Dec. 7, 2006
WASHINGTON STATE (8-1)
COUGAR HEAD COACH Tony Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett is in his first season at the helm of the Cougar program...fourth year with WSU...assistant coach in 2003-04...associate head coach in 2004-05 and 2005-06...assistant coach at Wisconsin from 2000-03.
STARTING OFF ON THE RIGHT FOOT: Tony Bennett was the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 institution to start 7-0 in his inaugural campaign at the school since Stanford's Robert W. Burnett was 9-0 in 1951-52...Bennett's accomplishment is tied for the third best start in a debut season at Pac-10 school in the post-World War II era.
VISITING THE VANDALS: Idaho is currently 1-7 this season...dropped their opening game to North Dakota State, 91-76...defeated South Dakota State 74-66...have lost six straight, dropping match-ups to Montana State (72-65), Southern Utah, twice (67-50, 72-50), then-No.23 Gonzaga (76-51), then-No.13 Washington (87-66), and Idaho State (82-61)...led by senior Keoni Watson who is averaging 17.1 points per outing...junior Mario Mackey is also contributing averaging 10.0 points per game, while junior Clyde Johnson is pulling down 5.9 boards per outing...head coach George Pfeifer is in his first season with the Vandals.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Dec. 9): The Cougars are currently 15-10 when competing Dec. 9...in 1978, head coach George Raveling led his Cougars to a 84-67 victory over Arizona State...junior Don Collins recorded a double-double to lead WSU with 25 points and 13 rebounds... three other Cougars scored in double figures, Terry Kelly (14), Bryan Rison (12) and James Donaldson (10)...WSU outrebounded the Sun Devils 50-43 and forced 24 turnovers...Collins led the team in points per game and steals during the 1978-79 season...Washington State finished the 1978-79 campaign tied for fourth in the Pac-10.
FIRST YEAR FOES: The Idaho match-up WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett's fifth time facing off against another first year head coach...UAB's Mike Davis, Texas-San Antonio's Brooks Thompson, Idaho State's Joe O'Brien, Portland's Eric Reveno, and Idaho's George Pfeifer are all in their debut seasons...Bennett is 4-0 against coaches in their inaugural campaigns.
OLD RIVALS: Washington State and Idaho are meeting for the 102nd consecutive men's basketball season...two schools have the oldest continuous rivalry West of the Mississippi River...sixth longest continuous rivalry nationally behind Columbia/Yale (106th season), Princeton/Yale (106th season), Pennsylvania/Princeton (105th season), Columbia/Pennsylvania (104th season) and Cornell/Pennsylvania (104th season).
SERIES WITH THE VANDALS: The Cougars are currently 154-107 all-time against Idaho...WSU owns a 66-58 record in Moscow...Cougars have won eight of the last nine meetings...WSU won the last meeting in Moscow (Nov. 30, 2004) 37-36 on a last second dunk by Jeff Varem.
WSU AND THE WAC: The Cougars are 181-123 all-time against current members of the Western Atlantic Conference, including a 65-63 win over Boise State this season.
RUNNING WITH THE RANKED: The Cougars victory over the No. 18 Gonzaga Bulldogs marked the third time in the last five tries that the Cougars have taken down a nationally-ranked opponent...Washington State beat a ranked Washington squad last season in Seattle (No.10) and Pullman (No.16).
FILLING FRIEL: Many of the 10,755 fans that attended the Dec. 5 match-up against Gonzaga rushed the floor after the Cougars' 77-67 victory...crowd was the largest recorded at Friel Court since Feb. 11, 1995 when the Cougars took on No.6 UCLA in front of 11,463.
COUGARS CLIMBING CHARTS: Washington State senior Ivory Clark and juniors Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver continue to move up in the WSU career record lists...Clark who recorded 31 blocks in his debut season has now added 12 to move him into 15th place with 43...Low, who has knocked down 22 treys this season, sits in the 17th spot for 3-point field goals made with 75 and in the 19th spot for 3-point field goal attempts (200)...Weaver has dished out 31 assists this season to place him 17th with 188, just one shy of the 15th spot....has also swatted 14 shots to place him one spot behind teammate Clark with 42 total blocks (16th).
QUALITY SHOOTING: Washington State is shooting 47.9 percent in 2006-07...John Thompson Foundation Challenge (Nov. 10-12) in Milwaukee marked the first time since the 1995-96 season that the Cougars shot 50 percent or better in three consecutive games...Cougars fired a 50.0 field goal percentage over UAB...60.4 field goal percentage over UW-Milwaukee...60.0 field goal percentage over Radford.
IN AND OUT OF HALFTIME: The Cougars are averaging just over a six point advantage over their opponents entering and exiting halftime...WSU has outscored its opponents 126-71 (14.0-7.9 average) over the final four minutes of the first half and first four minutes of the second half.
WSU WINS IN DIFFERENT WAYS: The Cougars led by at least 24 points in each of their first four games this season...Cougars led by double figures at halftime in all four games...first time WSU has posted four consecutive double-digit victories since Nov. 26-Dec. 7, 1996...WSU led for all but 13:26 in the four games...was never tied or behind in the second half...never trailed by more than six points...wins over Idaho State and Boise State came by six points or less...rallied from a 10 point deficit, including seven in the second half to defeat No. 18 Gonzaga...Cougars had lost 16 of their last 18 games decided by six points or less prior to the 2006-07 season.
SAME OLD STORY: Cougar Head Coach Tony Bennett has said the defense his father Dick is famous for is still a staple of the WSU program...Cougars are yielding 58.4 points per game, best in the Pac-10.
COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Washington State is in the top three of the Pac-10 rankings in scoring defense (first, 58.4 points per game), field goal percentage defense (third, 40.6), 3-point field goal percentage (first, 40.7 percent), and field goal percentage (third, 48.6).
COUGARS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: The Washington State Men's basketball team currently holds the most diverse roster in the Pacific-10 Conference with seven states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries represented...ties Arizona to lead the conference with 11 different representations...Pacific-10 conference is the most internationally diverse conference in NCAA Division I...has a total of 24 student-athletes represented by 16 different countries.