Dec. 17, 2010
COUGARS EMBARK ON 14-DAY ROAD TRIP: Washington State University men's basketball (7-1) will begin a six-game, 14-day road trip as it heads to California to take on Santa Clara (6-5), Sunday, Dec. 19 at 7 p.m. at the Leavey Center.
ABOUT THE COUGS:
Washington State is coming off a nine-day hiatus from games as the university had its finals week this past week.
The Cougars last competed Dec. 10 as they hosted Texas-Pan American at Spokane Arena, defeating the Broncs, 74-52.
WSU is 7-1 overall and receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll and a vote in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
This trip marks just the second road game for the Cougars who defeated Fresno State, 66-55, in their lone true road game Nov. 26.
WSU has also hosted two games on the road, an 84-68 victory over Portland at Seattle's KeyArena (Dec. 23) and its win over Texas Pan-American at Spokane (Dec. 10).
WSU is 4-1 at home (wins against Southern, Idaho, Sacramento State and Gonzaga; loss to Kansas State).
Juniors Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden are sharing the scoring load, averaging 20.8 and 18.3 points per game, respectively...the sharpshooting duo account for two of the top three scorers in the Pac-10.
Thompson leads the league and the team in assists per game with 4.9...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 21 total and 2.6 per game...he's tied for third in the league and leads the team in steals with 2.0 an outing.
Sophomore forward Brock Motum ranks third on the team with 9.3 points per game, while leading the league in field goal percentage with a .756 mark (31-for-41).
DeAngelo Casto, who missed two of the Cougars' games with a sprained foot, is adding 9.0 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)...Moore is averaging 6.0 points a game.
Junior Marcus Capers leads the team and is 11th in the league with 6.1 rebounds a game, adding 6.4 points...he grabbed a career-high 15 boards in the season opener against Southern...he leads the league and the country with a 5.8 assists/turnover ratio (29/5).
WSU AGAINST SANTA CLARA, THE WCC:
The Cougars are 2-0 against the Broncos.
The two teams last met Dec. 28, 1973 as WSU came away with an 82-71 victory.
WSU holds a 117-54 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 170 games against WCC opponents, 145 have come against Gonzaga.
NEXT UP, HAWAI'I:
Following its game at Santa Clara, Washington State heads to Honolulu for the Diamond Head Classic with games Dec. 22, 23 and 25.
WSU faces Mississippi State in the opening game of the tournament at noon Pacific Time, 10 a.m. local time Wednesday.
The Cougars are 1-0 against Mississippi State after facing the Bulldogs just two seasons ago (2008-09) in the semifinals of the Legends Classic in Newark, N.J.
WSU defeated MSU, 63-52, behind Klay Thompson's lone double-double of his career (19 points, 10 rebounds).
The Cougars advanced to the finals in the Legends Classic, falling to then No. 4 Pittsburgh, 57-43.
WSU is guaranteed another familiar opponent in its next game in either San Diego or Baylor.
Last season, Thompson had another big tournament performance as he scored 43 points in WSU's 93-56 victory over San Diego in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout (Nov. 28)...WSU leads the series 2-1.
The Cougars faced Baylor in both 2007-08 and 2008-09 as part of the Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series.
WSU won the game at Waco, Texas, 67-64, Nov. 30, 2007, but fell at home, 58-52, Dec. 6, 2008...the Cougars lead the series, 2-1.
Below is a look at WSU against the rest of the Diamond Head Classic field (the other side of the bracket).
Florida State: 0-1
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 92-49 (.652) overall and 38-34 in conference play over the last three years and this season.
UCLA has the best four-year record at 111-41 (.730) overall and 53-20 in league play.
The Cougars need just one win to catch up to second-ranked Washington and two conference wins to jump USC and tie with Washington for second.
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.
THOMPSON NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN:
For the second time this season and the fourth in his career, Klay Thompson has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 6-12.
The junior guard helped lead the Cougars to wins over Gonzaga and Texas-Pan American last week.
For the week, he averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.0 rebounds.
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington State defeated Texas-Pan American, 74-52, Friday, Dec. 10 at Spokane Arena.
Faisal Aden led WSU with 20 points, while Klay Thompson added 15 and Brock Motum chipped in 13.
WSU got off to a slow start before taking a 36-24 halftime lead.
Aden was 8-for-15 from the field and 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Aden added a career-high seven rebounds, tying the team high.
Motum also had seven rebounds, five of them on the offensive end...he was 6-for-7 from the field.
CAPERS DISHING, NOT DROPPING:
Cougar junior guard Marcus Capers leads the nation and the Pac-10 in assist/turnover ratio with a mark of 5.8 (29 assists to just five turnovers).
In the Pac-10 second place is held by Jamelle McMillan with a 3.1 ratio.
The nation's second place, Riley Benock of Mississippi State, is 0.60 behind with a 5.20 mark (26-to-5).
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 11th and 12th, respectively in field goal percentage defense and points allowed per game.
WSU also ranks fifth in 3-point field goal percentage defense and 10th in scoring margin.
BUT OFFENSIVELY STRONG TOO:
The Cougars are ranked ninth in field goal percentage and 54th in points per game in the nation.
WSU is ranked fourth in the Pac-10 in points per game and leads the league in field goal percentage.
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 1,189 points and currently ranks 16th on the Cougar all-time scoring list.
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 21.6 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.
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.
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.
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).
COUGARS LAST UNDEFEATED TEAM IN LEAGUE...ONE OF 22 IN THE COUNTRY:
Before falling Friday, Dec. 3, 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 PICKED TO FINISH FIFTH:
WSU was chosen to finish fifth in the Pacific-10 Conference in 2010-11, according to a poll of media members who cover Pac-10 basketball.
2010-11 Pac-10 Men's Basketball Media Poll
1. Washington (33) 348
2. Arizona (1) 296
3. UCLA (1) 281
4. Arizona State 215
5. Washington State 191
6. USC 178
7. California 151
8. Oregon State 120
9. Stanford 98
10. Oregon 47
First place votes in parentheses