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January 31, 2014 at 6:53 PM

Scouting report: Washington State

D.J. Shelton provides the muscle inside for Washington State  (Photo credit: Washington State Athletics)

D.J. Shelton provides the muscle inside for Washington State
(Photo credit: Washington State Athletics)

Scouting report: Washington State
Game info: 3 p.m. Saturday at Beasley Coliseum (11,671 capacity).

TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro and Dan Dickau).
Radio: KJR 950 AM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).

Record: 8-12, 1-7 Pac-12.
Stats/schedule: Click here.
Game notes: Washington State and Washington.

Coach: Ken Bone is 78-76 (.506) in his fifth season with the Cougars. The former UW assistant has a 155-125 record at Division I schools, including a 77-49 (.611) mark at Portland State (2005-09). He also coached at Seattle Pacific where he was 253-97 (.723) from 1990-2002. Bone began his coaching career at Cal State Stanislaus where he was 5-21 (.192) in 1984-85. The next season he moved to Olympic where he was 4-23 (.148) in 1985-86. The SPU grad returned to his alma mater in 1986 as an assistant before taking over in 1990. He was an assistant at Washington from 2002-05.

Prediction: Picked to finish last in a preseason poll in the Pac-12 by media who cover the conference.

Series: Washington leads 177-100, including a six-game winning streak. The Huskies swept the three-game series last season. Every game was decided by five points or less. UW coach Lorenzo Romar is 15-10 against WSU. Bone is 2-11 against the Huskies as a head coaching, including a 2-8 stint at WSU and an 0-3 mark at Portland State.

Last meeting: Scott Suggs scored 19 points and C.J. Wilcox added 11 and Washington held off a furious rally by rival Washington State for a 64-62 win in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas on March 13, 2013. The Huskies appeared to be headed toward a rout, but blew a 19-point second-half lead. Sixth-seeded Washington went 8 minutes without a field goal as WSU (17-15) scored 15 straight points to tie it. Desmond Simmons sank a tough shot inside to put UW up for good and the game wasn’t decided until Brock Motum (28 points) missed a three-pointer with seconds remaining.

Previous game: Lost 71-44 to Oregon on Sunday at Beasley Coliseum.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

— Senior forward D.J. Shelton leads WSU and is fifth in the conference with 8.2 rebounds per game. He ranks 86th in the country in rebounds per game and 70th in the country in total rebounds. He has grabbed 9 or more rebounds in eight of the last 11 games. He’s third on the team in scoring with 8.7 points. He has five double-doubles on the season. Shelton is tied for seventh in the Pac-12 and ranks 84th in the country with five double-doubles.

Shelton notched a career-high 24 points last week against Oregon State. In five games against Washington Shelton is averaging 8.4 points and 4.4 rebounds.

— Redshirt freshman Que Johnson considered Washington before picking Washington State. He sat out last season due to academic reasons. The Cougars have needed his scoring recently and he leads the team with 13.5 points per game against Pac-12 competition. The 6-5 shooting guard has scored at least 14 points in seven of the past 10 games.

OVERVIEW:

— Once DaVonte Lacy went down with an appendectomy that forced him to miss two games and a separate rib injury that caused him to sit out the last six contests, Washington State’s season went up in smokes. The 6-4 junior guard from Tacoma’s Curtis High is WSU’s leading scorer at 17.7 points per game and he’s the team’s emotional leader. Lacy was cleared to practice this week and there’s a chance he returns to play Saturday.

— Without Lacy, the Cougars have been woeful offensively, averaging 49.4 points a game in the seven Pac-12 games he has missed.

— The Cougars rank last in the Pac-12 in field-goal percentage, scoring offense and free-throw percentage, and rank 10th in 3-point shooting percentage. They rank 11th in field-goal percentage defense.

— Inexplicably, Washington State has not found a viable pass-first point guard since dismissing Reggie Moore two years ago. Junior guard Royce Woolridge has been the primary ball-handler the past two seasons, but he’s not much of a playmaker. He averaged 2.7 assists last season and is up to 3.1 this season. However, he’s shooting less than 60 percent on free throws and fewer than 20 percent on three-pointers, which makes him an offensive liability.

— It didn’t help matters that WSU dismissed junior college transfer Danny Lawhorn, a 5-10 point guard, before the season. He led the nation in assists during his JC career.

— The Cougars were also counting on a big boost from 7-foot junior center Jordan Railey, who sat out last season after transferring from Iowa State. He’s started 18 games, but the 245-pound big man averages just 15.5 minutes, 3.0 points and 2.7 rebounds.

— Attendance is down this season at Beasley Coliseum. WSU is averaging 2,617 fans in 11 home games. The Cougars will give away 1,500 t-shirts to fans as part of a ‘Color the Court Crimson’ promotion on Saturday. WSU will wear crimson uniforms and UW is in gold.

STARTING LINEUP:

C – Jordan Railey, 7-0, 245, Jr., 3.0 ppg. 2.7 rpg. 15.5 mpg.
F – D.J. Shelton, 6-10, 250, Sr., 8.7 ppg., 8.2 rpg., 1.2 apg., 2.1 tpg.
G – Will DiIorio, 6-6, 195, Sr., 1.1, 1.9, 11.1 mpg., 29.2 FG%
G – Que Johnson, 6-5, 205, Fr., 10.7, 2.4, 36.6 3-FG%
G – Royce Woolridge, 6-3, 180, Jr., 8.6, 2.1, 3.1 apg., 59.7 FT%, 18.4 3-FG%

Comments | More in Scouting reports | Topics: Washington State


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