March 26, 2008
WALNUT CREEK, Calif. - Washington State men's basketball student-athletes Robbie Cowgill, Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie have been named to the 2008 Pacific-10 Men's Basketball All-Academic First Team and Aron Baynes and Nikola Koprivica have been named to the second team, conference commissioner Tom Hansen announced Thursday.
It marks the second-consecutive season and just the second time in school history the Cougars have earned three spots on the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team. Arizona's Bret Brielmaier and Stanford's Taj Finger round out the first team.
A native of Austin, Texas, Cowgill carries a 3.36 grade point average and is a management options major. The senior is a first team member for the third-straight year becoming the second WSU men's basketball student-athlete to accomplish the feat (Carlos Daniel, 1996-98).
On the court, Cowgill has started 33 of WSU's 34 games this season. He is averaging 7.4 points and 5.0 rebounds a game and has a team-high 29 blocked shots. He earned Pac-10 All-Defensive Honorable mention and was named the Pac-10 Scholar Athlete of the Year.
Harmeling, a redshirt-junior from Grand Junction, Colo., is a health and fitness major with a 3.51 grade point average. He is a first team honoree for the second-straight year, becoming the fourth Cougar to accomplish that feat (Cowgill; Daniel; Brian Quinnett, 1987, `89) He played 31 of the Cougars' 34 games this season and was the first man off the bench 26 times. Harmeling's averaging 5.7 points per game and has scored in double figures eight times.
Rochestie, a redshirt-junior from Santa Barbara, Calif., is a communication major with a 3.27 grade point average. This is the first academic honor for him as he is in his second season playing for the Cougars after transferring from Tulane in the middle of the 2005-06 season. Rochestie leads the team, the conference and ranks seventh in the nation in assist/turnover ratio with a 2.9 mark. Rochestie is third on the team with 10.8 points per game and is adding 4.6 assists per outing.
Baynes, a junior from Cairns, Australia, is a movement studies major with a 3.15 grade point average. Last season Baynes was one of three Cougars to pick up first team honors. He has started 33 of WSU's 34 games this season and ranks fourth on the team with 10.3 points per game and leads the team with 5.9 rebounds an outing. This season Baynes earned Pac-10 Honorable Mention accolades.
Koprivica, a sophomore from Belgrade, Serbia, is undeclared with a 3.31 grade point average. He is averaging 11.4 minutes in 33 of WSU's 34 games this season, averaging 2.6 points per outing.
This is the first time in school history the Cougars have had five men's basketball student-athletes receive Pac-10 Academic honors in the same season. WSU leads all Pac-10 schools with its five honorees.
To be eligible for selection to the academic team, a student-athlete must have a minimum 3.0 overall grade-point average and be either a starter or significant contributor.
The fourth-seeded Cougars take on No. 1 North Carolina Thursday, March 27 at Charlotte Bobcats Arena in Charlotte, N.C. in the NCAA Tournament East Regional Semifinals.
First Team Year GPA Major
Bret Brielmaier, ARIZ Sr. 3.09 Interdisciplinary Studies
Robbie Cowgill, WSU Sr. 3.36 Management Operations
Taj Finger, STAN Sr. 3.06 Communication
Daven Harmeling, WSU RJr. 3.51 Health and Fitness Education
Taylor Rochestie, WSU RJr. 3.27 Communication
Second Team Year GPA Major
Alfred Aboya, UCLA Jr. 3.06 Political Science
Aron Baynes, WSU Jr. 3.15 Movement Studies
Nikola Knezevic, CAL So. 3.21 Interdisciplinary Studies
Nikola Koprivica, WSU So. 3.31 Undeclared
Roeland Schaftenaar, OSU So. 3.29 Pre-Business
Honorable Mention: Derek Glasser, So., ASU; Luc Richard Mbah a Moute, Jr., UCLA; Christian Polk, So., ASU; Drew Shiller, So., STAN; Jerren Shipp, So., ASU; Keith Wilkinson, Jr., USC.