Jan. 23, 2009
COUGARS HOST USC: The Washington State University men's basketball team (11-7, 3-3) looks to bounce back to its loss to No. 13/11 UCLA as it hosts USC (12-6, 3-3), Saturday, Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. at Friel Court. The game will be televised live on FSN NW.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
Caleb Forrest hit the sixth and seventh 3-pointers of his career...his first two this season...just his second and third attempts this season...his first game with multiple 3-pointers.
Forrest had a career-high 19 points...previous career high was 13 points which he accomplished twice, including against Mississippi Valley State in the season opener, Nov. 15, 2008.
For the first time since WSU's game against Gonzaga (Dec. 10), no Cougar guard scored in double figures.
Aron Baynes recorded his third-straight double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds...he has three double-doubles this season and six in his career. Taylor Rochestie's consecutive double-digit streak ends at eight games...scored nine in the game.
Prior to a missed free throw in the second half, the Cougars had made 36-straight free throws going back to Jan. 15's game at Oregon State.
The Cougars have lost nine-straight to the Bruins...UCLA is the only Pac-10 team third-year head coach Tony Bennett has not defeated.
WSU is 13-94 all-time against UCLA.
A BRIEF LOOK AT LAST SEASON:
Saturday marks the 106th all-time meeting between the Cougars and the Trojans when they meet at Friel Court.
Last season USC was one of the five Pacific-10 teams that WSU swept during the conference season.
The Cougars headed to USC Jan. 10 of last season, carrying a perfect 13-0 record with them.
WSU controlled the pace in the first half, holding a 27-23 lead at halftime.
The second half saw more scoring as the Cougars defeated the Trojans, 73-58, keeping them winless in the Pac-10 at 0-3.
Fresh off a thumb injury, Daven Harmeling had a huge night for the Cougars in the first meeting against USC, connecting on 5-of-7 from beyond the 3-point arc as part of a 7-for-10 field goal performance for a team-high 19 points.
Aron Baynes added 18 points and nine rebounds.
WSU snapped its three-game losing streak in its second meeting with USC last season.
Kyle Weaver became the 29th Cougar to reach the 1,000-point plateau, leading the team with a game-high 17 points in a perfect 8-for-8 from the field performance in Pullman.
The Cougars' 24-point, 74-50, victory marked the largest margin of victory over the Trojans since Jan. 15, 1994 as they won the two meetings last season by a combined 39 points.
WSU CLAMPS DOWN ON LEADING SCORERS:
The Cougars have held 13 of their 18 opponents' leading scorers below their average points per game.
Thursday WSU held UCLA's Darren Collison to eight points...he was averaging 14.9 per game on the season.
WSU has held eight of its opponents' leading scorers to single-digit figures, including two in Pac-10 play (Collison and Cal's Jerome Randle-eight).
The Cougars' opponents' leading scorers are scoring 33 percent less than their average points per game coming into the game.
A complete chart of each team's leading scorer and point information is on page five of today's notes.
COUGARS SET FREE THROW RECORDS:
With a 28-for-28 performance from the free throw line Saturday, Jan. 17 at Oregon, WSU set a Pac-10 record for free throw percentage.
The previous record held by USC was set against Oregon, March 8, 2002.
The NCAA record is 34-for-34 set in 1981 by UC Irvine and in 1990 by Samford.
The Cougars broke the school record, bettering the 19-for-19 performance from the free throw line March 1, 1968 against Oregon.
WSU's 28-for-28 performance is the best in NCAA Division I this season, bettering Mississippi's 22-for-22 performance against South Alabama, Nov. 18.
Taylor Rochestie tied Marcus Moore for the WSU free throw percentage record, going 16-for-16 from the free throw line.
Moore set the record against Arizona State, Jan. 12, 2002.
Rochesite holds the second-best free throw performance in NCAA Division I this season...Jeremy Wise of Southern Mississippi went 19-for-19 from the free throw line, Dec. 18.
Former Cougar Josh Akognon, now of Cal State Fullerton, holds the third-best mark in the NCAA this season with a 15-for-15 performance against Cal State Bakersfield, Dec. 13.
MIXING IT UP:
The Cougars have used five different starting lineups this season.
Last year head coach Tony Bennett used just three different starting lineups, including an all-senior lineup on `Senior Day'.
Here is a list at the different starting lineups.
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Harmeling Baynes (10)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Forrest Baynes (3)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Forrest Baynes (2)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (2)
Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-17, Capers-2, Casto-1).
ROCHESTIE SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINTS:
Redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie scored the 1,000th points of his career, Thursday, Jan. 15 at Oregon State.
His first bucket of the game at the 12:22 mark in the first half put him at 1,001 career points.
Between his freshman season at Tulane University and the last two years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 1,052 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 748 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
WSU FRESHMAN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
DeAngelo Casto leads all Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.3 and is third overall in the category.
Klay Thompson is third among Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 0.7 an outing and is ninth overall.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in nine different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 2nd (.596, 81-for-136)
Blocked Shots - 5th (1.2 bpg)
Rebounding - 5th (7.0 rpg)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (4.9 drpg)
Points - 20th (11.9 ppg)
Minutes Played - 1st (36.6 mpg)
Free Throw Percentage - 2nd (.912, 52-for-57)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (2.0 a/t ratio)
Assists - 6th (4.7 apg)
Points - 18th (12.5 ppg)
FRESHMEN MARKING UP RECORD BOOKS:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto ranks fourth in the WSU freshman class record book in blocks with 24...he is one shy of Carlos Daniel in third (25) and three away from Robbie Cowgill in second (27).
With 203 points this season, freshman Klay Thompson ranks ninth in the WSU freshman class record books for points...he is 13 points from Donminic Ellison in eighth (216).
Thompson is 10th on the 3-point list with 27 3-point field goals...he is one 3-pointer shy of the three-way tie for seventh (28).
With 13 blocks, Thompson is matched with Aron Baynes for 10th on the list. He's one from eighth place (14), two from sixth place (15) and three from meeting Caleb Forrest at fifth place (17).
ROCHESTIE HEATS UP FOR PAC-10 PLAY:
Taylor Rochestie became WSU's leading scorer this season after putting up 21 against Stanford Jan. 10.
Rochestie has scored 105 points in WSU's six Pac-10 games this season, averaging 17.5 points per game.
He has led the Cougars in scoring in four of their six conference games.
Rochestie scored 12 against Washington (1/3), 19 against California (1/8), 21 against Stanford (1/10), 14 at Oregon State (1/15), 30 at Oregon (1/17) and nine against UCLA.
He's shooting .451 from the field in the five league games.
Rochestie scored 120 points in the Cougars first 12 games, averaging 10.0 points per game during nonconference play.
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 858 career points, Baynes needs a total of 142 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
Four of the five players that started the first 10 games for the Cougars 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.
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 eight of WSU's 14 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 85 appearances in the first 17 games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2 and Montana State, Dec. 13, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action in each game.
FALLING AT HOME:
Prior to WSU's game against Stanford Jan. 10, the Cougars had lost their last four home games (Dec. 6-Baylor, Dec. 10-Gonzaga, Jan. 3-Washington and Jan. 8-California).
The last time WSU lost four-straight at home was during Dick Bennett's first year as head coach for the Cougars, 2003-04.
In 2004 WSU fell to Arizona (Jan. 31), Oregon State (Feb. 12), Oregon (Feb. 14) and Stanford (March 4).
Like this season, two of the teams were ranked as Arizona was No. 9 and Stanford No. 1...this season Gonzaga was No. 4 and Baylor No. 24.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season four of the Cougars' 11 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. WSU's one-point victory over Stanford was its first single-digit win of the season...its four-point victory over Oregon State was its second...the Cougars had won by double-digits in each of its last 10 wins.