COUGARS OPEN PAC-12 ROAD PLAY WITH NEWEST LEAGUE FOES, UTAH AND COLORADO: The Washington State University men's basketball team (9-5, 1-1) remains away from Pullman for its fourth and fifth-straight games as it heads to Salt Lake City and Boulder, Colo. to take on the Pac-12's newest members, Utah (3-10, 0-1) and Colorado (9-4, 1-0), Thursday, Jan. 5 and Saturday, Jan. 7, respectively. The Cougars and Utes face-off Thursday at 7 p.m. MT (6 p.m. PT) at Huntsman Center, while they take on the Buffaloes Saturday at 2 p.m. MT (1 p.m. PT). Saturday's game can be seen on FSN. Both can be heard on the Cougar Radio Network with Bud Nameck's call. Please see the list of affiliates on page one of today's notes for more information.
WSU AGAINST UTAH:
This season marks the first conference meeting between Washington State and Utah.
The Cougars trail the all-time series 2-13, including 1-10 on the road, 0-2 at home and 1-1 in neutral-site meetings.
The last meeting between the two teams came Dec. 2, 2006, while the first matchup was Dec. 17, 1938...both were Utah wins.
During the 2006-07 season, then head coach Tony Bennett took his 7-0 team into Salt Lake for a nonconference matchup as Utah handed WSU its only nonconference regular season loss that year and it's only one over the course of the 2006-07 and 2007-08 seasons.
No current Cougar has played against the Utes...WSU and Utah were both in the Diamond Head Classic last year in Honolulu, but didn't meet.
WSU is 6-18 all-time in the state of Utah...half of its losses came against Utah in Salt Lake...the Cougars haven't played in Utah since the 2006 meeting with the Utes in Salt Lake.
WSU AGAINST COLORADO:
The Cougars and Buffaloes have met just twice in the two schools' histories, as the series is tied at 1-1.
The first meeting occurred Dec. 15, 1952, a Colorado 76-46 victory in Boulder.
Over 42 years have passed since the last time the two teams met, Dec. 19, 1969...that game resulted in a WSU victory, 84-74, in the New Mexico Invitational at Albuquerque, N.M.
Both Washington State and Colorado advanced to the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) semifinal in New York last season, but both lost in that round, failing to make the finals and missing an opportunity to meet in their final game before becoming members of the Pac-12.
The Cougars are 4-5 all-time in the state of Colorado...the last time they played there came in the 2008 NCAA Tournament when they defeated Winthrop in the first round and Notre Dame in the second round.
ABOUT THE COUGARS:
Washington State is 9-5 on the season, having played just three true road games, holding a 2-1 mark in those games...two of the three Cougar road games have been played within 80 miles of campus, at Idaho and at Gonzaga...the other game was a win at Portland.
WSU is 6-1 in home games (including a 1-1 mark in games at Spokane) and 1-3 in neutral-site games.
In the first Pac-12 series of the season WSU split with the Oregon schools, falling to Oregon, 92-75, Dec. 29 and defeating Oregon State, 81-76, Dec. 31...both games were played at Spokane Arena in Spokane due to the WSU students being away on winter break.
Coming off a 26-point effort against Oregon State, Brock Motum leads the team and ranks sixth in the league with 14.9 points per game...he's scored in double figures in 13 of the team's 14 games this season.
Motum also ranks seventh in the league and 38th in the nation in field goal percentage (.558/77-for-138) and 11th in rebounding with 6.4 rebounds a game.
The junior is the only player in the Pac-12 to rank in the top-10 in both scoring and field goal percentage.
Despite missing three games this season with a concussion, senior Faisal Aden is second on the team and tied for 13th in the conference with 13.0 points per game...he's scored in double figures in eight of the 11 games he's played in.
Freshman DaVonté Lacy has started eight games for the Cougars and is third on the team and 30th in the Pac-12 with 10.6 points per game.
Just three Pac-12 freshman are averaging more points than Lacy, UW's Tony Wroten (2nd-16.8 ppg), Colorado's Spencer Dinwiddie (26th-11.5 ppg) and Chasson Randle of Stanford (27th-11.4 ppg).
Redshirt senior Abe Lodwick played his first game this season Dec. 18 after missing the first 10 with a foot injury.
Redshirt junior Mike Ladd missed WSU's games against UC Riverside, Grambling State, Eastern Washington, Idaho and Santa Clara with a sprained thumb.
Faisal Aden missed the Cougars' games against Eastern Washington, Idaho and Santa Clara with a concussion.
THE DIFFERENCE FOUR YEARS MAKE FOR ENQUIST:
In his first four seasons with the Cougars (he redshirted in 2007-08), Charlie Enquist scored a combined 50 points, grabbed 63 rebounds, and played a total of 331 minutes.
This season as a redshirt senior, Enquist already has 91 points, 73 rebounds and 267 minutes played in just 14 games this season.
Enquist is shooting .761 (35-for-46) from the field and .840 (21-for-25) from the free throw line...he has made 15 of his last 20 shots and his last 12 free throws.
MOORE OF THE SAME:
Reggie Moore has finished in the top-nine in the league in assists per game over in his first two seasons (ninth last season, fifth as a freshman in 2009-10).
This season Moore leads the league with 5.6 assists per game (34th in the country)...he's adding a team fourth-best 9.1 points per game.
Moore started the season ranked 18th in the WSU record books for career assists with 226...he currently has moved up to ninth with 305 career assists, 19 away from Blake Pengelly in eighth with 324.
The Cougar season record for assists average is 6.9 apg accomplished by Donminic Elllison during the 1994-95 season...he also holds the second spot with 5.6 per game during the 1995-96 season.
If Moore continues his 5.6 assists per game average this season, he will tie for second-best single season average in WSU history.
WASHINGTON STATE GETS 1,500TH WIN:
With the win at Idaho Dec. 7, Washington State notched its 1,500th win in its 109 years of existence.
The Cougars are now 1,504-1,371 all-time for a .523 win percentage.
The Cougars defeated Oregon State, 81-76, Dec. 31 at Spokane Arena in Spokane, Wash.
Brock Motum led the team with 26 points, one shy of his career high...he set a career high for 3-pointers made with three...his five 3-point field goal attempts also is a career high.
Motum tied his career high in field goals made (10) and field goals attempted (15).
Reggie Moore had a season high nine assists.
DaVonté Lacy finished with 18 points...he has had his two highest scoring games this season in back-to-back games.
Marcus Capers had a season high in free throws made with six and free throws attempted (eight).
With a .538 shooting performance, Washington State has now shot over .500 from the field in six of its nine wins.
The Cougars set a second half season high with 16 free throws made and 20 free throws attempted...its .792 free throw percentage for the game is a season high.
The Cougars shot a season high .500 from the three point line.
MOTUM NAMED PAC-12 PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Brock Motum was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week for the week of Dec. 5-12.
Motum led the Cougars to two victories that week, a 66-64 win at Idaho Wednesday (Dec. 7) and a 93-55 win over Santa Clara Sunday (Dec. 11).
This is the first honor for Motum, who becomes the first Cougar not named Klay Thompson to earn conference player of the week since Taylor Rochestie picked up the honor, Feb. 23, 2009.
Motum is the first forward to pick up the accolades since Daven Harmeling, Feb. 4, 2007.
It marks Washington State's 24th all-time Player of the Week.
Ken Bone IN HIS THIRD SEASON:
WSU head coach Ken Bone holds a 47-33 record in his third season in 2011-12, and already has more wins than eight previous Cougar men's basketball coaches, six of which coached at least two seasons.
Last season Bone led WSU to an NIT postseason appearance, making him the third-fastest Cougar coach to reach a postseason tournament.
He also has more wins than two of the last three head coaches, 11 more than Dick Bennett (2003-06, 36-49) and 16 more than four-year head coach Paul Graham (2000-03, 31-79).
CAPERS ON PACE FOR GAMES PLAYED RECORD:
Senior Marcus Capers has played 112 games in his WSU career, while the school record is 127 games played set by George Hamilton in 1945 and 47-49.
Given Capers plays in all the team's games this season, he will play in his 127th game March 1 at UCLA and his record-setting 128th game in WSU's regular season finale, March 3 at USC.
COUGARS PICKED TIED FOR 10TH IN PRESEASON PAC-12 POLL:
Washington State was picked to tie with Colorado for 10th place (119 points) in the inaugural Pac-12 preseason media poll released by the league at the conference's media day in Los Angeles, Friday, Oct. 28.
The poll had UCLA finishing first with 14 of the 38 first-place votes and 421 points.
California was chosen second with 13 first-place votes and 405 points, followed closely by Arizona with 11 first-place votes and 404 overall points. Washington (fourth, 355), Oregon (fifth, 282), Stanford (sixth, 255), USC (seventh, 194), Oregon State (eighth, 188), Arizona State (ninth, 148), Colorado (t-10th, 119 points) and Utah (12th, 74) rounded out the poll.
BASKETBALL GIVING BACK TO THE COMMUNITY:
The Cougars spent the majority of the summer and fall of 2011 giving back to the community, participating in various community service activities.
In June the team held three camps, including a day camp for kids ages 8-14.
In July members of the Cougar basketball team participated in Palouse Habitat for Humanity and Pullman Learning Center's sports week and in August the team made appearances at the Lentil Festival's street fair and parade.
The entire team spent time before the Cougars' Sept. 10 football game, signing autographs as part of `family day.'
Members of the team visited the senior center Sept. 16., the team held a free Kids' Clinic Oct. 1, members of the team helped with the YMCA's Keys to Success event and several Cougars have visited Jefferson Elementary, helping out in a second-grade classroom.
COUGARS RETURN THREE STARTERS; FIVE OF TOP SEVEN SCORERS:
WSU welcomes back three starters and seven letterwinners from the Cougars' 2010-11 team.
Marcus Capers, Abe Lodwick, and Reggie Moore appeared in the starting lineup during the majority of last season, en route to a 22-13 finish and a semifinal appearance in the NIT.
Senior Faisal Aden, who started nine games as a junior, is the team's returning scorer after averaging 12.7 points per game in his first year with the squad.
Moore was fourth on the team with 9.1 points per game, including 10.1 in conference play.
WASHINGTON STATE ATHLETICS' REBRANDING:
Updates to the basketball practice facility were completed this summer as part of WSU Athletics' branding master plan.
The gym, located in the P.E. Building between Bohler Gym and Smith Gym, is now easily recognizable with the WSU logo painted on one set of doors and Cougars on the other.
Paint, including the WSU fight song, and photos were also added, along with changes to reflect the newly formed Pac-12.