Dec. 4, 2008
COUGARS HOST BEARS IN BIG 12/PAC-10 HARDWOOD SERIES: The Washington State University men's basketball team will face its second ranked opponent in a week as it hosts No. 24 Baylor, Saturday, Dec. 6 at 8:30 p.m. The game, which is a part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood series, will be televised on FSN.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
WSU defeated Idaho State, 60-41, Tuesday, Dec. 2 at Friel Court.
WSU improved to 5-1 over Idaho State and has won the last three meetings.
Klay Thompson's 14 points in the first half is a first-half career high for him...has scored in double figures in four first halves this season.
For the second-straight game, Thompson scored all his points in the first half.
Eight first-year players saw action in the game.
Freshman DeAngelo Casto had a career high eight rebounds.
Sophomore Fabian Boeke made his first appearance as a Cougar.
Redshirt freshman Charlie Enquist had a career-high six points...career-high three rebounds.
WSU held the Bengals without a field goal for 12:04 in the second half, from the 18:50 mark until 6:46 left...ISU connected on 4-of-6 free throws during the stretch as WSU went on a 23-4 run and reached its biggest lead of the game at 32.
WSU AGAINST THE BIG 12:
WSU holds a 10-14 record against current members of the Big 12 Conference.
This year's meeting with Baylor is WSU's fifth game against a member of the Big 12 in the last five years.
The Cougars faced Baylor last season, Kansas State in 2005-06 and both Kansas State and Oklahoma State in 2004-05.
The Cougars have not faced Iowa State or Oklahoma.
WSU holds winning records against Baylor (2-0), Texas A&M (1-0) and Texas Tech (1-0).
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 6-0 in all three of Bennett's seasons at the helm.
RANKED FOES AT FRIEL COURT:
WSU will host two ranked opponents in Baylor (24th-Associated Press/Receiving Votes-ESPN-USA Today) and Gonzaga (5th-both) at Friel Court this week.
It will mark the first time that WSU has hosted two ranked nonconference opponents at home.
Baylor is also the first ranked nonconference opponent to come play WSU in Pullman that is not Gonzaga.
COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
WSU is 42-102 all-time against opponents ranked in the AP top-25.
The Cougars are 2-3 all-time against the 24th-ranked team in the Associated Press Poll.
Of the five games against the 24th-ranked team, just one came at home, Feb. 1, 1990 against Arizona...WSU lost, 86-62.
The first win for the Cougars came Feb. 22, 1996 at Stanford, a 68-59 win.
Last season WSU defeated No. 24 Arizona State in Tempe, Jan. 26, 2007 (56-55).
WSU is 30-81 all-time at home against a top-25 opponent.
Last season the Cougs lost their only two home games against ranked opponents, to No. 14 Stanford (Feb. 2) and No. 5 UCLA (Feb. 7).
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.
TOPS OF THEIR TOURNAMENTS:
WSU's next two opponents (Baylor, Dec. 6 and Gonzaga, Dec. 10) made it to the championship game of their respective tournaments that they played in the weekend of Nov. 28-30.
Then-No. 10 Gonzaga took home the title in the Old Spice Classic in Orlando, Fla., defeating Tennessee, 83-74, in the championship game.
Baylor fell to then-No. 19 Wake Forest, 87-74, Sunday in the 76 Classic. The Bears defeated then-No. 14 Arizona State earlier in the tournament.
The Cougars also played in the championship game of their tournament, the Legends Classic, falling to then-No. 4 Pittsburgh.
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
Klay Thompson ranks in the top-three amongst Pac-10 freshmen in three different categories.
He is third amongst freshmen in scoring (19th overall), third in rebounding, (15th overall) and first in 3-point field goals made (tied for sixth overall).
DeAngelo Casto is tied for the freshman lead in blocks per game and is tied for third overall in the category.
(Stats as of Dec. 1)
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.
Field Goal Percentage - 7th
Blocked Shots - T-8th
Rebounding - T-12th
Steals - T-3rd
Assists - 4th
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 5th
3-Point FG Made - 10th
(Stats as of Dec. 1)
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 five 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 37 appearances in the first six games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action.
Thompson currently leads the team in scoring with 12.7 points per game. The last freshman to end the season with 12 or more points was Mark Hendrickson with a 12.6 average in 1993. (Second-best mark in WSU's freshmen record books.)
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:
Saturday's game against Baylor will be 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 seven 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 76 games at WSU.
The point guard has started 72 of his 104 games thus far, including 46 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 721 career points, Baynes needs a total of 279 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 896 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 592 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 both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
WSU has 15 votes in the AP Poll and 14 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 (5), UCLA (12/9) and Arizona State (19) and Baylor (24/NR).
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.
ABOUT THE BIG 12/PAC-10 HARDWOOD SERIES:
Last season, the Big 12 held a 11-8 overall advantage in contests between the two conferences. The Pac-10 had the edge in official Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series games with a 7-5 mark.
Outside of the series, the Big 12 had a 6-1 record versus the Pac-10 in 2007-08, including 2-1 in the NCAA Tournament.
The games this season are return contests from one year ago. New pairings for the next two years of the agreement will be announced in the near future.
Because of the uneven number of teams in the two conferences, Arizona and Stanford each play two games.
Six of the 12 games in the inaugural event last season were decided by seven points or fewer, with two games going to overtime (Kansas-Arizona, Kansas State-Oregon).
Nationally-ranked teams posted a 5-1 record in last year's Hardwood Series, with No. 2 UCLA suffering the only loss to another ranked team (No. 7 Texas).