March 16, 2009
COUGARS TAKE ON SAINT MARY'S IN NIT: The Washington State University men's basketball team will make its first NIT appearance in 13 years as it heads to Moraga, Calif. to face second-seeded Saint Mary's, Tuesday, March 17 at 8 p.m. on ESPN2. The seventh-seeded Cougars make their third-postseason appearance in as many years for just the second time in school history.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars were ousted from the Pac-10 Tournament in the quarterfinals by second-seeded UCLA by a score of 64-53, Thursday, March 12 at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
Aron Baynes had his second-consecutive 20-point scoring game...finished with 22 points and six rebounds...tied his season high for points...also scored 22 at Arizona State (Jan. 29).
The Cougars were one shy of their biggest halftime deficit of the season, 13 points also against UCLA in Pullman, Jan. 22.
WSU's 21-point first half ties for third-fewest points in the first half by the Cougars this season.
Mike Harthun made the first 3-pointer of his career...made his only attempt playing eight minutes.
The Cougars were able to improve their field goal percentage after shooting just .206 from the field in the first half to .300 for the game after shooting .423 in the second period...shot better from the field than UCLA in the second half (UCLA-.368).
Klay Thompson tied his career low against a Pac-10 opponent with five points.
Rochestie played his 12th complete game of the season and fifth in the last six games, clocking all 40 minutes.
WSU has never won multiple games in the Pac-10 Tournament.
THE HISTORY BETWEEN THE TWO TEAMS:
Tuesday's game will mark the first meeting between WSU and Saint Mary's.
The Cougars are 114-52 all time against teams from the West Coast Conference...WSU played one WCC team this year (Gonzaga, Dec. 10, L 52-74)...143 of the 166 games have come against the in-state rival Bulldogs.
The Gaels' recent success has created a rivalry of their own with Gonzaga...Saint Mary's had won their home game with the Bulldogs each of the last two seasons before dropping the meeting this year 70-72.
COUGARS IN THE NIT:
The Cougars are 4-3 all-time in the National Invitation Tournament.
WSU has won at least one game in each of its three previous NIT appearances (1992, 1995, 1996).
The Cougars' best finish came in 1995 when Isaac Fontaine and Mark Hendrickson led WSU to the quarterfinals.
WSU is 1-0 vs. WCC teams in the NIT (Gonzaga, 1996).
WSU FRESHMEN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
DeAngelo Casto leads all Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.3 and is fourth overall in the category.
Klay Thompson is ranked in three different categories in the Pac-10. Below is a look at where he ranks among freshmen and overall in the league.
3-point FG Made - 1st-freshmen; 5th-overall (2.1 3pg)
3-point FG Pct. - 2nd-freshmen; 9th-overall (.419)
Blocked Shots - 3rd-freshmen; 10th-overall (0.6 bgp)
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops of the Pac-10 in 10 different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Blocked Shots - 3rd (1.3 bpg)
Field Goal Percentage - 3rd (.579, 147-for-254)
Rebounding - 5th (7.4 rpg)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (5.4 drpg)
Free Throw Percentage - 2nd (.890, 89-for-100)
Minutes Played - 3rd (36.7 mpg)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (2.0 a/t ratio)
Assists - 5th (4.7 apg)
3-point Field Goals Made - 9th (1.9 made pg)
Scoring - 20th (13.2 ppg)
COUGS SECOND-MOST WINNINGEST TEAM OVER LAST THREE YEARS:
Over the last three seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09) the Cougars have the second-most overall and conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 69-32 (.683) overall and 32-22 in conference play over the last three years.
UCLA has the best three-year record at 90-18 (.833) overall and 44-10 in league play.
Below is a look at where the teams rank since 2006-07 (games through March 14):
Team, Overall; Conference
UCLA, 90-18 ; 44-10 Washington State, 69-32 ; 32-22 USC, 67-36 ; 31-23 Stanford, 64-34 ; 29-25 Washington, 60-38; 29-25 Arizona, 58-39 ; 28-26 California, 55-43 ; 23-31 Oregon, 55-45 ; 22-32 Arizona State , 53-44; 22-32 Oregon State , 30-63 ; 10-44
GOING THE DISTANCE:
Taylor Rochestie has played 1,175 minutes in WSU's 32 games this season, averaging 36.7 minutes.
The senior has played all but 115 of the Cougars' 1,290 possible minutes this season.
In Pac-10 play Rochestie averaged 38.8 minutes per game, playing in 698 of a possible 730 minutes.
Rochestie has played 12 complete games, including two 45-minute overtime games.
BAYNES REACHES 1,000-POINT PLATEAU:
Senior center Aron Baynes became the 30th player in Washington State history to score 1,000 career points with his basket at the 11-minute mark in the second half at Washington, March 7.
Heading into the NIT, Baynes has 1,045 points.
He is the third Cougar to reach 1,000 points in the last two years as Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver reached 1,000 points last season.
Teammate Taylor Rochestie reached 1,000 points for his college career earlier this season, but the first 304 were scored at Tulane.
FRESHMEN MARKING UP RECORD BOOKS:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto has swatted his way onto the WSU freshman class blocks list.
Fellow true freshman Klay Thompson is on his way to leaving his mark on a number of categories on the freshman class list.
Thompson is on the lists for scoring, 3-point shooting, blocks, field goals, rebounding, assists and steals.
A complete list can be found on page five.
SENIORS, BENNETT DEFEAT ALL NINE PAC-10 FOES:
With WSU's win over UCLA Feb. 21, this year's senior class (Baynes, Forrest, Harmeling, Rochestie) defeated all nine other Pac-10 schools.
This year's senior class is the 10th Cougar senior class to accomplish the feat and the first since 1989.
Third-year head coach Tony Bennett has also defeated all nine Pac-10 opponents at least once in his time as head coach at WSU.
WSU CLAMPS DOWN ON LEADING SCORERS:
The Cougars have held 20 of their 32 opponents' leading scorers below their average points per game.
Saturday, March 7 WSU held Washington's leading scorer, Isaiah Thomas to six points...he was averaging 15.7 points per game coming into the game.
Thursday, Jan. 22 WSU held UCLA's Darren Collison to eight points...he was averaging 14.9 per game on the season.
WSU has held 10 of its opponents' leading scorers to single-digit figures, including four in Pac-10 play (Thomas, Collison, Cal's Jerome Randle-eight and Oregon's Tajuan Porter-seven).
The Cougars' opponents' leading scorers are scoring about 23 percent less than their average points per game coming into the game.
THOMPSON SETS FRESHMAN RECORD:
At Arizona State Thursday, Jan. 29, Klay Thompson set a WSU Freshman Record, tied another and recorded three other top-five freshman performances.
Thompson's eight 3-pointers marked a WSU freshman single-game record....the previous record was seven set by Bennie Seltzer against Texas Southern, Dec. 9, 1989.
His 10 made field goals tied the freshman record accomplished by Steve Puidokas twice during the 1973-74 season and once by Mark Hendrickson during the 1992-93 campaign.
Thompson's 28 points are tied for the third most by a WSU freshman in a single game and are the most by a Cougar freshman in a Pac-10 game. Isaac Fontaine holds the record with 33 against Michigan State, Nov. 27, 1993.
Thompson also recorded top five marks for single-game field goal attempts (17, tied for fifth) and 3-point field goal attempts (10, tied for fifth).
MORE ON THOMPSON'S 3-POINT PERFORMANCE:
Thompson's eight 3-pointers falls one shy of the WSU record of nine reached three times, last by Derrick Low against Oregon, Jan. 27, 2007.
His eight 3-pointers are also the most by an Arizona State opponent since Jeff Lauritzen of Indiana State also had eight on Dec. 1, 1988.
Thompson's eight 3-pointers are the most made by a Cougar this season...previous high was five accomplished twice, once by Thompson and once by Taylor Rochestie.
Thompson started the game going 7-for-7 from beyond the 3-point arc.
His single-game 80.0 3-point percentage is tied for the 18th best in NCAA Division I this season...the minimum is seven made 3's.
Thompson is also tied for 22nd in the country for most 3-pointers made in the game with his eight.
MIXING IT UP:
The Cougars have used seven different starting lineups this season.
Last year head coach Tony Bennett used just three different starting lineups, including an all-senior lineup on `Senior Day'.
Here is a list of the different starting lineups.
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Harmeling Baynes (11)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (7)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Forrest Baynes (6)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Forrest Baynes (5)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Harmeling Baynes (1)
Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-32, Capers-8, Casto-2).
ROCHESTIE SCORES 1,000TH CAREER POINTS:
Redshirt senior Taylor Rochestie scored the 1,000th points of his career, Thursday, Jan. 15 at Oregon State.
His first bucket of the game at the 12:22 mark in the first half put him at 1,001 career points.
Between his freshman season at Tulane University and this three years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 1,248 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 944 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
THREE COUGS EARN ALL-CONFERENCE HONORS:
Taylor Rochestie was named to the All-Pacific-10 Conference First Team.
DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson picked up Pac-10 All-Freshman honors.
Rochestie became the fourth Cougar in the past decade to be named to the first team. He joins Thomas Kelati (2005) and former teammates Kyle Weaver (2007) and Derrick Low (2007).
Casto and Thompson become the first pair of Cougar freshmen to be honored in the same season.
The last WSU freshman to pick up the honors was Marcus Moore in 2001. Robbie Cowgill and Derrick Low were each named all-freshman honorable mention in 2005.
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.
COUGARS SET FREE THROW RECORDS:
With a 28-for-28 performance from the free throw line Saturday, Jan. 17 at Oregon, WSU set a Pac-10 record for free throw percentage.
The previous record held by USC was set against Oregon, March 8, 2002.
The NCAA record is 34-for-34 set in 1981 by UC Irvine and in 1990 by Samford.
The Cougars broke the school record, bettering the 19-for-19 performance from the free throw line March 1, 1968 against Oregon.
WSU's 28-for-28 performance is the best in NCAA Division I this season, bettering Mississippi's 22-for-22 performance against South Alabama, Nov. 18.
Taylor Rochestie tied Marcus Moore for the WSU free throw percentage record, going 16-for-16 from the free throw line.
Moore set the record against Arizona State, Jan. 12, 2002.
Rochestie holds the second-best free throw performance in NCAA Division I this season...Jeremy Wise of Southern Mississippi went 19-for-19 from the free throw line, Dec. 18.
The Cougars had another perfect performance from the free throw line against USC Jan. 24, going 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
Five of the Cougars' 16 players on the roster are left-handed on the basketball court. (Marcus Capers, Abe Lodwick, Nikola Koprivica, Taylor Rochestie and Nick Witherill).
Capers is only left-handed on the basketball court.
All five of the lefties are guards.
On top of that, Aron Baynes writes with his left hand, and can shoot with both.
The Cougars are led by a sharp-shooting left-handed point guard in head coach Tony Bennett.
ROCHESTIE NAMED PAC-10 PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Taylor Rochestie was named the U.S. Bank Pacific-10 Conference Men's Basketball Player of the Week for Feb. 16-22.
Rochestie averaged 24.5 points, five rebounds, four assists and 1.5 steals in 39.5 minutes per game as the Cougars dropped their game at USC Thursday, 61-51, but defeated No. 20/15 UCLA, 82-81, Saturday at Pauley Pavilion.
In the upset of UCLA Feb. 21, Rochestie had the game of his career, scoring a career-high 33 points, while adding five rebounds, four assists and two steals playing all 40 minutes.
He shot .714 from beyond the three point arc, hitting 5-of-7 and was a perfect 10-for-10 from the free throw line.
The point guard accounted for over half of WSU's 40 second-half points, scoring 21 in the final period.
His 33-point performance marked the second 30-plus scoring game of the season for Rochestie, as he became the first Cougar to score 30 or more points in multiple games since Marcus Moore had three 30-plus games during the 2002-03 season...he is the only player to accomplish the feat in the Dick and Tony Bennett era.
Against USC Thursday, Rochestie led the Cougars in scoring with 16 points, adding five rebounds, four assists and one steal and just one turnover in 39 minutes of action.
He led the team in scoring, rebounding, assists, steals and minutes played, becoming the first WSU player this season to lead the team in those five categories.
After Saturday's win over UCLA, Rochestie's senior class became one of 10 WSU senior classes to defeat all nine other Pac-10 teams during their careers and the first since 1989.
The honor is the first for Rochestie, who is one of 15 Cougars to receive the accolades and it marks the 19th time Washington State has earned the award.
The last Cougar to be named player of the week was Daven Harmeling who received it twice during the 2006-07 season (Dec. 10 and Feb. 4).
ROCHESTIE NAMED PAC-10 SCHOLAR-ATHLETE OF THE YEAR:
Senior Taylor Rochestie was named the Pac-10 men's basketball scholar-athlete of the year, the league announced at the Pac-10 Tournament.
Rochestie is the second Cougar in as many seasons to earn the award as Robbie Cowgill picked up scholar-athlete of the year honors last season.
WSU WINS PONTIAC GAME CHANGING PERFORMANCE:
Taylor Rochestie's 3-pointer with 2.3 seconds left in overtime, which lifted the Cougars to a 51-49 upset of No. 14 Arizona State on Feb. 28, has earned Washington State the title of Pontiac Game Changing Performance of the NCAA Basketball regular season.
With this accolade, Washington State University earns a contribution to its general scholarship fund from Pontiac.
One of eight nominated performances, Rochestie's play earned the most votes from fans nationwide.
HARMELING AND ROCHESTIE EARN ACADEMIC HONOR:
Seniors Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie were named to the ESPN The Magazine District VIII All-Academic First Team as voted on by members of the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA).
Harmeling has a 3.54 grade point average in health and fitness.
Rochestie has a 3.37 grade point average and is majoring in communication.
Harmeling received second team all-district honors as a sophomore in 2006-07...he is a two-time Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic First Team honoree.
Rochestie received Pac-10 All-Academic First Team honors last season as a junior.
Rochestie and Harmeling are the first Cougar duo to earn first team all-district honors in the same season.
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.
FOUR COUGARS PLAY 100TH GAMES:
WSU's game against USC Jan. 24 was the 100th of Caleb Forrest's career.
The Cougars' game Dec. 21 at Idaho was the 100th game of Aron Baynes' career.
WSU's Dec. 6 game against Baylor was the 100th game of Daven Harmeling's career.
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.
The Cougars' March 11 game against Oregon was the 100th of Rochestie's Cougar career.
UWSP COURT NAMED IN HONOR OF BENNETTS:
UW-Stevens Point honored former Pointer coaches Dick Bennett and Jack Bennett by naming the men's basketball court "Bennett Court."