Nov. 29, 2008
WSU FACES PITTSBURGH IN LEGENDS CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP: The Washington State University men's basketball takes a shot at the Legends Classic Tournament title as it faces No. 4 Pittsburgh in the championship game, Saturday, Nov. 29 at the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. Tipoff is set for 30 minutes after the conclusion of the game between Texas Tech and Mississippi State.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars defeated Mississippi State, 63-52, Friday in the semifinals of the Legends Classic at the Prudential Center.
Freshman Klay Thompson led the way with his first career double-double with 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Senior Aron Baynes added a season-high 17 points on 8-for-10 shooting from the field.
WSU outscored MSU, 34-12, in the paint and had the advantage on points off turnovers, 23-6.
WSU AGAINST THE BIG EAST:
The Cougars are 6-4 all-time against current members of the Big East Conference. WSU has never faced Pittsburgh, nor has it faced Cincinnati, Connecticut, DePaul, Georgetown, Louisville, Rutgers, St. Joe's or Villanova.
Teams the Cougars have defeated include; DePaul (1-1), Marquette (1-0), Notre Dame (1-0), Seton Hall (1-0), Syracuse (1-1) and West Virginia (1-0).
The Cougars have not defeated Providence (0-1) or South Florida (0-1).
The Cougars' last meeting against a Big East opponent was in the 2008 NCAA Tournament when WSU defeated Notre Dame, 61-41, in the tournament's second round.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
WSU is 1-71 all-time against opponents ranked in the AP top-5.
The Cougars' only win over a top-5 team came over No. 4 Oregon State Feb. 16, 1980. The Cougars are 42-102 all-time against top-25 opponents.
The last time the Cougars faced a ranked Big East team was also the last time WSU beat a ranked Big East team and played a Big East team.
The Cougars defeated No. 15 Notre Dame, March 22, 2008 in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.
KEEPING THE NONCONFERENCE STREAK ALIVE:
The Cougars have won 21-straight regular season nonconference games dating back to the last four nonconference regular season games of the 2006-07 season.
The 21-game streak is second-longest in school history passing the 19-straight regular season nonconference games winning streak during the 1990-91 and 1991-92 seasons.
WSU's record streak stands at 23 games set during the 1931-32, 1932-33 and 1933-34 seasons.
NEARLY PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU is a perfect 19-0 in the month of November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
The Cougars have started the season 5-0 in all three of Tony Bennett's season at the helm.
`THOMPSON OFFERS `FRESH' START:
Freshman Klay Thompson has started all five games for the Cougars this season.
With his start against MVSU, Nov. 15, 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.
The Cougars' game vs. Mississippi State, Nov. 28, marked the first time this season that at least five WSU freshmen did not see playing time.
The game vs. MSU also marked the first time a freshman wasn't the first substitute for the Cougars.