Williams First Team, Abogidi Honorable Mention, Cougs Picked Eighth
SAN FRANCISO – Kicking off Pac-12 Media Day in the Bay Area the conference office released its 2021-22 Preseason Media Poll with the Cougs picked to finish eighth in a vote by 34 media members who cover the league. The selection was the Cougs' highest in the Pac-12 era and highest since the Cougs were selected fifth in the 2010-11 Pac-10 Preseason Media Poll.
In addition to the team's eighth place pick the Cougs saw junior Noah Williams earn Preseason All-Pac-12 First Team honors joining the team of 10 of the top talent the conference has to offer. Williams is the first Coug to be named to the preseason first team since CJ Elleby earned the honor in its inaugural edition in 2019.
Williams finished his sophomore season as arguably the Pac-12's most improved player and earned All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention at the end of the season. He finished the regular season leading the team in total points with 381 while scoring 14.1 points per game, 14th in the conference and an eight-point jump from his freshman season. He showed off his scoring prowess in the most epic weekend of action against Cal and Stanford as the then second-year guard scored a program record 72 points over the weekend and earned both Pac-12 and National Player of the Week honors.
While Williams earned recognition on the first team sophomore Efe Abogidi was named a Preseason All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention after putting together a head-turning freshman campaign in 2020-21. The high-flying forward finished his opening stanza at WSU with a selection to the Pac-12 All-Freshman team and was one of two Cougars to play in and start all 27 games while averaging 8.9 ppg, 7.2 rpg and 1.3 bpg in 24.4 mpg. He finished the year fourth in the Pac-12 in rebounding (7.3 pg) and fifth in defensive rebounding (4.9pg) while his 1.3 bpg ranked sixth in the conference and tied for the best mark for a Coug freshman in program history.
As a team the Cougs finished the 2020-21 season with a 14-13 record on the court producing the first winning season for WSU since the 2011-12 campaign. Each win was hard-fought for the Cougs as WSU defeated five NCAA tournament teams including wins over UCLA, which reached the 2021 NCAA Championship semifinal game, as well as Oregon and Oregon State, which each made the Sweet Sixteen.
The Cougs begin the 2021-22 campaign at home against Alcorn State, Tuesday, Nov. 9, in a double-header action with the women's team. The men tip-off the season at noon on the Pac-12 Network.