Nov. 24, 2008
COUGARS CONCLUDE FOUR-GAME HOMESTAND: The Washington State University men's basketball team (3-0) concludes its season-opening four-game homestand as it hosts Canisius College (1-2), Tuesday, Nov. 25 at 7 p.m. at Friel Court. The Cougs hit the floor for the final time before heading to Newark, N.J. for the championship round of the 2008 Legends Classic at the Prudential Center.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
WSU defeated Sacramento State, 76-55, Friday at Friel Court in Pullman.
The Cougars' 12-13 deficit with 12:23 to go in the first half marked the first time all season that WSU has trailed in a game.
The Cougars hit 15 3-pointers for the first time since tying the school record with 18 3-pointers against Gonzaga, Dec. 7, 2002.
WSU's nine 3-pointers in the first half marked the most in a half since hitting 11 in the second half at UCLA, Jan. 12, 2008...most in a first half in the Bennett era.
The Cougars had more than two players score in double figures for the first time this season.
Taylor Rochestie tied his WSU high with 10 assists...hit a career-high five 3-pointers...had first double-double as a Cougar (also had one with points and rebounds while a freshman at Tulane).
Six freshmen played for the Cougars, two redshirt freshmen (Abe Lodwick, Charlie Enquist) and four true freshmen (Marcus Capers, DeAngelo Casto, Mike Harthun, Klay Thompson)...it was Harthun's college debut.
In just the third game of his career, Klay Thompson had a career high five 3-pointers.
Abe Lodwick hit his first career 3-pointer.
DeAngelo Casto has had a block in every game of his career.
KEEPING THE NONCONFERENCE STREAK ALIVE:
The Cougars have won 19-straight regular season nonconference games dating back to the last four nonconference regular season games of the 2006-07 season.
The 19-game streak ties the second-longest in school history as the Cougars won 19-straight regular season nonconference games 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.
NEARLY PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU is 33-0 all-time in the month of November at Friel Court and has won 30-straight November games in Pullman and is 34-1 (the loss came before the Cougars moved into Beasley Coliseum).
The Cougars' only loss in Pullman in November was 77-47 to Colorado State, Nov. 30, 1963.
WSU is a perfect 17-0 in the month of November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
The Cougars have started the season 3-0 in all three of Tony Bennett's season at the helm.
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
Four different Cougar freshmen rank in the top-three amongst freshmen in the top-10 in seven different categories.
Klay Thompson leads all Pac-10 freshmen in 3-point field goals made (fifth overall), is third amongst freshmen in scoring with 11.3 points per game (23rd overall) and is tied with WSU redshirt freshman Charlie Enquist for third amongst freshmen with 1.3 blocks per game (tied for fifth overall).
Marcus Capers leads the conference freshmen in assist/turnover ratio with a 1.7 mark (10th overall) and is tied for first with 3.3 assists per game (tied for 12th overall).
DeAngelo Casto leads the Pac-10 freshmen with 2.3 blocks per game while ranking third in the league.
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 freshmen saw action in WSU's second game of the season, four of them appeared in the first half.
Six freshmen saw action in WSU's third game of the season, including Mike Harthun who no longer plans to redshirt this season.
FRESHMEN LEADING BLOCK PARTY:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto's four blocks against Mississippi Valley State Nov. 15 tied him for the third most by a freshman in a game.
Carlos Daniel had the best freshman debut blocks-wise with five against Eastern Washington, Nov. 29, 1994...Aron Baynes also had five blocks as a freshman at San Diego State, Dec. 10, 2005.
Casto followed with a two-block performance against Fairleigh Dickinson...he's averaging 2.3 blocks per game and has had a block in every game of his career.
In the second game of the season, freshman Klay Thompson led the Cougs in blocks with three...he's tied for second on the team with 1.3 blocks a game.
Redshirt freshman Charlie Enquist also has four blocks on the season, tying with Thompson for third on the team with 1.3 blocks per game.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season the Cougars have won all three games 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).
The Cougars have had a margin of victory of 20 or more points in each of their last five wins, dating back to last season.
Despite a roster with just five seniors (including walk-on Ryan Bailey), the majority of WSU's points came from the senior class in the opening game.
The seniors accounted for 43 of WSU's 76 points (57 percent), including the game's only two double-digit scorers in Aron Baynes (14 points) and Caleb Forrest (13 points).
An upper classman has led the Cougs in scoring in every game this season (freshman Klay Thompson tied Taylor Rochestie for game-high honors in the third game of the season).
The upperclassmen have outscored the freshmen, 136-66 this season, 111 of those points scored by seniors.
ROCHESTIE PLAYS 100TH GAME:
WSU's Nov. 21 game against Sacramento State marked the 100th game of redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie's career.
Rochestie played 28 games as a freshman at Tulane and has played 72 games at WSU.
The point guard has started 68 of his 100 games thus far, including 43 starts at WSU.
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 679 career points, Baynes needs a total of 321 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 856 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 552 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
COUGARS RECEIVING VOTES:
Although the Cougars haven't been ranked this season, they still continue to receive votes in both the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
WSU has 13 votes in the AP Poll and 15 in the ESPN/USA Today Poll.
Three of WSU's opponents this season are ranked, as is Pittsburgh, a possible opponent for the Cougars in the Legends Classic.
Pittsburgh (4), Gonzaga (9/10), UCLA (13/11) and Arizona State (14)are all ranked.
On top of that, four of the Cougars' opponents are receiving votes (Baylor-both, LSU-AP, USC -both, Washington-ESPN/USA Today).
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.
WSU ONE OF FOUR PAC-10 UNBEATENS:
As of Monday morning, the Cougars are one of just four Pac-10 teams to not have a mark in the loss column this season.
California (3-0), Arizona State (3-0) and Stanford (2-0) are also undefeated thus far this season.
The Cougars rank fourth in the Pac-10 in home attendance average, bringing 7,670 fans to Friel Court for each home game.
Arizona leads the conference with an average of 13,065 home fans, while Arizona State is averaging crowds of 8,318 and Oregon is attracting 8,098 fans.
ABOUT THE LEGENDS CLASSIC:
The 2008 Legends Classic is a 12-team tournament featuring teams from 12 different conferences.
Four teams from four top conferences start the tournament with opening round games on their home courts.
Those four teams will advance to the championship round of the tournament at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., Nov. 28-29 (Pittsburgh, Mississippi State, Texas Tech, WSU).