Cougars Travel To Portland

Dec. 14, 2004

THIS WEEK: Saturday, Dec. 18 - WSU at Portland -3 p.m.

NEXT WEEK: Wednesday, Dec. 22 - WSU at Wyoming - 6 p.m.

WASHINGTON STATE (4-3, 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 4-3 this season and 17-19 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 (471-276) highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...with 49-46 win over BYU, Dec. 11, Bennett moved into 73rd 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.

PORTLAND PREVIEW: The Pilots are 7-2 this season...Portland is riding a three-game winning streak, defeating Portland State, Idaho State, and Long Beach State...two losses this season were to Northwestern and Oregon State...both the Cougars and Pilots have played and defeated Georgia Southern this season...both teams held the Eagles under 33 percent from the field...junior Pooh Jeter leads the Pilots in points with 166 on the season (averaging 18.4 per game)...Jeter has started in all nine games and is the only player averaging double-figure scoring...Dreshawn Vance leads the Pilots in rebounding with 7.1 per game.

SERIES WITH THE PILOTS: Cougars lead the series 6-2...last meeting took place Dec. 5, 2000 at Portland with the Pilots beating the Cougars 70-66...last Cougar win against Portland was 59-56, Dec. 7, 1999 in Pullman...WSU is 1-2 against Portland in The Rose City...Cougars defeated Portland in the 1983 Far West Classic and lost on campus during the 1989-90 and 2000-01 seasons.

COUGARS START FRESHMEN: For the first time in its men's basketball history, Washington State started three true freshmen (Dec. 11 vs. BYU)...forward Robbie Cowgill made his second start of the season...point guard Derrick Low appeared in his second game of the year and made his first Chris Henry started his season debut...both Low and Henry missed time this season with addition, guard Kyle Weaver started three games earlier this season, marking the first time since 1982-83 season that four WSU true freshmen have made at least one start in a season.

FRESHMEN CONTRIBUTION: Cougar freshmen have accounted for 39.7 percent of Washington State's scoring this season led by Josh Akognon's 6.6 points per game...Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) leads the Cougars with nine blocked shots...Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) is tied for the team lead with 15 assists.

DIFFERENT VENUES NOTHING NEW FOR COUGARS: Washington State will play in its sixth arena in eight games this season when it travels to the Childs Center to take on Portland...WSU has played three games at home, road games against Kansas State, Idaho and Oklahoma State, and a neutral site game against BYU at the Delta Center in Salt Lake City.

WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars made a season-high 10 3-pointers vs. BYU, Dec. 11 and have made at least one trey in 260 straight games...last time Cougars did not make a 3-pointer was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-point line was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5, 1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.

COUGAR DEFENSE: Washington State held Montana State to 42 points in the season opener, the fewest given up by the Cougars 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 were the least given up by the Cougars since Dec. 27/29, 1972...WSU yielded 140 points (Nov. 24-30), its best three-game span since Dec. 12-17, 1981...the 182 points the Cougars gave up in their first four games this season mark their best four-game stretch since Dec. 11-15, 1951...WSU is ranked sixth nationally in scoring defense thru games of Dec. 13 at 51.9 points per game.

TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 36 18 of those, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...WSU held 17 opponents to 55 points or less over the last seven seasons prior to Bennett's arrival in Pullman.

STATISTICAL TRENDS: Washington State is 11-0 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including four wins this season...Bennett's Cougars are 12-0, including 3-0 this season, when outrebounding their opponent.

GONZAGA GAME DRAWS A CROWD: The 8,151 fans who attended the WSU-Gonzaga game, Dec. 7, marked the largest crowd at Friel Court for a nonconference game since 9,925 watched the Cougars defeat Idaho 66-54, Dec. 16, 1995.

WSU-IDAHO GAME LOW SCORING AFFAIR: Washington State defeated Idaho, 37-36, Nov. 30, marking the fewest points in a Cougar victory since a 36-28 triumph at Idaho, Jan. 11, 1947...fewest point in a win by a Pacific-10 team since the shot clock was instituted for the 1985-86 season...tied for third fewest in NCAA history in shot clock era...fewest points given up by WSU in a game since a 41-34 win at Montana State, Dec. 15, 1958...lowest scoring game in Cougar history since 37-36 loss at Washington, Jan. 24, 1970...lowest scoring WSU-Idaho game since 39-34 Cougar win at Idaho, March 3, 1950.

COUGARS AWAY FROM HOME: Washington State is in the midst of its second three-game road stretch of the season...After defeating BYU in Salt Lake City, Washington State plays at Portland (Dec. 18) and Wyoming (Dec. 22)...WSU will not play in Pullman until Jan. 13 when it hosts Oregon State...Cougars host Stanford (Dec. 31) and California (Jan. 2) at Spokane Arena to open Pacific-10 play...travels to UCLA (Jan. 6) and USC (Jan. 8) before returning home to face the the end of the regular season in 2003-04, WSU will have played 20 games at Friel Court and 36 games in other arenas.

WSU ROAD SUCCESS: The Cougars are 7-10 on the road over the last two seasons and has notched a pair of victories at neutral sites...with the 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, 2003, 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 the 2003-04 season dating back to January, 1998.

PROTECTING THE HOUSE: With home wins over Montana State and Georgia Southern and a loss to Gonzaga this season, the Cougars are 65-3 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...two of the three losses are to Gonzaga (2002, 2004).

KELATI MOVING UP CAREER LISTS: Senior guard Thomas Kelati made three 3-pointers against Montana State, Nov. 19 and passed Marcus Moore for fifth place on the all-time Washington State list...Kelati currently has 166 treys...his steal at Idaho, Nov. 30 was the 96th of his career and placed him 10th on WSU's all-time list...currently has 101.

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.

NATIONAL RANKINGS: Through games of Dec. 6, Washington State was ranked eighth nationally in scoring defense (52.6 points per game) and 33rd in field goal percentage defense (37.7)...Gonzaga scored 54 points and shot 40.5 percent, Dec. 7.

RADIO: All Washington State men's basketball games will be broadcast over the Cougar Basketball Radio Network...Bud Nameck is in his 12th season calling all the can be heard on KCLK 1430 AM (Clarkston), KCLX 1450 AM (Colfax), KCVL 1240 AM (Colville), KRKO 1380 AM (Everett), KBAM 1270 AM (Longview), KZFN 106.1 FM (Moscow, Idaho), KRPL 1400 AM (Moscow, Idaho), KBSN 1470 AM (Moses Lake), KZXR 1310 AM (Prosser), KPTK 1090 AM (Seattle), KXLY 920 AM (Spokane), KHHO 850 AM (Tacoma), KJOX 960 AM (Tri-Cities), KGDC 1320 AM (Walla Walla) and KJOX 980 AM (Yakima).

#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.) - Tallied eight points in 11 minutes off the bench against Montana State, Nov. 19...scored eight points in seven minutes at Kansas State, Nov. 27...scored season/career-high 12 points against Gonzaga, Dec. 7...scored nine points at BYU, Dec. 11.

#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii) - Missed first five games of the season due to a fractured foot...played 10 minutes against No. 25 Gonzaga, Dec. 7...made first start of the season at BYU, Dec. 11.

#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Started six games...scored four points and added three rebounds and a pair of assists in 26 minutes...tallied 10 points, and added five rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27.

#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Started all seven games...moved into fifth place on Washington State all-time 3-point field goals list with three against Montana State, Nov. 19...currently has 166...tied career-high three steals at Kansas State, Nov. 27...steal at Idaho moved him into 10th place on WSU career list with 96...currently has 101...led team with 13 points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...led team with season-high 15 points at BYU, Dec. 11.

#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Made first start of the season at Oklahoma State, Dec. 4...contributed a pair of assists and a steal against the Cowboys...scored team and season-high 12 points against Gonzaga, Dec.7.

#14 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) - Missed first six games of the season due to an ankle injury...started in season debut at BYU, Dec. 11.

#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Missed season opener with a back injury...started in four of six games since...posted 12 points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...pulled down six rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27...recorded season-high seven rebounds and two steals at Idaho, Dec. 1.

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

#24 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) - Started three games...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 against Montana State, Nov. leader in assists with 14...recorded season/career-high six assists at Kansas State, Nov. 27...tallied season-high five rebounds, and seven points at Idaho, Dec. 1.

#25 Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) - Started first two games...notched career high eight rebounds and four assists against Montana State, Nov. 19...had two assists and two rebounds against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...pulled down seven rebounds against Gonzaga, Dec. 7.

#32 Daven Harmeling (Grand Junction, Colo.) - Scored 10 points off the bench in just 13 minutes against Montana State, Nov. 19...most points by a true freshman in a Cougar opener since Mike Bush had 14 in 1998-99...tallied two assists against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...recorded six points and two rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27...played season-high 24 minutes and recorded four rebounds at Idaho, Dec. 1.

#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) - Had seven points, five boards and three blocks against Montana State, Nov. 19...posted eight points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...tallied seven points and three rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27...tallied seven points and five rebounds against Gonzaga, Dec. 7...made first start of the season at BYU, Dec. 11.

#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 seven games...scored six points and seven rebounds against Montana State, Nov. 19...tallied 11 points, three assists, 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 four assists at Kansas State, Nov. 27...tied career-high three steals at Idaho, Dec. 1...scored eight points and nine rebounds against Gonzaga, Dec. 7.

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