Cougars Look for Sweep of Trojans Saturday
Feb. 19, 2010
COUGARS HOST HOT TROJANS SATURDAY: Washington State University men's basketball (15-11, 5-9) concludes its weekend home series as it hosts USC (16-9, 8-5), Saturday, Feb. 20 at 2 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum's Friel Court. The game will not be televised but can be seen live on wsucougars.com via webcast. There is a charge for the webcast which will feature both video and audio. As usual, the game can also be heard via radio and on wsucougars.com.
|Game 26 | USC (16-9, 8-5) at Washington State (15-11, 5-9)|
|Date||Saturday, Feb. 20 | 2 p.m. PST|
|Location||Pullman, Wash. | Friel Court at Beasley Coliseum|
|Television||Webcast-wsucougars.com | Watch Online|
|Radio||Cougar Sports Network | Listen Online|
|wsucougars.com||Gametracker | Crimson ZZU Blog | Game Notes|
|All-Time Series||USC leads 66-42 (Streak: WSU +1)|
ABOUT THE COUGS:
The Cougs are coming off a 71-51 loss at the hands of UCLA Thursday at Friel Court.
The Cougars are now 15-11 on the season and 5-9 in Pacific-10 Conference action, sitting in ninth place in the league.
WSU has lost it's last three games and six of its last seven contests...the Cougs have not lost more than three games in a row this season.
WSU is 9-4 at home and 3-4 at home in conference action...the Cougs are 3-0 in neutral site games.
Sophomore Klay Thompson leads the team and ranks second in the conference with 20.8 points per game...he's scored double figures in 22 of the Cougs' 26 games this season and reached 20-plus points in 15 of the 26 contests.
Freshman point guard Reggie Moore leads the team with 4.2 assists a game, adding a team second-best 13.5 points an outing.
Sophomore DeAngelo Casto leads the Cougs on the boards with 6.9 rebounds a game, adding 10.2 points per game.
The Cougars' lone senior, Nikola Koprivica, is chipping in 8.9 points per game.
ABOUT THE USC TROJANS:
Under first-year head coach Kevin O'Neill, the Trojans are 16-9 overall and 8-5 in Pac-10 play.
USC is tied for second place in the conference, just one win behind 9-5 California.
The Trojans are on a roll right now, having won their last four games after being swept by the Oregon schools the last weekend in January...they are undefeated in February.
USC has struggled on the road this season at 2-6 overall and 2-4 in league play...three of the Trojans' last four games were played at the Galen Center.
Senior guard Dwight Lewis leads the Trojans with 14.0 points per game...he ranks 10th in the Pac-10 in scoring.
Sophomore forward Nikola Vucevic leads the league in rebounding with 9.8 boards a game while adding 11.7 points an outing...he has 10 double-doubles this season.
Senior forward Marcus Johnson rounds out the double-figure scorers with 10.0 points and 4.6 rebounds an outing.
AGAINST THE TROJANS:
The Cougars trail the all-time series 65-66...WSU holds a 27-23 advantage at home and 26-22 in Pullman in the series.
Last year USC swept the series and defeated WSU on its home court, 46-44, Jan. 24, 2009.
In the first meeting this season, WSU came back after trailing by 10 at halftime to defeat USC 76-70 at the Galen Center Jan. 21.
Reggie Moore and Klay Thompson combined for 41 of WSU's 76 points as Moore finished with a game-high 21 and Thompson added 20 points...the duo had 21 of WSU's 24 first-half points.
DeAngelo Casto led the Cougs on the boards with eight rebounds.
Marcus Johnson led USC with 16 points, joined by Dwight Lewis (13 points) and Mike Gerrity (10 points) in double figures.
Nikola Vucevic had a game-high 10 boards but just four points.
WSU's 24 points marked its fewest in a first half this season.
The Cougars came back after a halftime deficit for just the second time this season...the other was two points to Nicholls State.
All 13 of Nikola Koprivica's points came in the second half.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars fell in an all-around lack-luster performance as they were defeated by the Bruins of UCLA 71-51 Thursday at Friel Court.
Reggie Moore led WSU in scoring for the sixth time this season with 11 points.
Casto was the only other Coug in double figures with 10 points.
Five Bruins scored in double figures led by Michael Roll with 15 points...Tyler Honeycutt and Nikola Dragovic each added 14 points apiece.
UCLA shot .659 (29-44) from the field...the second-highest by a WSU opponent since the 2000-01 season.
WSU's 51 points mark their second-fewest this season.
Anthony Brown and Ben Loewen saw their first Pac-10 action of their careers...WSU had 14 players see action, the most in a Pac-10 game this season and the second most in a game this year for the Cougs.
WSU's nine steals marked their second-most in Pac-10 play this season.
DeAngelo Casto moved into sole possession of sixth place in the WSU career record books with 95 blocked shots...he had one on the night.
Klay Thompson had two 3-pointers on the night, moving him into 11th place in the WSU career record books with 129.
MOORE OUT OF REGGIE:
The Pac-10's lone starting freshman point guard, Reggie Moore has gotten off to a hot start for the Cougars in his rookie campaign, ranking second on the team with 13.5 points per game.
Not only is he second in scoring, but he leads the team in assists with 4.2 dishes per game.
At Kansas State, Dec. 5, Moore set a WSU freshman record with 12 free throws made.
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, assists/turnover ratio and free throw percentage and ranks second among freshmen in scoring.
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 would finish second in scoring average.
KOPRIVICA AMONG WINNINGEST COUGARS:
Senior Nikola Koprivica has been a part of WSU men's basketball teams that have combined for 84 wins (2007-present).
With 84 wins to his name, Koprivica ranks for second most wins by an individual student-athlete in WSU history.
The number of wins does not include wins during a student-athlete's redshirt year, and the player doesn't have to have played in all of the games during the season.
Below is a list of the top-five winningest players in WSU history:
1. George Hamilton (1945, 1947-49), 86
2. Nikola Koprivica (2007-10), 84
3. Ed Gayda (1947-50), 82
4. Daven Harmeling (2005, 2007-09), 81
5. Aaron Baynes (2006-09), 80
Caleb Forrest (2006-09), 80
COUGARS AMONG WINNINGEST TEAMS IN PAC-10:
Over the last four seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) the Cougars have the third most overall and conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 84-45 (.651) overall and 37-31 in conference play over the last three years and this season.
UCLA has the best four-year record at 104-32 (.765) overall and 52-16 in league play.
WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES:
Twenty-six games into this season, sophomore Klay Thompson has already matched his point total from the 33 games of his freshman season.
Thompson scored 414 as a freshman, averaging 12.5 points a game...he currently has 542 points this season, averaging 20.8
He's shot five times more free throws this year than the entire last season...he's shot 155 as a sophomore, compared to just 31 as a freshman.
Senior Nikola Koprivica's stats have gone up this season as well, as his 232 points are 25 points shy of his total from his freshman, sophomore and junior season combined (257).
With 35 trey's on the season, he surpassed his total number of 3-pointers made from his first three seasons (26).
THOMPSON APPROACHING 1,000:
Sophomore Klay Thompson currently has 956 points and is just 44 points away from becoming the 31st Cougar to reach 1,000 career points.
If Thompson can keep up his 20.8 points per game average or his 17.3 points per game Pac-10 average, he will reach 1,000 points March 4 at Oregon State...that would be his 62nd career game.
Either way, Thompson would become the third-fastest Coug to 1,000 points behind Steve Puidokas (52 games) and Jim McKean (57 games)...Larry Beck is currently third as he did it in 66 games.
CASTO'S BLOCK PARTY
With 56 blocked shots as a sophomore and 39 during his rookie campaign, DeAngelo Casto has 95 career blocks.
His 95 blocks rank sixth in the WSU career record books.
His 56 blocked shots this season rank him fourth in the Cougar single-season record books...the most blocks since Stuart House swatted 69 shots in 1979-80.
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.
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 15 of WSU's 26 games.
He's also reached double figures in 29 of WSU's 52 halves this season and in 22 of the team's 26 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.
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.
COUGARS DOMINATE SHOOTOUT:
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.
RELATED NEWS & VIDEOS
Thu 1/24 | 6:00pm PTLive
Thu 1/24 | 8:00pm PTLive