March 22, 2011
COUGARS HOST WILDCATS WITH TRIP TO MADISON SQUARE GARDEN AT STAKE: The stakes are high as second-seeded Washington State University men's basketball (21-12) hosts No. 4 Northwestern (20-13), Wednesday, March 23 at 8 p.m. PT. in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) Quarterfinals. The game can be seen live on ESPN2. The winner of Wednesday's game will take on the winner of the Virginia Tech Region at Madison Square Garden March 29, as No. 4 Wichita State and No. 6 College of Charleston meet at 4 p.m. PT Wednesday.
ABOUT THE COUGARS:
The Cougars hold a 21-12 overall record and finished sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 9-9 league mark.
WSU advanced to the NIT Quarterfinals with a 74-64 victory over Oklahoma State Monday (March 21) at Beasley Coliseum.
The Cougs are 12-4 at Beasley Coliseum this season and were 6-3 at home in conference play.
WSU's home losses came to NCAA-Tournament participants Kansas State, Arizona and UCLA, along with Stanford.
WSU has now won two-straight games after dropping its last two regular season games, the Pac-10 tournament game to Washington and a home loss to UCLA in overtime March 5...the Cougs have not won more than two-straight games since December.
Junior Klay Thompson leads the team, the conference and ranks eighth in the country with 22.2 points per game.
He also ranks in the league's top-seven in 3-point field goals made per game (13th in the country), free throw percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, steals and assists.
Junior transfer Faisal Aden is second on the team and 15th in the league with 12.9 points per game...he's scored in double-figures in the last three games.
Junior DeAngelo Casto leads the Cougs in rebounding and ranks eighth in the league with 6.8 boards a game...he's third on the team and 18th in the league in scoring with 12.1 points, while ranking second in the conference with 1.8 blocks per game.
Sophomore point guard Reggie Moore, who has missed six games this season, is adding 9.0 points and a league ninth-best 3.5 assists an outing.
IN THE NIT:
Washington State is making its second appearance in the National Invitation Tournament in three years and the fifth time in its history.
The Cougars are now 6-4 all-time in NIT games and have won at least one game in the tournament in four of their five our appearances.
Two seasons ago (2008-09), WSU entered the NIT as the No. 7 seed and feel to No. 2 Saint Mary's, 68-57, in the first round at Moraga, Calif.
Three current Cougars played in WSU's last NIT appearance, Marcus Capers, DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson...all three were freshmen...Thompson finished with seven points, while Capers and Casto each contributed six.
WSU has won all five NIT games it has hosted at Pullman...four of the five were first round games.
In 1992 WSU defeated Minnesota in the first round at home, in 1995 it was a victory over Texas Tech at home and in 1996 the Cougars defeated Gonzaga in the first round at Pullman...now this year WSU defeated Long Beach State and Oklahoma State at home.
The Cougars have advanced to the quarterfinals just one other time, during the 1995 NIT...WSU lost at Canisius in that round.
WSU has faced just one other current Big Ten team in the NIT as it hosted Minnesota in its first NIT game, March 18, 1992.
The Cougars won the game, 72-70.
WSU and California represented the Pac-10 in the NIT this year...the two teams tie for the most from the league in the NIT since 1998-99, when three teams went.
Three Pac-10 teams have won the NIT Championship, UCLA in 1985, Stanford in 1991 and California in 1999...just five times has a Pac-10 team advanced to the semifinals, the last to do so was Oregon in 2004, finishing third.
For more information on WSU in the NIT see pages 5-6 of these notes.
AGAINST THE WILDCATS:
Washington State and Northwestern have met five times in the two schools' histories as the Wildcats hold a 3-2 advantage in the series.
The two teams first met Dec. 14, 1939, as Northwestern won that game 41-29 at Evanston.
The last meeting came Dec. 30, 1996 at the Rainbow Classic at Honolulu...WSU won the game, 68-52.
WSU holds a 15-28 record against current members of the Big Ten Conference.
The Cougars have faced 10 of the 11 teams, but have not come across a Big Ten opponent in 14 years...WSU last faced a member of the league Dec. 30, 1996, its victory over Northwestern.
That game came one day after an 85-79 loss to Michigan.
Penn State is the only current Big Ten member that WSU has never faced.
Wisconsin is the only Big Ten school WSU does not have a losing record against (4-4).
THOMPSON'S RECORD-BREAKING SEASON:
Junior Klay Thompson has already five WSU career and single-season records this year.
He is WSU's all-time single-season scoring leader with 710 points so far this season...he passed Isaac Fontaine who set the record in 1997 with 657 points.
Thompson is also the Cougars' career leader for 3-point field goals made...he now has 242 made 3-pointers and took the crown from Eddie Hill who played at WSU from 1991-94 and made 233.
Thompson also holds the career record for 3-point field goals attempted (610), and the season records for 3-point field goals made (98) and field goal attempts (523).
THOMPSON BECOMES THIRD ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER:
Klay Thompson has 1,733 points in 96 career games, ranking third in WSU's career record books.
As a sophomore he became the 31st Coug and third-fastest to reach 1,000 points as he did it in his 63rd career game March 6, 2010.
Isaac Fontaine holds the school record with 2,003 points in his career from 1994-97.
Steve Puidokas ranks second with 1,894 points from 1974-77.
If Thompson were to score his career average of 18.1 points per game as a senior, he would add 579 points next year, giving him 2,312 points...that would rank sixth all-time in conference history.
Thompson's current 1,733 points ranks 45th in Pac-10 history for career scoring.
KLAY TEARS UP PAC-10 TOURNAMENT RECORD BOOKS TOO:
Although the Cougars played just one game in the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament, Klay Thompson left his mark, setting or tying five single-game tournament records.
Thompson set the single-game scoring record with 43 points, passing California's Leon Powe's 41 which he accomplished in two overtimes against Oregon, March 10, 2006...Reggie Miller of UCLA had the regulation record with 39 points against Arizona State, March 6, 1987.
Thompson also bettered Miller's single-half record of 24 points with 25 of his own in the second half.
Thompson's eight 3-point field goals is a record as well, bettering seven done by Arizona's Salim Stoudamire and Oregon's Bryce Taylor.
He also tied Reggie Miller's field goal record (15) and the 3-point field goal attempt record (14), done four times, most recently by former Coug Derrick Low.
Two of Washington State's last three losses have been decided by four points or less and both came with the Cougars down at least one starter or significant contributor.
The Cougars' 58-54 overtime loss to UCLA March 5 came without starters Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore...Thompson was suspended, while Moore injured his ankle in the previous game.
WSU's 71-69 loss at Arizona State Feb. 19 came without sixth-man Faisal Aden, who has been battling knee problems all season.
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington State advanced to the quarterfinals of the NIT with a 74-64 victory over Oklahoma State, Monday, March 21 at Beasley Coliseum.
Klay Thompson finished with 21 points and has now scored 20 or more points in seven-straight games.
Thompson's 710 points this season are the most by a Pac-10 player since Ike Diogu scored 724 points during the 2004-05 season...third most since 1993-94.
Brock Motum was two points shy of his career high with 17 points.
Abe Lodwick tied his career high with three 3-pointers made...tied season high with nine points.
Casto blocked four shots, matching his season-high...his second-straight game with four blocks.
The Cougars improve to 2-1 against Big 12 teams this year...defeated Baylor and Oklahoma State and fell to Kansas State.
WSU advances to the third round of the NIT for just the second time...the other time was in the 1995 NIT when the Cougars fell to Canisius, 89-80 at Buffalo.
WSU has won all five of its NIT home games...moved to 6-4 overall at home in the tournament.
THOMPSON RETURNS TO PAC-10 40-POINT CLUB:
Klay Thompson is one of just two Pac-10 Players to reach the 40-point plateau over the last five seasons...he has reached it twice.
Thompson scored 43 against Washington March 10 at the Pac-10 Tournament and 43 against San Diego at the Great Alaska Shootout as a sophomore, Nov. 28, 2009.
James Harden of Arizona State scored 40 points against UTEP, Nov. 30, 2008.
Thompson's 43 are the most points scored by a Pac-10 player since Jason Kapono of UCLA scored 44 against WSU, Jan. 4, 2003.
Below is a look at 40-point scorers in the Pac-10 since 2002-03.
Klay Thompson (WSU) - 43 vs. Washington - 3/10/11
Klay Thompson (WSU) - 43 vs. San Diego - 11/28/09
James Harden (ASU) - 40 vs. UTEP - 11/30/08
Leon Powe (Cal) - 41 vs. Oregon - 3/10/06
Luke Jackson (Ore) - 42 vs. Arizona - 02/19/04
Desmon Farmer (USC) - 40 vs. Arizona - 01/15/04
Luke Jackson (Ore) - 40 vs. Colorado - 03/17/04
Jason Kapono (UCLA) - 44 vs. WSU - 01/04/03
Marcus Moore (WSU) - 42 vs. Gonzaga - 12/07/02
Wednesday's game will reunite Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto with Northwestern's John Shurna, whom the duo played on the USA U19 World Championship team with during the summer of 2009.
The USA U19 World Championship team took home the gold medal as it went 9-0 in the tournament at Auckland, New Zealand.
Thompson and Casto have faced one other former teammate this season, Butler's Shelvin Mack.
WSU's Brock Motum also played in the championships, representing Australia.
COUGARS EARN ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS:
Klay Thompson was named to the 2010-11 All-Pac-10 Team...he is the fourth player in Cougar history to be named to the first team during multiple seasons.
DeAngelo Casto was named to the All-Pac-10 second team as well as the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team.
Last year Casto was named honorable mention and to the all-defensive team.
Both Cougars earned Pac-10 All-Freshmen Accolades as rookies in 2008-09.
WSU REACHES 20 WINS:
At 21-12, Washington State has reached 20-wins for the 18th time in school history.
It's just the third time since 1994-95 that the Cougars have reached 20 wins in a season.
The 21 wins are tied for 15th most wins by a Cougar team.
Ken Bone is just the sixth WSU head coach to lead his team to a 20-win season.
DOUBLING UP IN A HALF:
Klay Thompson is dominating not just games, but halves over his career.
In his career Klay Thompson has had 81 halves with at least 10 points, 40 times in the first half and 41 in the second half.
He has scored 15 or more points in 28 halves, 12 in the first and 16 in the second.
Thompson has scored 20-plus points in a half eight times, three in the first half, five in the second half.
In 23 games Thompson has scored in double figures in both halves, three as a freshman, eight as a sophomore and 12 so far as a junior.
This season Thompson has scored in double figures in 39 halves.
Faisal Aden (16 halves), DeAngelo Casto (10 halves), Reggie Moore (five halves), Brock Motum (four halves) and Patrick Simon (one half) have each reached double figures in at least one half this season as well.
Moore reached double figures in 16 halves last year as a freshman, one shy of Thompson's freshman mark.
THOMPSON EARNS NABC AND USBWA HONORS:
Klay Thompson was named to both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and United States Basketball Writers' Association (USBWA) all-district teams.
Thompson became one of three Cougars to earn NABC first team all-district honors in their career.
He is the first Cougar to be honored by the USBWA multiple times.
THOMPSON NAMED WOODEN AND NAISMITH MIDSEASON CANDIDATE:
Klay Thompson was one of 30 midseason candidates for the 2010-11 John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Award.
Earlier this season, Thompson became the first Cougar to make the preseason lists since Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were both named to the preseason top-50 prior to the 2007-08 season.
He is the first to move on to the Wooden midseason top-30 since Low went on to make the midseason cut that year...the first to make the Naismith top-30 cut since Weaver in 2007-08.
Thompson was joined by Isaiah Thomas (Washington) and Derrick Williams (Arizona) on both lists.
KLAY A CANDIDATE FOR SPORTS STAR OF THE YEAR:
Klay Thompson was one of five candidates for the 2010 Male Sports Star of the Year presented by ROOT SPORTS, put on by the Seattle Sports Commission.
The award was given to Olympic speed skater Apolo Ono at the awards show held Jan. 26.
The Male Sports Star of the Year is awarded to a male athlete or coach for outstanding achievement in 2010 in a non-professional sport.
Also nominated for the award are University of Washington student-athletes Quincy Pondexter (basketball) and Mason Foster (football), and Olympic speed skaters Apolo Ono and J.R. Celski.
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.
For the week, he averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.0 rebounds.