Dec. 18, 2008
WSU CROSSES BORDER TO FACE IDAHO: The Washington State University men's basketball team (7-3) will wear its away crimson uniforms for the first time this season as it hits the road for its first true road game, traveling the seven miles to Moscow, Idaho to face Idaho (6-5), Sunday, Dec. 21 at 5:05 p.m. at Cowan Spectrum.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars defeated Montana State, 70-51, Saturday, Dec. 13 at Seattle's KeyArena in the Cougar Hardwood Classic.
WSU improved to 22-7 in the all-time series, including 1-1 in neutral site meetings.
The Cougars also improved to 4-0 in the Cougar Hardwood Classic.
Klay Thompson led the team in scoring as four Cougs scored in double figures.
Daven Harmeling added 13 points, Taylor Rochestie scored 11 and Caleb Forrest chipped in 10.
Thompson and Aron Baynes tied for game-high honors with six rebounds apiece.
Washington State and Idaho are meeting for the 104th consecutive men's basketball season.
The two schools have the oldest continuous rivalry West of the Mississippi River.
It is the sixth longest continuous rivalry nationally behind Columbia/Yale (108th season), Princeton/Yale (108th season), Pennsylvania/Princeton (107th season), Columbia/Pennsylvania (106th season) and Cornell/Pennsylvania (106th season).
The Cougars also hold the ninth oldest continuous rivalry, as they will face Oregon State for the 101st-straight basketball season this year.
VISITORS AT LAST:
WSU's game at Idaho, Sunday, Dec. 21 will be its first true road game of the season.
The latest road opener for the Cougars came in 1917-18 when WSU played at Idaho, Feb. 2, 1918, for its first road game of the season.
The Cougars' first game of the season that year was on Jan. 18, 1918.
This season's 10 games marks the most games the Cougars have played before their road opener.
The previous number of games was nine when WSU opened its road season Jan. 5 of the 1986-87 season at Idaho.
WSU AGAINST THE WAC:
WSU holds a 184-123 record against current members of the Western Athletic Conference.
Last season the Cougars faced back-to-back WAC opponents, defeating Boise State (Dec. 13) and Idaho (Dec. 16).
New Mexico State is the only current WAC member that WSU has never faced.
The Cougars have a winning record against every WAC team they've faced except Utah State, holding just a 1-7 mark against the Aggies.
Of the 307 games against WAC opponents, 263 have come against the Vandals.
COUGARS' HOME NONCONFERENCE STREAK ENDED:
WSU's loss Dec. 6 to No. 24 Baylor at home marked its first nonconference loss at Friel Court since falling to No. 25 Gonzaga, 54-52, Dec. 7, 2004.
The Cougars' back-to-back losses to Baylor (Dec. 6) and Gonzaga (Dec. 10) marked the first time WSU lost back-to-back nonconference games since 2004-05 with losses at Oklahoma State (Dec. 4) and against Gonzaga (Dec. 7).
The two losses also marked the first time WSU lost back-to-back nonconference games at home since 1985-86 when it fell to Wisconsin (Dec. 9) and Nebraska (Dec. 12).
Taylor Rochestie was the only Cougar that was alive when the Cougars dropped back-to-back nonconference home games in 1985.
NONCONFERENCE STREAK COMES TO AN END:
The Cougars had their regular season nonconference winning streak snapped at 21 games with their loss to Pittsburgh Saturday, Nov. 29. The streak had gone back to the 2006-07 season.
The 21-game winning streak is the second-longest in school history, passing the 19-straight streak during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.
WSU's record streak stands at 23 games set during the 1931-32, 1932-33 and 1933-34 seasons.
BENNETT NO LONGER PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU's Nov. 29 loss to Pittsburgh marked its first loss in November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
The Cougars had gone 19-0 under Bennett in November prior to that game...Bennett is now 19-1 in the month.
The Cougars have started the season 5-0 in all three of Bennett's seasons at the helm.
RANKED FOES AT FRIEL COURT:
WSU hosted two ranked opponents in Baylor (then-24th-Associated Press/Receiving Votes-ESPN-USA Today) and Gonzaga (4th-both) at Friel Court in consecutive games.
It marked the first time that WSU has hosted two ranked nonconference opponents at home.
Baylor was also the first ranked nonconference opponent to come play WSU at Friel Court that was not Gonzaga.
The only other nonconference ranked opponent the Cougars have hosted at home was No. 17 Ohio State, Dec. 16, 1968 at Bohler Gym.
Four of the five players that started the first 10 games for the Cougars earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic accolades last season.
The only one of the five who didn't, Klay Thompson, was in high school last year.
Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie earned first-team honors, while Aron Baynes and Nikola Koprivica picked up second-team accolades.
Harmeling is a three-time conference all-academic honoree, while Baynes has earned the honors twice.
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
Klay Thompson ranks third amongst Pac-10 freshmen in rebounding with 5.3 rpg (20th overall).
DeAngelo Casto ranks second amongst Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.3 and is fourth overall in the category.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes, Taylor Rochestie and Daven Harmeling also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in seven different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 2nd (.636, 42-for-66)
Blocked Shots - 5th (1.2 bpg)
Rebounding - 15th (5.8 rpg)
Free Throw Pct. - 2nd (.917, 22-for-24)
Assists - 4th (5.0 apg)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 5th (1.9 a/t ratio)
3-Point FG Made - 9th (1.9 3pt fg pg)
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 or more freshmen have seen action in eight of WSU's 10 games.
Last season just two freshmen played for the Cougars, making a total of 20 appearances (one true freshman, one redshirt freshman). This year seven WSU freshmen have combined for 57 appearances in the first nine games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2 and Montana State, Dec. 13, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action in each game.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season four of the Cougars' six wins have come 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).
Prior to Nov. 28's 11-point win over Mississippi State, the Cougars had a margin of victory of 20 or more points in each of their last six wins, dating back to last season.
The Cougars have won by double-digits in each of its last nine wins.
BAYNES TO PLAY 100TH GAMES:
The Cougars' game Sunday at Idaho will be the 100th game of Aron Baynes' career.
The senior played 28 games as a freshman, 26 as a sophomore and 10 as a junior.
He has started 63 of the 99 games he's played so far.
WSU's Dec. 6 game against Baylor was the 100th game of Daven Harmeling's career.
The redshirt senior played 26 games as a true freshman, one during his redshirt year, 33 as a redshirt sophomore, 32 as a junior and now 10 as a senior.
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career...he's now played in 107 games.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane and has played 79 games at WSU.
The point guard has started 74 of his 106 games thus far, including 50 starts at WSU.
A FAMILIAR FACE:
Idaho's leading scorer is former WSU guard Mac Hopson.
A redshirt junior this season for the Vandals, Hopson played for the Cougars during the record-tying 26-win 2006-07 season.
Hopson averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 assists per game, starting seven of the 21 games he appeared in.
A native of Portland, Ore., Hopson played his freshman year at North Idaho College.
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 754 career points, Baynes needs a total of 246 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 924 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 620 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
Five of WSU's opponents this season are ranked, including Pittsburgh, who the Cougars lost to Nov. 29.
Pittsburgh (3), Gonzaga (8/9), UCLA (14/12), Arizona State (20/17) and Baylor (21/24).
WSU's only three losses this season have come to ranked opponents.
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.