#85 Washington State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 Preview

Washington State Cougars

2013-2014 Overall Rank: #85
Conference Rank: #8 Pac-12

Washington State Team Page#85 Washington State Men's Basketball 2013-2014 PreviewBuy Washington State Basketball Tickets

It was a long season for Coach Ken Bone and his Washington State squad. There was not a marquee victory anywhere to be found until the Cougars knocked off UCLA during the final week of the regular season. They only won a single true road game too. And now they lose their best player. Yet there is hope and potential in this group. Coach Bone has some young talent that is ready to take on bigger roles and this is not a team that will finish in the basement of the Pac-12 again in 2013-2014.

2012-13 Record: 13-19, 4-14
2012-13 Postseason: None
Coach: Ken Bone
Coach Record: 70-65 at Washington State, 147-114 overall

Who’s Out:
Brock Motum was easily the star of the Cougars during his senior season. The 6-10 forward led the team in points, rebounds and blocks. He could stretch out the defense extremely well and a healthy chunk of his 18.7 points per game came from beyond the arc. Without Motum in the middle of the paint, the Cougars will look very different on both ends of the floor. Also gone is 6-5 guard Mike Ladd. Best known for his defense and rebounding, Ladd also turned into a very capable scorer during his senior season. On top of his 5.9 rebounds per contest, he averaged 10.5 points and 2.4 assists. Little used Bryce Leavitt is the only other departure from the 4-14 squad.

Who’s In:
Depth in the frontcourt is what this class needs and they may have found it in Jordan Railey and Josh Hawkinson. Railey is a big 6-10, 264 pound center who spent two seasons with Iowa State. He did not play much at all with the Cyclones, but he can add depth and swat away a few shots. Hawkinson is not going to take the Pac-12 by storm either, but at 6-9 and 220 pounds, he will be given the opportunity to crack the regular rotation. Que Johnson will make a big impact on the wing. The 6-5 redshirt freshman is a great scorer from everywhere on the floor and he should be ready to step right into a starting role. Incoming freshman Ike Iroegbu and junior college transfer Danny Lawhorn will provide backup at the point guard spot.

Who to Watch:
Royce Woolridge will run the show for now, but it is feasible that he could spend more time off of the ball if Iroegbu or Lawhorn are ready for serious minutes. Woolridge, who spent a season at Kansas, averaged 11.0 points and 2.7 assists during his first year with the Cougars. He also knocked down 38.1 percent of his attempts from beyond the arc. DaVonte Lacy missed a handful of contests last season with an injury, but was the most prolific shooter on the team and will be again. He averaged 10.5 points per contest and should join Woolridge and Johnson in what could be a surprisingly dangerous starting backcourt. Dexter Kernich-Drew is not giving up on a full-time starting gig after starting 14 games as a sophomore. The 6-6 wing has shown plenty of potential, but still needs to develop more consistency. Either way, he will provide quality depth on the wings. Will Dilorio, a 6-5 senior, saw his playing time increase to over 16 minutes per game as a junior, but he will be in a fight to keep those minutes with the younger talent emerging. But Dilorio is a capable shooter and if his shot is falling, Coach Bone will find a spot for him.

Final Projection:
The frontcourt is where the Cougars need players to step up. If it is not the newcomers, it will have to come from D.J. Shelton and Junior Longrus. Shelton started all 32 games a season ago beside Motum. He proved to be a very good rebounder and a capable scorer both inside and out. But without Motum more pressure will be on Shelton and more defenders too. Longrus was pretty much thrown into the fire as a freshman when he averaged a touch over ten minutes per game. He was not asked to score, but he did do a decent job on the glass and defensively. If he can take that next step, a starting job awaits. Senior James Hunter can at least be a big body inside, but he has yet to prove anything at this level. The Cougars have actually done relatively well on the glass the last couple of seasons, but that may end now if the frontcourt fails to find a difference maker. This team will be better than they were last year, but it will not be enough to seriously contend in the Pac-12 or for an NCAA Tournament berth.

Projected Postseason Tournament: NIT

Projected Starting Five:
Royce Woolridge, Junior, Guard, 11.0 points per game
DaVonte Lacy, Junior, Guard, 10.5 points per game
Que Johnson, Freshman, Guard, DNP last season
Junior Longrus, Sophomore, Forward, 1.0 points per game
D.J. Shelton, Senior, Forward, 6.2 points per game

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 64.4 (249th in nation, 11th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 63.0 (77, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 42.7 (207, 10)
Field-Goal Defense: 42.9 (176, 10)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.3 (67, 2)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 34.7 (127, 5)
Free-Throw Percentage: 68.8 (196, 8)
Rebound Margin: 2.0 (116, 6)
Assists Per Game: 12.3 (207, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 12.0 (70, 3)

Madness 2013 Men’s Basketball Recruit Rankings:
#122 Ikenna Iroegbu


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