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Cougars Host Wildcats Thursday at 6 p.m.
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Courtesy: Washington State Athletics
Release: 02/25/2009
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Feb. 25, 2009

     

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COUGARS TAKE ON WILDCATS THURSDAY: The Washington State University men's basketball team (14-13, 6-9) returns to Pullman for its final homstand of the season as it hosts Arizona, Thursday, Feb. 26 at 6 p.m. at Friel Court. The game will be televised live on FSN NW.

LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
• WSU upset No. 20/15 UCLA, Saturday, Feb. 21 at Pauley Pavilion.
Taylor Rochestie scored a career-high 33 points...went 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
• WSU got its second win at UCLA...the Cougars are 2-50 all-time at UCLA and 2-42 at Pauley Pavilion...the only other win came under Dick Bennett, a 55-48 victory, Feb. 5, 2004.
• The Cougar seniors became the first WSU senior class since 1989 to defeat all nine other Pac-10 opponent throughout their careers...the 10th overall.
• Third-year head coach Tony Bennett has now defeated all nine other Pac-10 schools.
• WSU's 42 first-half points are its most in the opening period this season...UCLA's 42 are the most by a Cougar opponent in the first half this season.
• Rochestie and Thompson both scored in double-figures in the first half (12 and 15, respectively)...it marked the first time the duo accomplished that this season.
• Rochestie and Thompson both played all 20 minutes of the first half for the first time this season...first time Thompson had played an entire first half...ninth time for Rochestie.
• Fourth 20-plus point game of the season for Rochestie...the 10th of his career.
• WSU's 82 points mark its most in a game this season.
• Second win over a top-25 team for the Cougars this season (2-4 this year)...improved to 44-206 all-time against teams ranked in the Associated Press top-25...the Cougars are 4-35 against ranked Bruin teams. WSU is also 4-9 against the 20th ranked team in the AP Poll.
• WSU shot a season-high 58.8 percent from the field (30-for-51).
Aron Baynes recorded his second 3-point dunk play in his second-consecutive game...recorded a career-high four assists and added 13 points.
• Thompson reached double figure points in the first half for the 10th time this season...his 15 first-half points ties his career high for the first period...also had 15 against Oregon (Feb. 12)...did not score in the second half.
• Rochestie and Thompson both played all 40 minutes of the game, the first WSU duo to do so this season.

A BRIEF LOOK AT THE LAST MEETING:
• The Cougars fell to the Wildcats, 66-56, in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday, Jan. 31.
Taylor Rochestie led all scorers with 22 points, adding five assists in 40 minutes of action.
Aron Baynes recorded his fourth double-double of the season...the seventh of his career...is averaging 10.6 rebounds per game in the last seven games (74 total).
• Baynes had a career-high 14 rebounds. His previous high was 12 done three times, last at Oregon (Jan. 17).
Daven Harmeling's nine points marked his most since scoring 13 against Montana State (Dec. 13, 2008)...he made multiple field goals for the first time since the game against Montana State.
• Rochestie played his sixth entire game...second in a row.
• Rochestie reached 20-plus points for the second time this season.

WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
DeAngelo Casto leads all Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.3 and is third overall in the category.
Klay Thompson is second among Pac-10 freshmen in scoring with 13.0 points per game and ranked 20th overall.
• He is one of two freshmen ranked in 3-point field goal percentage at seventh with a .426 clip.
• Thompson is also leading the Pac-10 freshman in 3-point field goals made with 2.1 per game, ranked fifth in the conference.
• He leads all freshmen in minutes played with 33.5 minutes per game, ranking 10th overall.

COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
• Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops of the Pac-10 in 10 different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Aron Baynes
Field Goal Percentage - 2nd (.583, 119-for-204)
Blocked Shots - 4th (1.2 bpg)
Rebounding - 5th (7.3 rpg)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (5.4 drpg)
Taylor Rochestie
Minutes Played - 2nd (36.9 mpg)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (1.9 a/t ratio)
Free Throw Percentage - 3rd (.890, 65-for-73)
Assists - t-5th (4.7 apg)
3-point Field Goals Made - 10th (1.8 made pg)
Scoring - 18th (13.3 ppg)

FRESHMEN MARKING UP RECORD BOOKS:
• Freshman DeAngelo Casto has swatted his way onto the WSU freshman class blocks list.
• Fellow true freshman Klay Thompson is on his way to leaving his mark on a number of categories on the freshman class list.
• Thompson is on the lists for scoring, 3-point shooting, blocks, field goals and rebounding.
• A complete list can be found on page five.

BAYNES EYEING 1,000 POINTS:
• Senior center Aron Baynes is looking to become the 30th player in Washington State history to score 1,000 points in his WSU career.
• Now with 968 career points, Baynes needs a total of 32 more points this season to reach the milestone.
• The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.

SENIORS, BENNETT DEFEAT ALL NINE PAC-10 FOES:
• With WSU's win over UCLA Saturday, Feb. 21, this year's senior class (Baynes, Forrest, Harmeling, Rochestie) defeated all nine other Pac-10 schools.
• This year's senior class is the 10th Cougar senior class to accomplish the feat and the first since 1989.
• Third-year head coach Tony Bennett has also defeated all nine Pac-10 opponents at least once in his time as head coach at WSU.

WSU CLAMPS DOWN ON LEADING SCORERS:
• The Cougars have held 17 of their 27 opponents' leading scorers below their average points per game.
• Thursday, Jan. 22 WSU held UCLA's Darren Collison to eight points...he was averaging 14.9 per game on the season.
• WSU has held nine of its opponents' leading scorers to single-digit figures, including three in Pac-10 play (Collison, Cal's Jerome Randle-eight and Oregon's Tajuan Porter-seven).
• The Cougars' opponents' leading scorers are scoring about 23 percent less than their average points per game coming into the game.

THOMPSON SETS FRESHMAN RECORD:
• At Arizona State Thursday, Jan. 29, Klay Thompson set a WSU Freshman Record, tied another and recorded three other top-five freshman performances.
• Thompson's eight 3-pointers marked a WSU freshman single-game record....the previous record was seven set by Bennie Seltzer against Texas Southern, Dec. 9, 1989.
• His 10 made field goals tied the freshman record accomplished by Steve Puidokas twice during the 1973-74 season and once by Mark Hendrickson during the 1992-93 campaign.
• Thompson's 28 points are tied for the third most by a WSU freshman in a single game and are the most by a Cougar freshman in a Pac-10 game. Isaac Fontaine holds the record with 33 against Michigan State, Nov. 27, 1993.
• Thompson also recorded top five marks for single-game field goal attempts (17, tied for fifth) and 3-point field goal attempts (10, tied for fifth).

MORE ON THOMPSON'S 3-POINT PERFORMANCE:
• Thompson's eight 3-pointers falls one shy of the WSU record of nine reached three times, last by Derrick Low against Oregon, Jan. 27, 2007.
• His eight 3-pointers are also the most by an Arizona State opponent since Jeff Lauritzen of Indiana State also had eight on Dec. 1, 1988.
• Thompson's eight 3-pointers are the most made by a Cougar this season...previous high was five accomplished twice, once by Thompson and once by Taylor Rochestie.
• Thompson started the game going 7-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.
• His single-game 80.0 3-point percentage is tied for the 18th best in NCAA Division I this season...the minimum is seven made 3's.
• Thompson is also tied for 22nd in the country for most 3-pointers made in the game with his eight.

MIXING IT UP:
• The Cougars have used six different starting lineups this season.
• Last year head coach Tony Bennett used just three different starting lineups, including an all-senior lineup on `Senior Day'.
• Here is a list at the different starting lineups.
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Harmeling Baynes (11)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Forrest Baynes (4)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Forrest Baynes (5)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (5)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Casto Baynes (1)
• Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-27, Capers-5, Casto-2).

ROCHESTIE SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINTS: • Redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie scored the 1,000th points of his career, Thursday, Jan. 15 at Oregon State.
• His first bucket of the game at the 12:22 mark in the first half put him at 1,001 career points.
• Between his freshman season at Tulane University and this three years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 1,187 points.
• After a junior season in which he tied Baynes for third on the team in scoring with 365 points, Rochestie will need 477 total points this season to get to 1,000 as a Cougar.
• Rochestie has 883 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.

STARTING SMART:
• Four of the five players that started 11 games for the Cougars this season earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic accolades last season.
• The only one of the five who didn't, Klay Thompson, was in high school last year.
Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie earned first-team honors, while Aron Baynes and Nikola Koprivica picked up second-team accolades.
• Harmeling is a three-time conference all-academic honoree, while Baynes has earned the honors twice.

THOMPSON OFFERS `FRESH' START:
• With his start against MVSU Nov. 15, Klay Thompson became the first Cougar freshman to start a season opener since Kyle Weaver started against Montana State, Nov. 19, 2004.
• He also became the first WSU freshman to start a game since Nikola Koprivica started against San Diego State, Dec. 21, 2006.
• A total of six freshmen saw action in the season opener for the Cougs (Marcus Capers, DeAngelo Casto, Charlie Enquist, Abe Lodwick, Klay Thompson, Nick Witherill).
• Four of the freshmen are true freshman (Capers, Casto, Thompson, Witherill). The last time four true freshman played in the season opener was in 2004 (Josh Akognon, Robbie Cowgill, Daven Harmeling, Kyle Weaver).
• Last season just two freshmen played for the Cougars, making a total of 20 appearances (one true freshman, one redshirt freshman).
• This year seven WSU freshmen have combined for 123 appearances in the first 27 games.
• Against Idaho State, Dec. 2, Montana State, Dec. 13 and Oregon, Feb. 12, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action in each game.

COUGARS SET FREE THROW RECORDS:
• With a 28-for-28 performance from the free throw line Saturday, Jan. 17 at Oregon, WSU set a Pac-10 record for free throw percentage.
• The previous record held by USC was set against Oregon, March 8, 2002.
• The NCAA record is 34-for-34 set in 1981 by UC Irvine and in 1990 by Samford.
• The Cougars broke the school record, bettering the 19-for-19 performance from the free throw line March 1, 1968 against Oregon.
• WSU's 28-for-28 performance is the best in NCAA Division I this season, bettering Mississippi's 22-for-22 performance against South Alabama, Nov. 18.
Taylor Rochestie tied Marcus Moore for the WSU free throw percentage record, going 16-for-16 from the free throw line.
• Moore set the record against Arizona State, Jan. 12, 2002.
• Rochestie holds the second-best free throw performance in NCAA Division I this season...Jeremy Wise of Southern Mississippi went 19-for-19 from the free throw line, Dec. 18.
• The Cougars had another perfect performance from the free throw line against USC Jan. 24, going 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.

SOUTHPAW HEAVY:
• Five of the Cougars' 16 players on the roster are left-handed on the basketball court. (Marcus Capers, Abe Lodwick, Nikola Koprivica, Taylor Rochestie and Nick Witherill).
• Capers is only left-handed on the basketball court.
• All five of the lefties are guards.
• On top of that, Aron Baynes writes with his left hand, and can shoot with both.
• The Cougars are led by a sharp-shooting left-handed point guard in head coach Tony Bennett.

ROCHESTIE NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Taylor Rochestie was named the U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 16-22.
• Rochestie averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds, four assists and 1.5 steals in 39.5 minutes per game as the Cougars dropped their game at USC Thursday, 61-51, but defeated No. 20/15 UCLA, 82-81, Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.
• In the upset of UCLA Saturday, Rochestie had the game of his career, scoring a career-high 33 points, while adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals playing all 40 minutes.
• He shot .714 from beyond the three point arc, hitting 5-of-7 and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
• The point guard accounted for over half of WSU's 40 second-half points, scoring 21 in the final period.
• His 33-point performance marked the second 30-plus scoring game of the season for Rochestie, as he became the first Cougar to score 30 or more points in multiple games since Marcus Moore had three 30-plus games during the 2002-03 season...he is the only player to accomplish the feat in the Dick and Tony Bennett era.
• Against USC Thursday, Rochestie led the Cougars in scoring with 16 points, adding five rebounds, four assists and one steal and just one turnover in 39 minutes of action.
• He led the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and minutes played, becoming the first WSU player this season to lead the team in those five categories.
• After Saturday's win over UCLA, Rochestie's senior class became one of 10 WSU senior classes to defeat all nine other Pac-10 teams during their careers and the first since 1989.
• The honor is the first for Rochestie, who is one of 15 Cougars to receive the accolades and it marks the 19th time Washington State has earned the award.
• The last Cougar to be named player of the week was Daven Harmeling who received it twice during the 2006-07 season (Dec. 10 and Feb. 4).

HARMELING AND ROCHESTIE EARN ACADEMIC HONOR:
• Seniors Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie were named to the ESPN The Magazine District VIII All-Academic First Team as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
• Harmeling has a 3.54 grade point average in health and fitness.
• Rochestie has a 3.37 grade point average and is majoring in communication.
• Harmeling received second team all-district honors as a sophomore in 2006-07...he is a two-time Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic First Team honoree.
• Rochestie received Pac-10 All-Academic First Team honors last season as a junior.
• Rochestie and Harmeling are the first Cougar duo to earn first team all-district honors in the same season.
• Both Harmeling and Rochestie are now eligible for a chance to become CoSIDA Academic All-Americans...the last Cougar Academic All-American was Carlos Daniel who was named to the third team in both 1997 and 1998.

COUGS AMONG YOUNGEST TEAMS IN THE COUNTRY:
• With nine total freshman, WSU is tied with three other schools for the most freshmen on a roster in the country. The Cougs are tied with Presbyterian, High Point and The Citadel.
• The Cougars' group of seven true freshmen is tied for the fourth most true freshmen on an NCAA Division I roster in the nation. Duquesne, Saint Louis and Iona each have eight true freshmen on their rosters.
• WSU's seven scholarship freshmen also ties them for third in the country for most scholarship freshmen...Duquesne and Saint Louis each have eight scholarship freshmen.
• Although freshmen-heavy, the Cougars older players make up for it. Among the youngest teams by average age, the Cougars rank 10th in the country with an average age of 19.87 years old. Arizona State (19.81 years old) ranks directly ahead of the Cougs, while Oregon (19.93 years old) is right behind WSU at 11th.

FOUR COUGARS PLAY 100TH GAMES:
• WSU's game against USC Jan. 24 was the 100th of Caleb Forrest's career.
• The Cougars' game Dec. 21 at Idaho was the 100th game of Aron Baynes' career.
• WSU's Dec. 6 game against Baylor was the 100th game of Daven Harmeling's career.
• WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career.
• Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane.

COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
• Six of WSU's opponents this season are ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls, including the No. 1 team in the country, Pittsburgh. •Two others are receiving votes.
• Pittsburgh (1), Arizona State (14/11), Gonzaga (17), LSU (18), Washington (21) , UCLA (22/19)...California and Arizona are receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
• WSU got its first win over a ranked opponent this season, defeating No. 14 Arizona State, Jan. 29 in Tempe and its second over No. 20/15 UCLA, Feb. 21 in Los Angeles.

UWSP COURT NAMED IN HONOR OF BENNETTS:
• UW-Stevens Point honored former Pointer coaches Dick Bennett and Jack Bennett by naming the men's basketball court "Bennett Court."
• The court naming in honor of the Bennetts for their dedication to basketball, leadership, and character is part of a recent successful campaign at UWSP aimed at showcasing the storied tradition of greatness in athletics and the Pointer basketball program.

Washington State Cougars Men's Basketball
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