Feb. 1, 2008
COUGARS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK AGAINST NO. 14 CARDINAL
The ninth-ranked Washington State men's basketball team comes off its first home loss of the season as it hosts No. 14 Stanford, Saturday, Feb. 2 at noon PST. The game will be televised live on FSN.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
Currently ranked ninth in the country, the Cougars fell to California, 69-64, Thursday at Friel Court.
The loss dropped the team to third in the league with a 17-3 record and 5-3 league mark.
The Cougars lead the league and rank third in the nation allowing just 54.4 points per game.
Also able to deliver on the offensive end, WSU is second in the conference and 10th in the nation with a .493 field goal percentage.
WSU's offense is paced by Derrick Low's 13.6 points per game, followed closely by Aron Baynes and Kyle Weaver with 11.0 and 11.3 points per game, respectively.
Weaver leads the team with 1.8 steals per outing and ranks second with 4.4 assists per game.
Taylor Rochestie is adding 9.3 points per game while leading the league with 5.2 assists per game.
His 3.15 assist/turnover ration ranks fifth in the nation. per game. The Cougars are 42-197 all-time versus ranked opponents.
ABOUT THE CARDINAL
Stanford (16-3, 5-2) enters Thursday's game at Washington as the No. 14 team in the nation and is on a three-game winning streak with wins at home over Arizona and Arizona State and a victory at California.
The top rebounding and shot blocking team in the league, the Cardinal boasts the Pac-10's leading shot blocker in Robin Lopez with 2.16 blocks per game.
His twin brother Brook Lopez leads the team with 17.8 points per game in 10 of the team's 19 games this season.
Guard Anthony Goods joins him in double-figures with 12.0 points per game.
Guard Mitch Johnson has taken care of the ball this season as he ranks third in the conference with 4.79 assists per game and a 2.17 assist/turnover ratio as he is one of two Cardinal players to start all 19 games this season.
THE SERIES AGAINST STANFORD
Stanford enters Saturday's game with a four-game winning streak, having last lost at Oregon Jan. 13.
The 14th-ranked Cardinal is in second place in the Pac-10 at 6-2 in league play and 17-3 overall.
Despite playing just 11 of the team's 20 game this season, Brook Lopez leads the team with 19.0 points per game, while adding a team-best 8.4 rebounds per outing.
His twin brother Robin Lopez is adding 8.8 points per game, while leading the league and ranking 33rd in the nation with 2.2 blocked shots per game.
Anthony Goods is one of two Cardinal players to start all 20 games this season, adding 11.6 points per game.
AVOIDING THE SWEEP
The Cougars have not been swept in a weekend Pacific-10 Conference series under head coach Tony Bennett.
WSU has swept four weekend series under Bennett (games against UW aren't counted).
Only two teams have swept the Pac-10 season series over the Cougars under Bennett (UCLA and Oregon in 2006-07).
On the contrary, WSU swept six season series last year (Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, USC and Washington).
WSU has not lost consecutive games since its final two games of the 2005-06 season.
DISHING IT OUT
Despite ranking eighth in the Pac-10 in assists per game, the Cougars boast two of the top-five assists men in the league.
Junior Taylor Rochestie leads the league and ranks 42nd in the nation with 5.2 assists per game.
Rochestie is second in the league and fifth in the nation with a 3.15 assists/turnover ratio (104 assists to 33 turnovers).
Senior Kyle Weaver ranks fifth in the league with 4.35 dishes per contest.
THE 1,000-POINT MILESTONE
Senior Derrick Low became the 28th Cougar to score 1,000 career points just three points into WSU's win over Oregon State Jan. 17.
Kyle Weaver enters the weekend with 962 points, just 38 shy of 1,000 career points.
Weaver is on pace to become the 29th Cougar to reach the milestone. The last Cougar to reach the milestone was Thomas Kelati(2002-05) who reached 1,081 points in Low and Weaver's freshmen season.
The last teammates to reach the milestone together were Terry Kelly and Don Collins in 1980.
Three Cougars have never reached 1,000 career points in the same season.
COWGILL'S STARTS STREAK ENDS
Senior Robbie Cowgill was left out of the starting lineup at Arizona (Jan. 24) for the first time since his freshmen season (Feb. 12, 2005).
Cowgill had started 82-consectutive games for WSU, marking the fourth-most consecutive starts by a Cougar since starts were kept beginning in 1982-83.
Most Consecutive Starts (starts kept beginning with 1982-83 season)
1. Mark Hendrickson - 108 (1992-96)
2. Isaac Fontaine - 90 (1993-97)
3. Keith Morrison - 86 (1982-86)
4. Robbie Cowgill - 82 (2004-present)
FRIELS LIKE HOME
The Cougars' loss Thursday snapped their seven-game winning streak at Friel Court dating back to March 1, 2007.
The last nonconference loss at Friel Court came Nov. 22, 2005.
WSU has won nine-straight nonconference games on its home court (not including wins in Spokane).
Despite its stellar home record, WSU has proven it can win on the road as it is tied with Butler for the most wins away from its home court this season with 11.
Only seven teams have fewer losses on the road this season than the Cougars.
LOW IN THE CLUTCH
Derrick Low is averaging 9.1 of his team-leading 13.6 points per game in the second half this season.
In the eight games WSU has trailed at the half, Low is averaging 17.4 points per game, over three points above his average.
He is averaging four 3-pointers per game in those contests.
Low is averaging 14.8 of those points in the second half. He is 29-for-42 (.690) from 3-point range in the second half when WSU trails at intermission.
Junior Aron Baynes, at 6-10, 270, has been an effective inside presence for the Cougars this season.
Baynes is second on the team with 11.9 points per game, leads the team with 6.2 rebounds per game and ranks second with 19 blocks this season.
He's controlled 18 of the 20 jump balls he's vied for this season.
Baynes is averaging nine points and four rebounds more this season than through 20 games last season (2.9 points, 2.3 boards).
ONE TEAM LEFT FOR SENIORS; BENNETT
The Cougars snapped a 13-game losing streak to Oregon with its 69-60 victory over the Ducks Jan. 20.
The win was the first over Oregon for head coach Tony Bennett.
It was also the first for all members of the team, including the seniors who have now defeated all Pac-10 teams with the exception of UCLA.
If the Cougars can get the win over UCLA, this year's senior class will become the first since 1989 to accomplish the feat of defeating all nine other Pac-10 schools in their career.
A win over UCLA would also allow this year's junior and sophomore classes to accomplish that feat.
PLAYING IN FRONT OF FANS
The Cougars are averaging 8,867 fans in their seven games thus far at Friel Court this season, ranking fourth amongst Pac-10 schools.
WSU has played in front of 10,000 or more fans in all seven of its eight Pac-10 games this season, including two games at Pullman.
Home attendance average is up nearly 3,000 fans than at this point last season.
Tickets for the general public are already sold out for five of WSU's final six home games (tickets remain for WSU's game against Arizona State Feb. 21).
LOW AND WEAVER MAKE MIDSEASON CUTS
Derrick Low is one of 30 collegiate men's basketball players to be named to the midseason John R. Wooden Award candidate list.
Kyle Weaver has been named to the Naismith Trophy midseason top-30 list.
BENNETT REACHES 40TH CAREER VICTORY
WSU second-year head coach Tony Bennett reached his 40th career coaching victory as the team defeated USC Jan. 10.
Last season Bennett put in the 13th-best coaching debut in NCAA Division I history as the team went 26-8.
At 43-11, Bennett is just seven wins shy of 50 career wins, which would tie him for 10th in NCAA history for wins by a second-year head coach.
Bill Guthridge holds the record with a 58-14 mark in his first two seasons at North Carolina.
COUGARS N RPI
Washington State dropped to 18th in the latest RPI (Rating Percentage Index) standings released this week.
UCLA and Arizona are the only Pac-10 school ranked higher than the Cougars at seventh and 10th, respectively.
The Pac-10 as a whole ranks second in the RPI.
RECAPPING LOSS TO CAL
The Cougars drop to 44-68 in the all-time series against the Golden Bears...27-26 at home.
WSU ended its seven-game winning streak at Friel Court which dated back to March 1, 2007.
The tie at 35 at halftime marked the first time this season the Cougars have been knotted after 20 minutes...WSU is 1-1 under Bennett when tied at the half.
WSU was outscored in the second half for just the second time this season.