Jan. 2, 2007
COUGAR HEAD COACH Tony Bennett: Washington State Head Coach Tony Bennett is in his first season at the helm of the Cougar program...fourth year with WSU...assistant coach in 2003-04...associate head coach in 2004-05 and 2005-06...assistant coach at Wisconsin from 2000-03...became the first head coach at a current Pacific-10 institution to start 7-0 in his inaugural campaign at the school since Stanford's Robert W. Burnett was 9-0 in 1951-52...Bennett's accomplishment is tied for the third best start in a debut season at Pac-10 school in the post-World War II era.
COUGARS SURPASS 2005-06 WIN TOTAL: Washington State is off to a 12-2 start, surpassing its 11-win season in 2005-06 and equaling its win total of 2004-05...Cougars have not won more than 13 games since 1995-96 (18)...WSU won 13 in 1996-97 and 2003-04...Cougars won 12 in 2000-01 and 2004-05.
SCOUTING THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State is 6-7, 0-2 in the Pacific-10...lost at home to Stanford (71-60) and California (66-62) in overtime last week...have lost three in a row overall...Sun Devils' only two road games have resulted in losses at Minnesota (66-63, Dec. 2) and at Xavier (76-58, Dec. 16)...three players average double-figure scoring led by Christian Polk's 14.4 points per game...Jeff Pendergraph's 9.5 rebounds per outing ranks him third in the Pac-10.
SERIES WITH ARIZONA STATE: The Sun Devils lead 32-27...WSU holds 17-11 advantage in Pullman...teams have split each of the last two seasons with the home team winning all four games...Cougars have won the last three at home.
SUN DEVILS REVIEW: The schools split last season's games with Washington State winning 64-49 in Pullman, Jan. 11 and Arizona State capturing a 68-55 victory in Tempe in the final game before the Pac-10 Tournament...Kyle Weaver paced the Cougar victory with 15 points on the strength of 4-for-4 shooting, including 2-for-2 from 3-point range...Derrick Low added 13 points for WSU while Kevin Kruger tallied a game-high 23 points for Arizona State...in the Sun Devils' win, Kruger led all scorers with 20 points and teammates Jeff Pendergraph (13 points), Tyrone Jackson (12 points) and Bryson Krueger (12 points) each scored in double figures.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (Jan. 4): Dick Bennett earned his first Pacific-10 victory as the Cougars' head coach with a 55-50 triumph at California, Jan. 4, 2004...Jeff Varem scored 15 points to lead Washington State and helped the Cougars snap a 22-game road losing streak in Pacific-10 play...win also broke a 31-game losing streak in California and was the first win for WSU in Berkeley since 1995...Cougars went on to win seven conference games, the most by WSU since nine in 1995-96.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Arizona is ranked seventh in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today coaches polls...Wildcats are 11-1, 2-0 in the Pacific-10 (play at No. 24 Washington, Thursday)...have won 11 straight since losing opener 93-90 at Virginia...posted 94-85 win over California and 89-75 victory against Stanford last week in Tucson...used same starting lineup in all 12 games and each starter averages double-figure scoring...Ivan Radenovic's 17.8 points per game is best in the Pac-10...Mustafa Shakur leads the conference with 7.67 assists per game.
SERIES WITH ARIZONA: The Wildcats lead 48-11...Arizona has won 23 of 28 road encounters, including a 20-5 mark in Pullman (other three were Arizona wins in Spokane)...Wildcats have won three straight and 41 of last 42 meetings...last trip to Pullman resulted in 57-56 overtime win for Arizona in 2004-05.
WILDCATS REVIEW: Arizona won 70-52 in Spokane and 66-61 in Tucson...Hassan Adams starred in the Spokane victory with 25 points and eight rebounds...Derrick Low led the Cougars with 11 points...four starters tallied double-figure points led by Marcus Williams's game-high 17 in Arizona's home win...Kyle Weaver had 12 points and Robbie Cowgill added 10 points for the Cougars.
COUGARS IN THE POLLS: For the four straight week, Washington State received points in both the Associated Press and the ESPN/USA Today top 25 polls...Cougars began receiving votes after upsetting then-No. 18 Gonzaga, 77-67 Dec. 5...last time Washington State was nationally ranked came in February of 1983...Cougars were No.18 Feb. 3 before consecutive losses at UCLA and USC dropped them out of the rankings.
COMING FROM BEHIND: Washington State is 5-1 when trailing at halftime this season...in 2005-06, Cougars were 3-15 when behind at intermission...wins this season have come against Idaho State (trailed 28-27, won 66-60), Boise State (33-29, 65-63), No. 18 Gonzaga (41-35, 77-67), San Diego State (33-23, 64-54) and at USC (25-21, 58-55)...win at USC broke eight-game road losing streak when trailing at halftime.
SECOND HALF STARTS: The Cougars are outscoring their opponents 105-56 in the first four minutes of the second half this season.
COUGARS IN PAC-10 RANKINGS: Washington State leads the Pac-10 in scoring defense (57.3 points per game and blocked shots (4.43 per game).
GET THAT SHOT OUT OF HERE: In 2005-06, Washington State tied a school record with 130 blocks shots...this season the Cougars have registered 62 rejections (4.8 per game) through 13 outings...on pace for 148.
WSU POSTS BIG WINS: The Cougars led by at least 24 points in each of their first four games this season...led by double figures at halftime in all four games...first time WSU has posted four consecutive double-digit victories since Nov. 26-Dec. 7, 1996...Cougars led for all but 13:26 in the four games...never tied or behind in the second half...never trailed by more than six points...Cougars have nine wins this season by 10 or more points.
COUGARS ACROSS THE COUNTRY: The Washington State men's basketball team currently holds the most diverse roster in the Pacific-10 Conference with seven states, the District of Columbia, and three foreign countries represented...ties Arizona to lead the conference with 11 different representations...Pacific-10 conference is the most internationally diverse conference in NCAA Division I...has a total of 24 student-athletes represented by 16 different countries.