March 11, 2009
LOS ANGELES - Washington State University men's basketball senior Taylor Rochestie has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Scholar-Athlete of the Year, presented by Toyo Tires, league officials announced Wednesday at the opening round of the Pac-10 Tournament.
A native of Santa Barbara, Calif., Rochestie has excelled on the court, in the classroom and in the community. The transfer from Tulane is leading the team with 13.6 points per game and adding a team-best 4.7 assists per game while starting all 30 games. Rochestie is adding 3.8 rebounds per game and is shooting .407 from beyond the 3-point arc in 36.7 minutes played per game. This season he became the 16th Cougar to be named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference First Team and scored the 1,000th point of his collegiate career Jan. 15 at Oregon State (he scored the first 304 points of his career as a freshman at Tulane).
At Oregon Jan. 17, Rochestie tied the WSU single-game record going 16-for-16 from the free throw line and scored a then-career high 30 points. The 6-1 point guard had arguably the best game of his career at UCLA Feb. 21 at Pauley Pavilion, scoring 33 points in WSU's 82-81 upset of the No. 20/15 Bruins. For his efforts, Rochestie earned his first Pac-10 Player of the Week accolades.
A communication major, Rochestie is a 2008-09 CoSIDA Academic All-District First Team honoree. Last season he was named to the Pac-10 All-Academic First Team. He has been named to the WSU Athletics All-Academic Team all three seasons at WSU and is a Cougar Pride Academic Salute honoree. Rochestie has a 3.37 grade points average and will graduate in May. Rochestie is the second Cougar in as many seasons to earn the award as Robbie Cowgill picked up scholar-athlete of the year honors last season.
Rochestie and the seventh-seeded Cougars will open up the Pac-10 Tournament as they face 10th-seeded Oregon, Wednesday, March 11 at 8:30 p.m. at Staples Center.