Cougars Cross The Border To Take On Idaho

Nov. 29, 2004

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This Week:
Tuesday, Nov. 30 - WSU at Idaho-7:05 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 4 - WSU at Oklahoma State-1 p.m.

Next Week:
Tuesday, Dec. 7 - WSU vs. Gonzaga-6 p.m. (FSN Northwest/KHQ)

Washington State (2-1, 0-0 Pac-10)

WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is currently in his second season on the Palouse...he is 2-1 this season and 15-17 in his WSU career...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .631 career winning percentage (469-274) highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...with 59-42 season-opening win over Montana State, Nov. 19, Bennett moved into 74th place on the NCAA career wins list among coaches with at least 10 years experience at the Division I level.

BENNETT MAGIC: WSU won 13 games in 2003-04, a six-win improvement over the previous season, under first-year mentor Dick Bennett...only other time a Cougar head coach had a better improvement during his inaugural season was John R. Bender in 1907-08...Bender's squad finished 12-3 after Everett M. Sweeley's 1906-07 team posted a 5-4 record...WSU tallied seven Pac-10 wins after winning just seven of its last 50 conference games prior to 2003-04.

LAST WEEK: Washington State welcomed Georgia Southern to Friel Court, Nov. 24 and defeated the Eagles 61-42...Thomas Kelati led WSU with 13 points...Jeff Varem recorded a career high 14 rebounds...the Cougars lost to Kansas State, 62-53, Nov. 27.

IDAHO PREVIEW: This game is the home opener for Idaho...the Vandals are 0-4...went 0-3 at the Boise State Invitationsl losing to Boise State, Southeastern Louisiana, and Fort Lewis...lost to Gonzaga 88-73, Wednseday, Nov. 24...Dandrick Jones leads Idaho in scoring (14.0 points per game)...Jones shot 81 percent against Gonzaga, scoring 23 points in 27 minutes.

SERIES WITH THE VANDALS: The Cougars lead all time series 152-107...WSU won fist meeting 28-11 in Pullman, Jan. 13, 1906...Cougars are 52-55 against the Vandals in Moscow ...Vandals won last meeting in Moscow, 62-58, Dec. 4, 2002...WSU won 62-55 in Pullman last season behind a game-high 22 points from Marcus Moore...senior Thomas Kelati has averaged 7.6 points and 3.8 rebounds against the Vandals during his career.

MEMORABLE MOMENTS IN MOSCOW: Over the years, Washington State players have had some outstanding individual performances at Idaho...Jerry McNair scored 24 points on eight 3-pointers during a 74-57, Nov. 29, 2000...Chris Crosby poured in 38 points and tied the school record for 3-pointers in a game with lead WSU to an 84-69 victory, Dec. 20, 1998...Dwayne Schoten scored 17 points and grabbed 15 rebounds during the Cougars' 66-64 overtime victory, Jan. 5, 1987...Terry Kelly tallied 30 points in a 69-67 win, Jan. 18, 1978...Larry beck scored 31 points in 78-62 loss, March 9, 1956...Bill Rehder tied the school record with 26 free throw attempts during a 71-53 loss, Jan. 19, 1954.

COUGARS AWAY FROM HOME: After playing at Kansas State, Nov. 27, Washington State continues its three-game road stretch at Idaho, Nov. 30 before traveling to Oklahoma State for a Dec. 4 game...Cougars host Gonzaga Dec. 7 before completing their nonconference season with games vs. BYU in Salt Lake City (Dec. 11), at Portland (Dec. 18) and at Wyoming (Dec. 22).

WSU ROAD SUCCESS: The Cougars won six road wins in a season (6-8) for the first time since 1995-96 (7-7)...with the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, WSU broke a 27-game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001...WSU was 6-65 in last 71 road games prior to this season dating back to January, 1998.

WASHINGTON STATE LOOKING FOR QUICK START: A win at Idaho would give the Cougars a 3-1 record and their best start since opening the 1996-97 season 5-0.

COUGAR DEFENSE: Washington State held Montana State to 42 points in the season opener, the lowest point total by a Cougar opponent since Oregon State lost 61-42, Feb. 8, 1996 in Pullman...the 42 points are the fewest given up in an opener since a 66-34 win over Whitworth in 1948-49...WSU followed up by yielding just 42 points in its next game against Georgia Southern...the 84 points over a two-game span are the least given up by the Cougars since Dec. 27/29, 1972.

FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTION: Cougar freshmen have accounted for 42.2 percent of Washington State's scoring this season led by Robbie Cowgill's 7.3 points per game.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: With home wins over Montana State and Georgia Southern this season, the Cougars improved to 65-2 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign.

KELATI MOVING UP CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Thomas Kelati made three 3-pointers against Montana State, Nov. 19 to raise his career total to 154 and move him past Marcus Moore for fifth place on the all-time Washington State list...Kelati's three steals at Kansas State, Nov. 27 tied his career high as well as Neil Derrick (1991-92) for 10th place on the Cougar career list with 95.

MIXING THE OLD WITH THE NEW: There are plenty of new faces in Pullman this season...six recruited freshmen, along with a pair of walk-ons, join six returning Cougars...among the returnees, five are seniors and one is a junior.

COACHING CHANGES: Tony Bennett, son of Washington State head coach Dick Bennett, was promoted to associate head coach prior to this addition, Ben Johnson joins the Cougar coaching staff as an assistant...Johnson replaces Mike Burns, who departed to take the head coaching job at Eastern Washington...both Johnson and Tony Bennett played for current Cougar Head Coach Dick Bennett at Wisconsin-Green Bay.

INJURY UPDATE: Freshmen Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) and Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii) are currently out with injuries...Henry suffered multiple ligament damage to his right ankle while Low has a fractured right foot...both are out indefinitely.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Last season, the Cougars finished ranked nationally in scoring defense (12th, 59.66 points per game), free throw percentage (13th, .749) and fewest turnovers (14th, 12.1).

#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.) - Tallied eight points in 11 minutes off the bench against Montana State, Nov. 19...matched his season/career high of eight points in seven minutes at Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii) - Out with a fractured foot since Oct. 17.

#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Started all three games this season...scored four points and added three rebounds and a pair of assists in 26 minutes...tallied 10 points, and added five rebounds, a block and two steals att Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Has started all three games this season...moved into fifth place on Washington State all-time 3-point field goals list with three against Montana State, Nov. 19...currently has 156...tied his career high with three steals at Kansas State, Nov. 27...moved into a tie for 10th place with Neil Derrick (1991-92) on Washington State all-time steals list with 95...led the team with 13 points, and added two rebounds, three assists, and a steal against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24.

#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Came off the bench against Montana State, Nov. 19 to grab one rebound and record an assist in nine minutes...has seen limited playing time this season but has averaged nine minutes and an assist...had two steals at Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#14 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) - Out with an ankle injury since Oct. 12.

#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Missed the season opener with a back injury...started in the last two games and has averaged 23.5 minutes...posted 12 points and five rebounds against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...pulled down six rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#23 Alex Kirk (Prosser) - Invited walk-on...played one minute against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24.

#24 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) - Started in two of three games, averaging 26.3 minutes of play...became first true freshman to start at point guard for Washington State in a season opener since Blake Pengelly in 1996-97...scored six points and added four rebounds, two assists, a block and a steal against Montana State, Nov. 19...tied as team leader in assists with 10...recorded season/career-high six assists, and added six points, four rebounds, and a block at Kansas State, Nov. 27

#25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Started in the first two games of the season...notched his career highs with eight rebounds and four assists against Montana State, Nov. 19...had two assists and pulled down two rebounds in 14 minutes against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24.

#32 Daven Harmeling (Grand Junction, Colo.) - Scored 10 points off the bench in just 13 minutes against Montana State, Nov. 19...has averaged six points this season...tallied two assists and one rebound against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...recorded six points and two rebounds in 12 minuets of play at Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) - Scored seven points and contributed five boards and three blocks in 59-42 win over Montana State, Nov. 19...shooting .636 (7-for-11) from the line and leads the team with four blocks on the season...averaging 7.3 points per game...posted eight points and two rebounds in 12 minutes of play against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...tallied seven points, three rebounds, and one block at Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#44 Arlen Plaister (Orcas Island) - Walk-on who posted one rebound in one minute of play against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24.

#45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) - Started all three games...scored six points, pulled down seven rebounds and added three assists in win over Montana State, Nov. 19...tallied 11 points, three assists, a block, a steal, and posted a career-high 14 rebounds against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...highest single-game rebound total since Eddie Miller had 14 at No. 2 Arizona, Jan. 13, 2000...pulled down eight rebounds, and added four assists at Kansas State, Nov. 27.