DaVonte Lacy, Nick Johnson

Washington State looks to overcome the lack of a true point guard

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When the decision was made to dismiss senior point guard Reggie Moore from the program, Washington State head coach Ken Bone had an important question to answer.

Who will run the point for the Cougars?

For a team that didn’t have a true point guard besides Moore on the roster, and their overall lack of experience, this is a tough spot for Washington State to find itself in.

The answer won’t be a conventional one, as two players more comfortable working off the ball will be asked to handle the duties, with one of their main responsibilities being to get the ball to senior forward and reigning Pac-12 scoring champion Brock Motum.

DaVonté Lacy, who averaged 8.5 points per game last season, and 6-3 Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge are the two players Bone expects to go with when the Cougars open regular season play against Eastern Washington next Saturday.

“Royce is one of those kids that has good quickness, he can shoot the ball, and he’s a very good on ball defender, great quickness, and I think he’s really going to help us out in that area,” said Bone on Thursday.

“But also DaVonté Lacy, who started last year midway through the year on after Faisal Aden went down with a knee injury, DaVonté has a chance to step in and sometimes help bring the ball up.”

The Cougars will also call on Mike Ladd, who missed 11 games last season due to a thumb injury and a concussion.

But regardless of who initiates offensively for Washington State, it’s clear that Motum will be the focal point offensively and the focus of every opponent they face.

Motum averaged 18.0 points and 6.4 rebounds per game last season, shooting 55.4% from the field and 39.7% from beyond the arc.

Per statsheet.com’s numbers Motum’s possession percentage (28.9%) ranked third in the conference, and with the many questions surrounding this team that number could rise in 2012-13.

But the goal for the Australian is a simple one: help the Cougars improve on their 19-win season in 2011-12, and if that means scoring more so be it.

“I think if I can score more than last year and that helps us win more games, then I’ll do that.  By any means,” said Motum. “But it’s not more on a personal note; it’s more a team focus.  As long as we win more games, I’ll be happy.”

Given Washington State’s question mark at the point, that may be a task easier said than done.

Quotes courtesy of ASAP Sports

Raphielle is also the assistant editor at CollegeHoops.net and can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej. 

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.