WSU to Play Pepperdine in 2011 Cougar Hardwood Classic

Seattle, Wash. – Washington State’s men’s basketball will take on Pepperdine University on December 22nd in the seventh annual Cougar Hardwood Classic.

The event will take place at KeyArena marking the fifth all time meeting between the teams, with the series currently tied at 2-2.  The schools haven’t faced each other since Dec 13th 1986 in Pullman with the Cougars defeating the Waves 82-77.

WSU is coming off a trip to the NIT semifinals and despite losing All-Pac-10 performers Klay Thompson & DeAngelo Casto to the professional ranks, Ken Bone returns his most veteran group to Pullman.

Faisal Aden (12.7 points per game in 2010-11), Reggie Moore (9.1 ppg), Brock Motum (7.6 ppg), Marcus Capers (5.8 ppg) and Abe Lodwick (3.5 ppg) all started at least nine games a season ago and will make up a balanced attack that should be difficult for opponents to contain.

The man in charge of stopping the WSU offense in Seattle is new Pepperdine head coach, Marty Wilson.  Coach Wilson, who spent the past three seasons as the team’s associate head coach, returns four starters and 10 letterwinners from a team that won 12 games.  The Waves played more than their fair share of close games last season, as 10 contests came down to a shot at the regulation buzzer (including six of the final eight games of the season).

The Waves return 53.4% of their scoring (1,222/2,289), 55.9% of their rebounding (583/1,043), 66.2% of their assists (270/408), 43.3% of their blocked shots (42/97), 62.7% of their steals (121/193) and 59.8% of the minutes played (3,977/6,650).

Washington State is 6-0 all time in Cougar Harwood Classics games.  Last season the Cougars defeated Portland 84-68 behind 35 points from Thompson.  WSU has defeated Utah, San Diego State, The Citadel, Montana State and LSU in the other five Cougar Hardwood Classic games.

Tickets will go on sale Sept. 17th at all Ticketmaster outlets.  Visit www.cougarsinseattle.com for the latest news on ticket offers and all event updates.