March 25, 2011
COUGAR TRAVEL TO THE BIG APPLE TO TAKE ON WICHITA STATE IN THE NIT SEMIFINALS: Washington State University men's basketball (22-12) travels from the land of apples to the Big Apple as it takes on Wichita State (27-8) in the semifinals of the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) at Madison Square Garden, Tuesday, March 29. The game tips at 4 p.m. PT (7 p.m. ET) and is the first of two semifinal games. The two No. 1 seeds on the other side of the bracket, Alabama and Colorado, face each other at 9 p.m. ET Tuesday. The games will be aired on ESPN2. The winners of the two games will face off Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. ET for the NIT Championship.
ABOUT THE COUGARS:
The Cougars hold a 22-12 overall record and finished sixth in the Pacific-10 Conference with a 9-9 league mark.
WSU advanced to the NIT Semifinals with a 69-66 overtime victory over Northwestern Wednesday (March 23) at Beasley Coliseum.
The Cougs finished the season 13-4 at Beasley Coliseum and 8-1 at home in nonconference action.
WSU is 4-2 in neutral site games, including `home' games at Spokane Arena and Seattle's KeyArena (both victories)...the Cougars are 2-2 in neutral-site tournament games this season as they went 2-1 at the Diamond Head Classic at Honolulu, Hawaii with wins over Mississippi State and then-No. 15 Baylor...WSU fell to NCAA-participant Butler in the championship game of the tournament.
Washington State lost to NCAA-participant Washington in its last neutral-site game, an 89-87 loss in the quarterfinals of the Pac-10 Tournament.
WSU has now won three-straight games, marking the first time since December that it has won more than two-consecutive games...the Cougs won their first three home games of the Pac-10 season Jan. 6, Jan. 8 and Jan. 20.
Junior Klay Thompson leads the team, the conference and ranks ninth in the country with 22.0 points per game.
He also ranks in the league's top-seven in 3-point field goals made per game (13th in the country), free throw percentage, 3-point field goal percentage, steals and assists.
Junior transfer Faisal Aden is second on the team and 15th in the league with 12.9 points per game...he's scored in double-figures in the last four games.
Junior DeAngelo Casto leads the Cougs in rebounding and ranks eighth in the league with 6.8 boards a game...he's third on the team and 18th in the league in scoring with 12.1 points, while ranking second in the conference with 1.8 blocks per game...he's blocked at least two shots in the last five games, including back-to-back games with four blocks apiece.
Sophomore point guard Reggie Moore, who has missed six games this season, is adding 9.1 points and a league ninth-best 3.4 assists an outing.
IN THE NIT:
Washington State is making its second appearance in the National Invitation Tournament in three years and the fifth time in its history.
This season marks the first time the Cougars will advance to the semifinals at Madison Square Garden...they reached the quarterfinals for the second time in school history as well...WSU has never played in the NIT Championship game.
The Cougars advanced to the quarterfinals during the 1995 NIT...WSU lost at Canisius in that round.
The Cougars are now 7-4 all-time in NIT games and have won at least one game in the tournament in four of their five our appearances.
Two seasons ago (2008-09), WSU entered the NIT as the No. 7 seed and fell to No. 2 Saint Mary's, 68-57, in the first round at Moraga, Calif.
Three current Cougars played in WSU's last NIT appearance, Marcus Capers, DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson...all three were freshmen...Thompson finished with seven points, while Capers and Casto each contributed six.
WSU has won all six NIT games it has hosted at Pullman...four of the six were first round games.
In 1992 WSU defeated Minnesota in the first round at home, in 1995 it was a victory over Texas Tech at home and in 1996 the Cougars defeated Gonzaga in the first round at Pullman...now this year WSU defeated Long Beach State, Oklahoma State and Northwestern at home.
WSU has faced just one other current Missouri Valley Conference team in the NIT as it took on Illionis State in the second round of the 1995 NIT...the Cougars won the game, 83-80, marking their only NIT road win in school history the last time they reached the quarterfinals.
WSU and California represented the Pac-10 in the NIT this year...the two teams tie for the most from the league in the NIT since 1998-99, when three teams went.
Three Pac-10 teams have won the NIT Championship, UCLA in 1985, Stanford in 1991 and California in 1999...just five other times has a Pac-10 team advanced to the semifinals, the last to do so was Oregon in 2004, finishing third.
For more information on WSU in the NIT see pages 5-6 of these notes.
AGAINST THE SHOCKERS:
Washington State and Wichita State have met just once in the two schools' histories.
The Shockers won the only meeting, 83-64, Dec. 15, 1960 at Wichita.
Washington State is 6-4 all-time against current members of the Missouri Valley Conference.
The Cougars' only losing record against a member of the MVC is against the Shockers.
WSU has not faced Evansville, Missouri State, Northern Iowa or Southern Illinois.
Counting Wichita State, Washington State has faced three other `WSU' schools, Wayne State and Weber State...Washington State is 3-1 against WSU schools.
THOMPSON'S RECORD-BREAKING SEASON:
Junior Klay Thompson has already set five WSU career and single-season records this year.
He is WSU's all-time single-season scoring leader with 727 points so far this season...he passed Isaac Fontaine who set the record in 1997 with 657 points.
Thompson is also the Cougars' career leader for 3-point field goals made...he now has 242 made 3-pointers and took the crown from Eddie Hill who played at WSU from 1991-94 and made 233.
Thompson also holds the career record for 3-point field goals attempted (615), and the season records for 3-point field goals made (98) and field goal attempts (541).
Thompson's 727 points are the most by a Pac-10 player since Arizona State's Eddie House scored 736 during the 1999-00 season.
THOMPSON BECOMES THIRD ALL-TIME LEADING SCORER:
Klay Thompson has 1,750 points in 97 career games, ranking third in WSU's career record books.
As a sophomore he became the 31st Coug and third-fastest to reach 1,000 points as he did it in his 63rd career game March 6, 2010.
Isaac Fontaine holds the school record with 2,003 points in his career from 1994-97.
Steve Puidokas ranks second with 1,894 points from 1974-77.
If Thompson were to score his career average of 18.0 points per game as a senior, he would add 594 points next year, giving him 2,344 points...that would rank sixth all-time in conference history.
Thompson's current 1,733 points ranks 44th in Pac-10 history for career scoring.
COUGS IN NEW YORK:
Washington State holds a 6-5 (.545) record in games played in the state of New York.
WSU has played one other NIT game in New York, a quarterfinal loss to Canisius at Buffalo., March 23, 1995.
The Cougs last played in New York in 1995-96, going 1-1 in the state that year.
The games were against New York teams, Canisius and Syracuse at Syracuse, N.Y. in the Carrier Classic.
KLAY TEARS UP PAC-10 TOURNAMENT RECORD BOOKS TOO:
Although the Cougars played just one game in the 2011 Pac-10 Tournament, Klay Thompson left his mark, setting or tying five single-game tournament records.
Thompson set the single-game scoring record with 43 points, passing California's Leon Powe's 41 which he accomplished in two overtimes against Oregon, March 10, 2006...Reggie Miller of UCLA had the regulation record with 39 points against Arizona State, March 6, 1987.
Thompson also bettered Miller's single-half record of 24 points with 25 of his own in the second half.
Thompson's eight 3-point field goals is a record as well, bettering seven done by Arizona's Salim Stoudamire and Oregon's Bryce Taylor.
He also tied Reggie Miller's field goal record (15) and the 3-point field goal attempt record (14), done four times, most recently by former Coug Derrick Low.
Two of Washington State's last three losses have been decided by four points or less and both came with the Cougars down at least one starter or significant contributor.
The Cougars' 58-54 overtime loss to UCLA March 5 came without starters Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore...Thompson was suspended, while Moore injured his ankle in the previous game.
WSU's 71-69 loss at Arizona State Feb. 19 came without sixth-man Faisal Aden, who has been battling knee problems all season.
THOMPSON RETURNS TO PAC-10 40-POINT CLUB:
Klay Thompson is one of just two Pac-10 Players to reach the 40-point plateau over the last five seasons...he has reached it twice.
Thompson scored 43 against Washington March 10 at the Pac-10 Tournament and 43 against San Diego at the Great Alaska Shootout as a sophomore, Nov. 28, 2009. James Harden of Arizona State scored 40 points against UTEP, Nov. 30, 2008.
Thompson's 43 are the most points scored by a Pac-10 player since Jason Kapono of UCLA scored 44 against WSU, Jan. 4, 2003. Below is a look at 40-point scorers in the Pac-10 since 2002-03.
Klay Thompson (WSU) - 43 vs. Washington - 3/10/11
Klay Thompson (WSU) - 43 vs. San Diego - 11/28/09
James Harden (ASU) - 40 vs. UTEP - 11/30/08
Leon Powe (Cal) - 41 vs. Oregon - 3/10/06
Luke Jackson (Ore) - 42 vs. Arizona - 02/19/04
Desmon Farmer (USC) - 40 vs. Arizona - 01/15/04
Luke Jackson (Ore) - 40 vs. Colorado - 03/17/04
Jason Kapono (UCLA) - 44 vs. WSU - 01/04/03
Marcus Moore (WSU) - 42 vs. Gonzaga - 12/07/02
LAST TIME OUT:
Washington State advanced to the semifinals of the NIT with a thrilling 69-66 overtime victory over Northwestern, Wednesday, March 23 at Beasley Coliseum.
Washington State advances to the NIT Semifinals for the first time in school history.
The Cougars become just the fifth Pac-10 team to advance to New York and it marks the sixth time it will happen (Oregon went twice).
WSU is the first Pac-10 team in the NIT Semifinals since Oregon in 2004.
Klay Thompson led the Cougars in scoring (17), rebounds (nine) and assists (four).
Five Cougs scored in double figures for just the third time this season (Thompson-17), Motum-13, Casto, Moore and Aden all with 11)...also had five players in double figures against Baylor and California.
Marcus Capers tied his season high with three blocked shots.
The WSU bench outscored Northwestern's 24-2.
Cougars move to 2-2 in overtime games this season...losses at Cal and at home to UCLA and victories over Santa Clara and now Northwestern.
For the first time in eight games, Klay Thompson did not reach the 20-point plateau.
Brock Motum tied his career first-half high with 11 points in the first 20 minutes...also scored 11 against Sacramento State this season (Nov. 30).
COUGARS EARN ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS:
Klay Thompson was named to the 2010-11 All-Pac-10 Team...he is the fourth player in Cougar history to be named to the first team during multiple seasons.
DeAngelo Casto was named to the All-Pac-10 second team as well as the Pac-10 All-Defensive Team.
Last year Casto was named honorable mention and to the all-defensive team.
Both Cougars earned Pac-10 All-Freshmen Accolades as rookies in 2008-09.
WSU REACHES 20 WINS:
At 22-12, Washington State has reached 20-wins for the 180th time in school history.
It's just the third time since 1994-95 that the Cougars have reached 20 wins in a season.
The 21 wins are tied for 15th most wins by a Cougar team.
Ken Bone is just the sixth WSU head coach to lead his team to a 20-win season.
DOUBLING UP IN A HALF:
Klay Thompson is dominating not just games, but halves over his career.
In his career Klay Thompson has had 81 halves with at least 10 points, 40 times in the first half and 41 in the second half.
He has scored 15 or more points in 28 halves, 12 in the first and 16 in the second.
Thompson has scored 20-plus points in a half eight times, three in the first half, five in the second half.
In 23 games Thompson has scored in double figures in both halves, three as a freshman, eight as a sophomore and 12 so far as a junior.
This season Thompson has scored in double figures in 39 halves.
Faisal Aden (16 halves), DeAngelo Casto (10 halves), Reggie Moore (five halves), Brock Motum (four halves) and Patrick Simon (one half) have each reached double figures in at least one half this season as well.
Moore reached double figures in 16 halves last year as a freshman, one shy of Thompson's freshman mark.
THOMPSON EARNS NABC AND USBWA HONORS:
Klay Thompson was named to both the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) and United States Basketball Writers' Association (USBWA) all-district teams.
Thompson became one of three Cougars to earn NABC first team all-district honors in their career.
He is the first Cougar to be honored by the USBWA multiple times.
THOMPSON NAMED WOODEN AND NAISMITH MIDSEASON CANDIDATE:
Klay Thompson was one of 30 midseason candidates for the 2010-11 John R. Wooden Award and Naismith Award.
Earlier this season, Thompson became the first Cougar to make the preseason lists since Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver were both named to the preseason top-50 prior to the 2007-08 season.
He is the first to move on to the Wooden midseason top-30 since Low went on to make the midseason cut that year...the first to make the Naismith top-30 cut since Weaver in 2007-08.
Thompson was joined by Isaiah Thomas (Washington) and Derrick Williams (Arizona) on both lists.
KLAY A CANDIDATE FOR SPORTS STAR OF THE YEAR:
Klay Thompson was one of five candidates for the 2010 Male Sports Star of the Year presented by ROOT SPORTS, put on by the Seattle Sports Commission.
The award was given to Olympic speed skater Apolo Ono at the awards show held Jan. 26.
The Male Sports Star of the Year is awarded to a male athlete or coach for outstanding achievement in 2010 in a non-professional sport.
Also nominated for the award are University of Washington student-athletes Quincy Pondexter (basketball) and Mason Foster (football), and Olympic speed skaters Apolo Ono and J.R. Celski.
THOMPSON NAMED PLAYER OF THE WEEK AGAIN:
For the second time this season and the fourth in his career, Klay Thompson has been named the Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 6-12.
The junior guard helped lead the Cougars to wins over Gonzaga and Texas-Pan American.
For the week, he averaged 19.5 points, 5.0 assists, 3.5 steals and 3.0 rebounds.