The Washington State Cougars played very well last season. They started the season with a record of 8-4 after their non-conference games with their biggest rough spot coming from the Anaheim Basketball Classic Tournament. That tournament was the only time during non-conference play where the Cougars lost consecutive games, losing to Oklahoma, New Mexico, and UC Riverside.
WSU did not see the same success in the Pac-12 as they went 7-11 in conference play (15-16 overall). None the less, they made it to the CBI Tournament. During this postseason tournament, the Cougars beat San Francisco, Wyoming, and Oregon State to make the championship series. They lost to Pittsburgh in a three-game series.
The biggest story this offseason for Washington State was the dismissal of senior guard Reggie Moore. Moore was dismissed from the team on September 24th for violation of team rules. He averaged 10.2 points per game and 5.2 assists per game in 37 games for the Cougars last season. His 5.2 assists per game led the Pac-12 conference.
According to WSU athletics, head coach Ken Bone said “Reggie has been an important part of the basketball program for the last three years and I wish him the very best in the future” about the dismissal of Reggie Moore.
Even though the Cougars lost their leading assists leader from last year, they will be bring their their leading scorer senior forward Brock Motum. As a junior, he averaged 18.0 points per game, 6.4 rebounds per game, and 1.6 assists per game. His 18.0 points per game led the team and the Pac-12 Conference while his .554 field goal percentage ranked 26th in the nation. He did miss the championship series last season due to an ankle injury.
An interesting transfer for Washington State this season is sophomore guard Brett Kingma. Kingma played for the Oregon Ducks last season. He only played in nineteen games for the Ducks in 2011-2012. During those games, he averaged 3.1 points per game and 0.8 rebounds per game.
Will he be a key part of the Washington State Cougars this year? Maybe not, but it will be interesting to see him play against Oregon this season.
This season will be interesting for the Cougars. Their non-conference schedule does not look to tough. The only game that really jumps out to me is their game against the Kansas Jayhawks, but besides that most of the games seem manageable.
However, their conference schedule looks like it will give them the most problems. By looking at the Cougars and the rest of the conference, they will most likely be at the bottom of the conference this season. The loss of Reggie Moore will affect them during conference play. Brock Motum will not be enough for WSU to have a winning record. It would be surprising if Washington State plays any form of postseason basketball this year.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @RickyWidmer.
Check out my other writings on the Kansas Jayhawks blog, Through the Phog.