Cougars To Host Montana State in Cougar Hardwood Classic
Dec. 12, 2008
PULLMAN, Wash. -
WSU FACES MONTANA STATE IN COUGAR HARDWOOD CLASSIC: The Washington State University men's basketball team heads to Seattle to take on Montana State in the Cougar Hardwood Classic, Saturday, Dec. 13 at KeyArena. The game can be seen live on FSN Northwest.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars lost to Gonzaga, 74-52, Wednesday, Dec. 10 at Friel Court.
WSU fell to 42-104 all-time against opponents ranked in the Associated Press Top-25...1-73 against the top-5...1-10 against the fourth ranked team.
The all-time series moves to 97-46 in favor of Washington State.
The 22-point loss is WSU's largest margin of defeat in Tony Bennett's tenure as head coach...it is the Cougars' largest home loss since Feb. 6, 2003 against Arizona State (54-87)...the largest Cougar loss in the series with Gonzaga is 38 points (58-96), Dec. 28, 2003 at No. 15 Gonzaga.
Crowd of 10,894 is largest at Friel Court since 11,120 last season against Oregon (Jan. 20, 2007).
Caleb Forrest improved to a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line (3-for-3) for the season.
With a team-high 10 points, Aron Baynes recorded his third-consecutive double figure scoring game.
DeAngelo Casto tied Baynes for team-high honors with a career-high 10 points.
WSU AGAINST THE BIG SKY:
WSU holds a 173-48 record against current members of the Big Sky Conference.
Last season the Cougars defeated four Big Sky teams (Eastern Washington, Montana, Portland State and Idaho State).
Montana State is the third Big Sky opponent for the Cougars as they have already defeated Sacramento State and Idaho State this season.
THE COUGAR HARDWOOD CLASSIC:
This season marks the fourth season of the Cougar Hardwood Classic at Seattle's KeyArena.
In the first CHC, WSU defeated Utah, 69-42, Dec. 22, 2005.
In the second CHC, the Cougars defeated San Diego State, 64-54, Dec. 21, 2006.
Last season, in the third CHC, WSU defeated cross-country opponent, The Citadel, 67-45, Dec. 20, 2007.
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.
RANKED FOES AT FRIEL COURT:
WSU hosted two ranked opponents in Baylor (then-24th-Associated Press/Receiving Votes-ESPN-USA Today) and Gonzaga (4th-both) at Friel Court in consecutive games.
It marked the first time that WSU has hosted two ranked nonconference opponents at home.
Baylor was also the first ranked nonconference opponent to come play WSU at Friel Court that was not Gonzaga.
The only other nonconference ranked opponent the Cougars have hosted at home was No. 17 Ohio State, Dec. 16, 1968 at Bohler Gym.
Four of this year's Cougar starters 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.
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
Klay Thompson ranks fourth amongst Pac-10 freshmen in rebounding with 5.2 rpg (20th overall).
DeAngelo Casto leads the Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.2 and is fourth overall in the category.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes, Taylor Rochestie and Daven Harmeling also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in seven different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Blocked Shots - 3rd (1.3 bpg)
Field Goal Percentage - 3rd (.645, 40-for-62)
Rebounding - 17th (5.8 rpg)
Free Throw Pct. - 1st (.950, 19-for-20)
Assists - 5th (4.9 apg)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 4th (1.8 a/t ratio)
3-Point FG Made - 10th (1.8 3pg)
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 seven of WSU's seven 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 50 appearances in the first nine games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season four of the Cougars' six 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.
The Cougars have won by double-digits in each of its last eight wins.
ROCHESTIE, HARMELING PLAY 100TH GAMES:
WSU's Dec. 6 game against Baylor was the 100th game of Daven Harmeling's career.
The redshirt senior played 26 games as a true freshman, one during his redshirt year, 33 as a redshirt sophomore, 32 as a junior and now nine as a senior.
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career...he's now played in 104 games.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane and has played 78 games at WSU.
The point guard has started 74 of his 106 games thus far, including 49 starts at WSU.
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 745 career points, Baynes needs a total of 255 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
ROCHESTIE CLOSING IN TOO:
Redshirt senior guard Taylor Rochestie is also closing in on the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Between his freshman season at Tulane University and the last two years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 913 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 609 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
COUGARS RECEIVING VOTES:
Although the Cougars haven't been ranked this season, they still continue to receive votes in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
WSU has two votes in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Five of WSU's opponents this season are ranked, including Pittsburgh, who the Cougars lost to Nov. 29.
Pittsburgh (3), Gonzaga (4), UCLA (16/14), Arizona State (20/18) and Baylor (22/RV).
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.