Dec. 28, 2010
COUGARS OPEN PAC-10 PLAY AT LOS ANGELES: Washington State University men's basketball (10-2) concludes its six-game road trip as it heads to Los Angeles to open up Pacific-10 Conference play beginning with UCLA (8-4), Wednesday, Dec. 31 at 8 p.m. The game can be seen live on Fox Sports Net.
ABOUT THE COUGS:
Washington State is coming off a second-place finish at the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic at Honolulu.
At the tournament the Cougars went 2-1, including victories over Mississippi State and then-No. 15 Baylor...WSU fell to Butler in the championship game Christmas Day.
WSU is 10-2 overall and receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
The Cougars have played two road games this season, at Fresno State (11/26) and at Santa Clara (12/19) and are 2-0 on the road and 3-1 in neutral-site games.
WSU is 4-1 at home (wins against Southern, Idaho, Sacramento State and Gonzaga; loss to Kansas State) and 1-0 at neutral-site games.
Juniors Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden are sharing the scoring load, averaging 22.3 and 16.1 points per game, respectively...the sharpshooting duo account for two of the top five scorers in the Pac-10.
Thompson leads the team and is third in the league in assists per game with 5.3...he dished out a career-high nine assists against Idaho (Nov. 16).
Thompson is second in the league with 2.3 steals per game and third in 3-point field goals made with 34 total and 2.8 per game.
Sophomore forward Brock Motum ranks fourth on the team with 8.9 points per game, while leading the league in field goal percentage with a .652 mark (45-for-69).
DeAngelo Casto, who missed two of the Cougars' games with a sprained foot, is adding 9.3 points and 6.1 rebounds an outing, while Reggie Moore scored 10 points in his first outing of the season against K-State (Dec. 3)...Moore is averaging 8.1 points a game.
AGAINST THE BRUINS:
The Cougars trail the all-time series 14-97 and 2-51 on the road...WSU is 2-43 all-time against UCLA at Pauley Pavilion.
WSU has won just two games over UCLA since the 1993-94 season, both of them on the road.
The Cougs' only two wins at Pauley Pavilion have come in the last seven seasons under Dick and Tony Bennett.
The Cougars defeated the No. 20 Bruins, 82-81, Feb. 21, 2009 and 55-48, Feb. 4, 2004.
Last season WSU was swept by UCLA including a 74-62 loss at Pauley Pavilion, Jan. 23.
Reggie Moore scored a career-high 24 points in the game.
WSU IN PAC-10 OPENERS:
The Cougars are 11-21 all-time in Pacific-10 Conference openers (beginning in the 1978-79 season).
WSU is 2-13 when opening Pac-10 play on the road (won at Washington in 1987-88 and 2007-08).
WSU is 2-4 when beginning with UCLA, last opening Pac-10 play at UCLA, Dec. 28, 2006...the Bruins were ranked No. 1 at the time and WSU fell 55-52.
The Cougs are 1-4 in their last five Pac-10 openers, defeating Washington in 2007-08.
This season marks the ninth time WSU will open Pac-10 play in December and the second-straight year.
COUGARS AMONG WINNINGEST TEAMS IN PAC-10:
Over the last four seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) the Cougars have the second most overall and fourth most conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 95-50 (.655) overall and 38-34 in conference play over the last three years and this season.
UCLA has the best four-year record at 112-41 (.732) overall and 53-20 in league play.
The Cougars need just one win to catch up to second-ranked Washington and two conference wins to jump USC and tie with Washington for second.
THOMPSON FEASTS ON COMPETITION:
For the second year in a row, Klay Thompson captured Pac-10 Player of the Week honors for the week of the Thanksgiving holiday...this year the week was Nov. 22-28.
For the week, he averaged 28.5 points, while shooting 21-of-33 (.636) from the field, 5-of-10 (.500) from three-point range, and 10-of-12 (.833) from the free throw line...he also averaged 5.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists in the two contests.
This is the third honor for Thompson who becomes the first Cougar to earn a Player of the Week honor three times in his career...last year he became the first Cougar to earn the honors in back-to-back weeks as he was Pac-10 Player of the Week Nov. 23 and Nov. 30.
Four WSU student-athletes have earned the honor twice in their careers.
THOMPSON NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN:
For the second time this season and the fourth in his career, Klay Thompson has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 6-12.
The junior guard helped lead the Cougars to wins over Gonzaga and Texas-Pan American last week.
For the week, he averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.0 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington State concluded nonconference action at Honolulu, Hawaii in the Diamond Head Classic, finishing second in the tournament.
The Cougars fell to the Bulldogs of Butler in the championship game, 84-68.
Klay Thompson was the lone Cougar to score in double figures with 31 points.
The Cougars have appeared in the championship game in each of its last five nonconference tournament.
Klay Thompson appeared on the Diamond Head Classic All-Tournament Team...he has been on the all-tournament team in all three of the regular season tournaments he has played as a Cougar.
Thompson is averaging 27.4 points per game in those three tournaments, eight games.
Thompson set a tournament record with 79 points in his three games...the previous high was Dwain Williams of Hawai'i who had 67 in the first season of the tournament last year.
Butler set a season high by a WSU opponent with 84 points and shot a best .500 (28-for-56).
The Cougars end the nonconference season 10-2 for the second-straight season.
THE REST OF THE DIAMOND HEAD CLASSIC:
WSU defeated No. 15 Baylor, 77-71 Dec. 23 in the tournament semifinals.
WSU got its first win over a ranked opponent since defeating No. 14 Arizona State, 51-49 in OT, Feb. 28, 2009.
The Cougars improve to 46-209 all-time against ranked opponents and 19-155 against the AP top-15.
WSU improves to 3-1 all-time against Baylor.
Reggie Moore grabbed a career-high six rebounds...previous high was five done twice last season.
The Cougars had a season-high five players score in double figures (Thompson-20, Moore-12, Aden-13, Motum-12 and Casto-12).
The Cougars defeated Mississippi State, 83-57, in the tournament semifinals Dec. 22.
WSU is 11-1 in its last five tournaments (including the Diamond Head Classic) and improves to 2-0 against Mississippi State.
The Cougars will play the winner of the Baylor/San Diego game which takes place following the Cougars' game.
Abe Lodwick scored a season-high nine points and tied his career high of three 3-pointers made (3-for-5).
For the first time this season WSU has trailed at the half in back-to-back games.
WSU outrebounded its opponent for the first time since a +11 rebound margin against Sacramento State (Nov. 30)...WSU had 42 rebounds to Mississippi State's 29.
WSU got 24 points off of MSU's 21 turnovers compared to just four for MSU off of WSU's 12 turnovers.
The Cougars have scored 80 or more points in seven of their 10 games this season, while holding their opponent under 60 six times.
A FLASH OF THE OLD COUGS:
Washington State is looking like the team from two years ago that captured the NCAA field goal percentage defense crown.
This year the Cougs lead the conference in field goal percentage defense and rank second in points allowed per game.
WSU also ranks first in 3-point field goal percentage defense.
BUT OFFENSIVELY STRONG TOO:
The Cougars lead the conference in field goal percentage and are third in scoring offense.
WSU is also second in 3-point field goal percentage.
THOMPSON MOVING UP SCORING LIST:
With 22 points at Oregon last season, Klay Thompson surpassed the 1,000-point for his career...he finished the season with 1,023 points.
He now has 1,291 points and currently ranks 11th on the Cougar all-time scoring list.
Thompson became the 31st Cougar to reach 1,000 career points and the third-fastest, accomplishing the feat in his 63rd career game.
The only two Cougars to do it faster than Thompson were Steve Puidokas (52 games) and Jim McKean (57 games)...Thompson surpassed Larry Beck who was previously third as he did it in 66 games.
If Thompson continues to average 22.3 points again this season, he will finish his junior year with at least 1,685 points, making him the third-leading scorer in Washington State history....Isaac Fontaine holds the school record with 2,003 points, while Steve Puidokas scored 1,894 in his career.
THOMPSON, ADEN EXCEL IN FIRST FIVE GAMES:
Through the first five games of the season Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden held the third and fifth-best scoring out puts by a Cougar in his first five games of the season since the 3-point line in 1986-87.
Thompson also holds the second spot after scoring 127 in the first five games of his sophomore season.
Aden has the second-most points by a Cougar in his first five games of his career, second to Neil Derrick who scored 111 in his first five games after transferring prior to his junior year.
PERFECT AT FRIEL IN NOVEMBER:
With its win Nov. 30, WSU finished the month 40-0 all-time in the month of November at Friel Court.
The Cougars have won 40-straight November games in Pullman and are 42-1 (the loss came before the Cougars moved into Beasley Coliseum).
WSU's only loss in Pullman in November came against Colorado State, Nov., 30, 1962, by a score of 77-47.
COUGARS GET EARLY RUN ON HORNETS:
The Cougars opened the game with a 27-0 run as they defeated Sacramento State, 84-36 Tuesday, Nov. 30 at Beasley Coliseum.
WSU held Sacramento State to .319 (15-for-47) shooting from the field and .067 (1-for-15) from beyond the 3-point arc.
WSU's 48-point margin of victory ties for third most since 1945...the largest was 54 points against Delaware in 1989.
Sacramento State's 15 first-half points are tied for 15th fewest points in a half (first or second half) since the 1968-69 season (when WSU joined the Pac-8).
COUGARS LAST UNDEFEATED TEAM IN LEAGUE...ONE OF 22 IN THE COUNTRY:
Before falling Friday, Washington State was the last undefeated Pac-10 team with a 5-0 start.
Arizona suffered its first loss of the season Nov. 27 when it fell to Kansas...the Wildcats were 5-0 before suffering their first setback....Arizona is the only other one-loss team in the Pac-10.
WSU was one of 22 undefeated teams in the country as of games Dec. 1...as of Dec. 5 19 undefeated teams remained.
COUGARS PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH:
WSU was chosen to finish fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference in 2010-11, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 basketball.
2010-11 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
1. Washington (33) 348
2. Arizona (1) 296
3. UCLA (1) 281
4. Arizona State 215
5. Washington State 191
6. USC 178
7. California 151
8. Oregon State 120
9. Stanford 98
10. Oregon 47
First place votes in parentheses