Washington State Basketball: Loss to USC Trojans Proves Mind Games Are Real For Cougars


Feb. 2, 2013; Pullman, WA, USA; Washington State Cougars forward Brock Motum (12) sits during a timeout during a game against the Arizona Wildcats during the first half at the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington State basketball team has a specific script that they stick too, even if they don’t particularly like the way it ends. Again on Thursday night in the Galen Center, they played their role to perfection, taking a 6 point lead with under 15 minutes to play, holding a 4 point lead at the 6 minute mark, and falling completely apart before making it close in the final seconds.

I don’t know how to explain the issues that plague this team. People continue to blame the lack of talent, which has a lot to do with it I’ll agree. But the Cougars are good enough to have been up in the 2nd half of 9 out of the 10 Pac-12 games, and in most of those cases the lead was held inside the 10 minute mark. To me, this suggests coaching and I’m not on the fence about it, but we’ve been over that.

In the end it comes down to one thing. It’s a mind game and the Cougs just aren’t strong enough mentally to fight it. It’s as if they know what’s going to happen eventually and they can’t do anything about it. There’s no magic potion for it, they’ll just have to get a win in this situation against a team like UCLA on Saturday. I don’t see that happening, we’ve struggled so terrifically in Pauley, but I know we’ll have a second half lead.

Go Cougs!