Scouting report: Washington State
Game info: 4 p.m. Sunday at Edmundson Pavilion (10,000 capacity).
TV: FSN (Steve Physioc, Ernie Kent and Rebecca Harlow).
Radio: KJR 950 AM and 102.9 FM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Record: 9-7, 1-3.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Click here.
Coach: Ken Bone, the former Washington assistant, is 47-35 in his third season with the Cougars.
Prediction: Picked to finish in a 10th-place tie in the Pac-12 by media.
Series: Washington leads 172-100 in a series that began in 1910. The Huskies are 99-35 as hosts. WSU swept the regular-season series last season, but lost to UW in the Pac-10 tournament. Lorenzo Romar is 10-10 against WSU and Bone is 2-6 versus UW.
Last meeting: Washington overcame an eight-point second half deficit and withstood a 43-point barrage from Klay Thompson, the conference’s leading scorer, to claim an 89-87 win over Washington State in the quarterfinals of Pac-10 Tournament quarterfinals. Isaiah Thomas finished with 21 points and 11 assists, which was one shy of the tournament record. He scored three late baskets including a layup with nine seconds left to seal the win. Five Huskies scored in double figures including Terrence Ross (17 points) and C.J. Wilcox (16).
Previous game: Washington State lost 71-60 at Colorado.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
— Brock Motum (right) is a difficult matchup because the 6-10 junior forward is able to step behind the arc and knock down three-point shots. He’s connected on 13 of 31 (41.9 percent) this season. He matched his career scoring high last week at Utah when he tallied 27 points. A week earlier, he had 26 against Oregon State. Motum leads WSU with15.3 points per game, which ranks sixth in the Pac-12. Motum ranks seventh in the league and 36th in the nation with a 55.6 percent field goal percentage. He’s the only player in the Pac-12 ranked in the top 10 in scoring and field goal percentage. Motum also leads WSU with 6.4 rebounds per game.
Few people expected the native of Brisbane, Australia would emerge as the leading scorer and rebounder to replace Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto. Motum started just nine games last season and averaged 7.6 points and 3.0 rebounds. He’s been WSU’s most consistent player this season. He’s scored in double figures in 14 of WSU’s 16 games and has reached 20 points four times. He’s listed at 230 pounds, but ways closer to 245. He told the News Tribune he added 40 pounds since his freshman year. Motum was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Dec. 5.
Romar on Motum: “They didn’t run anything for Brock Motum last year. Brock Motum right now has emerged as a scorer as much as anyone on that team. … They have a number of weapons and I think it’s pretty spread out with Klay being gone.”
— Junior guard Reggie Moore leads the Pac-12 with a 5.4 assists per game average. He was ninth last season and fifth as a freshman. Moore is ninth in WSU’s all-time assists list and needs 12 to move into eighth place. If maintains his current pace, Moore will finish third for single season average in school history. His career high is 12. Moore is averaging 9.4 points this season, which is fourth among the Cougars. He scored 14 against Colorado and Oregon and his season high is 16.
Q&A WITH DAVONTE LACY:
— The WSU freshman guard, who starred at Curtis High in Tacoma, has started the last nine games. He’s averaging 9.8 points, 2.1 rebounds and is a contender to make the Pac-12 All-Freshman team.
(Did you see yourself making this type of impact this early in your career?) “I believe I did, I don’t know if anyone else did. I don’t know if anyone else believed in me. I know I did. I felt like If I got the opportunity I would capitalize on it. We’re only halfway through the season so hopefully I can keep it up and keep having a good year.”
(Was there one thing you did to make the transition easier?) “Right after the state championship I just got into the gym and started working on getting bigger and stronger. Then I’d also get in the gym and play with a lot of older guys to get used to the physicality at this level. … I wish I would have done it a little bit more.”
(What has been the most difficult part of the transition?) “The defense. Some of these guys are going to be in the pros someday. Some are really fast, really quick and they’re good at the same time. It’s always got to be on your mind playing defense. Staying low and playing good help side defense.”
(Why has WSU been so inconsistent this season?) “Our focus. We haven’t really been focused the last couple of games. This week we bounced back because we’ve been really focused during film and in practice. I can see it in our guys. I feel like we’re going to come out ready to play on Sunday.”
— Senior guard Faisal Aden, junior college transfer, has been remarkably consistent since joining the Cougars last season. He averaged 12.7 points as a junior and this season he’s averaging 12.8 points. He missed three games due to a concussion and lost his starting job. Aden is averaging 8.7 points in six games as a reserve.
— Senior forward Abe Lodwick, who started 32 games last season, missed the first 10 games due to a broken foot. He’s averaging 4.0 points and 3.7 rebounds in six games as a reserve.
— Senior forward Charlie Enquist has been one of the biggest surprise for the Cougars. The former walk-on made one start, scored 50 points and grabbed 63 rebounds in 54 games. This season he’s started 16 games and has 95 points and 82 rebounds.
— Junior Mike Ladd has had a tough transition since transferring from Fresno State. He missed five games due to a thumb injury. Ladd was scoreless in eight minutes last week against Colorado. He’s averaging 4.0 points and 2.0 rebounds as a backup.
— Lacy leads WSU with 73 three-point attempts. He’s shooting 37 percent behind the arc.
— The Cougars rank sixth in the Pac-12 at 71.2 points per game and seventh in scoring defense at 65.2 ppg.
— WSU assistant Curtis Allen played at Washington from 2000-04.
F – Brock Motum , 6-10, 245, Jr., 15.3 ppg., 6.4 rpg., 2.1 apg.
F – Charlie Enquist . 6-10, 230, Sr., 5.9, 5.1, 0.6 bpg.
G – Dexter Kernich-Drew , 6-6, 182, Fr., 3.1, 1.1, 0.2 apg.
G – Marcus Capers , 6-4, 179, Sr, 5.4, 4.1, 1.7 apg.
G – DaVonte Lacy 6-3, 182, Fr., 9.8, 1.7, 2.2 apg.
— There’s bound to be sparks flying when Moore and Lacy confront Abdul Gaddy and Tony Wroten Jr. All four are familiar with each other so there’s going to be very few surprises when they meet. Moore is usually hyper-aggressive when he plays in Seattle. He struggled whenever he faced Isaiah Thomas, who he considered a mentor. He’s likely to be much more comfortable against Gaddy and Wroten.
Still the most intriguing matchup involves Motum. It will be interesting to see who Romar uses to defend Washington State’s best player. He’s the tallest player in the WSU rotation, but 7-foot Aziz N’Diaye may have a difficult time keeping up with Motum on the perimeter. Redshirt freshman forward Desmond Simmons, 6-7, may draw the defensive assignment, but he’d surrender three inches and 25 pounds to the Cougar big man.