Nov. 22, 2009
COUGARS HEAD TO ALASKA: The Washington State University men's basketball team will hit the road for its first trip of the season as it heads to Anchorage, Alaska for the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, Nov. 25-28. The Cougars will open the tournament against host Alaska-Anchorage, Wednesday, Nov. 25 at 8:30 p.m. PST (7:30 p.m. local time).
ABOUT THE GREAT ALASKA SHOOTOUT:
The Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout enters its 32nd year.
The tournament began in 1978 as the Sea Wolf Classic...it moved from the Buckner Field House to Sullivan Arena in 1983.
This season six teams make up the field for the men's tournament.
WSU is in Pool A along with Alaska Anchorage and Nicholls State.
Pool B consists of Houston, Oklahoma and San Diego.
The Cougars take Thursday off and resume action Friday, Nov. 27 taking on Nicholls State at 6 p.m. PST (5 p.m. local time).
Depending on the outcome of their first two games, the Cougars could play at either 3 p.m., 5:30 p.m. or 8 p.m. PST, Saturday, Nov. 28.
For a complete tournament schedule, check out page one of the notes.
The Cougars participated in the Great Alaska Shooutout one other time, during the 1981-82 season.
They defeated Alaska Anchorage and fell to Southwestern Louisiana and Iona to finish 1-2.
That year Southwest Louisiana defeated Marquette in the championship game.
FOLLOWING THE COUGS IN ALASKA:
All nine of the men's games of the Great Alaska Shootout will be televised.
On top of that, all games will be streamed live on GoSeawolves.com....full-tournament subscription packages cost $19.95, while single-day passes can be purchased for $9.95.
See the sidebar on page three for the complete television schedule of the shootout.
ABOUT THE COUGS:
The Cougars enter the game 3-0 after their season opening victory over Mississippi Valley State (94-66, Nov. 13) and wins over Eastern Washington (67-61, Nov. 16) and IPFW (89-70, Nov. 19) also in Pullman.
Sophomore Klay Thompson leads the team in scoring averaging 27.0 points per game...he scored 20 in his season debut, 24 against EWU and a career-high 37 points in his last outing against IPFW.
Thompson's also been solid on the boards as he is tied for the team lead with 4.7 rebounds an outing...he also leads the team with 2.0 steals a game.
Redshirt sophomore Abe Lodwick is tied with Thompson with 4.7 rebounds a game after grabbing a career-high nine boards in the season opener. Sophomore DeAngelo Casto is pitching in 13.7 points and 4.0 rebounds a game.
Reggie Moore, the freshman starting point guard, leads the team with 3.3 assists a game, adding 11.3 points per game.
Next up, the Cougars continue their five-straight games away from Pullman as they head to Gonzaga (Dec. 2) and Kansas State (Dec. 5).
ABOUT THE SEAWOLVES:
An NCAA Division II basketball member, the Seawolves are 2-0 with victories over American Sports University and Hawaii Pacific.
Two players are averaging double figure points, led by Malcolm Campbell with 15.0 points and a team-high 8.0 boards per game.
Nick Pacitti is adding 10.0 points and 6.0 rebounds a game.
THE SERIES WITH ALASKA ANCHORAGE:
Wednesday's matchup is the fourth all-time between the Cougars and the Seawolves.
WSU leads the all-time series, 3-0.
The two teams last met Jan. 3, 1994, with WSU coming out on top, 86-64.
The previous meeting came Dec. 21, 1991, with the Cougars winning 77-68 in Pullman.
In the 1981 Great Alaska Shootout, the two teams met for the first time...WSU defeated UAA, 83-66, in Anchorage.
WSU AGAINST THE REST OF THE FIELD:
The Cougars will also face Nicholls State for sure, Friday, Nov. 27...the two teams have never previously played each other.
WSU will then meet either Houston, Oklahoma or San Diego.
The Cougars have never faced Oklahoma.
They are 1-1 against San Diego and 0-2 against the Cougars of Houston.
MORE ON THURSDAY'S WIN OVER IPFW:
Klay Thompson finished with a career-high 37 points...he reached the 30-point plateau for the first time in his career.
Thompson became the first Cougar to reach 30 points since Taylor Rochestie scored 33 at UCLA, Feb. 21, 2009.
Thompson's 37 points mark the most by a Cougar since Derrick Low put up 37 against Oregon, Jan. 7, 2007.
Thompson scored a career-high 22 first-half points...his previous high was 15 done twice, at UCLA (Feb. 21) and against Oregon (Feb. 12)...Thompson accounted for half of WSU's 44 first-half points.
Thompson started the game 5-for-5 from the field...in his last outing he missed his first six shots.
A NEW SEASON, A NEW KLAY:
After a tremendous freshman season, Klay Thompson has added a new dimension to his game.
Thompson has developed more of an inside game and has found ways to get to the hoop.
Through three games this season, Thompson has attempted 28 free throws...last year he shot 31 free throws the entire season (33 games).
In the season opener he shot nine free throws, marking the first time in his career he shot more than four in one game.
Last year through three games Thompson had yet to attempt a free throw.
He was averaging just 11.3 points per game through three games last year, compared to his 27.0 points per game average this year.
PERFECT AT FRIEL IN NOVEMBER:
WSU concluded its home games in the month of November and is now 37-0 all-time in the month of November at Friel Court.
The Cougars have won 34-straight November games in Pullman and are 39-1 (the loss came before the Cougars moved into Beasley Coliseum).
WSU's only loss in Pullman in November came against Colorado State, Nov., 30, 1963, by a score of 77-47.
TRUE FRESHMEN PUT TO THE TEST:
Reggie Moore became the second Cougar freshman to start a season opener in as many seasons.
Five current Cougars have gotten a starting nod as freshmen (Marcus Capers, DeAngelo Casto, Nikola Koprivica, Reggie Moore and Klay Thompson).
The last time two WSU freshmen started a game came March 17, 2009 when Marcus Capers and Klay Thompson started at Saint Mary's in the NIT.
COUGS SECOND-MOST WINNINGEST TEAM OVER LAST THREE YEARS:
Over the last four seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) the Cougars have the second-most overall and conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 72-33 (.686) overall and 32-22 in conference play over the last three years.
UCLA has the best three-year record at 92-20 (.821) overall and 44-10 in league play.
COUGS CONQUER THE GLOBE:
This summer the WSU basketball program had four team members represent their native countries in international competition.
Three Cougars participated in the FIBA U19 World Championships, as DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson brought home the gold for Team USA.
Brock Motum and Australia took fourth place.
Nikola Koprivica spent his summer representing Serbia for the second-straight year, this time in the World University Games, as the Serbians took home the gold.
Over the last three years, eight different Cougars have represented their respective countries nine times, with four of them having represented the United States.
Five of the Cougars' 16 players on the roster are left-handed on the basketball court (Anthony Brown, Marcus Capers, Nikola Koprivica, Abe Lodwick and Brock Motum).
Capers is only left-handed on the basketball court.
Last season the Cougars also had five lefties on their roster, but lost two following the conclusion of the season (Taylor Rochestie and Nick Witherill).