Your 2008-2009 Cougar Basketball Schedule

Tentatively: (Source: Pac-10 website)

Sat., Nov. 15 Legends Classic (1)
Tues., Nov. 18 Legends Classic (1)

Fri., Nov. 21 Sacramento State
Sun., Nov. 23 Mississippi Valley State

Fri., Nov. 28 at Legends Classic (2)
Sat., Nov. 29 at Legends Classic (2)
Tues., Dec. 2 Idaho State
Sat., Dec. 6 Baylor (3)
Wed., Dec. 10 Gonzaga
Sat., Dec. 13 vs. Montana State (4)
Sat., Dec. 20 at Idaho
Sat., Dec. 27 at LSU
Sat., Jan. 3 Washington
Thurs., Jan. 8 California
Sat., Jan. 10 Stanford

Thurs., Jan. 15 at Oregon State
Sat., Jan. 17 at Oregon
Thurs., Jan. 22 UCLA
Sat., Jan. 24 USC

Thurs., Jan. 29 at Arizona State
Sat., Jan. 31 at Arizona
Thurs., Feb. 5 at Stanford
Sun., Feb. 7 at California
Thurs., Feb. 12 Oregon
Sat., Feb. 14 Oregon State

Thurs., Feb. 19 at USC
Sat., Feb. 21 at UCLA
Thurs., Feb. 26 Arizona
Sat., Feb. 28 Arizona State
Sat., Mar. 8 at Washington
Mar. 11-14 at Pac-10 Tournament (5)
(1) Legends Classic, Pullman, Wash.
(2) Legends Classic, Newark, N.J.
(3) Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series
(4) Seattle, Wash. (KeyArena)
(5) Los Angeles, Calif. (Staples Center)

Home games in bold.

Alright, let’s talk about this. After the jump.

The Legends Classic – The teams are still TBA, but I really like the idea of having the first two rounds of a pre-season tournament played in the friendly confines of Beasley Coliseum. If the Cougs can make it past the first two rounds they head to Newark, NJ – the same general area they could have made it to had they advanced to the Sweet Sixteen in the 2007 NCAA Tournament. The games will be played at the brand new Prudential Center – which aptly enough looks more like a financial center than a sports venue. A very good opportunity for the Cougs to up the RPI early on in the season.

Sacramento State/MVSU – MVSU made the tournament last season, so they’re not the usual tiny-school pushover. Still, these are easier squads placed on the schedule to sell home tickets and give the young guys a chance to gain some confidence. Expect some thunderous dunks from DeAngelo Casto in these games.

Baylor – This should be a great game, especially with Baylor looking to get redemption after the Cougars’ biggest come-from-behind victory last season. Barring a mammoth start from Wazzu this probably will not be a battle of ranked teams. But it should be a lot of fun.

Gonzaga – After Austin Daye’s ACL injury at the LeBron camp, this game suddenly looks a lot more competitive on paper. The Zags are looking to avoid a third straight loss to the Cougars. Five years ago that statement would sound completely ridiculous.

Montana State (in Seattle) – Meh. Should be a lot of fun, though. They serve beer at KeyArena!

at Idaho – I’m coming for you, Mac Hopson. You will be heckled. At a “home” game in Moscow.

at LSU – Finally that big non-conference game against a big non-conference opponent. It’s OK to hate Trent Johnson a little less.

Washington – What can I say about this that hasn’t already been said on the Cougfan boards? It’s a scheduling joke. January 3rd is a full week before students come back from break, and thanks in part to WSU’s policy of closing the dorms whenever possible, the student side may be stretched thin.

But I say so what? The fans that care, the ones who really want to be there, will be there. Better to have 9,000 hardcore Coug fans in attendance than a full 11,500 made up of bandwagoners and “F*** the Huskies” chanters.

My real problem with this lies in the fact that once again the Cougars rivalry week falls at the beginning and the end of the conference season. Which means no Thursday nights off for WSU through sixteen consecutive Pac-10 conference games. That is completely ridiculous. Take Arizona State, for example, who gets two nights off (1/24 and 2/19) right in the heart of the conference season. Making the Cougars play Thurs/Sat every week through the middle of the conference slate is unfair and shows a large amount of carelessness by the Pac-10 schedulemakers. It is the second straight season this has happened.

There is one positive: The Cougars’ second Thursday night break comes in the last week, which means the Cougs have somewhat of a “bye” before the Pac-10 and postseason tournaments. That’s a good thing, especially when your team is exhausted after a long season.

Outside of that grueling four game conference road trip, I like the schedule. A maximum of 17 home games, quality opponents, and some fluff mixed in to give the freshmen some confidence. It is a “trial by fire” for the young Cougars, but when you play in the Pac-10, what schedule isn’t? Also, a better non-conference RPI will only help WSU if they find themselves on the bubble next season.

Number Notes

0 – The numerical roster is out and Marcus Capers is rocking the zero for the first time in the Tony Bennett era.

1 – This concerns me. Klay Thompson wears the dreaded number one, which was last worn by Stephen Sauls (injured, transferred), then Mac Hopson (transferred), and before that Josh Akognon (transferred). I really hope Klay is the guy who breaks the jinx on the numero uno. And I have no reason to believe Thompson’s choice of jersey number will make him whine about playing time or get knocked out in practice. (Knocks on wood extremely loudly)

3 – Mike Harthun makes a solid jersey number choice.

13 – Fabian Boeke, who hails from my favorite foreign country (Germany), wears my favorite number.

23 – DeAngelo Casto – in terms of dunking, he’s the closest thing WSU will have to Jordan next season.

42 – James Watson gets #42.

44 – Nick Witherill, a smaller guard, chooses #44, normally a big man number. There’s got to be a story behind that.

John Allen, the walk-on guard, hasn’t chosen a jersey number yet. I suggest “00”, as it is awesome, and with a “0” already on the roster should confuse the heck out of the FSN announcers.


5 Responses to “Your 2008-2009 Cougar Basketball Schedule”

  1. Northwest Sports: In the Morning :: Sports Northwest Magazine Says:

    […] a tentative Wazzu basketball schedule. Leave a […]

  2. Tentative schedule released « WSU HOOPS Says:

    […] is going to be Idaho, subject to administrative approval. Stadium Way has a nice first take on it here; I’ll have my thoughts on it when the official schedule is released next […]

  3. mlips Says:

    Nice breakdown grady…Seriously though the number 1 jinx scares me. However…Akogonan was the leading scorer the season before he left so maybe we can get a couple of good seasons from Klay if the jinx proves true (hope it doesn’t). Then there’s the “number” zero. I think zero really shouldn’t be a number for jersey choices. Numbers usually signify some sort of something to players…I guess I see zero as just a number someone picks to stand out. Plus Aaron Brooks wore zero so I have some negative associations with that number. The other number choices all seem good to me. As long as nobody ever takes 2, 25 or 34 I’m ok.

    I still think even if WSU opened the dorms a full 10 days before school starts for the UW game…most students wouldn’t come home anyway. I’m going to guess WSU will open up the student section to the public like they did for a home game last year…and there will be a lot of angry die hard students who don’t get their usual seats. I would love to say I have faith in our student population to buck up and show up…but if last years empty student section during the school year is any indication, then we will probably be sitting next to familes in the student section for UW and Cal.

    Seriously excited for this schedule though. It’s going to be a lot of traveling over the pass though to get to the seattle game then back in time for Idaho then home…then back for UW.

    Assuming the rumored teams are in fact at the legends classic, any speculation as to who we would be playing in Pullman??

  4. MikeR Says:

    MVSU made the tournament last season, so they’re not the usual tiny-school pushover.

    They did make the tournament, but I’d say they’re the very definition of a tiny-school pushover. They were positively dreadful last year — they had a final RPI of 228 and didn’t beat a single OOC team. In fact, they started the season by losing 5 of their first 8 games by 30-plus points. They beat only one team with an RPI better than 270. If they didn’t play in the SWAC, they probably wouldn’t have won more than three or four games.

  5. Grady Says:

    Hey, but they made the tournament, right? So that makes them unusual.

    I’m really just grasping at straws. Those numbers are awful. I guess the only positive about playing MVSU last year is that you could add it to the number of “tournament teams” we defeated. Of course “tournament team” doesn’t always mean “good team”.

    Oh, and to the earlier question, I have no clue yet as to who the first and second round Legends Classic opponents might be.

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