Cougars Hit Road to Take on Trojans
Feb. 17, 2009
COUGARS HIT ROAD TO TAKE ON TROJANS, BRUINS: The Washington State University men's basketball team (13-12, 5-8) looks to get back on track as it heads to L.A. to take on USC (15-9, 6-6), Thursday, Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at the Galen Center. The Cougars take on UCLA, Saturday, Feb. 21 at noon at Pauley Pavilion.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
WSU fell to Oregon State, 54-52, Saturday, Feb. 14 at Friel Court.
Klay Thompson led the Cougars with 20 points and tied a team-high with six rebounds.
He scored 20-plus points in back-to-back games for the first time in his career...the fourth 20-point performance of his career.
Aron Baynes ended his nine-game double-figure scoring streak...first time in Pac-10 play that neither Baynes nor Taylor Rochestie scored in double figures...first time since Nov. 29 against Pittsburgh that they were both held to single figures.
Thompson has hit a 3-pointer in every Pac-10 game of his career...has hit at least one 3-pointer in 13-straight games...in 11 of the 13 games he's made multiple. He combined for nine 3-pointers this weekend.
Marcus Capers tied his career high with six points...most he's scored since the season opener against Mississippi Valley State (Nov. 15)...his three field goals is a career high...second dunk of his career.
WSU snapped its five-game winning streak over the Beavers, first loss to an Oregon school since the 2006-07 season (64-59 loss to Oregon, Feb. 22, 2007).
For the fourth time this season, Taylor Rochestie did not score in the first half...third time in Pac-10 play.
A BRIEF LOOK AT THE LAST MEETING:
The Cougars fell to USC, 46-44, Saturday, Jan. 24 at Friel Court.
Klay Thompson led WSU with 15 points, adding four rebounds.
Aron Baynes came one rebound shy of his fourth-consecutive double-double (12 points, nine rebounds).
Taylor Rochestie did not score in the first half for the second time this season...the other time being against Mississippi State in Newark, N.J. Nov. 28.
First time in a WSU game since 2004-05 that neither team reached 20 points in the first half (March 3, 2005 vs. Stanford)...Cougars won, 59-48.
Nineteen-point first half marked the first time WSU didn't reach 20 points in the first half since scoring 17 at Washington, Jan. 5, 2008...Cougars won 56-52.
WSU's 44 points were the second-fewest points scored all season...scored 43 against Pittsburgh, Nov. 29.
The Cougars were perfect from the free throw line for the second game this season (10-for-10)...also a Pac-10 record 26-for-26 from the line at Oregon (Jan. 17)...made 49 of last 50 free throws attempted.
Daven Harmeling's 3-pointer was his first field goal at Friel Court since WSU hosted Gonzaga Dec. 10, 2008.
Fewest points scored by USC in the all-time series vs. WSU...previous was 51 twice.
The 90 combined points was the fewest point total between the Cougars and Trojans in the all-time series...previous low was 100 points (43-57), Jan. 3, 1981 at USC.
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 second among Pac-10 freshmen in scoring with 13.3 points per game and ranked 18th overall.
He is the only freshman ranked in 3-point field goal percentage at seventh with a .439 clip.
Thompson is also leading the Pac-10 freshman in 3-point field goals made with 2.2 per game, ranking sixth in the conference.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops of the Pac-10 in eight different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 3rd (.580, 112-for-193)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (5.5 drpg)
Blocked Shots - 5th (1.1 bpg)
Rebounding - 5th (7.5 rpg)
Minutes Played - 2nd (36.6 mpg)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (2.0 a/t ratio)
Free Throw Percentage - 3rd (.886, 62-for-70)
Assists - 5th (4.8 apg)
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, field goals and rebounding.
A complete list can be found on page five.
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 946 career points, Baynes needs a total of 54 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 17 of their 25 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 nine of its opponents' leading scorers to single-digit figures, including three in Pac-10 play (Collison, Cal's Jerome Randle-eight and Oregon's Tajuan Porter-seven).
The Cougars' opponents' leading scorers are scoring about 27 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.
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.
His single-game 80.0 3-point percentage is tied for the 18th best in NCAA Division I this season...the minimum is seven made 3's.
Thompson is also tied for 22nd in the country for most 3-pointers made in the game with his eight.
MIXING IT UP:
The Cougars have used six 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 (5)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (3)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Casto Baynes (1)
Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-25, Capers-3, Casto-2).
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 1,138 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 834 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
Four of the five players that started 11 games for the Cougars this season 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).
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 115 appearances in the first 25 games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2, Montana State, Dec. 13 and Oregon, Feb. 12, 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.
Rochestie 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.
SOUTHPAW HEAVY: Five of the Cougars' 16 players on 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.
HARMELING AND ROCHESTIE EARN ACADEMIC HONOR:
Seniors Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie were named to the ESPN The Magazine District VIII All-Academic First Team as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Harmeling has a 3.54 grade point average in health and fitness.
Rochestie has a 3.37 grade point average and is majoring in communication.
Harmeling received second team all-district honors as a sophomore in 2006-07...he is a two-time Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic First Team honoree.
Rochestie received Pac-10 All-Academic First Team honors last season as a junior.
Rochestie and Harmeling are the first Cougar duo to earn first team all-district honors in the same season.
Both Harmeling and Rochestie are now eligible for a chance to become CoSIDA Academic All-Americans...the last Cougar Academic All-American was Carlos Daniel who was named to the third team in both 1997 and 1998.
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:
Six of WSU's opponents this season are ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls, including the No. 4 team in the country, Pittsburgh.
Two others are receiving votes.
Pittsburgh (4), Arizona State (14/11), Gonzaga (17/20) , UCLA (20/15),Washington (22/19) and LSU (23/24)...California and Arizona are receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
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 previous 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 five of the Cougars' 13 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.
UWSP COURT NAMED IN HONOR OF BENNETTS:
UW-Stevens Point honored former Pointer coaches Dick Bennett and Jack Bennett by naming the men's basketball court 'Bennett Court.'
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.