Bone: Cougs must get more physical on boards

KEN BONE equated it to a 6-foot guard attempting an alley-oop. He said during his Tuesday teleconference that even with great effort, a desirable outcome might not be the result. Bone said such is the reality when it comes to rebounding for this Cougars team.

But with games against Stanford at 7:05 p.m. Thursday, and 3:05 p.m. Saturday against California, Bone said it will continue to be an emphasis during practice this week. Washington outrebounded the Cougars 46-24 during their 75-65 win Saturday.

"We're back out on the court today working on rebounding and trying to make it an emphasis," Bone said.

His postgame perceptions from Saturday, when the Huskies had a 22-4 advantage in offensive rebounds, have not changed much.

"There's a number of guys in there banging and trying to get rebounds," Bone said. "They're bigger and a little more physical."

WSU (9-8 overall, 1-4 conference) looks to have help coming in forward Richard Longrus and center Richard Peters, both of whom Bone previously said he expects to help in rebounding and other areas, in its latest recruiting class. But that's next year. And Bone said rebounding will need to continue to be an emphasis.

"No doubt about it," he said. "We need to try and recruit some kids that are good height and athleticism."

For now, Bone said his team will make it a priority in practice -- and in the weight room -- to get more physical and stronger.

He said he does not think playing a zone defense has hurt since team in rebounding.

"We were playing man the last five minutes or so and it's not like we were able to outrebound them," said Bone, referring to the UW game.

It likely won't get much easier this week. The Cardinal (15-3, 5-1) average 7.3 more rebounds than their opponent per game, which is the best ratio in the Pac-12. Cal (15-4, 5-1) is fourth in the conference with an average of 5.5 rebounds more than their opponents per game.

Even with those factors and playing the first-place teams in the conference, Bone said his team is excited to play at Friel Court for the first time since the Cougars' 66-42 win Dec. 18 against Western Oregon. WSU has played "home" games against Pepperdine in Seattle and Oregon and Oregon State in Spokane since then.

"We really want to boost our guys confidence playing on our home court," Bone said. "There's no place else we would rather be than Beasley."

  • Bone said WSU recruited both guard Aaron Bright (Bellevue) and forward Andrew Gage (Vashon Island). He said Bright, who averages 12.3 points per game and converts 46.3 percent of his 3-pointers, even came to an individual camp at WSU. Both eventually signed with Stanford.

  • Junior guard Reggie Moore averages 9.2 points per game, which ranks just fourth on the team. Bone said the coaching staff recently has discussed Moore's style of play with him and were pleased with his performance against the Huskies. Moore had eight assists in that game.

    "We've had some discussions and we think he needs to be more assertive and aggressive to attract the defense," Bone said. "He had two good games back to back achieving what we've been talking about."

  • Bone said junior guard Mike Ladd (right thumb) is out indefinitely. The injury sidelined Ladd for five games during December. He also did not play at UW. Bone said Ladd is not practicing and is not expected to play this week. He said the injury is more severe than before because, "The whole joint is bothering him."

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