Dec. 24, 2010
COUGARS FACE BUTLER FOR DIAMOND HEAD CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP: Fresh off its upset over No. 15 Baylor, Washington State (10-1) will face Butler (8-4), for the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic Championship, Christmas Day (Dec. 25) at 4:30 p.m. HT (6:30 p.m. PT). The game can be seen live on ESPN2.
ABOUT THE COUGS:
Washington State is 10-1 overall and receiving votes in the Associated Press Poll and the USA Today/ESPN Coaches Poll.
The Cougars are 3-0 in neutral site games, having defeated Mississippi State, 83-57, Wednesday in the opening game of the Diamond Head Classic and Baylor, 77-71 Thursday at Honolulu...WSU also defeated Portland at Seattle in a neutral site game.
Juniors Klay Thompson and Faisal Aden are sharing the scoring load, averaging 21.5 and 16.8 points per game, respectively...the sharpshooting duo account for two of the top four scorers in the Pac-10.
Thompson ranks second in the league and leads the team in assists per game with 4.6...he dished out a career-high nine assists against Idaho (Nov. 16).
Thompson and Aden are contributing 2.7 and 2.3 3-point field goals per game, respectively, ranking third and seventh in the Pac-10...Thompson is second in the Pac-10 with 2.3 steals per game, while Aden is tied for eighth with 1.7.
Thompson is second in the league with 4.6 assists a game.
Sophomore forward Brock Motum ranks fourth on the team with 9.0 points per game, while leading the league in field goal percentage with a .646 mark (42-for-65).
DeAngelo Casto, who missed two of the Cougars' games with a sprained foot, is adding 9.7 points and 5.9 rebounds an outing.
Reggie Moore scored 10 points in his first outing of the season against K-State (Dec. 3)...Moore is averaging 8.5 points a game...he missed the first four games with a wrist injury.
Junior Marcus Capers is second on the team and is 18th in the league with 5.8 rebounds a game, adding 6.7 points...he grabbed a career-high 15 boards in the season opener against Southern...he leads holds a 5.3 assist/turnover ratio (32 assists/6 turnovers).
WSU AGAINST BUTLER:
Saturday's championship matchup is the first all-time meeting between Washington State and Butler.
Washington State has faced just once Horizon League school, Wisconsin-Milwaukee...WSU defeated Milwaukee, 74-54, in the John Thompson Foundation Challenge, Nov. 11, 2006.
WSU won that tournament, winning three-straight games at Milwaukee.
WSU IN TOURNAMENTS:
The Cougars have played in a tournament each of the last four seasons.
WSU holds a 12-1 record in those tournaments and has appeared in the championship game in each tournament, capturing three of the four titles.
Last year WSU won the Great Alaska Shootout, in 2007-08 won the Cougar Hispanic College Fund Challenge and in 2006-07 won the John Thompson Foundation Challenge.
The Cougars fell to then-No. 4 Pittsburgh in the championship game of the Legends Classic in 2008-09.
WSU last played in a tournament in Hawaii in 1996-97 as it appeared in the Rainbow Classic at Honolulu.
The Cougs went 1-2 in the tournament with their lone win coming against Northwestern in their third game.
THOMPSON IN TOURNAMENTS:
Klay Thompson has shown over his three seasons at WSU that he can come up big in regular season tournaments.
Thompson has wound up on the all-tournament team in both of the tournaments he has played in with WSU (Legends Classic-2008, Great Alaska Shootout-2009).
At the Great Alaska Shootout Thompson was named the MVP.
He was the only Coug on the all-tournament team of the Legends Classic and one of three at the Great Alaska Shootout (Reggie Moore, DeAngelo Casto).
Thompson's lone double-double of his career came in the Legends Classic (19 points, 10 rebounds) and his career high of points came in the Great Alaska Shootout (43 points).
Thompson is averaging 23.3 points per game in his seven tournament games as a Cougar.
COUGARS WINNING IN NONCONFERENCE ACTION:
The Cougars are entering their final nonconference game of the season Saturday with a 10-1 record.
WSU has won at least 10 nonconference games now in four of the last five seasons.
Cougar head coach Ken Bone is 20-3 in nonconference games in his two years with the Cougars. 2008-09 marked the only time in the last five seasons the WSU did not reach 10 nonconference wins, notching an 8-4 nonconference mark.
Over the last five seasons and past two coaches, the Cougars are 51-8 in regular season nonconference action.
THOMPSON MOVING UP SCORING LIST:
With 22 points at Oregon last season, Klay Thompson surpassed the 1,000-point for his career...he finished the season with 1,023 points.
He now has 1,240 points and currently ranks 15th on the Cougar all-time scoring list.
Thompson became the 31st Cougar to reach 1,000 career points and the third-fastest, accomplishing the feat in his 63rd career game.
The only two Cougars to do it faster than Thompson were Steve Puidokas (52 games) and Jim McKean (57 games)...Thompson surpassed Larry Beck who was previously third as he did it in 66 games.
If Thompson continues to average 21.7 points again this season, he will finish his junior year with at least 1,685 points, making him the third-leading scorer in Washington State history....Isaac Fontaine holds the school record with 2,003 points, while Steve Puidokas scored 1,894 in his career.
COUGARS AMONG WINNINGEST TEAMS IN PAC-10:
Over the last four seasons (2006-07, 2007-08, 2008-09, 2009-10) the Cougars have the second most overall and fourth most conference wins among Pac-10 schools.
WSU is 95-49 (.660) overall and 38-34 in conference play over the last three years and this season.
UCLA has the best four-year record at 112-41 (.732) overall and 53-20 in league play.
The Cougars need just one win to catch up to second-ranked Washington and two conference wins to jump USC and tie with Washington for second.