#75 Washington St: 2010-11 Basketball Preview
Overall Rank: #75
Conference Rank: #5 Pacific-10 Conference
2009-10: 16-15, 6-12
2009-10 postseason: none
Coach: Ken Bone (16-15 at Washington State, 351-182 overall)
Coach Ken Bone did a decent job with Washington State during his first year at the helm. He led the team to a winning record and has, thus far, successfully transitioned the team away from the defense first mentality installed by both Coach Bennett’s and opened up the offense. The team responded well to the change, but there was an obvious lack of depth last season and that could be an issue again this year.
Key Losses: G Michael Hurthun, F Nikola Koprivica, G Xavier Thames
Only seven players averaged over ten minutes per game last year. The good news is five of them are back, but that also means this group of relatively unheralded newcomers will have to provide some depth. Faisal Aden, a junior college transfer, is the likely candidate to make an impact on the perimeter. Point guard Dre’ Winston and small forward Patrick Simon should also be ready to contribute some quality minutes here and there. The Cougars also add guards Will Dilorio and Dexter Kernich-Drew.
The starting backcourt returns intact with Reggie Moore, Klay Thompson and Marcus Capers. Moore is the catalyst of the offense and defense and averaged 12.7 points, 4.2 assists and 1.4 steals last season…and that was as a freshman. A year of experience under his belt and Moore should continue scoring and finding his teammates while cutting down on his turnovers. Thompson will be the beneficiary of many of Moore’s assists. The 6-6 junior will do a ton of scoring and a little bit of everything else. During the 2009-2010 campaign he led the team with 19.6 points per game and added 5.1 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 1.4 steals. Unlike Moore, Thompson is a prolific outside shooter, but like Moore, he will attack the basket very effectively. Capers is the overlooked player in the backcourt. He will not score too much, nor is he a great playmaker, but he is a solid defender and a good enough scorer around the basket that the defense has to pay some attention to him.
Abe Lodwick started a majority of the games last season at the power forward spot. At 6-7 and 200 pounds, the junior wing has enough size to play the power forward position, but on most other teams in the Pac-10 he would be a small forward. He can shoot the ball, but does not do so very often and most of his contributions will not make it to the stat sheet. The true force in the frontcourt is DeAngelo Casto. He tallied 10.7 points per game last season and led the Cougars with 7.0 rebounds and 2.2 blocks. His presence on both ends of the floor makes Washington State a legitimate contender for an NCAA Tournament berth. Casto forces the opposition to double team him on many occasions and that will lead to an open look for either Moore or Thompson on the perimeter.
Who to Watch:
However, the lack of depth behind Casto and company is a major concern. Charlie Enquist is the biggest player on the roster at 6-10 and 222 pounds. However, he has barely played during his first two seasons with the Cougars and somebody has to give Casto a break at some point. After averaging 9.7 minutes per game last year, it may be time for Enquist to step up his game and play closer to 15 or 20 minutes.
If Enquist is not up for the job, this is a team that will get outrebounded consistently yet again. While they can live with that to a certain extent, WSU turned the ball over too much to afford to get beat on the glass game in and game out. The starting five is very good, but the lack of depth will keep this team out of the NCAA Tournament picture. Yet, there is not a senior on the roster so a trip to the NIT could catapult them into contention in 2011-2012.
Projected Post-season Tournament: NIT
Projected Starting Five:
Reggie Moore, Sophomore, Guard, 12.7 ppg
Klay Thompson, Junior, Guard, 19.6 ppg
Marcus Capers, Junior, Guard, 6.9 ppg
Abe Lodwick, Junior, Forward, 2.5 ppg
DeAngelo Casto, Junior, Forward, 10.7 ppg
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