Jan. 27, 2009
Complete Release in PDF Format
COUGARS HIT ROAD FOR FOUR STRAIGHT BEGINNING AT ARIZONA STATE: The Washington State University men's basketball team (11-8, 3-3) looks to bounce back from its two-straight home losses to UCLA and USC as it heads to Tempe, Ariz. to take on Arizona State, Thursday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. PST at Wells Fargo Arena.
LAST TIME OUT FOR THE COUGS:
The Cougars fell to USC, 46-44, Saturday, Jan. 24 at Friel Court.
Klay Thompson led WSU with 15 points, adding four rebounds.
Aron Baynes came one rebound shy of his fourth-consecutive double-double (12 points, nine rebounds).
Taylor Rochestie did not score in the first half for the second time this season...the other time being against Mississippi State in Newark, N.J. Nov. 28.
First time since 2004-05 that neither team reached 20 points in the first half (March 3, 2005 vs. Stanford)...Cougars won, 59-48.
Nineteen-point first half marked the first time WSU didn't reach 20 points in the first half since scoring 17 at Washington, Jan. 5, 2008...Cougars won 56-52.
WSU's 44 points are the second-fewest points scored all season...scored 43 against Pittsburgh, Nov. 29.
The Cougars were perfect from the free throw line for the second game this season (10-for-10)...also a Pac-10 record 26-for-26 from the line at Oregon (Jan. 17)...made 49 of last 50 free throws attempted.
Daven Harmeling's 3-pointer was his first field goal at Friel Court since WSU hosted Gonzaga Dec. 10, 2008.
Fewest points scored by USC in the all-time series vs. WSU...previous was 51 twice.
The 90 combined points is the fewest point total between the Cougars and Trojans in the all-time series...previous low was 100 points (43-57), Jan. 3, 1981 at USC.
A BRIEF LOOK AT LAST SEASON:
WSU swept the series season last year with victories in both Tempe and Pullman.
In the first meeting, the Cougars recorded their second-straight one-point victory over the Sun Devils with a 56-55 win over then-No. 24 Arizona State.
The meeting was the first when both teams were ranked (WSU ranked sixth).
WSU lead 56-48 with 3:09 to go in the game before ASU scored the final seven points and missed the game-winning jumper with two seconds.
Derrick Low scored 18 points, 12 in the second half.
Taylor Rochestie added 13 points.
ASU's James Harden scored a game-high 25 points.
WSU defeated ASU, 59-47, at Friel Court, Feb. 21.
Derrick Low (15), Aron Baynes (10) and Taylor Rochestie (10) each scored in double figures.
The Cougars held James Harden to 10 points in the second meeting.
WSU CLAMPS DOWN ON LEADING SCORERS:
The Cougars have held 14 of their 19 opponents' leading scorers below their average points per 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 eight of its opponents' leading scorers to single-digit figures, including two in Pac-10 play (Collison and Cal's Jerome Randle-eight).
The Cougars' opponents' leading scorers are scoring 33 percent less than their average points per game coming into the game.
A complete chart of each team's leading scorer and point information is on page five of today's notes.
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.
Rochesite 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.
Former Cougar Josh Akognon, now of Cal State Fullerton, holds the third-best mark in the NCAA this season with a 15-for-15 performance against Cal State Bakersfield, Dec. 13.
The Cougars had another perfect performance from the free throw line against USC Jan. 24, going 10-for-10 from the charity stripe.
MIXING IT UP:
The Cougars have used five 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 at the different starting lineups.
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Harmeling Baynes (10)
Rochestie Thompson Harmeling Forrest Baynes (3)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Forrest Baynes (2)
Rochestie Thompson Koprivica Casto Baynes (1)
Rochestie Thompson Capers Forrest Baynes (3)
Three different true freshmen have started for the Cougars (Thompson-19, Capers-3, Casto-1).
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 the last two years at WSU, Rochestie has amassed 1,058 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 754 points as a Cougar after scoring 304 at Tulane.
WSU FRESHMAN AMONG TOPS IN PAC-10:
DeAngelo Casto leads all Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 1.3 and is third overall in the category.
Klay Thompson is third among Pac-10 freshmen in blocks per game with 0.7 an outing and is 10th overall.
Thompson is the only freshman ranked in the top-10 in minutes played...he's ranked 10th with 32.8 minutes played per game.
COUG VETS IN RANKINGS TOO:
Seniors Aron Baynes and Taylor Rochestie also rank in the tops in the Pac-10 in 10 different categories. Below is a look at where they rank.
Field Goal Percentage - 2nd (.594, 85-for-143)
Blocked Shots - 5th (1.1 bpg)
Rebounding - 5th (7.1 rpg)
Defensive Rebounding - 5th (4.9 drpg)
Offensive Rebounding - 9th (2.2 orpg)
Minutes Played - 3rd (36.5 mpg)
Free Throw Percentage - 2nd (.912, 52-for-57)
Assist/Turnover Ratio - 3rd (1.9 a/t ratio)
Assists - 5th (4.7 apg)
Points - 19th (12.2 ppg)
FRESHMEN MARKING UP RECORD BOOKS:
Freshman DeAngelo Casto ranks tied for third in the WSU freshman class record book in blocks with 25...he is tied with Carlos Daniel and is two away from Robbie Cowgill in second (27).
With 218 points this season, freshman Klay Thompson ranks eighth in the WSU freshman class record books for points...he is 34 points from Gail Bishop in seventh with 250 points.
Thompson is tied for sixth on the 3-point list with 30 3-point field goals...he is one 3-pointer shy of the two-way tie for fourth (31).
With 13 blocks, Thompson is matched with Aron Baynes for 10th on the list. He's one from eighth place (14), two from sixth place (15) and three from meeting Caleb Forrest at fifth place (17).
ROCHESTIE HEATS UP FOR PAC-10 PLAY:
Taylor Rochestie became WSU's leading scorer this season after putting up 21 against Stanford Jan. 10.
Rochestie has scored 111 points in WSU's seven Pac-10 games this season, averaging 15.9 points per game.
He has led the Cougars in scoring in four of their seven conference games.
Rochestie scored 12 against Washington (1/3), 19 against California (1/8), 21 against Stanford (1/10), 14 at Oregon State (1/15), 30 at Oregon (1/17), nine against UCLA and six against USC (1/24).
He's shooting .909 from the free throw line in the seven league games.
Rochestie scored 120 points in the Cougars first 12 games, averaging 10.0 points per game during nonconference play.
AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
The Cougars are 42-206 all-time against the Associated Press Top-25....they are 18-155 against teams ranked in the top 15.
Arizona State comes in as the No. 14 team in the AP Poll...WSU is 0-5 all-time against No. 14...the first of the Cougars' meetings with No. 14 came against Arizona State...below is a look at the Cougars' matchups against the 14th-ranked team:
Jan. 8, 1981 vs. Arizona State (L, 59-62/2OT)
Jan. 19, 1985 vs. Oregon State (L, 57-73)
Feb. 3, 1996 at Arizona (L, 78-96)
Jan. 6, 2002 at UCLA (L, 69-81)
Feb. 2, 2008 vs. Stanford (L, 65-67/OT)
WSU's last road win against a top-25 team came January 26, 2008 at No. 24 Arizona State.
The Cougars' last win over a ranked opponent when they weren't ranked came Jan. 6, 2007 over No. 7 Arizona (77-73, OT).
WSU's last road win over a ranked opponent when not ranked came Jan. 7, 2006 at No. 10 Washington.
WSU is 0-4 against ranked opponents this season (No. 4 Pittsburgh, No. 4 Gonzaga, No. 24 Baylor, No. 13 UCLA)...have lost its last five games against top-25 opponents.
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 870 career points, Baynes needs a total of 130 more points this season to reach the milestone.
The Australian-native tallied 365 last season averaging 10.4 per game.
Four of the five players that started the first 10 games for the Cougars earned Pacific-10 Conference All-Academic accolades last season.
The only one of the five who didn't, Klay Thompson, was in high school last year.
Daven Harmeling and Taylor Rochestie earned first-team honors, while Aron Baynes and Nikola Koprivica picked up second-team accolades.
Harmeling is a three-time conference all-academic honoree, while Baynes has earned the honors twice.
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).
Five or more freshmen have seen action in eight of WSU's 14 games.
Last season just two freshmen played for the Cougars, making a total of 20 appearances (one true freshman, one redshirt freshman).
This year seven WSU freshmen have combined for 89 appearances in the first 19 games.
Against Idaho State, Dec. 2 and Montana State, Dec. 13, seven freshmen and a total of eight first-year players saw action in each game.
FALLING AT HOME:
Prior to WSU's game against Stanford Jan. 10, the Cougars had lost their last four home games (Dec. 6-Baylor, Dec. 10-Gonzaga, Jan. 3-Washington and Jan. 8-California).
The last time WSU lost four-straight at home was during Dick Bennett's first year as head coach for the Cougars, 2003-04.
In 2004 WSU fell to Arizona (Jan. 31), Oregon State (Feb. 12), Oregon (Feb. 14) and Stanford (March 4).
Like this season, two of the teams were ranked as Arizona was No. 9 and Stanford No. 1...this season Gonzaga was No. 4 and Baylor No. 24.
WINNING BY 20-PLUS:
This season four of the Cougars' 11 wins have come by margins of victory greater than 20 points.
WSU's final two wins of the 2007-08 season were also by 20 or more points (61-41 over Notre Dame-3/22; 71-40 over Winthrop-3/20).
Prior to Nov. 28's 11-point win over Mississippi State, the Cougars had a margin of victory of 20 or more points in each of their last six wins, dating back to last season.
WSU's one-point victory over Stanford was its first single-digit win of the season...its four-point victory over Oregon State was its second...the Cougars had won by double-digits in each of its last 10 wins.
Five of the Cougars' 16 players are 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 CANDIDATE FOR SENIOR CLASS AWARD:
Senior point guard Taylor Rochestie was named one of 30 candidates for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award, Dec. 19.
An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award honors the attributes of college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season and complete college education bring.
A two-year starter, Rochestie ranked third on last season's team with 10.4 points per game and is third this year with 9.8...he was 10th in the country last year with a 2.81 assists/turnover ratio.
Last fall, Rochestie announced he would give up his scholarship for his senior season so that the Cougars could sign a fifth player to their early signing class...an extra scholarship opened up during the summer and Rochestie was awarded a scholarship for the 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.
COUGARS AGAINST RANKED OPPONENTS:
Five of WSU's opponents this season are ranked in the Associated Press and ESPN/USA Today Polls, including the No. 3 team in the country, Pittsburgh.
Two others are receiving votes.
Pittsburgh (3), UCLA (17/16), Arizona State (14), Gonzaga (20/25) and Washington (23/RV)...Baylor and California are receiving votes in both the AP and ESPN/USA Today Polls.
COUGARS' HOME NONCONFERENCE STREAK ENDED:
WSU's loss Dec. 6 to No. 24 Baylor at home marked its first nonconference loss at Friel Court since falling to No. 25 Gonzaga, 54-52, Dec. 7, 2004.
The Cougars' back-to-back losses to Baylor (Dec. 6) and Gonzaga (Dec. 10) marked the first time WSU lost back-to-back nonconference games since 2004-05 with losses at Oklahoma State (Dec. 4) and against Gonzaga (Dec. 7).
The two losses also marked the first time WSU lost back-to-back nonconference games at home since 1985-86 when it fell to Wisconsin (Dec. 9) and Nebraska (Dec. 12).
Taylor Rochestie was the only Cougar that was alive when the Cougars dropped back-to-back nonconference home games in 1985.
NONCONFERENCE STREAK COMES TO AN END:
The Cougars had their regular season nonconference winning streak snapped at 21 games with their loss to Pittsburgh Saturday, Nov. 29.
The streak had gone back to the 2006-07 season.
The 21-game winning streak is the second-longest in school history, passing the 19-straight 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.
BENNETT NO LONGER PERFECT IN NOVEMBER:
WSU's Nov. 29 loss to Pittsburgh marked its first loss in November under third-year head coach Tony Bennett.
The Cougars had gone 19-0 under Bennett in November prior to that game...Bennett is now 19-1 in the month.
The Cougars have started the season 5-0 in all three of Bennett's seasons at the helm.