As if it’s news, there’s a basketball team in the state of Washington not wearing crimson or purple and they’re pretty good. The Gonzaga Bulldogs always have a good team, this year Washington State coach Ken Bone says they’re exceptional. “This may be the best ever”, says Bone, who praised the depth and skill of every position that the Zags cover.
There’s no denying the talent, as seemingly forever-man Elias Harris has returned as the senior anchor for this top 10, 8-0 team. It’s the first time the Zags have been ranked in the top 10 in both major polls since 2008. Others that the Cougars will have to contend with include talented big men Kelly Olynyk and Sam Dower, along with guard Kevin Pangos, who lit WSU up last season for his coming-out party. And there are others, a whole roster full.
Washington State is no stranger to a talented roster this season, although one wouldn’t exactly say they showed well against the other highly ranked team they faced in the Kansas Jayhawks. The Cougars (5-3, 5-0 at home so far this season) did not however have the services of their second biggest scoring threat, DaVonte Lacy for most of that game. Lacy hit the deck with a knee injury early in the first half against KU and has been on the shelf ever since, but Ken Bone says he may be ready to go Wednesday night at tip-off. “My guess is that he’ll play, I don’t know for sure or how much but that’s my guess.”
That would be more than a welcome sight to Coug fans and I’m sure the team will get a boost as well, but it’ll take more than a Lacy return to knock off Gonzaga. Brock Motum, coming off of a season high 26 point effort against Idaho, will need to be very efficient, maybe more so than at any time this season. D.J. Shelton and Junior Longrus will have to really box out and the guards will need to crash the boards consistently. Finally, the team will have to avoid turnovers, which has been a major issue in games over the past season plus in games where the Cougs really needed to take care of the ball.