Dec. 20, 2005
COUGARS PLAY UTES IN KEYARENA: The Washington State men's basketball team plays "host" to Utah at KeyArena in Seattle, Thursday, Dec. 22...game time is 7:30 p.m...WSU is 6-2 and Utah is 6-3.
ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES: Dick Bennett is 31-34 at Washington State and in his third season on the Palouse...owns a 485-291 career record (.625) in 27 collegiate seasons...guided Wisconsin to 2000 Final Four...Utah's Ray Giacoletti is 35-9 and in his second season with the Utes...overall record is 152-92 in nine seasons...Utah advanced to a regional semifinal during the 2005 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.
SERIES WITH THE UTES: Utah leads 12-1...Utes have won nine of 10 meetings at home and both games in Pullman...Utah captured only neutral site match-up 85-78 at the Far West Classic in Portland, Ore., during 1967-68 season...game at KeyArena is considered neutral site.
ABOUT THE UTES: Utah is 6-3 after a 4-0 start...Utes are 1-2 on the road...lost to Pacific-10 member Arizona, 73-43, in Salt Lake City, Dec. 17...Utah averages 66.7 points per game and shoots 47.2 percent from the field...plus 6.6 in rebounds per game...Bryant Markson leads the Utes with 16.3 points and 5.9 rebounds per outing.
WSU COMPLETES MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE: The Cougars' game against Utah Thursday will mark the fourth time WSU has faced a Mountain West Conference opponent this season...Cougars are 2-1 against the MWC in 2005-06...lost to BYU 76-68, Nov. 22 at Spokane Arena...defeated Wyoming 63-47, Nov. 30 in Pullman...won 60-49 at San Diego State, Dec. 10...WSU is 14-33 all-time against current members of the MWC...WSU is 3-2 under Dick Bennett against the MWC.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY: This is the third straight year under Dick Bennett Washington State will play a game Dec. 22...lost 46-29 at Fresno State in 2003 and 49-47 at Wyoming in 2004...Cougars defeated Arizona 59-57 in Tucson, Dec. 22, 1979 to even their Pac-10 record at 1-1...Bryan Rison led four WSU players in double figures with 18 points...Don Collins added 11 points and nine rebounds...Cougars went on to finish 22-6, 14-4 Pac-10 under George Raveling...advanced to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1941 when WSU finished national runner-up to Wisconsin...Collins led the Pac-10 in scoring average and set a WSU record that still stands with 23.1 points per game...named conference player of the year, the only Cougar in school history to receive the accolade.
TICKETS IN SEATTLE: Tickets for the WSU-Utah game at KeyArena (Dec. 22, 7:30 p.m.) are available at www.ticketmaster.com...for more information about the event, visit www.cougarsinseattle.com...Cougar students with a valid WSU sports pass will be receive free admission.
COUGARS IN PACIFIC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pacific-10 in scoring defense (54.2 points per game), field goal percentage defense (35.4) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (25.4)...Cougars are second to USC (5.00 per game) in blocked shots (4.88 per game)...sophomore Derrick Low is third in assist/turnover ratio (2.25), fourth in assists (4.50 per game), eighth in minutes played (33.00 per game), ninth in 3-point field goal percentage (42.4) and tied for 10th in 3-pointers made (1.75 per game)...sophomore Kyle Weaver is fifth in assists (4.25 per game), tied for eighth in steals (1.88 per game) and 14th in rebounding (5.3 per game)...junior transfer Ivory Clark is sixth in blocked shots (1.63 per game) and ninth in free throw percentage (81.5)...sophomore Josh Akognon is tied for 10th in 3-pointers made (with Low) at 1.75 per game...freshman Aron Baynes is tied for 10th in blocked shots (1.00 per game).
WSU IN NATIONAL RANKINGS: The Cougars are third in scoring defense (54.3 points per game)...Richmond (50.5) and Air Force (54.2) rank 1-2 nationally...WSU is fourth in field goal percentage defense (35.42)...nation's top three are North Carolina State (34.6), Xavier (35.2) and Kansas (35.36).
WASHINGTON STATE NEWCOMERS CONTRIBUTING: The Cougars have eight new faces this season, including a pair of walk-ons...WSU newcomers have accounted for 34 percent of the minutes played and are contributing 37 percent of the scoring...junior transfer forward Ivory Clark leads the team with 13 blocks and ranks sixth in the Pac-10...newcomers have recorded 34 percent of the rebounds grabbed by individuals...first-year Cougars are shooting 53 percent from the field led by freshman Aron Baynes's 57.5 percent.
COUGAR SCORING UP: Washington State is averaging 64.0 points per game this season...Cougars averaged 56.9 points per game during Dick Bennett's first two seasons.
Washington State is averaging 24.9 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.
BALANCED SCORING: The Cougars are averaging 64.0 points per game, led by sophomore Derrick Low's 10.1 per outing...Low is the only WSU player averaging double-figure scoring...five others average at least 7.0 points per game...seven different WSU players have scored in double figures in a game this season, led by Low's five such games...in Cougars' 63-37 win over Idaho, Nov. 26, 11 different WSU players scored, most since 11 had points in a 98-76 win over Washington, March 1, 2003.
WSU NOTCHES WIN IN CLOSE GAME: The Cougars defeated Kansas State 58-57 in Pullman, Dec. 3...first game decided by less than eight points this season...in 2004-05, WSU was 4-8 in games decided by three points or less...dozen games decided by three points or less tied Fresno State for most nationally.
COUGARS POST COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORY: Washington State overcame a 27-21 halftime deficit to win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...just the seventh time in 32 games under Dick Bennett the Cougars have trailed at intermission and emerged victorious.
TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 65 games...in 32 of those, including four this season, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1991-92 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 34 opponents to 55 points or less.
WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars have made at least one 3-pointer in 289 consecutive games...last time Cougars did not make a shot from beyond the arc 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: WSU is 21-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 6-0 in 2005-06...Bennett's Cougars are 19-1, including 3-1 in 2005-06, when outrebounding their opponent...WSU is 17-3 in the Bennett era, including 2-0 this season, when getting to the foul line more often than its opponent.
STREAKS BROKEN IN BENNETT ERA: In two seasons under Dick Bennett, the Cougars have accomplished several firsts and broken many losing streaks...here is a look at the achievements.
COUGAR PLAYER NOTES
#1 Josh Akognon (Petaluma, Calif.)
#2 Derrick Low (Honolulu, Hawaii)
#3 Steve Campbell (Kenmore)
#5 Chris Matthews (Washington, D.C.)
#11 Aron Baynes (Cairns, Australia)
#12 Randy Green (Renton)
#22 John Rasmussen (Yakima)
#23 Antonio Chavers (Fort Worth, Texas)
#25 Kyle Weaver (Beloit, Wis.)
#33 Ivory Clark (New Orleans, La.)
#34 Robbie Cowgill (Austin, Texas)
#42 Chris Henry (Santa Ana, Calif.)
#44 Rodney Edgerson (Peoria, Ill.)
#52 Caleb Forrest (Pagosa Springs, Colo.)