No wonder Taylor Rochestie is playing so well. Playoff beard.
While the current Washington State basketball team prepares for the second round of the CBI, a lot of their former teammates are enjoying success in the professional ranks. Klay Thompson is the only Cougar currently in the NBA, but nearly a dozen others are playing in Europe.
Thompson has had a bit of an up and down season, but overall he's having a successful rookie campaign. He got off to a rocky start, but has rebounded nicely and is currently ninth in the NBA 3-point percentage. Overall, Thompson is averaging 8.2 PPG, 1.9 RPG and 1.4 APG in just under 18 minutes per game.
With the Warrior recent trade of Monta Ellis, Thompson will likely see an increase in playing time depending on what Golden State does with newly acquired Stephen Jackson. Thompson's progression this season is very similar to his WSU career. He started the season as mostly a spot up shooter, similar to his freshman campaign at WSU. During the first 35 games of this season Thompson shot just 14 free throws.
Recently, he has started to become more than just a shooter and has gotten to the free throw line 15 times in the last four games. His scoring has increased, including five straight games in double figures, but his efficiency has taken a slight decline. Sound anything like Thompson's sophomore season at WSU?
If this pattern holds true, Thompson could be in line for a strong close to his rookie season.
Rochestie, playing for Le Mans Sarthe Basket in the French Pro A League, is having an excellent season. In 26 games, Rochestie is averaging 17.4 PPG and 6.0 APG while shooting 46 percent from 3-point range and 51 percent overall. He's been even better over his last five games averaging 18.2 PPG, 7.4 APG and 4.6 RPG.
He's Le Mans leading scorer and assist man while also chipping in as the fourth leading rebounder. Rochestie is currently second in the French Pro A League in both scoring and assists. I wouldn't be surprised if his strong season gets him on the NBA radar even if it's only a summer league invite.
Weaver has spent this season in Germany playing for ALBA Berlin. Just like he did at WSU, Weaver is doing it all for ALBA averaging 9.8 PPG, 4.7 RPG, 2.8 APG and a team leading 1.2 steals per game. Weaver is at or near the team lead in all four categories.
Weaver's most recent game was in the mold of the classic Weaver performances we all enjoyed during his WSU career. He scored 11 points, with eight rebounds, three assists, a steal and two blocked shots. ALBA is currently in third place in the German League with an 18-6 record.
Baynes is nearly averaging a double-double playing for Ikaros Kallitheas in Greece. He has played in 18 games for the club and is averaging 14.6 PPG and 9.1 RPG while playing 29 minutes per game. His 9.1 rebounds per game lead the Greek HEBA A1 league. The next closest is a full rebound and a half behind.
Baynes also leads the league with 3.7 personal fouls per game, even though I'm sure he disagreed with every single call.
Low is currently playing for the Ukrainian team Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk. In 36 games this season, Low is averaging 12.6 PPG, 2.7 APG and 3.1 RPG. In 33 league games, Low is shooting 47.4 percent on 3-point attempts.
Casto started the season with Antalya BSB before being traded to Optimum TED. Antalya plays in the top league in Turkey while Optimum plays in the Turkish second league.
In 11 games with Antalya, Casto averaged 6.7 PPG and 5.3 RPG. Since the move to Optimum, Casto has played in 10 games averaging 6.1 PPG and 4.8 RPG.
Kelati has spent this season playing in Russia for Khimki BC which Wikipedia tells me is, "one of the most important basketball clubs in all of Russia." Former Seattle SuperSonic Mickael Gelabale also plays for Khimki.
On the season, Kelati is averaging 7.1 PPG, 2.4 RPG and 1.4 APG while playing 22 minutes per game.
While Abercrombie never saw much time at WSU, he is playing quite well for the New Zealand Breakers of the National Basketball League in Australia.
In 25 game, Abercrombie is averaging 14.9 PPG, 5.2 RPG and 1.6 APG.
Remember when Boeke's back injury was so bad he didn't receive medical clearance to continue at WSU? Well, apparently he is healed now because he is currently playing for Rist Wedel in Germany. Boeke is averaging 13.7 PPG and 8 RPG in 26 minutes a night for the German team.
My former Geology 101 lab partner played the season in the Chinese Basketball Association leading his team in scoring with 27.4 PPG. Due to the NBA lockout, the CBA was filled with current and former NBA players including Stephon Marbury, J.R. Smith and Aaron Brooks. Akognon finished sixth in the league in scoring.
After playing last season in both Serbia and Greece, it appears Koprivica did not play at all this season. Maybe they just don't "go for pizza" like they did in the Pac-10.
Clark did not play this season due to an injury.