Nov. 17, 2008
COUGARS HOST KNIGHTS IN LEGENDS CLASSIC: Coming off an impressive season-opening win Saturday, the Washington State University men's basketball team returns to the hardwood as it hosts Fairleigh Dickinson, Tuesday, Nov. 18, at 7 p.m. at Friel Court in the first and second rounds of the 2008 Legends Classic.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
WSU defeated Mississippi Valley State, 76-25, Saturday, Nov. 15, at Pullman's Friel Court.
The Cougars opened the game with a 28-0 run; MVSU got its first basket at the 8:28 mark in the first half.
Eight of the nine players that played in the first half scored.
The 25 points allowed by the Cougars is the fewest since allowing 23 points to Idaho, Jan. 23, 1948 (48-23 win).
The 51-point margin of victory is the second-largest margin of victory in WSU history. The largest is 54 points against Delaware State (93-39) (Dec. 3, 1988).
Senior walk-on Ryan Bailey scored his first career points.
The Cougars improved to 88-20 all-time in season openers, including their last six. WSU has now won 21-consecutive Friel Court openers.
KEEPING THE NONCONFERENCE STREAK ALIVE: The Cougars went 12-0 in their regular season nonconference schedule last season.
Combined with the four regular season nonconference games that WSU ended the nonconference season with, WSU has won 17-straight regular season nonconference games.
NEARLY PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU is 31-0 all-time in the month of November at Friel Court and has won 28-straight November games in Pullman and is 32-1 (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 15-0 in the month of November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
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).
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.
CASTO HAVING A 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.
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 658 career points, Baynes needs a total of 356 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 827 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 528 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
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).
Five seniors played in the season opener, one junior and six freshmen. The freshmen cumulated 25 points.
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).