Jan. 11, 2005
THIS WEEK: Thursday, Jan. 13 - WSU vs. Oregon State - 7:30 p.m. (FSN Regional)
Saturday, Jan. 15 - WSU vs. Oregon-2 p.m.
NEXT WEEK: Sunday, Jan. 23 - WSU at Washington - 1 p.m. (FSN Regional)
WASHINGTON STATE (7-6, 2-2 Pac-10)
WSU HEAD COACH Dick Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Dick Bennett is currently in his second season on the Palouse...he is 7-6 this season and 20-22 in his WSU career...coached at Wisconsin-Stevens Point (1976-85), Wisconsin-Green Bay (1985-95) and Wisconsin (1995-2000)...owns a .629 career winning percentage (474-279)...career highlights include a 1984 NAIA national runner-up finish at Wisconsin-Stevens Point and a 2000 Final Four appearance at Wisconsin...with 49-46 win over BYU, Dec. 11, Bennett moved into 73rd place on the NCAA career wins list among coaches with at least 10 years experience at the Division I level.
BENNETT MAGIC: WSU won 13 games in 2003-04, a six-win improvement over the previous season, under first-year mentor Dick Bennett...WSU tallied seven Pac-10 wins after winning just seven of its last 50 conference games prior to 2003-04.
TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 42 games...in 22 of those, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1994-95 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 20 opponents to 55 points or less.
OREGON STATE PREVIEW: The Beavers are 10-4 overall, 2-1 in the Pacific-10...all of Oregon States losses have come away from Corvallis, two on the road and two at neutral sites...Beavers swept the Los Angeles schools at home to open Pac-10 play before losing at Oregon last week...senior David Lucas leads the Beavers in scoring averaging 16.5 points per game...five players average double-figure scoring...Beavers are ranked third in the Pac-10 in free throw percentage (.737) and blocked shots (averaging 4.0 per game).
SERIES WITH THE BEAVERS: Oregon State leads 157-111...Beavers have won nine of the last 11 meetings...Oregon State swept last season, winning 52-41 in Corvallis and 65-58 in Pullman...Oregon State's David Lucas averaged 21.5 points and seven rebounds in the Beavers' two wins last season...teams have split the last six meetings in Pullman...Randy Green scored a career-high 22 points in WSU's 75-71 home win, Feb. 22, 2003.
OREGON PREVIEW: The Ducks are 10-2, 2-1 in the Pac-10...play at Washington, Thursday, Jan. 13...Ducks have played three games away from home this season, but two of those were at a neutral site...only true road game was 83-82 victory at Fresno State...Oregon is led by sophomore guard Aaron Brooks who averages 17.5 points per game this season, including 24.0 against Pac-10 teams...Brooks ranks fourth in the Pac-10 in scoring and scored a career-high 34 points against USC, Dec. 31.
SERIES WITH THE DUCKS: Oregon leads 146-117...Ducks have won last six meetings and 14 of the last 15...the last time the two teams faced, the Cougars lost 67-62 at home in overtime, Feb. 14, 2004...Randy Green scored 12 points off the bench...last WSU win was 63-62, Feb. 15, 2001 in Pullman...three of the last six meetings in Pullman have gone to overtime, including Oregon's 87-83 triple overtime victory, Jan. 14, 1999.
WSU PLAYING CLOSE GAMES: The Cougars have played six games this season decided by three points or less...WSU is 3-3 in those games...Cougars defeated Idaho 37-36, BYU 49-46 and Portland 55-54...lost to 54-52 to Gonzaga, 49-47 at Wyoming and 80-77 in double overtime at UCLA.
COUGARS START FRESHMEN: Prior to this season, Washington State had never started three true freshmen in a game...Cougars have done it three times this season...Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas), Derrick Low (Honolulu) and Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) started in WSU's 49-46 win over BYU, Dec. 11...Cowgill, Low and Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) started in the Cougars' 49-47 loss at Wyoming, Dec. 22 and in WSU's 69-52 victory at USC, Jan. 8...first time since 1982-83 season that four WSU true freshmen have made at least one start in a season...WSU has started 12 different starting line-ups in 13 games this season.
WASHINGTON STATE DEFENSE: Washington State held Montana State to 42 points in the season opener, the fewest given up by the Cougars in an opener since a 66-34 win over Whitworth in 1948-49...WSU followed up by yielding just 42 points in its next game against Georgia Southern...the 84 points over a two-game span were the least given up by the Cougars since Dec. 27/29, 1972...WSU yielded 140 points (Nov. 24-30), its best three-game span since Dec. 12-17, 1981...the 182 points the Cougars gave up in their first four games this season mark their best four-game stretch since Dec. 11-15, 1951...WSU leads the Pacific-10 and ranks third nationally, as of Jan. 11, giving up 54.5 points per game...WSU is 24th nationally in field goal percentage defense, holding opponents to 38.8 percent.
COUGARS ARE FINALLY HOME ALBEIT BRIEFLY: This week, Washington State hosts Oregon State (Jan. 13) and Oregon (Jan. 15) at Friel Court inside Beasley Coliseum...first home games in Pullman since Gonzaga, Dec. 7...WSU plays at Washington (Jan. 23) before facing Arizona State and Arizona on the road...Cougars return to Pullman, Feb. 3 to play UCLA...games this week are the only two WSU will play in Pullman during a 57-day stretch.
WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars knocked down 13 treys (six at UCLA and seven at USC) last weekend to extend their streak to 266 games with at least one 3-pointer...last time Cougars did not make a 3-pointer was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-point line was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5, 1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.
STATISTICAL TRENDS: Washington State is 13-1 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 6-1 this season...exception is California's 59-47 win at the Spokane Arena, Jan. 2 when the Golden Bears shot 37.5 percent...Bennett's Cougars are 14-0, including 5-0 this season, when outrebounding their opponent...Cougars have won all three games this season when scoring 60-69 points.
COUGARS STREAKING AGAINST USC: Washington State's 69-52 win at USC, Jan. 8 marked the first time since the 1975-76 and 1976-77 seasons that the Cougars have won back-to-back games on the road against the Trojans...first three-game winning streak overall against USC since 1986.
COUGARS BREAK LOSING STREAK AGAINST CARDINAL: Jeff Varem notched his second career double-double with 18 points and 12 rebounds to lead Washington State past Stanford 60-51, Dec. 31...win broke a 17-game losing streak against the Cardinal dating back to Feb. 22, 1996...WSU won its Pac-10 opener for the first time since 1998-99.
GONZAGA GAME DRAWS A CROWD: The 8,151 fans who attended the WSU-Gonzaga game, Dec. 7, marked the largest crowd at Friel Court for a nonconference game since 9,925 watched the Cougars defeat Idaho 66-54, Dec. 16, 1995.
WSU-IDAHO GAME LOW SCORING AFFAIR: Washington State defeated Idaho, 37-36, Nov. 30, marking the fewest points in a Cougar victory since a 36-28 triumph at Idaho, Jan. 11, 1947...fewest point in a win by a Pacific-10 team since the shot clock was instituted for the 1985-86 season...tied for third fewest in NCAA history in shot clock era...fewest points given up by WSU in a game since a 41-34 win at Montana State, Dec. 15, 1958...lowest scoring game in Cougar history since 37-36 loss at Washington, Jan. 24, 1970...lowest scoring WSU-Idaho game since 39-34 Cougar win at Idaho, March 3, 1950.
WSU ROAD SUCCESS: The Cougars are 9-12 on the road over the last two seasons...in addition, WSU has notched a pair of victories at neutral sites and two more at the Spokane Arena...from 1997-98 through 2002-03, WSU was 13-78 away from Friel Court...with 57-51 win at Alaska Fairbanks, Nov. 22, 2003, WSU broke a 27-game road losing streak...previous win was 58-57 at Arizona State, Feb. 8, 2001.
PROTECTING THE HOUSE: With home wins over Montana State and Georgia Southern and a loss to Gonzaga this season, the Cougars are 65-3 since 1990-91 in nonconference games played in Pullman...the mark includes a 5-0 record in Bohler Gym during the 1990-91 campaign...two of the three losses are to Gonzaga (2002, 2004).
DANCE TEAM HOSTS CLINIC: The Washington State dance team will host a clinic, Saturday, Jan. 15 in Bohler Gym from 9:30 a.m-1:30 p.m...open to grades 3-9...cost $12 and proceeds help the WSU dance team attend national competition...participants will perform at halftime of Oregon game which tips off at 2 p.m...attendees receive Cougar game face tattoo, lunch and entry to the basketball game...for more information, call Amanda Hoppert at 509-335-0244.
RADIO: All Washington State men's basketball games will be broadcast over the Cougar Basketball Radio Network...Bud Nameck is in his 12th season calling all the action...games can be heard on KCLK 1430 AM (Clarkston), KCLX 1450 AM (Colfax), KCVL 1240 AM (Colville), KRKO 1380 AM (Everett), KBAM 1270 AM (Longview), KZFN 106.1 FM (Moscow, Idaho), KRPL 1400 AM (Moscow, Idaho), KBSN 1470 AM (Moses Lake), KZXR 1310 AM (Prosser), KPTK 1090 AM (Seattle), KXLY 920 AM (Spokane), KHHO 850 AM (Tacoma), KJOX 960 AM (Tri-Cities), KGDC 1320 AM (Walla Walla) and KJOX 980 AM (Yakima).
SIMMONS INELIGIBLE: Senior guard Isaiah Simmons (Tacoma) has been ruled academically ineligible effective Jan. 10.
COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.) - Tallied eight points in 11 minutes off the bench against Montana State, Nov. 19...scored eight points in seven minutes at Kansas State, Nov. 27... ...scored nine points at BYU, Dec. 11...scored season/career-high 15 points at UCLA, Jan. 6.
#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii) - Missed first five games of the season due to a fractured foot...has started last seven games...had 10 points and three assists at Portland, Dec. 18...recorded three steals at Wyoming, Dec. 22...tallied 10 points vs. Stanford, Dec. 31...matched his season/career-high 10 points at USC, Jan. 8.
#5 Chris Schlatter (Lafayette, Calif.) - Started nine games...tallied 10 points, and added six rebounds at Kansas State, Nov. 27...knocked down three treys and scored 10 points vs. Stanford, Dec. 31.
#11 Thomas Kelati (Walla Walla) - Started all 13 games...moved into fifth place on Washington State all-time 3-point field goals list with three against Montana State, Nov. 19...currently has 181...ranks ninth at WSU with 113 career steals...had career-high five at Portland, Dec. 18 and added season-high 17 points...ranks 18th in the Pac-10 with 11.9 points per game...ranks fifth in the Pac-10 averaging 1.77 steals per game.
#12 Randy Green (Renton) - Started three games...scored team and season-high 12 points against Gonzaga, Dec.7...added three steals against the Bulldogs...grabbed four rebounds at Portland, Dec. 18.
#14 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.) - Missed first six games of the season due to an ankle injury...started in season debut at BYU, Dec. 11...has appeared in six games.
#22 Shami Gill (Mission, British Columbia) - Missed season opener and last three games with a back injury...status for this week is out...started seven games...posted 12 points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...recorded season-high seven rebounds and two steals at Idaho, Nov. 30.
#23 Alex Kirk (Prosser) - Invited walk-on...played one minute against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24 and at USC, Jan. 8.
#24 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.) - Started six games...became first true freshman to start at point guard for Washington State in a season opener since Blake Pengelly in 1996-97...scored six points and added four rebounds against Montana State, Nov. 19...recorded season/career-high six assists at Kansas State, Nov. 27...scored eight points in 10 minutes off the bench vs. California, Jan. 2...scored season/career-high 10 points at UCLA, Jan.6, and at USC, Jan. 8...added season/career-high seven rebounds against Bruins and Trojans.
#32 Daven Harmeling (Grand Junction, Colo.) - Scored 10 points off the bench in just 13 minutes against Montana State, Nov. 19...most points by a true freshman in a Cougar opener since Mike Bush had 14 in 1998-99...played season-high 24 minutes and recorded four rebounds at Idaho, Nov. 30.
#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas) - Started five games...had seven points, five boards and three blocks against Montana State, Nov. 19...posted eight points against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...tallied seven points and five rebounds against Gonzaga, Dec. 7...made WSU's last four points in final 1:20 of 55-54 win at Portland, Dec. 18...had eight points in start vs. California, Jan. 2...ranks fourth in the Pac-10 averaging 1.08 blocks per game.
#44 Arlen Plaister (Orcas Island) - Walk-on who posted one rebound in one minute of play against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...appeared in final minutes of Cougar victory at USC, Jan. 8.
#45 Jeff Varem (Benue, Nigeria) - Started 12 games...tallied 11 points, three assists, and then career-high 14 rebounds against Georgia Southern, Nov. 24...pulled down eight rebounds, and four assists at Kansas State, Nov. 27...tied career-high three steals at Idaho, Nov. 30...second career double-double with season-high 18 points and 12 rebounds vs. Stanford, Dec. 31...added 17 points and career-high 15 rebounds at UCLA, Jan. 6...added ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 8.1 rebounds per game...recorded season-high 21 points and tallied four rebounds at USC, Jan.8.