Scouting report: Washington State
Game info: 7:30 p.m. Friday at Alaska Airlines Arena (10,000 capacity).
TV: Pac-12 Networks (Kevin Calabro and Lamar Hurd).
Radio: KJR 950 AM (Bob Rondeau and Jason Hamilton).
Coach: Ken Bone is 79-83 (.488) in his fifth season with the Cougars. The former UW assistant has a 156-132 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. During a 21-year coaching career, Bone has compiled a 414-250 record. 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 177-101. UW coach Lorenzo Romar is 15-12 against WSU and 7-4 in Seattle. Bone is 3-11 against the Huskies, including a 3-8 stint at WSU and an 0-3 mark at Portland State.
Last meeting: D.J. Shelton scored 20 points and grabbed 18 rebounds while Que Johnson added 15 points as Washington State beat Washington 72-67 on Feb. 1 at Beasley Coliseum. The win snapped WSU’s four-game losing streak. C.J. Wilcox scored 24 points to lead Washington, which had beaten the Cougars six straight times dating to 2011. The Huskies were done in by 38.9 percent shooting in the second half. The Cougars used a 24-5 run in the second half to take control of the game.
Previous game: Lost 67-53 to Oregon on Sunday at Matthew Knight Arena.
PLAYERS TO WATCH:
–DaVonte Lacy is the latest Washington State star following Brock Motum and Klay Thompson. The former standout at Tacoma’s Curtis High is the heart and soul of the Cougars. The 6-4 junior guard has scored in double figures in 18 of the 19 games he’s played this season. He missed two games due to an appendectomy and sat out six games because of a rib injury. WSU was woeful offensively, averaging 49.4 points a game in the eight Pac-12 games he missed.
Lacy returned Feb. 1 against Washington and scored 10 points, including a clutch three-pointer in the second half.
He’s a dynamic scorer who tallied 39 points against California two weeks ago. He also had a 34-point outing on Feb. 5 at Colorado. He’s scored at least 25 points five times this season.
— As his college career winds down, senior forward D.J. Shelton has progressed throughout the season. In January he was averaging 7.4 points and was wildly inconsistent on the offensive end. He’s now averaging 10.0 points and has scored in double figures in the past five games. He’s also produced double-digit rebounds in six of the past seven games. His 9.1 rebounding average is second in the Pac-12.
Shelton, a 6-10 and 250-pound forward, destroyed Washington in their first game. He made 6 of 11 field goals and was 2 of 5 on three-pointers. He also converted 6 of 8 free throws. Shelton has 10 of the 11 double doubles in his career this season.
— Washington State hasn’t won a game since beating Washington and it’s riding a six-game losing streak. The Cougars are 0-8 in Pac-12 road games.
— The metaphorical vultures are circling over Pullman and Bone, who has two years left on his contract. If he doesn’t return, WSU must pay him $1.7 million.
— The problem with the Cougars starts and ends with their offense. They rank last in the Pac-12 in scoring average (62.3 points), field-goal percentage (.406) and free-throw percentage (.648).
— Redshirt freshman Que Johnson considered Washington before picking Washington State. He sat out last season due to academic reasons. The Cougars needed his scoring recently when Lacy was out and he responded with a handful of big scoring nights. With Lacy back, Johnson has returned to the bench and his productivity has fallen off. Bone said a drop in Johnson’s minutes has more to do with his defensive lapses.
— 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 21 games, but the 245-pound big man averages just 15.4 minutes, 3.0 points and 2.4 rebounds.
C – Jordan Railey, 7-0, 245, Jr., 3.0 ppg. 2.4 rpg. 15.4 mpg.
F – D.J. Shelton, 6-10, 250, Sr., 10.0., 9.1., 1.4 apg., 1.9 tpg., 80.0 FT%
G – Dexter Kerninch-Drew, 6-7, 190, Jr., 6.0, 1.7
G – Royce Woolridge, 6-3, 180, Jr., 7.2, 1.9, 2.8 apg., 2.1 tpg.
G – DaVonte Lacy, 6-4, 215, Jr., 13.9, 4.0, 1.4 apg., 2.0 tpg., 1.3 spg., 45.3 FG%, 41.3 3FG%, 82.3 FT%