Feb. 15, 2008
COUGARS LOOK FOR FIRST SWEEP OF OREGON IN 13 YEARS: Fresh off its 70-57 defeat of Oregon State Thursday, the Washington State University men's basketball team looks for its first win over Oregon at Eugene since 1995 as the Cougars meet the Ducks Saturday, Feb. 16 at 6 p.m. at McArthur Court. The game can be seen live on FSN.
ABOUT THE COUGARS
WSU is currently third in the Pacific-10 Conference at 7-5 in league play and 19-5 overall.
After dropping three straight, the Cougars have won their last two games by an average of 18.5 points per game.
The Cougars are 8-2 on the road and 12-2 in games played away from Pullman this season.
Derrick Low leads the team with 13.7 points per game, followed by Kyle Weaver with 11.8 and Aron Baynes with 11.1 points per outing. Baynes leads the team with 5.9 rebounds a game.
Taylor Rochestie is nearly adding double-figure scoring each game with 9.9 points per contest. He leads the league with 4.9 assists per game. Weaver is chipping in 4.3 a game.
ABOUT THE DUCKS
Oregon is seventh in the Pac-10 at 6-6 in league play and 15-9 overall.
The Ducks defeated Washington, 71-58, Thursday evening at McArthur Court.
After dropping four straight in January to UW, WSU, UCLA and USC; Oregon has won three of its last four games.
The Ducks are 10-2 at home this season and 4-2 at home in Pac-10 play. They fell to both UCLA and USC at home.
Four players average double-digits per game, led by Malik Hairston with 16.8 points a game. Maarty Leunen is adding 15.0, while Bryce Taylor and Tajuan Porter are chipping in 14.3 and 13.8 points per game, respectively.
THE SERIES AGAINST OREGON
The Ducks lead the all-time series with the Cougars, 154-117 and 90-41 at Eugene.
WSU won the first meeting of the season, 69-64 Jan. 20 at Friel Court.
The Cougars snapped a 13-game losing streak to the Ducks with the win and got their first victory over Oregon since 2001.
WSU has not swept a series with Oregon since the 1994-95 season.
The last time the Cougars defeated the Ducks at Eugene was almost exactly 13 years ago, Feb. 18, 1995, with a 76-59 victory.
The 1994-95 season is also the last time WSU swept the season series with both Oregon and Oregon State.
Derrick Low is averaging 14.5 points per game in his seven career games against the Ducks.
Low is averaging 23.3 points per game against Oregon in the last three meetings. He had his career high last season against Oregon with 37 points and his season high this year with 27 points in the first meeting.
A WIN SATURDAY WOULD...
Give the Cougars their second-straight 20-win season. The last time WSU had back-to-back 20-win seasons was in 1940-41 and 1941-42. WSU also put together 23 wins in both 1938-39 and 1939-40 four four-straight 20-win seasons.
Snap WSU's 12-game losing streak at Oregon.
Give head coach Tony Bennett his 46th career win in just two seasons with the Cougars, putting him four wins away from the 10th-best start by a second-year head coach in NCAA history.
RECAPPING THE WIN OVER OREGON STATE
WSU has won four-straight games over Oregon State...improve to 116-160 all-time...37-98 at Corvallis.
Taylor Rochestie had a career high four 3-pointers...had three in the first half.
Rochestie scored a career high with 24 points...his fifth career 20-plus point game...fourth at WSU.
Kyle Weaver moved into ninth place in the WSU career record books for blocks with two...he passed Ivory Clark and now has 85.
For just the second time all season, Rochestie (the league's assists leader) had fewer than four assists...he also had one at Washington (Jan. 5).
With 21 points, Derrick Low had his fifth 20-plus point game of the season and the 10th of his career.
ROCHESTIE AND LOW SCORE 20 POINTS
Both Taylor Rochestie (24 points) and Derrick Low (21 points) scored 20-plus points in WSU's 70-57 victory over Oregon State Thursday.
The two are the first WSU teammates this season to reach 20 points in the same game.
They are also the first since Rochestie scored 21 and Aron Baynes led the team with 25 points against USC, March 3, 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 4.9 assists per game.
Rochestie is second in the league and sixth in the nation with a 3.0 assists/turnover ratio (116 assists to 37 turnovers).
Senior Kyle Weaver ranks fourth in the league with 4.4 dishes per contest.
The win over OSU Feb. 14 marked just the second time this season that Rochestie had fewer than four assists. It's also just the second time Rochestie has had worse than a 1.0 assists/turnover ratio.
With 117 and 103 assists this season, respectively, Rochestie and Weaver are the first WSU teammates to dish out 100-plus assists in the same season since 1990 when Bennie Seltzer had 114 assists and David Sanders dished out 100.
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 9.1 of his team-leading 13.7 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 11.1 points per game, leads the team with 5.9 rebounds per game and ranks second with 19 blocks this season.
He's controlled 21 of the 24 jump balls he's vied for this season.
Baynes is averaging eight points and three rebounds more this season than through 23 games last season (3.1 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 9.9 points per game, he averaged just 2.4 points per game after 24 games last season.
Rochestie is also up in assists (this year: 117; last year: 33), rebounds (this year: 2.9; last year: 0.8) and most notably, minutes played (this year: 33.2 mpg; last year: 11.5 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 45-13, 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 two of WSU's final three 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 22nd 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 eighth, 13th and 20th, 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 12-2 in games played outside Pullman this season, tied for the second most wins outside a home 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.