Yes, the clock has turned to 2010, but it's never too late to look back and crown the most influential Cougar sports figure of the past decade. Today, we turn our attention to basketball. The winner of the field will advance to the Coug of the Decade Final Four, where they will take on the winners from our football, coaching and wild card categories. Let's meet your nominees.
- Kyle Weaver - The best Cougar defensive player of the decade. Second on WSU's all-time list in assists, third in steals, seventh in blocks (!) and 12th in rebounds (!!). Is the only member of the Pac-10 to ever net over 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 450 assists, 175 steals and 75 blocks in a career. More recently, he's been crowned the best player in the NBA.
- Derrick Low - WSU single-season record holder for most three-pointers made. Hawaiian. The scoring catalyst behind the Cougars' back-to-back NCAA tournament teams in 2007 and 2008. WSU's 11th all-time leading scorer. Dropped 37 on Oregon as a Junior. Played the second most minutes of any Cougar during his career.
- Taylor Rochestie - First team All-Pac 10 last season. Willing to give up his scholarship for the benefit of the team just a couple of years after transferring from Tulane. Third all-time in three-point shooting percentage, and 14th in assists despite only playing three years. Oh, and he did this in his last game in Pullman.
- Aron Baynes - Came to Pullman unable to catch a ball, left it as one of the most dominant big men in the country last season. Eighth all-time at WSU in field goal percentage. Australian. Constant double-double threat.
- Thomas Kelati - First Cougar this decade to receive All-Pac 10 honors. 42.7% career three-point shooter, second in three-point field goals made, eighth in assists, seventh in steals. Keyed the benchmark win over Arizona in 2005.
- Marcus Moore - Yes, Cougar basketball existed before the Bennetts (although Moore played for Dick in 2003-04). Second all-time in assists per game, a thousand point scorer and became the fourth Cougar with 1,000 points, 300 assists and 125 steals.
- Klay Thompson - Ridiculous three-point shooter last season, added the versatility of driving the lane this season. 43 points in the finale of the Great Alaska Shootout a couple weeks ago. On the short list for the 2009-10 Wooden Award, as a sophomore. Could very possibly be a lock for this award next decade.
- Kate Benz - Oh, what's that? You think we're too sexist to throw out some love to the ladies? In case you didn't know - and you may not have, you chauvinist pig - Kate Benz is WSU's all-time leading rebounder and only the second Cougar to score over 1,000 points and 800 rebounds. Fittingly for the Sherri Murrell era (who is now doing just fine at Portland State), Kate reached both benchmarks in losses.
Vote, people. Polls remain open for a week.