Nov. 12, 2011
COUGARS OPEN SEASON AT NO. 23 GONZAGA:
Washington State University men's basketball opens the 2011-12 season Monday, Nov. 14 against No. 23 Gonzaga at the McCarthey Athletic Center in Spokane. Tip is scheduled for 9 p.m. and kicks off ESPN's annual College Hoops Tip-off Marathon which features over 25-consecutive hours of college basketball on the ESPN family of networks. The game between the Cougars and Bulldogs will be televised live on ESPN.
WASHINGTON STATE AGAINST GONZAGA:
The Cougars are 9-3 all-time when opening the season with Gonzaga.
The last time WSU opened against Gonzaga was Nov. 24, 1995, a 72-67 overtime victory at Spokane Arena.
The last time Washington State opened its season at Gonzaga was Dec. 1, 1971, a 77-65 loss.
The Cougars are 3-1 against the Bulldogs when opening their season at Gonzaga.
Washington State leads the all-time series, 98-47, but has won just three of the last 12 meetings.
Last season the Cougars shocked the Bulldogs with an 81-59 victory at Beasley Coliseum Dec. 8.
WSU's 22-point victory over Gonzaga marked its largest over the Bulldogs since a 22-point victory Dec. 1, 1982.
The Cougars snapped a two-game losing streak to the Bulldogs and have won three of the last five.
Klay Thompson had a career-high seven steals...led the team in rebounds (six), assists (six) and points (24).
Washington State held Gonzaga scoreless for the first seven minutes of the game.
Patrick Simon was one point shy of his career-high with 11 points...was 3-for-5 from beyond the 3-point arc.
As a team the Cougars had a season-high 14 steals and tied their season high of 21 assists.
COUGARS AGAINST THE WCC:
Washington State is 123-59 against current members of the West Coast Conference.
The Cougars have played the Bulldogs in 145 of the 182 games against those WCC members.
This season WSU will play against four members of the West Coast Conference in at least four games...at Portland (Nov. 20), at home against Santa Clara (Dec. 11) and against Pepperdine in Seattle (Dec. 22)...the Cougars could face Santa Clara again in Anaheim, Calif. as part of the 76 classic during the Thanksgiving holiday.
WSU AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
In the first Associated Press Top-25 Poll, Gonzaga was ranked 23rd.
Washington State is 47-209 all-time against teams ranked in the Associated Press Top-25.
The Cougars have won their last two games against ranked opponents, victories over No. 18 Washington and No. 15 Baylor last season.
WSU is 2-2 against the No. 23 team in the country, a win over USC March 3, 2007, a win over Stanford, Jan. 7, 1995 and losses at Oregon Jan. 25, 2003 and Feb. 22, 2007.
Washington State is 2-6 all-time against ranked Gonzaga squads and 1-6 when the Cougars aren't ranked and the Bulldogs are.
WSU fell to No. 17 Gonzaga, 74-69 the last time either team was ranked in the matchup, Dec. 2, 2009 in Spokane.
COUGARS ON ESPN FOR FIFTH-STRAIGHT GAME:
For their fifth-straight game, the Cougars will appear on the ESPN family of networks, as they played their final four games of last season on either ESPNU or ESPN2.
The Cougars defeated Long Beach State on ESPNU and Oklahoma State and Northwestern on ESPN2 in the National Invitation Tournament, followed by a loss to Wichita State in the semifinals of the NIT on ESPN2 to end last season.
In all, the Cougars appeared on the ESPN family of networks seven times last year, adding their three games in the Diamond Head Classic to the mix.
Ken Bone ENTERS THIRD SEASON:
WSU head coach Ken Bone holds a 38-28 record entering his third season in 2011-12, and already has more wins than eight previous Cougar men's basketball coaches, six of which coached at least two seasons.
Last season Bone led WSU to an NIT postseason appearance, making him the third-fastest Cougar coach to reach a postseason tournament.
He also has more wins than two of the last three head coaches, two more than Dick Bennett (2003-06, 36-49) and seven more than four-year head coach Paul Graham (2000-03, 31-79).
THOMPSON AND CASTO LEAVE EARLY TO PURSUE PROFESSIONAL CAREERS:
DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson both opted out of their senior seasons at Washington State to play basketball at the professional level following the 2010-11 season.
Thompson was drafted as the 11th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft to the Golden State Warriors (the highest NBA Draft pick in WSU history), while Casto signed a one-year contract to play with Antalya BSB in the Turkish Basketball League.
Casto ranked eighth in the Pac-10 with 6.8 rebounds per game during 2010-11.
Thompson led the Cougars and the Pac-10 and ranked 11th in the country with 21.6 points per game while setting the school record with 733 points during his junior season.
COUGARS RETURN THREE STARTERS; FIVE OF TOP SEVEN SCORERS:
WSU welcomes back three starters and seven letterwinners from the Cougars' 2010-11 team.
Marcus Capers, Abe Lodwick, and Reggie Moore appeared in the starting lineup during the majority of last season, en route to a 22-13 finish and a semifinal appearance in the NIT.
Senior Faisal Aden, who started nine games as a junior, is the team's returning scorer after averaging 12.7 points per game in his first year with the squad.
Moore was fourth on the team with 9.1 points per game, including 10.1 in conference play.
WSU IN THE FIELD OF THE 2011 76 CLASSIC:
The Cougars will compete at the 2011 76 Classic at Anaheim, Calif., Nov. 24-27.
WSU will play Oklahoma in the opening game, televised on ESPN2, and will face either New Mexico or Santa Clara depending on the outcome of the game against Oklahoma.
WSU is 78-73 in in-season tournaments and has appeared in the championship game of its last six tournaments, winning the John Thompson Foundation Challenge (2006-07), the Cougar Hispanic College Fund Challenge (2007-08) and the Great Alaska Shootout (2009-10).
Last year WSU fell to national runner-up Butler in the championship game of the Diamond Head Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii.
MOORE ON PACE TO REACH 1,000 POINTS:
Junior Reggie Moore has 649 career points, just 351 shy of the 1,000-point plateau.
He's averaged 11.0 points per game in 59 games over the last two seasons, and given he plays all of the 2011-12 season and the Cougars play an extra Pac-12 Tournament game, or in the postseason, he is on pace to reach 1,000 points in the Cougars' 32nd game of the season (either the second round of the Pac-12 Tournament or a postseason game).
He would become the 32nd Cougar to score 1,000 points in his WSU career.
CAPERS ON PACE FOR GAMES PLAYED RECORD:
Senior Marcus Capers has played 98 games in his WSU career, while the school record is 127 games played set by George Hamilton in 1945 and 47-49.
Given Capers plays in all the team's games this season, he will play in his 127th game March 1 at UCLA and his record-setting 128th game in WSU's regular season finale, March 3 at USC.
WASHINGTON STATE APPROACHING 1,500 WINS:
In Washington State's 109 years of basketball, it has compiled 1,495 wins, needing just five wins in the 2011-12 season to reach the 1,500-win plateau.
Entering the season the Cougars are 1,495-1,369 all-time for a .522 win percentage.
COUGARS PICKED TIED FOR 10TH IN PRESEASON PAC-12 POLL:
Washington State was picked to tie with Colorado for 10th place (119 points) in the inaugural Pac-12 preseason media poll released by the league at the conference's media day in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 28.
The poll had UCLA finishing first with 14 of the 38 first-place votes and 421 points.
California was chosen second with 13 first-place votes and 405 points, followed closely by Arizona with 11 first-place votes and 404 overall points. Washington (fourth, 355), Oregon (fifth, 282), Stanford (sixth, 255), USC (seventh, 194), Oregon State (eighth, 188), Arizona State (ninth, 148), Colorado (t-10th, 119 points) and Utah (12th, 74) rounded out the poll.
BASKETBALL GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY:
The Cougars spent the majority of the summer and fall of 2011 giving back to the community, participating in various community service activities.
In June the team held three camps, including a day camp for kids ages 8-14.
In July members of the Cougar basketball team participated in Palouse Habitat for Humanity and Pullman Learning Center's sports week and in August the team made appearances at the Lentil Festival's street fair and parade.
The entire team spent time before the Cougars' Sept. 10 football game, signing autographs as part of `family day.'
Members of the team visited the senior center Sept. 16., the team held a free Kids' Clinic Oct. 1, members of the team helped with the YMCA's Keys to Success event and several Cougars have visited Jefferson Elementary, helping out in a second-grade classroom.
COUGARS DEFEAT WARRIORS IN EXHIBITION CONTEST:
WSU defeated Lewis-Clark State, 88-41, Saturday, Nov. 5 in exhibition action at Beasley Coliseum.
All 11 players that were suited up saw action, including three walk-ons, three freshmen and six newcomers.
Freshman DaVonté Lacy led the Cougars in his WSU debut with 21 points...he was 7-for-11 from the field and 3-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc...he scored 15 of his 21 points in the second half.
Junior Mike Ladd, also making his debut after sitting out last season as a redshirt after transferring from Fresno State, added 14 points and three assists...he was 4-for-6 from beyond the 3-point arc.
Seniors Abe Lodwick (foot) and Faisal Aden (concussion) and junior Reggie Moore (groin) didn't play due to injuries...the trio accounted for 70 starts last season.
It marked the fifth-straight year the Cougars have faced the Warriors in an exhibition game.
WSU REACHES NIT SEMIFINALS IN NEW YORK:
For the 11th time in school history, the Cougars made a postseason appearance as they claimed a second-seed berth in the 2011 National Invitation Tournament.
The NIT appearance marked the fifth in school history and the second in the past three seasons.
WSU defeated Long Beach State, Oklahoma State, and Northwestern to advance to the semifinals of the NIT at Madison Square Garden in New York City, but fell to Wichita State, 75-44, in the semifinals.
The Cougars set a school record with three postseason victories (3-1), while going the furthest in NIT in school history.
WSU also became just the sixth Pac-10 team to advance to the semifinals and the first since Oregon went to New York in 2004.
WASHINGTON STATE ATHLETICS' REBRANDING:
Updates to the basketball practice facility were completed this summer as part of WSU Athletics' branding master plan.
The gym, located in the P.E. Building between Bohler Gym and Smith Gym, is now easily recognizable with the WSU logo painted on one set of doors and Cougars on the other.
Paint, including the WSU fight song, and photos were also added, along with changes to reflect the newly formed Pac-12.
BEASLEY COLISEUM GETS NEW SCOREBOARD:
The addition of the center-hung scoreboard in Beasley Coliseum, home of WSU men's and women's basketball teams, has been completed and is ready for use in the 2011-12 season.
Washington State completed the project in conjunction with Daktronics, Inc. of Brookings, S.D.
The new center-hung display features four LED video displays, each measuring 11 feet high by 15 feet wide.
With 10 millimeter line spacing, these displays will incorporate clarity and contrast of video images with the capability to present live and recorded video.
The displays are also capable of showing custom animations, vivid graphics, up-to-the minute statistics, player highlights and in-game advertising from sponsors.
A digital ring display is also part of the center-hung structure and will be able to show a variety of graphics, animations and statistical information.