Since the beginning of the Pac-12 schedule, Mike Ladd is doing something the Cougs have been missing and he continues to get better at it as the season moves along. He’s Moore’ing it.
As in Reggie Moore, who was thought to be a strong missing piece to the Washington State offense after his offseason dismissal from the team. It was strongly evident early in the year as the coaching staff tried anything they could to try and piece together a PG system. But then they decided to go with one featured leader as the conference schedule drew near. The senior Ladd, was the guy.
Since then, the Fresno State transfer has taken it upon himself to run the offense and bring a scoring threat to the floor every night. In averaging 17 plus points over the conference schedule, Ladd has taken the pressure off of Brock Motum to produce as much. But as we’ve seen, if Motum doesn’t get his, the Cougs go down in a gigantic flame.
Thus, it’s been a bit of a nightly experiment to try and balance the aggressiveness of being an efficient point producer and trying to get one of the conferences best big men enough touches to really make the difference in the game. A 10-11 shooting night makes getting others involved not nearly as important though, as was the case Saturday. Motum still got 20 though, thanks to an impressive 5-9 night from the field, including 3-5 from the arc.
The two are averaging just over 34 points a night over the conference schedule, a stark contrast to the just over 28 during the non-conference slate. In particular, Ladd has been much more effective since the transition to the one spot, almost doubling his point production. While the conference has done its’ best to shut down the impressive Aussie, they didn’t prepare for Ladd.
In short, when these two aren’t producing efficiently, the Cougs are going to struggle. With Ladd getting better almost nightly in the point guard role, WSU should be able to come up with more wins. We’ll see how it plays out, but if Motum can be a little bit more efficient in his role and be a volume scorer as opposed to a volume shooter, Ladd and he should be able to team up to make the Cougs a difficult challenge for the rest of the conference to deal with for the remainder of 2013.