Despite going 7-11 in conference play last season, Washington State had reason for optimism entering the 2012-13 campaign thanks in part to the return of forward Brock Motum and point guard Reggie Moore.
But Moore won’t be a part of the team this season, as missteps off the court led to head coach Ken Bone’s decision to dismiss Moore from the program last month.
Moore led the Cougars with an average of 5.2 assists per game while also scoring ten points per game, a number that ranked second on a team (Motum led the way at 18.0 ppg) that lacked a consistent second scorer once Faisal Aden went down with a knee injury.
While DaVonte Lacy (8.5 ppg) returns for his sophomore campaign and will help matters on the perimeter the Cougars don’t have much at the point with Moore being dismissed from the squad.
Moore, who hadn’t made a public comment of any kind since his dismissal, took to the newspaper to express his sorrow over the situation and sent a statement to Vince Grippi of the Spokesman-Review.
“I want to sincerely apologize to Washington State University, all the fans that support Wazzu, and all the great people that I’ve met during my time in Pullman. It was a rewarding experience that I’ll always be grateful for.
“I made a costly mistake and I understand that I have to face the consequences for my actions. I’m disappointed in myself for not making the right decisions that ultimately not only affects me, but my teammates and everyone I was close to at WSU.
“It’s unfortunate that it had to come to this for me, but I have learned from this experience, and I believe it has already made me a better person. I’m still excited about the future, and the new challenges and opportunities that await me as a student athlete.
“Thank you for all the support, well wishes, and offers of encouragement that I’ve received. The love that I’ve received from fans, my former teammates and also friends at WSU has been overwhelming and extremely humbling. It’s now up to me to accept responsibility, learn from this life lesson, and move forward in a positive way.
Obviously there are going to be questions as to what Moore may have done to push Bone to dismiss him from the program, but all that truly matters is Moore’s post-dismissal communication with his former teammates.
If there hasn’t been a face-to-face meeting of some sort between Moore and his former teammates hopefully that will happen in the very near future.
Outside of Motum Lacey is likely Washington State’s most talented offensive player (unfortunately Que Johnson is a partial qualifier so he can only practice), so maybe the Cougars hand the keys over to Lacey despite his playing off the ball for much of last season.
Washington State also has 6-4 redshirt freshman Dominic Ballard, who averaged 21.6 points, 10.5 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game as a high school senior in 2010-11.
The Cougars don’t seem to have a “conventional” answer at the point, and that could undo the progress made during their preseason trip to Australia.