Dec. 28, 2005
WASHINGTON STATE (7-2, 0-0 Pac-10)
COUGARS HOST WILDCATS AND SUN DEVILS: The Washington State men's basketball team opens Pacific-10 play this week against Arizona (Spokane Arena, 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 29) and Arizona State (Friel Court, 3 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 31)...both games will be televised live on FSN Arizona.
ABOUT THE HEAD COACHES: Dick Bennett is 32-34 at Washington State and in his third season on the Palouse...owns a 486-291 career record (.625) in 27 collegiate seasons...guided Wisconsin to 2000 Final Four...Arizona's Lute Olson is 556-167 with the Wildcats and in his 23rd season in Tucson...career record is 748-259 and he is in his 33rd season overall...Arizona State's Rob Evans is 114-106 with the Sun Devils in his eighth season...career mark is 200-187 in his 14th season...Bennett is 2-3 vs. Arizona and Olson, including 1-3 at WSU...Bennett is 3-1 vs. Arizona State and Evans with all four games coming as Cougar head coach.
SERIES WITH THE WILDCATS: Arizona leads 46-11...Wildcats are 22-5 in road games, including 2-0 in Spokane against the Cougars...won in 1997-98 and 2000-01 seasons at Spokane Arena in WSU's Pac-10 home opener...teams split last season with WSU winning 70-63 in Tucson and Arizona capturing 57-56 overtime victory in Pullman.
ABOUT THE WILDCATS: Arizona is 7-3 and has won five straight...Pacific-10 Conference preseason favorite as voted by the media...Wildcats and Cougars both have victories over Utah...Arizona won 73-43 at Utah, Dec. 17 and WSU defeated the Utes 69-42 at Seattle's KeyArena, Dec. 22... Hassan Adams leads conference in scoring with 19.3 points per game...Adams (2.80 per game) and Chris Rodgers (2.70 per game) rank 1-2 in steals...Arizona leads the Pac-10 with 11.90 thefts per outing...Kirk Walters leads conference with 2.10 blocks per game...J.P. Prince has best assist/turnover ratio in the Pac-10 at 3.33.
COUGARS FACE UNRANKED WILDCATS FOR FIRST TIME SINCE 1987: The last 37 times Washington State and Arizona have met on the hardwood, Arizona has been ranked...last time Arizona was an unranked opponent for WSU was Feb. 19, 1987 in Tucson...Wildcats are currently in the receiving votes section of both major polls...last time WSU entered a game with Arizona owning a better record than the Wildcats was Jan. 19, 1992 (first meeting of the season) when WSU was 12-3 and Arizona was 10-3...Cougars lost 78-65, but went on to the NIT while Arizona advanced to the NCAA Tournament.
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (DEC. 29): Washington State set school records for points, 3-pointers (18) and assists (32) during 121-82 victory over Seattle in Bohler Gym, Dec. 29, 1990...Eddie Hill and Terrence Lewis each scored 23 points to lead the Cougars...Rob Corkrum added eight points and 11 boards...assists records still stands, 3-point record was tied against Gonzaga, Dec. 7, 2002 and points record was eclipsed with 131 against Prairie View A&M, Jan. 14, 1991 (121 still ranks second).
SERIES WITH THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State leads 31-26...Cougars hold 16-11 advantage at home, all in Pullman...WSU has won three of four meetings under Dick Bennett...Sun Devils won last four meetings prior to Bennett's arrival on the Palouse.
ABOUT THE SUN DEVILS: Arizona State is 6-3 (plays at Washington, Thursday, Dec. 29)...Sun Devils lead the Pac-10 in 3-point percentage (40.0)...Kevin Kruger leads the conference in minutes played (38.33 per game), ranks third in assists (4.56 per game) and steals (2.33 per game), and is tied for 11th in scoring (15.0 points per game).
THIS DATE IN COUGAR HISTORY (DEC. 31): Washington State is 9-2 in games played New Year's Eve...Cougars have won seven straight with last loss 29-27 to Central Washington in 1928...prior to last season's 60-51 win over Stanford at the Spokane Arena, WSU had not played a New Year's Eve game since 1952...Jeff Varem tied for game-high honors with 18 points to lead four Cougars in double figures and added 12 rebounds in last year's win over Cardinal...win marked first time in six seasons WSU opened conference play with a victory.
COUGARS IN PACIFIC-10 RANKINGS: WSU leads the Pacific-10 in scoring defense (52.9 points per game), field goal percentage defense (35.7) and 3-point field goal percentage defense (26.3)...offensively, at 38.3 percent from beyond the arc, Cougars are second in Pac-10 to Arizona State (40.0)...sophomore Derrick Low is sixth in 3-point field goal percentage (43.2), tied for sixth in assists (4.00 per game), eighth in assist/turnover ratio (1.71) and minutes played (32.67 per game), and tied for 10th in 3-pointers made (1.78 per game)...sophomore Kyle Weaver is fifth in assists (4.22 per game), ninth in steals (1.78 per game) and 17th in rebounding (4.9 per game)...junior transfer Ivory Clark is sixth in blocked shots (1.44 per game) and eighth in free throw percentage (81.5)...sophomore Josh Akognon is tied for 10th in 3-pointers made at 1.78 per game. WASHINGTON STATE NEWCOMERS CONTRIBUTING: The Cougars have eight new faces this season, including a pair of walk-ons...WSU newcomers have accounted for 32.6 percent of the minutes played and are contributing 34.1 percent of the scoring...junior transfer forward Ivory Clark leads the team with 13 blocks and ranks sixth in the Pac-10...newcomers have recorded 34.1 percent of the rebounds grabbed by individuals...first-year Cougars are shooting 50.7 percent from the field led by freshman Aron Baynes's 56.1 percent.
COUGAR SCORING UP: Washington State is averaging 64.6 points per game this season...Cougars averaged 56.9 points per game during Dick Bennett's first two seasons.
BENCH SCORING: Washington State is averaging 25.0 points per game this season off the bench...Aron Baynes scored 19 points off the bench in the Cougars' 81-55 season-opening victory over UC Riverside, Nov. 19...against Idaho, Nov. 26, Cougar bench players tallied 31 points in 63-37 victory...bench players scored 28 of the team's 60 points in win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...in 61-46 win over Portland, Dec. 17, Cougar bench players tallied 46 points led by Ivory Clark's team-high 12.
BALANCED SCORING: The Cougars are averaging 64.6 points per game, led by sophomore Derrick Low's 10.1 per outing...Low is the only WSU player averaging double-figure scoring...six others average at least six points per game...seven different WSU players have scored in double figures in a game this season, led by Low's six such games...in Cougars' 63-37 win over Idaho, Nov. 26, 11 different WSU players scored, most since 11 had points in a 98-76 win over Washington, March 1, 2003...Cougars also had 11 different players score in 61-46 victory over Portland, Dec. 17.
COUGARS POST BLOWOUT VICTORIES: Washington State defeated Utah 69-42, Dec. 22 at Seattle's KeyArena for its third 25-plus point victory this season...widest margin of victory in Dick Bennett era prior to this season was 21 (73-52 over TCU in Pullman, Dec. 6, 2003)...WSU has five wins of 15 or more points this season after posting eight such victories combined in Bennett's first two seasons on the Palouse...Cougars had three wins of 25 or more points over the last five seasons...last time WSU had three or more 25-plus point victories in the same season was 1997-98 (two over non-Division I schools)...had three over Division I schools in 1996-97...last time WSU had four such wins was 1994-95 when it finished 18-12 and advanced to the NIT quarterfinal round.
WSU NOTCHES WIN IN CLOSE GAME: The Cougars defeated Kansas State 58-57 in Pullman, Dec. 3...first game decided by less than eight points this season...in 2004-05, WSU was 4-8 in games decided by three points or less...dozen games decided by three points or less tied Fresno State for most nationally.
COUGARS POST COME-FROM-BEHIND VICTORY: Washington State overcame a 27-21 halftime deficit to win at San Diego State, Dec. 10...just the seventh time in 32 games under Dick Bennett the Cougars have trailed at intermission and emerged victorious.
TEAMS DO NOT EXCEED FIFTY-FIVE: Dick Bennett has been the Washington State men's basketball coach for 66 games...in 33 of those, including six this season, the Cougar opponent has scored 55 points or less...from 1991-92 through 2002-03, WSU held a total of 34 opponents to 55 points or less.
WSU EXTENDS 3-POINT STREAK: The Cougars have made at least one 3-pointer in 290 consecutive games...last time Cougars did not make a shot from beyond the arc was Feb. 18, 1995 at Oregon...since 3-point line was adopted in 1986-87, WSU has failed to make a 3-pointer three times...other two occasions were Jan. 5, 1987 at Idaho and Dec. 9, 1988 at home against Portland.
WSU COMPLETES MOUNTAIN WEST SCHEDULE: The Cougars' 69-42 win over Utah, Dec. 22 was the fourth game WSU played against a Mountain West Conference opponent this season...Cougars won three of four meetings...lost to BYU 76-68, Nov. 22 at Spokane Arena...defeated Wyoming 63-47, Nov. 30 in Pullman...won 60-49 at San Diego State, Dec. 10.
STATISTICAL TRENDS: WSU is 22-2 under Dick Bennett when holding the opponent to under 40 percent shooting from the field, including 7-0 in 2005-06...Bennett's Cougars are 20-1, including 4-1 in 2005-06, when outrebounding their opponent...WSU is 17-3 in the Bennett era, including 2-0 this season, when getting to the foul line more often than its opponent.
STREAKS BROKEN IN BENNETT ERA: In two seasons under Dick Bennett, the Cougars have accomplished several firsts and broken many losing streaks...here is a look at the achievements.