Nov. 20, 2008
COUGARS HOST THIRD-STRAIGHT HOME GAME: The Washington State University men's basketball team (2-0) continues its season-opening four-game home stand as it hosts Sacramento State (0-2), Friday, Nov. 21 at 6 p.m. at Friel Court. The Cougs hit the floor before the WSU volleyball team takes the court at Bohler Gym at 8 p.m., kicking off an eventful weekend in Washington State Athletics.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
WSU defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 55-33, Tuesday at Friel Court in the Pullman Regional of the Legends Classic.
The Cougars held FDU to 15 first-half points...it marked the 11th time that a WSU opponent has not reached the 20-point mark in the first half under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
WSU improved to 32-0 all-time at Friel Court during the month of November...the Cougars have won 28-straight games in Pullman in November.
A technical foul has been called against the opposing bench in both of the Cougars games this season.
For the second-straight game, eight of the nine Cougars to play in the first half scored.
Five freshmen played in the game, three true freshmen (Klay Thompson-starter, Marcus Capers and DeAngelo Casto-first sub) and two redshirt freshmen (Abe Lodwick and Charlie Enquist).
Nikola Koprivica scored in double figures for just the fourth time in his career...his 10 points was a team high, marking the first time he's led the team in scoring.
KEEPING THE NONCONFERENCE STREAK ALIVE:
The Cougars went 12-0 in their regular season nonconference schedule last season.
Combined with the four regular season nonconference games that WSU ended the nonconference season with, WSU has won 18-straight regular season nonconference games.
The Cougars won 19-straight regular season nonconference games during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.
WSU won 23-straight regular season nonconference games during the 1931-32, 1932-33 and 1933-34 seasons.
NEARLY PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU is 32-0 all-time in the month of November at Friel Court and has won 29-straight November games in Pullman and is 33-1 (the loss came before the Cougars moved into Beasley Coliseum).
The Cougars' only loss in Pullman in November was 77-47 to Colorado State, Nov. 30, 1963.
WSU is a perfect 16-0 in the month of November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
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).
Five freshmen saw action in WSU's second game of the season, four of them appeared in the first half.
FRESHMEN LEADING BLOCK PARTY:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto's four blocks against Mississippi Valley State Nov. 15 tied him for the third most by a freshman in a game.
Carlos Daniel had the best freshman debut blocks-wise with five against Eastern Washington, Nov. 29, 1994...Aron Baynes also had five blocks as a freshman at San Diego State, Dec. 10, 2005.
Casto followed with a two-block performance against Fairleigh Dickinson...he's averaging 3.0 blocks per game.
In the second game of the season, freshman Klay Thompson led the Cougs in blocks with three...he's tied for second on the team with 1.5 blocks a game.
Redshirt freshman Charlie Enquist also has three blocks on the season, tying with Thompson for third on the team with 1.5 blocks per game.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season the Cougars have won both games by margins of victory greater than 20 points.
WSU's final two wins of the 2007-08 season were also by 20 or more points (61-41 over Notre Dame-3/22; 71-40 over Winthrop-3/20).
The Cougars have had a 20 or more point margin of victory in each of their last four wins.
ROCHESTIE TO PLAY 100TH GAME:
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marks the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane and has played 71 games. The point guard has started 67 of his 99 games thus far, including 42 starts at WSU.
ENDING ON A GOOD NOTE:
In WSU's victory over Fairleigh Dickinson Nov. 21, no Cougar missed their final free throw of the game.
The Cougs shot 77.8 percent from the charity stripe (7-for-9), while five players made at least one free throw attempt.
No Cougar shot more than two free throws individually.
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 666 career points, Baynes needs a total of 334 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
ROCHESTIE CLOSING IN TOO:
Redshirt senior guard Taylor Rochestie is also closing in on the 1,000-point mark for his career.
Between his freshman season at Tulane University and the last two years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 839 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 535 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
Despite a roster with just five seniors (including walk-on Ryan Bailey), the majority of WSU's points came from the senior class in the opening game.
The seniors accounted for 43 of WSU's 76 points (57 percent), including the game's only two double-digit scorers in Aron Baynes (14 points) and Caleb Forrest (13 points).
Five seniors played in the season opener, one junior and six freshmen. The freshmen cumulated 25 points.
In the second game, the lone junior, Nikola Koprivica, led the scoring column with 10 points.
This season the upperclassmen have outscored the freshmen, 86-40. (No sophomores have seen action).
COUGARS RECEIVING VOTES:
Although the Cougars haven't been ranked this season, they still continue to receive votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
WSU has 13 votes in the AP Poll and four in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Four of WSU's opponents this season are ranked, as is Pittsburgh, a possible opponent for the Cougars in the Legends Classic. UCLA (4), Pittsburgh (6), Gonzaga (9/11), Arizona State (15) and USC (19/20) are all ranked.
On top of that, three of the Cougars' opponents are recieving votes (Baylor-both, LSU-AP, Washington-both).
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.
ABOUT THE LEGENDS CLASSIC:
The 2008 Legends Classic is a 12-team tournament featuring teams from 12 different conferences.
Four teams from four top conferences start the tournament with opening round games on their home courts.
Those four teams will advance to the championship round of the tournament at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Nov. 28-29 (Pittsburgh, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, WSU).