Dec. 5, 2012; Pullman, WA, USA; The Gonzaga Bulldogs celebrate after a game against Washington State Cougars at the Beasley Performing Arts Coliseum. The Bulldogs would go not beat the Cougars by a final score of 71-69. Mandatory Credit: James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
Washington State’s annual game against the Gonzaga Bulldogs is generally when basketball kicks into season for me. Mostly because it’s generally the first big rivalry game of the season (sanz Idaho). That day is here again in 2013.
The Cougs and Zags have played some classics in the recent years, including the Gonzaga buzzer beater from Pangos (it was Pangos right?) last season, a Cougar eight point loss (in it til the last minute) to GU two years ago, a Cougar stomping of the Zags in 2010 and a five point Gonzaga victory in 2009.
The low expectations of the Cougar fan base and the basketball voters in general have fueled the Cougars to be better than they are supposed to be, or so they they’ve been saying. Today we get to find out if that might have a chance to be true. Gonzaga is again loaded (what’s new) and will be looking to make a statement against their Eastern in-state rivals who nearly ruined their early season in 2012.
One thing the Cougs must do today is be consistent scoring the basketball. The customary five to seven minute drought of a Ken Bone team around the 15:00 – 10:00 mark of the second half will leave the Cougars wanting in this game.
In order to show me, or anyone else following WSU basketball that the program is ready to turn the corner this season, those epic meltdowns must end and the Cougs need to start the new trend tonight.
The Cougar facts are good according to the scoreboard after two games. 2-0 with a 6 and 20 points margin of victory, can’t complain. But in the next five games we’ll find out just how watchable this team has become with the new pieces in place that are supposed to begin to turn the Bone era around. If it doesn’t start in that stretch, well… let’s just say we all know the Bill Moos vision for competitive programs.