Cougars Host Ducks in New Year's Eve Pac-10 Opener
Dec. 29, 2009
COUGARS OPEN PAC-10 SEASON HOSTING DUCKS: After compiling a 10-2 nonconference record, Washington State University men's basketball will open Pacific-10 Conference play hosting Oregon (8-4), Thursday, Dec. 31 at 3:30 p.m. at Friel Court. The game will be televised on the Oregon Sports Network.
|Game 13 | Oregon (8-4) vs. Washington State (10-2)|
|Date||Thursday, Dec. 31 | 3:30 p.m. PST|
|Location||Pullman, Wash. | Friel Court (11,761)|
|Television||CBS College Sports|
|Radio||Cougar Sports Network | Listen Online|
|wsucougars.com||Gametracker | Crimson ZZU Blog | Game Notes|
|All-Time Series||Oregon leads 154-122|
ABOUT THE COUGS:
Washington State is off to a 10-2 start this season having won its last four games over LSU (12/22), Portland State (12/9), Air Force (12/12) and Idaho (12/9).
The Cougars concluded their nonconference season with three `home' games away from Pullman as they hosted Air Force in Spokane, Portland State in Kennewick and LSU in Seattle.
Sophomore Klay Thompson leads the team and the conference with 25.0 points per game, adding 5.3 rebounds and 2.8 assists a game....he's scored in double figures in all 12 games this season and reached 20-plus points in 10 of the 12 contests.
Freshman point guard Reggie Moore leads the team with 5.1 assists a game, along with a team second-best 12.6 points an outing.
Sophomore DeAngelo Casto leads the Cougs on the boards with 7.3 rebounds a game, adding 10.8 points per game.
ABOUT THE DUCKS:
Oregon is off to an 8-4 start and has won its last four games.
The Ducks haven't played a road game since Dec. 5, hosting five-straight games...they are 0-2 on the road this season.
Tajuan Porter, having played in just eight games this season, leads the team with 11.0 points per game.
Michael Dunigan is adding 10.6 points per game and 4.4 rebounds a game, while Malcolm Armstead is chipping in 10.6 points an outing with 4.2 assists a game.
BACK-TO-BACK STELLAR STARTS FOR WSU COACHES:
First-year Cougar head coach Ken Bone got his team off to a 6-0 start, making him the second-straight WSU coach to start 6-0 in his rookie campaign.
Bone's 6-0 mark ranks as the fifth-best start by a Pacific-10 Conference coach in his debut in the post-World War II era.
It ties as the 18th-best start by a head coach at a current Pac-10 institution.
Four seasons ago, Tony Bennett got off to a 7-0 start for the Cougars, which ties for the 13th-best start by a Pac-10 coach.
In 2006-07 Bennett and the Cougar reached 14-2 before losing their third game of the season January 13 at Stanford.
WSU IN PAC-10 OPENERS:
The Cougars are 11-20 all-time in Pacific-10 Conference openers (beginning in the 1978-79 season).
This season marks the first year WSU will open up Pac-10 Conference play with either of the Oregon schools...the last two seasons WSU opened with Washington.
This season also marks the first time since Dec. 22, 2001 that WSU has hosted a Pac-10 opener in December in Pullman...the Cougars opened the 2004-05 and 2005-06 Pac-10 seasons in December in Spokane.
The Cougs are 2-3 in their last five Pac-10 openers, defeating Washington in 2007-08 and Stanford in 2004-05.
This season's game on Dec. 31 marks just the 13th New Year's Eve game in Washington State men's basketball history.
The Cougars have ended the year on a high note 10 times, and it has been more than 80 years since WSU suffered a loss on the last day of the year.
AGAINST THE DUCKS:
The Cougars trail the all-time series against the Ducks, 154-122, but have won the last six games.
WSU's first win in its string of six, snapped a 13-game losing streak to Oregon which dated back to Jan. 26, 2002.
The Cougars' victory at Oregon Feb. 16, 2008 snapped a 13-game road losing streak to the Ducks which dated back to Feb. 18, 1995.
Last season WSU defeated Oregon three times, including ousting it from the Pac-10 Tournament for the second-straight season.
In the first meeting last year (Jan. 17) at Eugene, WSU set a Pac-10 and school record for free throw percentage going 28-for-28 from the charity stripe, while Taylor Rochestie tied the school record converting 16-of-16.
In the second meeting Feb. 12 at Pullman, WSU held Oregon to just 38 points, as Klay Thompson exploded for 25 points, notching his second 20-plus point performance of his career.
In the Pac-10 Tournament, Aron Baynes put up 20 points and grabbed eight boards as WSU defeated Oregon, 62-40.
MOORE OUT OF REGGIE:
Point guard Reggie Moore has gotten off to a hot start for the Cougars in his rookie campaign, ranking second on the team with 12.6 points per game.
Not only is he second in scoring, but he leads the team in assists with 5.1 dishes per game.
At Kansas State, Dec. 5, Moore set a WSU freshman record with 12 free throws made....he is currently ranked 18th in the country with 58 made free throws this season.
Against Air Force Dec. 12 in Spokane, Moore had the first double-double of his young career...he had a career high 10 assists, the second-most single game assists by a Cougar freshman.
Moore bettered that in his next game with 12 assists, marking the second-most single game assists by a Cougar freshman as he now has the second and third best performances.
Moore leads all Pac-10 freshmen in assists, steals, and assists/turnover ratio and ranks second among freshmen in scoring and free throw percentage.
He is currently on pace for the WSU freshman record for assists which is 114 set by Bennie Seltzer in 1990.
If the season ended today, Moore would capture the freshman record for assists average and tie for second in scoring average.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars concluded their three-game tour of the State of Washington as they defeated LSU, 72-70 in overtime, in the Cougar Hardwood Classic at Seattle's KeyArena.
Klay Thompson led WSU with 26 points, reaching 20 for the 10th time this season.
DeAngelo Casto had 13 points and grabbed eight rebounds.
Reggie Moore and Nikola Koprivica were also in double figures with 12 and 11 points, respectively.
Klay Thompson made the 100th 3-pointer of his career and now has 101...he ranks 16th in the WSU career record books.
WSU played its first overtime game of the season and first since Feb. 28, 2009 against Arizona State in Pullman...have won its last four overtime games.
WSU shot a season high 40 free throws.
The Cougars improved to 2-2 all-time against LSU and 5-7 against current members of the SEC.
The Cougars finished nonconference season 10-2.
WSU is undefeated at 5-0 in the Cougar Hardwood Classic.
DeAngelo Casto attempted a career-high 10 free throws.
Nikola Koprivica scored in double figures for the second-straight game and just the second time this season finishing with 11 in a season-high 32 minutes.
THOMPSON MAKES ALASKA HIS `KLAY'GROUND:
Klay Thompson had the week of his young career at the Great Alaska Shootout in Anchorage, Nov. 25-28.
Thompson broke the Great Alaska Shootout single-game and championship game records with 43 points in WSU's win over San Diego...the old record was set by Glenn Robinson of Purdue also in the championship game against Portland in 1993.
His 16 field goals mark a championship game record, besting Robinson's mark of 15 in 1993.
Thompson also set championship game records for field goals made (16), 3-pointers made (eight) and 3-pointers attempted (13).
His 89 total points were tied for second most in the tournament with Casey Green of Southwest Louisiana (1997).
Thompson's 14 3-pointers stand at fifth best all-time in the Great Alaska Shootout.
He was named the Carrs/Safeway Player of the Game in all three WSU games.
He earned the tournament's Most Outstanding Player award.
He led the tournament in points, scoring average, 3-point field goals made, 3-point field goals attempted and free throws, and was ranked in the top five in assists, steals, blocks and minutes played.
COUGARS DOMINATE SHOOTOUT AS WELL:
The Cougars not only won the Great Alaska Shootout title, but they also notched their names in the record books along the way.
WSU's .575 field goal percentage in its three games is the third-best in Shootout history and just .011 behind the record.
The Cougs' .511 3-point field goal percentage is the fifth-best 3-point shooting performance all time.
They set the championship game record for largest margin of victory with a 37-point defeat (93-56) of San Diego...the old record was 29 (76-47) points as San Diego State defeated Hampton last season.
WSU tied the tournament championship game record for most second half points with 54, held by Illinois vs. New Mexico State in 1992 and Iowa vs. Northeastern in 1986.
WSU led the tournament in scoring offense (86.0 ppg), scoring defense (64.3 papg), field goal percentage (.575), field goal percentage defense (.391), 3-point field goal percentage (.511), blocked shots (4.7 bpg) and assists (19.0 apg).
To put it in perspective, there have been 381 Shootout games over 32 years.
THOMPSON JOINS FONTAINE IN 20-PLUS POINT GAMES:
Klay Thompson scored 20-plus points in Washington State's first six games this season.
It marks the most consecutive 20-plus point performances by a Cougar since the school's all-time leading scorer, Isaac Fontaine, scored 20-plus in six-straight games Dec. 7-29, 1996.
Thompson became the fifth Cougar to notch six-consecutive 20-point games, joining Jim Meredith (Dec. 11-26, 1970), Don Collins (Feb. 24-Dec. 5, 1970), Joe Wallace (Dec. 20, 1984-Jan. 5, 1985) and Fontaine.
He's now reached 20-plus points in 10 of WSU's 12 games.
He's also reached double figures in 19 of WSU's 24 halves this season and in all 12 games.
THOMPSON EARNS BACK-TO-BACK PLAYER OF THE WEEK HONORS:
Klay Thompson was named the Pacific-10 Conference Player of the week for the weeks of Nov. 16-22 and Nov. 23-29.
He is just the third Cougar to earn a Pac-10 Player of the Week award twice in the same season as Daven Harmeling did so in 2006-07 and Joe Wallace accomplished the feat in 1985-87.
He's just the second Cougar to earn the honor over the last three seasons.
He became the 17th men's basketball player student-athlete to earn back-to-back Player of the Week honors, as Patrick Christopher of California and James Harden, formerly of Arizona State, accomplished it last season.
Thompson joins elite company, as he became the 13th sophomore to earn multiple Player of the Week awards.
James Harden, Ryan Anderson, Darren Collison, Daven Harmeling, Gilbert Arenas, Baron Davis, Jason Kidd, Harold Miner, Chris Mills, Adam Keefe, Gary Payton and Reggie Miller also accomplished that feat in their sophomore campaigns.
THE PAC-10 40 POINT CLUB:
With his 43 points against San Diego (Nov. 28), Klay Thompson became just the third Pac-10 player to score 40 points in the last five seasons...James Harden of ASU scored 40 in 2008-09 and Leon Powe of California scored 41 in 2005-06.
It's the most points scored by a Pac-10 player since Jason Kapono of UCLA scored 44 against WSU, Jan. 4, 2003.
THOMPSON ONE OF NATION'S TOP SCORERS:
As of games through Sunday, Dec. 27, Klay Thompson ranked third in the nation with 25.0 points per game.
He ranks fourth in the country in field goals made with 99.
Thompson is also third with 300 total points.
For a complete list of where he ranks, and where he ranks in the Pac-10 see the box on the right side of page three of this weeks notes.
COUGARS AMONG WINNINGEST TEAMS IN PAC-10:
Over the last four seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) the Cougars have the second-most overall and conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 79-35 (.693) overall and 32-22 in conference play over the last three years and this season.
UCLA has the best three-year record at 96-26 (.787) overall and 44-10 in league play.
COUGS AMONG YOUNGEST TEAMS IN NATION:
With 15 underclassman and just one upperclassman, Washington State's men's basketball team is among the youngest in the country, according to research done by Central Florida's SID.
WSU has the most underclassmen with 15, followed by Harvard with 14 and UCF and Toledo with 13 apiece.
The Cougars are also tied for the fewest amount of upperclassmen in the country as they and Saint Louis each have one.
For the second-straight season, WSU has five left-handed shooters on its team in 2009-10.
Anthony Brown, Marcus Capers, Nikola Koprivica, Abe Lodwick and Brock Motum are all left-handed on the basketball court.
Last season WSU also had five lefties on the team with Taylor Rochestie and Nick Witherill before the arrival of freshmen Brown and Motum.
COUGARS HOST BEAVERS SATURDAY:
WSU will host Oregon State, Saturday, Jan. 2 at 4 p.m.
The game will be televised on FSN NW.
OSU holds a 161-117 advantage over WSU in the all-time series, as WSU has won five of the last six meetings, having its five-game winning streak snapped last season.
In the first meeting last year, WSU used overtime to defeat OSU, 61-57...Aron Baynes recorded his first double-double of the season and the fourth of his career.
The Cougars let a 12-point halftime lead slip away as they fell to Oregon State, 54-52, Feb. 14 at Pullman...Klay Thompson scored 20-plus points for the second-consecutive game.