The Washington State Cougar basketball team is up against it today. After yet another emotionally draining home loss to ASU on Thursday, the #8 Wildcats from Tuscon come to town. Arizona held on to defeat Washington Thursday, in much the same fashion as our game went down.
I really want to believe that Wazzu could hold onto a close game in front of a fun “white-out” crowd at Beasley, but my head is telling me that this might be the first time the Cougs get totally way-layed in conference play. If the Devils were an example of lightning quick guard play and a formidable inside presence, the Cats are the precedent. Big brother is only 4 games removed from a 17 point beat-down of their rivals from Tempe and have been playing stellar basketball during their 18-2 (6-2) season.
Sean Miller’s crew is also the most balanced team in the conference, with seniors Mark Lyons and Solomon Hill leading the way, along with talented soph Nick Johnson. Those 3 average just under 15 points per game so keeping at least one of them down is a key to beating them. If one of them does however get shut down, I fully expect an unsung hero to rise up from any number of talented Cats, including the two freshmen big guys Kaleb Tarczewski or Brandon Ashley.
And so today, it’s not necessarily about winning. I would say making this as competitive as they all have been lately would be a step forward. Although Oregon beat these guys in Autzen and Washington State had a very good shot of taking Oregon out there, I think Arizona has the type of team that could overpower us for much of the night.
So basically to pull off the most shocking upset of the conference season so far, it’ll come down to this. Brock Motum needs a huge game, somewhere in the 25-30 point range. After that Ladd needs another solid 15 points and then the Cougs really need to play their best defensive game of the year. It would be nice to see at least one other Coug in double figures, either a Lacy or a DKD.
Hopefully we find some way to get it done, I’m just not seeing it right now.