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March 30, 2011

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Calm Blue Ocean

Hey, so there's a game I'd love to forget really quickly. It's also easy for me to forget it especially since I only watched part of the first half before I decided pounding through half a sixer of Redhook and watching the end of Apollo 13 was a much better plan than watching the remainder of that abomination of a basketball game. There is one thing I can say for certain with the end of the Cougar basketball season: it's just that, over. Now we need to turn our attention to some of the most pressing things that will occur in the coming weeks and months. Here's a list of those things in no particular order (except the first one, that's definitely the most important):

Will Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto Go Pro?: Many have speculated, including myself exactly what is going to happen and the short answer is I truly have no idea but I know which way I believe Thompson is leaning and that is to head for the NBA. The real trouble with Thompson's decision came when Wazzu head men's hoop coach Ken Bone told a Seattle sports talk station he believed Casto was about 50/50 on leaving or staying and it's likely whatever decision Thompson makes, Casto will do the same. Casto's situation (with a young child, small bank account) is much more complicated than Thompson's.



Will Reggie Moore Figure It Out?: Reggie Moore had a sensational freshman season. He alone was responsible for multiple wins in which Thompson shrank away and couldn't find his stride. Whether his ankle and wrist injuries affected him more than he let on we may never know but something was wrong. He dropped nearly 3.5 points off his scoring average, shot nearly 60 percentage points worse and was worse from the charity stripe. While his average turnover rate went down, so did his assist rate. If this team is to be without Thompson and Casto next season, Moore absolutely has to turn things around. Even if Thompson and Casto do stay, a better playing Moore will be needed to vault this team into the NCAA tournament.

Will Brock Motum Hit The Weight Room?: Motum will have to be a bigger presence in the low post for the Cougars next season, especially if Casto departs. Motum's biggest problem near the glass is the fact that he is so unphysical. He gets beat up incredibly by just about everyone in a Pac-10 (12) frontcourt. It was incredibly painful to watch him get dismantled in the low block on virtually every possession he spent down there. Brock needs to hit the weight room and then spend some time with Ben Johnson working on his low post game.

Will All Of Bone's Assistants Stay?: This hasn't been a question we've had to worry about for quite some time with any WSU coach but I think this is a legitimate concern, especially with Jeff Hironaka. The selfish part of me is glad he didn't get the job at Eastern Washington but for Hironaka, it was a heck of an opportunity. Coach Hiro has head coaching experience at Seattle Pacific University (where I hear they have a magnificent play-by-play announcer and yes, I'm tooting my own horn) and he's quite the offensive and defensive mind. Johnson has previous head coaching experience and although he hasn't been mention in connection to any jobs, you never know.


What To Make Of Faisal Aden: Inconsistency is a polite word for this senior-to-be transfer. At times, some of his shot selection was mind-boggling and defense is, well, atrocious. Then at others, it seems like the guy can't miss and he actually plays defense. In a way, Aden was an analogy for this season: anything but consistent. Aden has to come back stronger and wiser next year, this team will depend on it. Because if he continues to struggle and this team is without Thompson, this team is going to be in a bad way next season.

How Sweet Will The New Scoreboard Look?: Alright, this has nothing to do with the team specifically. But the Board of Regents just approved Bill Moos' request to spend three million dollars on a new scoreboard for Beasley. We aren't sure what it will look like yet but if it comes with a better scoreboard, better video replay and a better sound system, we'll all be winners. The only possible crutch here is that the coliseum is still multi-use so it'll be interesting to see what it looks like.


PICKS:


How about a national champion? Honestly, this team has absolutely been rolling and I just don't think anyone can stop them. The NCAA will have even more egg on their face for not having the same system in college football.

2011 National Champions: Virginia Commonwealth Rams

Dunderhead of the Week:
The city of Las Vegas. Why must you make me love you so much and take so much of my money? You're like a terrible significant other! I just can't quit you.

And, of course, John Buccigross


+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++

The 2010-11 athletic season continues to be here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Men's hoop, women's hoop and baseball, just to name a few, are playing their 2011 seasons. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.


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