Feb. 12, 2008
WSU HEADS TO OREGON SCHOOLS: The Washington State men's basketball team (18-5, 6-5) will look to maintain their momentum as they take on Oregon State (6-17, 0-11) Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Gill Coliseum at Corvallis, followed by a trip to Eugene to play Oregon (14-9, 5-6) Saturday at 6 p.m. Thursday's game can be seen on FSN NW, while Saturday's will be televised on FSN.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
The Cougars are ranked 21st in the nation with an 18-5 record and are tied for third in the league at 6-5 in Pacific-10 Conference play. WSU boasts the third-best defense in the nation, allowing just 55.5 points per game.
On the offensive end WSU ranks eighth in the nation with a .491 field goal percentage. Derrick Low leads the team with 13.5 points per game.
He's joined in double-figure scoring by Kyle Weaver with 12.1 and Aron Baynes with 11.2 points per outing.
Taylor Rochestie is adding 9.3 points per game, while leading the team and league with 5.0 assists a game. He's ranked second in the conference and sixth in the nation with a 3.1 assist/turnover ratio.
ABOUT OREGON STATE
Oregon State enters Thursday's game after losing to Stanford 71-56 Saturday.
The Beavers are in last place in the conference at 0-11 in league play and 6-17 overall. They are also on a 12-game losing streak.
Sophomore Seth Tarver is leading the team with 11.5 points per game.
Senior Marcel Jones joins him in double-figure scoring this season, adding 10.6 points per outing.
The Beavers are 0-4 at home in conference play, losing by an average of 19.3 points per game.
Oregon enters Thursday's game against Washington after a split in the Bay Area, losing to Stanford 72-43 Thursday and defeating California 92-70 Saturday.
The Ducks are tied for seventh in the conference with a 5-6 league record, and are 14-9 overall.
Senior Malik Hairston leads the nation's 25th-ranked scoring offense (79.2 points per game) with 17.0 points per contest.
Four other Ducks are averaging at least 14 points; Seniors Maarty Leunen (15.2) and Bryce Taylor (14.2), and sophomore Tajuan Porter (14.0).
Oregon is 9-2 at home this season, with their only losses coming at the hands of conference leader UCLA by five points and an overtime loss against USC.
RECAPPING THE WIN OVER USC
Kyle Weaver became the 29th player in Cougar men's basketball history to score 1,000 career points with WSU's fifth and sixth points of the game at the 16:15 mark in the first half...he finished with 17 points and has 1,015 for his career.
Weaver also recorded his 500th career rebound with seven boards Saturday...he now has 503.
The Cougars improved to 41-60 all-time versus the Trojans...27-22 at home against USC.
The 24-point victory is the largest for the Cougars in Pac-10 play this season...WSU has defeated USC by a combined 39 points in the two meetings this season...the largest margin of victory over the Trojans since Jan. 15, 1994, when the Cougars won 89-59 in Pullman.
WSU is now 8-1 this season when Low and Weaver both score in double-figures.
Daven Harmeling hit a combined eight 3-pointers in the two meetings this season...five in the first meeting, three today.
Reserve Chris Henry scored his first points of the season. Weaver shot 8-8 from the field...career best field goal percentage.
WEAVER TAKING OVER
In the Cougars' last four games senior Kyle Weaver is proving he deserves his spot on the Naismith Trophy midseason top-30 list.
In 35.2 minutes per game over the last four contests, Weaver is averaging 17.0 points per game while shooting .564 (22-39) from the floor, including 5-for-8 from beyond the arc.
He is also getting to the foul line, shooting 19-for-25 during the recent stretch.
Weaver is not just producing on offense, he is also pulling down 6.8 rebounds per game and snagging 2.8 steals per outing.
Included in the four games was Weaver's fifth career double-double against Stanford in which he scored a career-high 23 points, the first time he'd gone over 20 points in his career.
Weaver is believed to be the first player in Pac-10 history to record 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 400 assists, 150 steals and 75 blocks in a career.
SWEEPS; LOSING AT HOME
With their two losses to California and Stanford, the Cougars were swept in a weekend Pacific-10 Conference series for the first time under second-year head coach Tony Bennett.
WSU followed that up with a loss to UCLA, for three-straight home losses. The last time the Cougars lost three-straight games at home came in Dick Bennett's first year as head coach, 2003-04. WSU fell to Oregon State (Feb. 12), Oregon (Feb. 14) and No. 1 Stanford (March 4) in consecutive home games.
The Cougars have not lost two-straight Pac-10 home series since 2002-03.
WSU has swept four weekend series under Bennett (games against UW aren't counted).
UCLA swept WSU for the second-straight season. Only two teams have swept the Pac-10 season series over the Cougars under Bennett (UCLA (twice) and Oregon in 2006-07).
On the contrary, WSU swept six season series last year (Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon State, USC and Washington). The Cougars already have a sweep over USC this season.
WSU had its seven-game home win streak snapped with its loss to California Thursday. Its previous loss came March 1, 2007.
THE 1,000-POINT MILESTONE
Senior Derrick Low became the 28th Cougar to score 1,000 career points just three points into WSU's win over Oregon State Jan. 17.
Kyle Weaver became the 29th Cougar to score 1,000 career points on his first basket against USC Feb. 9.
The last Cougar to reach the milestone prior to Low was Thomas Kelati (2002-05) who reached 1,081 points in Low and Weaver's freshmen season. Low and Weaver became the first Cougar teammates to reach the milestone in the same year since Terry Kelly and Don Collins in 1980.
Three Cougars have never reached 1,000 career points in the same season.
DISHING IT OUT
Despite ranking eighth in the Pac-10 in assists per game, the Cougars boast two of the top-five assists men in the league.
Junior Taylor Rochestie leads the league and ranks 54th in the nation with 5.1 assists per game.
Rochestie is second in the league and sixth in the nation with a 3.1 assists/turnover ratio (116 assists to 37 turnovers).
Senior Kyle Weaver ranks fourth in the league with 4.4 dishes per contest.
WHEN WEAVER AND LOW SCORE DOUBLE-DIGITS
WSU's game against Stanford marked the first time this season the Cougars have lost when both Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver score in double-figures.
The Cougars are 8-1 this season when each of the backcourt duo puts up 10 or more points in the same game.
UCLA ONLY TEAM LEFT ON THE LIST
The Cougars snapped a 13-game losing streak to Oregon with its 69-60 victory over the Ducks Jan. 20.
The win was the first over Oregon for head coach Tony Bennett.
It was also the first for all members of the team, including the seniors who have now defeated all Pac-10 teams with the exception of UCLA.
The last senior class to defeat all Pac-10 schools came in 1989.
LOW IN THE CLUTCH
Derrick Low is averaging 9.0 of his team-leading 13.4 points per game in the second half this season.
In the eight games WSU has trailed at the half, Low is averaging 17.4 points per game, over three points above his average.
He is averaging four 3-pointers per game in those contests.
Low is averaging 14.8 of those points in the second half. He is 29-for-42 (.690) from 3-point range in the second half when WSU trails at intermission.
WEAVER GETS PAST 19
In the 107th game of his WSU career, Kyle Weaver reached the 20-point plateau for the first time with 23 points against Stanford.
Weaver had scored in double-digits 49 times in his career prior to his 23-point performance.
His previous career high was 19 which he reached twice, including once this season.
In the same game, Weaver had his first double-double of the season and the fifth of his career. His 11 rebounds marked his first double-digit rebounding performance of the season.
Junior Aron Baynes, at 6-10, 270, has been an effective inside presence for the Cougars this season.
Baynes is third on the team with 11.2 points per game, leads the team with 5.8 rebounds per game and ranks second with 19 blocks this season.
He's controlled 20 of the 23 jump balls he's vied for this season.
Baynes is averaging nearly nine points and four rebounds more this season than through 23 games last season (3.2 points, 2.5 boards).
ROCHESTIE PICKING IT UP THIS SEASON AS WELL
Junior Taylor Rochestie's numbers have gone up tremendously this season compared to at this point last season.
Fourth on the team this season in scoring with 9.3 points per game, he averaged just 2.2 points per game after 23 games last season.
Rochestie is also up in assists (this year: 116; last year: 33), rebounds (this year: 3.0; last year: 0.7) and most notably, minutes played (this year: 33.0 mpg; last year: 11.1 mpg).
BENNETT REACHES 40TH CAREER VICTORY
WSU second-year head coach Tony Bennett reached his 40th career coaching victory as the team defeated USC Jan. 10.
Last season Bennett put in the 13th-best coaching debut in NCAA Division I history as the team went 26-8.
At 44-13, Bennett is just six wins shy of 50 career wins, which would tie him for 10th in NCAA history for wins by a second-year head coach. Bill Guthridge holds the record with a 58-14 mark in his first two seasons at North Carolina.
PLAYING IN FRONT OF FANS
The Cougars are averaging 9,163 fans in their nine games thus far at Friel Court this season, ranking third amongst Pac-10 schools.
WSU has played in front of 10,000 or more fans in seven of its 10 Pac-10 games this season, including two games at Pullman.
Home attendance average is up nearly 2,000 fans than at this point last season.
Tickets for the general public are already sold out for five of WSU's final five home games (tickets remain for WSU's game against Arizona State Feb. 21).
LOW AND WEAVER MAKE MIDSEASON CUTS
Derrick Low is one of 30 collegiate men's basketball players to be named to the midseason John R. Wooden Award candidate list.
Kyle Weaver has been named to the Naismith Trophy midseason top-30 list.
COUGARS IN RPI
Washington State rose to 23rd in the latest RPI (Rating Percentage Index) standings released this week.
Arizona, UCLA and Stanford are the only Pac-10 schools ranked above the Cougs at ninth, 14th and 18th, respectively.
The Pac-10 as a whole ranks second in the RPI.
Going with the theme of the Pac-10 season thus far, the Cougars have been solid on the road this season at 7-2.
WSU is 11-2 in games played outside Pullman this season, tied for the second most wins outside a come court in the nation this season.
The Cougars return to Pullman to host Arizona State and Arizona, Thursday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, Feb. 23, respectively.
WSU fell to Arizona, 76-64 in the first meeting this season, Jan. 24. The Cougars bounced back with a 56-55 win at Arizona State Jan. 26.