Dec. 21, 2010
COUGARS TAKE PART IN HAWAIIAN AIRLINES DIAMOND HEAD CLASSIC: Washington State University men's basketball (8-1) continues its 14-day road trip as it heads to Honolulu for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Dec. 22, 23 and 25. WSU opens the tournament against Mississippi State, Wednesday, Dec. 22 at 10 a.m. HT (noon PT). The Cougars will then play Thursday, Dec. 23 and Saturday, Dec. 25. WSU's first two games can be seen live on ESPNU.
ABOUT THE COUGS:
Washington State is coming off an overtime win at Santa Clara Sunday, Dec. 19...the Cougars defeated the Broncos, 85-79 at the Leavey Center.
WSU is 8-1 overall and receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
The Cougars' game Sunday marked the second road game for the Cougars who defeated Fresno State, 66-55, in their first true road game Nov. 26.
WSU has also hosted two games on the road, an 84-68 victory over Portland at Seattle's KeyArena (Dec. 23) and its win over Texas Pan-American at Spokane (Dec. 10).
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 21.0 and 16.9 points per game, respectively...the sharpshooting duo account for two of the top four scorers in the Pac-10.
Thompson leads the league and the team in assists per game with 5.0...he dished out a career-high nine assists against Idaho (Nov. 16).
Aden and Thompson are tied for fifth in the conference in 3-point fields goals made with 21 total and 2.3 per game...Thompson is second in the league with 2.2 steals per game.
Sophomore forward Brock Motum ranks fourth on the team with 9.0 points per game, while leading the league in field goal percentage with a .688 mark (33-for-48).
DeAngelo Casto, who missed two of the Cougars' games with a sprained foot, is adding 9.9 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 8.3 points a game.
Junior Marcus Capers leads the team and is 11th in the league with 6.2 rebounds a game, adding 7.2 points...he grabbed a career-high 15 boards in the season opener against Southern...he leads the league and the country with a 5.8 assists/turnover ratio (29/5).
WSU AT THE DIAMOND HEAD CLASSIC:
The Cougars are 1-0 against Mississippi State after facing the Bulldogs just two seasons ago (2008-09) in the semifinals of the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J.
WSU defeated MSU, 63-52, behind Klay Thompson's lone double-double of his career (19 points, 10 rebounds).
The Cougars advanced to the finals in the Legends Classic, falling to then No. 4 Pittsburgh, 57-43.
WSU is guaranteed another familiar opponent in its next game in either San Diego or Baylor.
Last season, Thompson had another big tournament performance as he scored 43 points in WSU's 93-56 victory over San Diego in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 28)...WSU leads the series 2-1.
The Cougars faced Baylor in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
WSU won the game at Waco, Texas, 67-64, Nov. 30, 2007, but fell at home, 58-52, Dec. 6, 2008...the Cougars lead the series, 2-1.
Complete series records with all teams in the tournament can be found on page one.
WSU IN TOURNAMENTS:
The Cougars have played in a tournament each of the last four seasons.
WSU holds a 10-1 record in those tournaments and has appeared in the championship game in each tournament, capturing three of the four titles.
Last year WSU won the Great Alaska Shootout, in 2007-08 won the Cougar Hispanic College Fund Challenge and in 2006-07 won the John Thompson Foundation Challenge.
The Cougars fell to then-No. 4 Pittsburgh in the championship game of the Legends Classic in 2008-09.
WSU last played in a tournament in Hawaii in 1996-97 as it appeared in the Rainbow Classic at Honolulu.
The Cougs went 1-2 in the tournament with their lone win coming against Northwestern in their third game.
COUGARS AGAINST THE SEC:
WSU holds a 5-7 record against current members of the Southeastern Conference.
The Cougars have faced seven of the 12 teams in the league...they have not faced Auburn, Florida, Mississippi, South Carolina or Tennessee.
The only SEC schools WSU has faced multiple times are Alabama (1-2) and LSU (2-2), and will now have faced MSU twice as well.
This season marks the third-straight that the Cougs will face an SEC opponent (2009-10-LSU, 2008-09-LSU, MSU).
COUGARS AMONG WINNINGEST TEAMS IN PAC-10:
Over the last four seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) the Cougars have the third most overall and fourth most conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 93-49 (.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 used overtime to pick up its second road win of the season, an 85-79 victory at Santa Clara Sunday.
Klay Thompson led the Cougars with 23 points, seven of them in the overtime period after tying the game at 71 to force overtime with a 3-pointer.
Reggie Moore scored 11 of his 15 points in the second half, including a 3-pointer toward the end of regulation.
WSU played its first overtime game of the season...2-2 in overtime games under Ken Bone.
DeAngelo Casto recorded his first double-double of the season (15 points, 10 rebounds) and the eighth of his career.
Reggie Moore scored a season-high 15 points...was 8-for-8 from the free throw line.
Santa Clara became the first WSU opponent to make 30 or more free throws (33-for-36) in a game since Colorado State Dec. 14, 2002 (32-for-47).
Thompson had five steals and passed four players to move into 14th on WSU's all-time career steals list...he has 94 steals on his career.
Brock Motum tied his career high with three assists.
For the fourth-straight game, no Cougar scored in double figures in the first half.
WSU trailed at the half (35-29), has trailed at halftime in both road games this season.
Santa Clara became the first WSU opponent this season to shoot perfectly from the free throw line in the first half (12-for-12)...shot nine more first-half free throws than WSU.
CAPERS DISHING, NOT DROPPING:
Cougar junior guard Marcus Capers leads the nation and the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio with a mark of 5.8 (29 assists to just five turnovers).
In the Pac-10 second place is held by Jamelle McMillan with a 3.4 ratio.
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 and rank fifth and 25th, respectively in field goal percentage defense and points allowed per game.
WSU also ranks sixth in 3-point field goal percentage defense and 13th in scoring margin.
BUT OFFENSIVELY STRONG TOO:
The Cougars are ranked 14th in field goal percentage and 41st in points per game in the nation.
WSU is ranked third in the Pac-10 in points per game and second in field goal percentage and 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 1,212 points and currently ranks 16th 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 21.0 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