The Washington State Cougar basketball team blew out 2 inferior teams in their first 2 games, but each time head coach Ken Bone had some criticism of the performance. He repeatedly mulled over the fact that his team wasn’t finishing the game the way they needed too, and on Friday night at the Pepperdine, it bit them right in the butt. A big lead (8 points with 3 or so minutes to play may not seem too big, but when the opposition hasn’t scored but 45 points, it is) became smaller and smaller, eventually ending regulation in a tie game. To read a good description of exactly what happened, go HERE.
I’m here to ask a simple question, did the Cougs learn their lesson from this game? This is one of those games that you are supposed to win, but actually could be a good game to lose, IF you learn the lesson. You have to, HAVE TO finish games with the intensity that you start them. Also, while you’d like to get the ball to your star player, other guys have to be able to make plays in crunch time and not force it in with under 5 seconds left. These are the same issues that have been plaguing the football team all season and it’s an issue that will doom our basketball team if it becomes a trend, especially since they lack the talent on other squads. Kansas is a prime example of a team with more talent (we will face them Monday, oh by the way), in which you have to outwork them the entire game.
I’m interested in seeing how the Cougs respond. An injury to Brock Motum isn’t going to help, even if he’s healthy enough to go on Monday, but our team is now in “grow up fast” mode, which is always hit or miss. Hopefully more hit, but I don’t expect a win against the Jayhawks. It would be a victory for me if we keep it to single digits, honestly. Still, I be watching with a little, irrational voice in my head telling me we’re the better team and should win the game.