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Bad News For Cougar Hoops


Washington State fans got tough news for both men’s and women’s basketball Tuesday.

Coach Ken Bone shared the final determination from the NCAA during his media conference call on whether or not Demarquise “Que” Johnson would be eligible to practice with his teammates this season. The ruling was specific and concise. “He will not be practicing this year” stated Bone. Johnson will have to sit out using his redshirt year. “(His eligibility) stays the same. He’s allowed to be in school and go to class, but he’s not allowed to practice”, lamented Coach Bone.

Given the skill set and athletic talent of Que, his presence on the the practice court would be a tremendous plus for his development as well as challenging his teammates.

This will be a challenging week for men’s basketball as they host a very good Arizona State squad Thursday evening at 8pm on Friel Court in Pullman. Things will get even tougher Saturday night at 7pm when the No. 8 Arizona Wildcats arrive on the Palouse.

As if that news wasn’t bad enough, women’s basketball Coach June Daugherty suspected the injury Tia Presley sustained last Friday might be serious.

There were no pleasant surprises Monday afternoon.

“Sad news for Tia individually and the Cougar program,” bemoaned Coach Daugherty. “We lost her to an ACL injury against the Oregon Ducks late in the game.”

Yesterday the severity of her physical damage was revealed after a thorough medical examination, “…with the clarification from Dr. Tingstad and the MRI that she will have to have surgery.”

Considering how well Presley has played, losing her for the balance of this season is a significant blow to the Cougs. “Tough, tough break for us”, affirmed Daugherty.

Freshmen Dawnyelle Awa and Alexas Williamson will be asked to step up. Coach Daugherty was quick to point to the performance of Awa and Williamson last Sunday in the Cougar overtime victory over Oregon State. “They didn’t turn the ball over one time between the two of them and came up with big play after big play.”

For Cougar fans who were on hand at Beasley Coliseum to witness the hard fought Pac-12 victory over OSU, they saw something special. With Tia Presley on the sidelines in crutches, WSU played scrappy basketball earning a tremendous victory to honor their hobbled teammate. “That’s a great moment in sports to see (an) entire team rally for you and get it done”, boasted Daugherty.

WSU women’s hoops travels to Tempe, AZ Friday evening to take on Arizona State in the first of two road games this coming weekend. The Cougs defeated ASU in Pullman back in January. They will then head down I-10 to Tucson to take on the Wildcats hoping to avenge being handed a loss in their Pac-12 opener.