It's game time
> The Cougs begin the 2021-22 season with big expectations as the new roster is filled with talent and comes into the year arguably the most athletic group to ever hit the Palouse. Additionally, the Cougs return four of five starters from a season ago that saw WSU post its first winning season in a decade.
> The Cougs are 98-22 all-time in season openers and 59-8 when opening the season at home. WSU has won every season opener when opening at Beasley Coliseum and its last 25 season openers at home. WSU has won 31-consecutive Beasley Coliseum openers (not necessarily the first game of the season).
> Noah Williams and Efe Abogidi were selected a preseason All-Pac-12 honorees with Williams a first teamer while Abogidi was named an honorable mention.
> WSU finished the 2020-21 season among the elite defensive units ranking #24 in the country in defensive adjusted rating of 91.3 per 100 possessions.
> Entering the game Tuesday the Cougs look to continue their non-con success having won 13-straight contests including going a perfect 7-0 last season.
GAME INFORMATION - vs ALCORN STATE
The Cougs tip off the 2021-22 season against Alcorn State for the second time in program history. WSU won by 38 points in 1991 when the squads first played. (however, only coach Jim Shaw was coaching in 1991, at Oregon State, the last time the two teams played). The 119 points scored in the game is the third most in program history for WSU.
In his first season as head coach, Landon Bussie led the Braves to a 6-13 record and a 6-7 record in the Southwestern Conference in 2020-21. Braves shone at home with above .500 mark during in conference play in Lorman, Mississippi. The Braves reloaded with five transfers. The Braves have quite a difficult non-conference slate that features three teams that made it to last season's NCAA Final Four, including Gonzaga to wrap up a four-game stretch in the Pacific Northwest to start the season.
WASHINGTON STATE IN SEASON OPENERS
The Cougs are 98-22 all-time in season openers and 59-8 when opening the season at home. WSU has won every season opener when opening at Beasley Coliseum and its last 25 season openers at home. WSU has won 31-consecutive Beasley Coliseum openers (not necessarily the first game of the season, but the first at home), with their last loss coming to BYU, Dec. 3, 1987.
Last season the Cougs defeated Texas Southern 56-52 to begin the year at Beasley. Just four Cougs scored in the game with the only returners scoring, Efe Abogidi and DJ Rodman, combining for 17 of the 56.
WILLIAMS, ABOGIDI EARN PRESEASON ALL-PAC-12 RECOGNITION
Junior Noah Williams was named to Preseason All-Pac-12 First Team honors. Williams was the first Coug to be named to the preseason first team since CJ Elleby earned the award during its inaugural season in 2019. Williams 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 elite scoring 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, just the third in program history.
Sophomore Efe Abogidi was named a Preseason All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention following his stellar freshman campaign in 2020-21. The high-flying forward capped off his first chapter 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. 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.
COUGS 2020-21 SEASON
The Cougars ended the season 14-13 overall and 7-12 in Pac-12 play, surpassing their conference win total from a season ago. Playing all but one scheduled game, the Cougs posted their first winning season in nearly a decade the last time coming in 2011-12 under head coach Ken Bone.
Under new head coach Kyle Smith the Cougs finished the year perfect in non-conference play and were perfect in the month of December and started the year a perfect 9-0 while breaking in one of the youngest teams in the nation. The Cougs picked up a handful of signature wins on the year including taking down conference champ Oregon, 74-71, at Eugene for the first time since 2009 while upsetting UCLA at Pullman for the second-straight season. Additionally, the Cougs grabbed their first weekend sweep of Cal and Stanford since 2011-12.
FOLLOW THE COUGS ON SOCIAL MEDIA ALL SEASON LONG
Get all the info, photos, and videos a true Coug Fan could want by following the team on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (WSUCougarMBB)