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. 

BUBBLE BANTER: All of the action on the fringe of the NCAA tournament

Fred VanVleet
(AP Photo/Nati Harnik)
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Tonight’s bubble action. This post will be updated as the games are completed.

Cincinnati at UCF, 7:00 p.m.
Pitt at No. 12 Miami, 7:00 p.m.
No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.
Ole Miss at Florida, 9:00 p.m.
Georgia at No. 22 Kentucky, 9:00 p.m.
Arkansas at Mississippi State, 9:00 p.m.

PREGAME SHOOTAROUND: A Big 12 and a Big Ten showdown

Denzel Valentine
(AP Photo/Al Goldis)
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GAME OF THE NIGHT: No. 10 West Virginia at No. 6 Kansas, 7:00 p.m.

The last time these two teams got together, West Virginia actually knocked off Kansas in Morgantown. It was the third time in the last three seasons that WVU has beaten KU at home. So there’s some revenge at stake here. But there’s also the whole Big 12 title race, which West Virginia currently leads. If the Mountaineers win tonight, they’ll be up by two games on Kansas with the tie breaker and just seven games left to play. The Jayhawks regular season title streak could be over if that happens.

THIS ONE’S GOOD, TOO: No. 8 Michigan State at No. 18 Purdue, 7:00 p.m.

We think the Spartans are back to their early season form after wins over Maryland (at home), Northwestern, Rutgers and Michigan. If Michigan State really wants to prove something to the college basketball world, they will go into West Lafayette tonight and get a win. Denzel Valentine vs. Raphael Davis will be fun.

FIVE THINGS TO WATCH FOR

  1. Pitt will pay a visit to No. 12 Miami in a game the Panthers could really use a win in. Pitt hasn’t been the most consistent team in the country and without adding a few quality wins they could be looking at the bubble.
  2. Duquesne will be paying a visit to No. 19 Dayton, who moved into a tie for first place in the Atlantic 10 thanks to VCU’s loss on Saturday.
  3. Georgia is right there on the bubble, and they will have a chance to try and push themselves into a better spot when they play at No. 22 Kentucky tonight.
  4. Creighton probably has to win out to have a shot of making the NCAA tournament, and that includes tonight, when they host No. 5 Xavier.
  5. No. 7 Virginia will be hosting Virginia Tech, who picked off the Wahoos in Blacksburg earlier this year.

THE REST OF THE TOP 25

  • No. 1 Villanova at DePaul, 8:30 p.m.
  • No. 25 Wichita State at Drake, 8:00 p.m.