Dec. 6, 2010
COUGARS HOST BULLDOGS WEDNESDAY: Washington State University men's basketball (5-1) hosts Gonzaga University (4-3), Wednesday, Dec. 8 at 8 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum, as both teams come off of losses to ranked opponents. The game will be televised live on FSN.
ABOUT THE COUGS:
Washington State suffered its first loss of the season Friday, a 63-58 defeat by No. 5 Kansas State, and is currently 5-1 on the season.
WSU is 3-1 at home (wins against Southern, Idaho and Sacramento State), 1-0 at neutral-site games (Portland at Seattle) and 1-0 on the road (at Fresno State).
Juniors Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden are sharing the scoring load, averaging 21.2 and 18.7 points per game respectively...the sharpshooting duo accounts two of the top three scorers in the Pac-10.
Thompson is second in the league and leads the team in assists per game with 4.8...he dished out a career-high nine assists against Idaho (Nov. 16).
Aden is tied for third in the conference in 3-point fields goals made with 15 total and 2.5 per game...he's third in the league and leads the team in steals with 2.2 an outing.
Sophomore forward Brock Motum ranks fifth on the team with 8.8 points per game, while leading the league in field goal percentage with a .759 mark (22-for-29).
DeAngelo Casto, who missed the Cougars' last two games with a sprained foot, is adding 9.3 points and 5.5 rebounds an outing, while Reggie Moore scored 10 points in his first outing of the season against K-State (Dec. 3).
Junior Marcus Capers leads the team and is 10th in the league with 6.8 rebounds a game, adding 7.3 points...he grabbed a career-high 15 boards in the season opener against Southern.
ABOUT THE BULLDOGS:
A presence in both the Associated Press and Coaches Polls in the preseason, Gonzaga dropped out of the rankings after falling to No. 20/21 Illinois, 73-61, Saturday in the Battle in Seattle at KeyArena.
Wednesday marks the first true road game for Gonzaga who is 3-1 at home and 1-2 in neutral-site games.
The Zags and Cougs have a common opponent in Kansas State, whom Gonzaga fell to, 81-65, at Kansas City, Mo. Nov. 22 as part of the O'Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic.
Senior guard Steven Gray leads Gonzaga with 20.0 points per game, adding 4.6 rebounds an outing.
Junior center Robert Sacre is adding 12.1 points and a team-best 7.1 rebounds a game, along with 1.57 blocks per game.
Sophomore Elias Harris, who has seen limited time due to an Achilles tendon injury is adding 9.7 points per game in six contests...he played 24 minutes and scored 12 points in the Bulldogs' last game.
Mark Few is in 12th season with Gonzaga, boasting a 295-76 record with the Bulldogs.
COUGS AGAINST THE BULLDOGS:
Washington State leads the all-time series, 97-47, but has won just two of the last 11 meetings.
Last season Gonzaga was the only ranked team the Cougars faced.
WSU came out strong and held a lead which lasted the majority of the first half and peaked at 15 points with just a few minutes before halftime.
The Cougars led 39-27 at intermission with eight players contributing points.
It was a tale of two halves though, as the Bulldogs recovered behind the strong play of Elias Harris who knocked down 21 second-half points and led Gonzaga to a 74-69 win.
Klay Thompson finished with 15 points, marking the first game of the season he did not reach the 20-point mark. The loss also snapped a three-game winning streak against ranked opponents.
The last time Gonzaga came to Pullman the Bulldogs were ranked fourth in the country and handed WSU it's largest defeat of the season, a 74-52 loss at Friel Court.
WSU AGAINST THE WCC:
WSU holds a 116-54 record against current members of the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars have faced all eight WCC members and have defeated all but Saint Mary's (0-1).
This season WSU has the opportunity to play four of the eight WCC schools, as Gonzaga, Portland and Santa Clara are all on the schedule...WSU could meet San Diego at the Diamond Head Classic at Hawaii.
Of the 169 games against WCC opponents, 144 have come against Gonzaga.
RARE MATCH WITH UNRANKED BULLDOGS:
With Gonzaga falling out of the Associated Press Poll last week, it marks the first time WSU has faced an unranked Gonzaga team since the 2002-03 season.
WSU has struggled with unranked Gonzaga teams as well, having lost the last three meetings when the Bulldogs weren't ranked (2002-03, 1999-2000, 1998-99).
The last time the Cougars defeated the unranked Bulldogs was Dec. 4, 1997 with the Cougars winning 85-70 at Beasley Coliseum.
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 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 90-49 (.652) overall and 38-34 in conference play over the last three years and this season.
UCLA has the best four-year record at 109-41 (.727) overall and 53-20 in league play.
The Cougars need just two wins to catch up to second-ranked Washington and two conference wins to jump USC and tie with Washington for second.
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.
CAPERS DISHING, NOT DROPPING:
Cougar junior guard Marcus Capers ranks second in the nation and leads the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio with a mark of 5.5 (22 assists to just four turnovers).
The nation's leader, Riley Benock of Mississippi State holds a 5.67 mark.
In the Pac-10 second place is held by Jamelle McMillan with a 3.1 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 14th and 17th, respectively in field goal percentage defense and points allowed per game.
WSU also ranks 12th in 3-point field goal percentage defense and 11th in scoring margin.
BUT SCORING ON OFFENSE TOO:
The Cougars 11th in field goal percentage and 52nd in points per game in the nation.
WSU is ranked third in the Pac-10 in both of those categories as well.
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.
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington State fell to fifth-ranked Kansas State, 62-58, Friday, Dec. 3 at Beasley Coliseum.
The game marked WSU's sixth meeting with a ranked nonconference foe and just the third that wasn't Gonzaga.
With the loss the Cougars dropped to 1-74 against top-5 foes.
Klay Thompson led the Cougars with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.
Led by a strong defensive effort by Marcus Capers, the Cougs held preseason All-American Jacob Pullen to eight points.
Reggie Moore made his season debut after missing the first five games after aggravating a wrist injury...he scored 10 points in 27 minutes.
DeAngelo Casto grabbed a team-high seven rebounds and added nine points.
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.
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).
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 1,150 points and currently ranks 19th on the Cougar all-time scoring list...he needs three points to tie Vince Hanson for 18th and 12 to match Kyle Weaver's 1,162 in 17th.
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 21.2 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.