-game losing streak and a four-game home losing streak.
WSU came from behind for the win after trailing at halftime for the first time this season.
The Cougars won when shooting under 40 percent from the field for the first time since defeating Stanford, Feb. 8, 2007...WSU shot 34.8 percent from the field.
THOMPSON SETS FRESHMAN RECORD:
At Arizona State Thursday, Jan. 29, Klay Thompson set a WSU Freshman Record, tied another and recorded three other top-five freshman performances.
Thompson's eight 3-pointers marked a WSU freshman single-game record....the previous record was seven set by Bennie Seltzer against Texas Southern, Dec. 9, 1989.
His 10 made field goals tied the freshman record accomplished by Steve Puidokas twice during the 1973-74 season and once by Mark Hendrickson during the 1992-93 campaign.
Thompson's 28 points are tied for the third most by a WSU freshman in a single game and are the most by a Cougar freshman in a Pac-10 game. Isaac Fontaine holds the record with 33 against Michigan State, Nov. 27, 1993.
Thompson also recorded top five marks for single-game field goal attempts (17, tied for fifth) and 3-point field goal attempts (10, tied for fifth).
MORE ON THOMPSON'S 3-POINT PERFORMANCE:
Thompson's eight 3-pointers falls one shy of the WSU record of nine reached three times, last by Derrick Low against Oregon, Jan. 27, 2007.
His eight 3-pointers are also the most by an Arizona State opponent since Jeff Lauritzen of Indiana State also had eight on Dec. 1, 1988.
Thompson's eight 3-pointers are the most made by a Cougar this season...previous high was five accomplished twice, once by Thompson and once by Taylor Rochestie.
Thompson started the game going 7-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.
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 (11)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Forrest Baynes (4)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Forrest Baynes (2)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (3)
Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-21, Capers-3, Casto-1).
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
DeAngelo Casto leads all Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.3 and is third overall in the category.
Klay Thompson is third among Pac-10 freshmen in scoring with 12.1 points per game.
Thompson is leading all freshmen in the conference with 32.1 minutes played per game.
He is the only freshman ranked in 3-point field goal percentage in 10th with a .400 clip.
He is also leading the Pac-10 freshman in 3-point field goals made with 1.9 per game, ranking fifth in the conference.
Thompson is third among Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 0.7 an outing.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in 10 different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 2nd (.591, 97-for-164)
Blocked Shots - 5th (1.1 bpg)
Rebounding - 5th (7.5 rpg)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (5.3 drpg)
Offensive Rebounding - 10th (2.2 orpg)
Scoring - t-18th (12.4 ppg)
Minutes Played - 2nd (36.9 mpg)
Free Throw Percentage - 3rd (.905, 57-for-63)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (2.0 a/t ratio)
Assists - 6th (4.7 apg)
Scoring - 17th (12.6 ppg)
FRESHMEN MARKING UP RECORD BOOKS:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto has swatted his way onto the WSU freshman class blocks list.
Fellow true freshman Klay Thompson is on his way to leaving his mark on a number of categories on the freshman class list.
Thompson is on the lists for scoring, 3-point shooting, blocks and field goals.
A complete list can be found on page five.
ROCHESTIE HEATS UP FOR PAC-10 PLAY:
Taylor Rochestie has scored 144 points in WSU's nine Pac-10 games this season, averaging 16.0 points per game.
He has led the Cougars in scoring in five of their nine conference games.
He's shooting .897 from the free throw line in the eight 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 904 career points, Baynes needs a total of 96 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
WSU CLAMPS DOWN ON LEADING SCORERS:
The Cougars have held 15 of their 21 opponents' leading scorers below their average points per game.
Thursday, Jan. 22 WSU held UCLA's Darren Collison to eight points...he was averaging 14.9 per game on the season.
WSU has held eight of its opponents' leading scorers to single-digit figures, including two in Pac-10 play (Collison and Cal's Jerome Randle-eight).
The Cougars' opponents' leading scorers are scoring nearly 30 percent less than their average points per game coming into the game.
A complete chart of each team's leading scorer and point information is on page five of today's notes.
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 1,091 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 787 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
Four of the five players that started the first 10 games and the last game 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 94 appearances in the first 19 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.
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.
The Cougars had another perfect performance from the free throw line against USC Jan. 24, going 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
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.
FOUR COUGARS PLAY 100TH GAMES:
WSU's game against USC Jan. 24 was the 100th of Caleb Forrest's career.
The Cougars' game Dec. 21 at Idaho was the 100th game of Aron Baynes' career.
WSU's Dec. 6 game against Baylor was the 100th game of Daven Harmeling's career.
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane.
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. 5 team in the country, Pittsburgh.Two others are receiving votes.
Pittsburgh (5), UCLA (15/12), Gonzaga (18), Washington (22/25) and Arizona State (24/23)...USC and LSU are receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls...Arizona is receiving votes in the AP poll and Baylor is getting votes in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
WSU got its first win over a ranked opponent this season, defeating No. 14 Arizona State, Jan. 29 in Tempe.
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.
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).
The two losses also marked the first time WSU lost back-to-back nonconference games at home since 1985-86 when it fell to Wisconsin (Dec. 9) and Nebraska (Dec. 12).
Taylor Rochestie was the only Cougar that was alive when the Cougars dropped back-to-back nonconference home games in 1985.
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, Nov. 29.
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 5-0 in all three of Bennett's seasons at the helm.
UWSP COURT NAMED IN HONOR OF BENNETTS:
UW-Stevens Point will honor former Pointer coaches Dick Bennett and Jack Bennett by naming the men's basketball court 'Bennett Court.'
The naming ceremony will take place Feb. 7 at halftime of the UW-Stevens Point vs. UW -Superior men's basketball game.
The court naming in honor of the Bennetts for their dedication to basketball, leadership, and character is part of a recent successful campaign at UWSP aimed at showcasing the storied tradition of greatness in athletics and the Pointer basketball program.