Coming off a pair of home wins, the Stanford men's basketball team (15-3, 5-1 Pac-12) is on the road in Washington, where the Cardinal will take on Washington State (9-8, 1-4) tomorrow night in Pullman. Here's a quick primer on the Cougars.
1. Washington State doesn't rebound well. The Cougars rank ninth in the Pac-12 in rebounding margin (+.2) this season and last in conference play (-7.8). In Saturday's 75-65 loss to Washington, the Cougars were outrebounded 22-4 -- yes, 22-4 -- on the offensive glass and 46-24 overall. There's no simple solution to the problem, according to head coach Ken Bone. As Jeff Nusser at CougCenter puts it, "the Cougs just can't match up athletically up front in the Pac-12." All of this bodes well for Stanford, which continues to lead the conference in rebounding margin.
2. Bone was the star of the second-most ridiculous video of a college basketball coach eating it on the court last week. Bone slipped while running on the court to call a timeout against the Huskies. Marshall head coach Tom Herrion keeled over as if he were suffering a heart attack after a Central Florida player accidentally elbowed him. Bone's wipeout drew laughter, while Herrion's drew a flagrant foul that helped Marshall win the game.
3.The Cougars have been on the road a lot recently. Tomorrow's game will be Washington State's first at the Beasley Center since Dec. 18. During that span, the Cougars were the designated home team for games held in Seattle and Spokane.
4. Washington State has lost to UC Riverside and Utah. Those are the Cougars' bad losses. Wazzu doesn't have a quality win, which are hard to come by in the Pac-12.
5. The Cougars weren't expected to be good. Wazzu was picked to finish 10th in the Pac-12 preseason media poll. As the media release linked in the previous sentence notes, the last time Washington State was picked 10th in the conference (2006-07), it finished second and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament. Yeah, that's not going to happen this year.
6. The Cougars miss Klay Thompson. The sharpshooter elected to turn pro after last season and was the 11th overall pick by the Golden State Warriors. Through 12 games, he's averaged 5.5 points on 39% shooting.
7. Faisal Aden likes to shoot the ball. A lot. The senior, who needed 19 shots to score 20 points in Washington State's win at Maples Pavilion last year, is a bit of a ball hog. With 30 points in his last two games, at least he's got some baskets to show for it.
8. Brock Motum is Washington State's most efficient offensive player. The 6-foot-10 junior from Australia is averaging 15.4 points per game and shooting 56% from the field. He's not nearly as effective on the glass, with only one double-digit rebounding performance.
9. DaVonte Lacy is a freshman to watch. Lacy burst out of the gates at the start of Pac-12 play, totaling 37 points in the Cougars' first two games against Oregon and Oregon State. Since then, he's scored 18 points in three games. The freshman has been inconsistent, but he's the Cougars' third-leading scorer.
10. Reggie Moore is one of the Pac-12's best point guards. The junior leads the Pac-12 in assists per game and boasts a healthy assist-to-turnover ratio of 2.09. In the 9 games since he turned the ball over 9 times in a win over Eastern Washington on Dec. 3, Moore has 50 assists and only 16 turnovers.