Jan. 8, 2007
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State men's basketball team is ranked in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today national polls announced Monday.
The Cougars (14-2, 3-1 Pacific-10) moved into the rankings, tied for 22nd with Notre Dame in Associated Press and 23rd in the ESPN/USA Today, after defeating Arizona State (75-55) and then-No. 7 Arizona (77-73 in overtime) last week.
The accolade marks the first time WSU has been ranked in the Associated Press poll since Feb. 1, 1983. The Cougars have never been ranked by the coaches' since ESPN/USA Today took over the poll in 1991-92.
Of the 73 schools which play basketball in the Pacific-10, Big 12, Big Ten, Southeastern Conference, Big East or Atlantic Coast Conference, only Rutgers (3/13/79), Baylor (2/11/69), Northwestern (1/14/69) and South Florida (never) have unranked longer than the Cougars were prior to Monday.
"The ranking to me means our team has gotten off to a solid start with some quality wins," WSU Head Coach Tony Bennett said. "If we have a good ranking at the end of year, then it will really mean something. There's a lot of season to be played."
Redshirt-sophomore forward Daven Harmeling added, "It's a sign of where our program is headed, but it doesn't mean we have arrived."
The Cougars travel to the Bay Area this week to play California, Thursday at 7:30 p.m. and Stanford, Saturday at 4 p.m. The game against the Cardinal will be live on FOX Sports Net Northwest and FSN Bay Area.