Feb. 21, 2006
WASHINGTON STATE (11-12, 4-10 Pac-10)
COUGARS HOST BAY AREA TEAMS: The Washington State men's basketball team welcomes the Bay Area schools when it plays California (Feb. 23, 5:30 p.m) and Stanford (Feb. 25, 4 p.m.)...game against the Bears will be televised by FOX Sports Net...Stanford game will be broadcasted by ABC.
THE HEAD COACHES: Dick Bennett is 36-44 at Washington State and in his third season on the Palouse...owns a 490-303 career record (.618) in 27 collegiate seasons...guided Wisconsin to 2000 Final Four...Ben Braun is 182-117 and in his 10th season with California...overall, he is 515-352 and in his 29th season...Cougar mentor is 2-3 against Braun and 3-3 against the Golden Bears, including 2-3 at WSU...Bennett's 1994 Wisconsin-Green Bay squad defeated California 61-57 in the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship...Stanford's Trent Johnson is 31-23 in his second season with the Cardinal...overall, he is 110-97 and in his seventh season...Bennett is 2-5 vs. Stanford and 2-2 vs. Johnson.
ABOUT CALIFORNIA: The Golden Bears are 16-7 overall, 10-4 in the Pac-10...tied with UCLA for first place in the conference with two weeks left in the regular season...schools face each other March 2 in Berkeley...leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio at 1.17 per game...Leon Powe leads the conference in rebounding (10.5 per game) and scoring (20.1 points per game)...only UCLA's Lew Alcindor (1967-69), and Bill Walton (1972), California's Mark McNamara (1982), Oregon State's A.C. Green (1985) and Arizona State's Ike Diogu (2005) have led the Pac-10 in scoring and rebounding in the same season...Ayinde Ubaka leads the conference in assist/turnover ratio (1.82 per game), is fourth in free throw percentage (82.2), sixth in 3-point field goals made (2.09 per game), and eighth in assists (3.96 per game) and scoring (15.0 points per game)...DeVon Hardin ranks second in the Pac-10 in blocked shots (1.74 per game) and field goal percentage (52.9), and is fifth in rebounding (7.0 per game).
SERIES WITH THE BEARS: California leads 65-43...Cougars hold a 27-23 advantage at home, including 26-23 in Pullman...Golden Bears have won nine of the last 11 games...California defeated the Cougars 55-53 at Berkeley in the season's first meeting...freshman Aron Baynes tallied 12 points and 10 boards for his first career double-double...Ivory Clark and Josh Akognon led the Cougars, each scoring 13 points...California's Richard Midgley led all scorers with 15 points.
ABOUT STANFORD: The Cardinal is 13-10 overall, 9-5 in the Pac-10...lead the conference in free throw percentage at 76.9 percent...Chris Hernandez leads the conference in free throw percentage (90.2), is second in both 3-point field goal percentage (50.4) and 3-point field goals made (2.70 per game)...Matt Haryasz is second in the Pac-10 in rebounding (8.8 per game), third in scoring (18.1 points per game), and fourth in both field goal percentage (51.0) and blocked shots (1.57 per game)...freshman Mitch Johnson is fifth in assist/turnover ratio (1.48) and 10th in assists (3.74 per game).
SERIES WITH THE CARDINAL: Stanford leads 61-54...Cougars lead 32-23 when playing at WSU, including 31-23 in Pullman...Cardinal beat the Cougars 69-59 in the first match up of the season...Stanford outscored the Cougars by 11 points in the first half...the 38 points given up by WSU in the first half are the most in an opening stanza this season...Stanford's Matt Haryasz led all scorers with 22 points...three Cougars scored in double figures, Josh Akognon (15), Kyle Weaver (14), and Robbie Cowgill (11).
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Feb. 23): Three Cougars scored in double digits as WSU picked up its third Pac-10 win of the season with a 65-61 triumph over Stanford, Feb. 23, 1984...Stanford's Keith Jones went 6-for-9 from the line and led all scorers with 20 points...Joe Wallace led the Cougs with 15 points, while teammates Keith Morrison and Chris Winkler notched a dozen a piece.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Feb. 25): The Cougars notched a 71-62 win over California, Feb. 25, 1984..marked the Cougars third consecutive home stand sweep over the Bay Area schools...WSU's Ricky Brown recorded his sixth double-double of the season, tallying 14 points and 12 boards...all five Cougar starters scored in double figures...starters included: Brown, Joe Wallace, 13 points, Chris Winkler, 12 points, Keith Morrison and Otis Jennings, 10 points each.
WSU LOOKS TO PROTECT HOUSE : Under head coach Dick Bennett, the Cougars have split each of the last two home stands against the Bay Area schools...last home stand sweep against the Golden Bears and Cardinal was during the 1994-95 season under coach Kevin Eastman when the Cougars finished 18-12 overall, 10-8 in the Pac-10...WSU went on to the NIT where they lost to Canisius, 89-80, in the quarterfinals...prior to Bennett's arrival, the Bay Area schools swept the Cougars in Pullman three consecutive seasons (2001-03).
MAKE WAY FOR WEAVER: Sophomore guard Kyle Weaver leads the Cougars with 106 rebounds and 96 assists...Weaver is just four assists shy of being the fourth Cougar player to have both 100 rebounds and assists in the same season...others include Keith Morrison (1984-86), Bennie Seltzer (1993) and Marcus Moore (2001-02).
COUGARS CONTINUE TO BREAK STREAKS: Washington State has accomplished several firsts and has broken many losing streaks under the tutelage of Dick Bennett...here is a look at Cougar highlights over the past three seasons.
COUGARS IN PACIFIC-10/NCAA RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pacific-10 and is ninth nationally in scoring defense (58.0 points per game)...first in Pac-10, ninth nationally in field goal percentage defense (38.6)...first in the conference and tied for 40th nationally in blocked shots (4.78 per game)...leads the conference in 3-point field goal percentage defense (29.2)...sophomore Josh Akognon is fifth in the Pac-10 with 2.22 treys per game and seventh at 41.1 percent from beyond the arc...sophomore Kyle Weaver is fourth in assists (4.17 per game), and fifth in steals (1.52 per game)...sophomore Robbie Cowgill is seventh in blocked shots (1.25 per game) and 14th in rebounding (5.0 per game)....junior transfer Ivory Clark is sixth in blocked shots (1.26 per game).
RETURN TO SENDER: Washington State has 110 blocked shots this season, including 71 in Pacific-10 games...fifth time in school history Cougars have eclipsed the century mark in rejections during a season...only 1986 (130), 1978 (117) and 1977 (112) teams rank ahead of this year's squad...the 71 blocks in conference play are one shy of the school record set in 1986.
COUGARS TAKE CARE OF THE BALL: In last Thursday's 71-62 loss at Oregon State, Washington State committed four turnovers...dating back to 1977 (school game records are incomplete prior), the four turnovers ties the school record for fewest in a game...WSU turned the ball over four times in an 82-79 win over Oregon Jan. 19, 1991.
BENCH SCORING: Washington State is averaging 20.4 points per game this season off the bench...Aron Baynes scored 19 points off the bench in the Cougars' 81-55 season-opening victory over UC Riverside, Nov. 19...against Idaho, Nov. 26, Cougar bench players tallied 31 points in 63-37 victory...bench players scored 28 of the team's 60 points in win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...in 61-46 win over Portland, Dec. 17, Cougar bench players tallied 46 points led by Ivory Clark's team-high 12...Josh Akognon recorded a career-high 27 points in a 78-71 upset win at No. 10 Washington, Jan. 7...bench played combined for 45 points in the win over the Huskies...Akognon led all scorers with 16 points against USC, Feb. 11...in the six conference games in which he has appeared off the bench, Akognon is averaging 12.3 points...Ivory Clark has come off the bench in 10 of the 14 Pac-10 games WSU has played and is shooting 57.9 percent from the field in those games.
COUGARS ARE SLOW STARTERS: Washington State has not led at halftime in its last nine games, seven of which have resulted in losses...Cougar victories came at home against Washington (trailed 35-30) and USC (tied 20-20).
WHO IS STARTING?: Washington State has used 19 different starting line-ups in its 23 games this season...sophomore Derrick Low started the first 11 games before breaking his right foot in practice, Jan. 4...Low missed eight games, came off the bench against UCLA, Feb. 9 and returned to the starting lineup against USC, Feb. 11...Robbie Cowgill has started all 20 games in which he has played after missing the first three due to a fractured right clavicle.
WSU LOOKS TO EQUAL LAST SEASON'S WIN TOTAL: Washington State is 11-12 and one game shy of its 2004-05 victory total of 12...Cougars have four Pacific-10 games and at least one Pac-10 Tournament game left in their season...two wins would match WSU's highest total (1997 and 2004) in the last 10 seasons...if the Cougars reach 14 wins, it will be the most since the 1995-96 campaign when WSU finished 18-11 and advanced to the second round of the National Invitational Tournament.
YOUNG COUGARS PRODUCE: Washington State freshmen and sophomores have accounted for 73.6 percent of the team's minutes this season and are scoring 77.7 percent of the Cougars' points.