Cougar Hoops Notebook

COUGAR BASKETBALL coach Tony Bennett, prepping for this weekend's Legends Classic in Newark, N.J., said center Fabian Boeke and guard John Allen still aren't ready for game action due to back problems. Neither has played in the Cougars' four games this season. Meanwhile, freshman guard Michael Harthun won't be making the trip east after being suspended for an undisclosed team rules violation.

A report in a Seattle newspaper however said it was in connection with an incident Sunday night where Harthun was investigated by WSU police for alleged marijuana possession. The Seattle Times said Harthun wasn't cited for suspicion of possessing less than 40 grams of marijuana but that the case was forwarded to the Whitman County prosecutor's office for possible charges.

Harthun made his collegiate debut last Friday against Sacaramento State but didn't play Tuesday against Canisius. The Medford, Ore., product will be reinstated for the Idaho State game next Tuesday in Pullman, Bennett said.

Bennett had contemplated redshirting Harthun this season but decided not to given Harthun's stellar outside shooting in practices.

The 6-11 Boeke has been plagued by back woes since last season. Allen is a first-year walk on at WSU who impressed coaches in pre-season workouts for his natural fit at point guard.

DAVEN HARMELING, who usually plays something akin to power forward this season, cracked up reporters this week when he was asked if his instincts "came back" when he saw some action at his old small forward position in the Cougs' win over Canisius.

"It would probably come back for most people, but not me. I think I need training wheels." Harmeling has been known to struggle when defending quicker players. "He (Bennett) tried to throw me in there tonight to see how I'd do defensively, and I think I pretty much failed," said Harmeling, who tends to be his harshest critic. "I wasn't really ‘locked on' or focused. I gave up several 3's."

TAYLOR ROCHESTIE, who played at Tulane as a freshman, has a shot at Bennie Seltzer's WSU record of 473 career assists. Rochestie just moved past Derrick Low into 12th place with 257. Rochestie, 10th in the nation with a 2.81 assists/turnovers ratio last season, was kicking himself when he doubled his season turnovers total Tuesday by making four miscues against Canisius.

The heady little senior was particularly upset with himself when he blew a 3-on-1 break by trying to get fancy and deliver a behind-the-back bounce pass that clanked off one of his heels late in the game. "Soccer move," Rochestie deadpanned. He added, "It's basically the opposite of what a point guard should be doing out there."

A COUPLE OF noteworthy winning streaks go on the line Friday when the Cougs take on Mississippi State in the Legends Classic. The Cougars have won 20 straight nonconference, regular-season games since December 2006 (starting with a memorable home win over Gonzaga), and Bennett is 18-0 in November in three years as WSU's head coach.


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