Starters to continue to log heavy minutes

IT MIGHT NOT be Washington State coach Ken Bone's preference, but he said during his Tuesday teleconference that multiple starters will continue to play heavy minutes when the Cougars play at 7 p.m. Thursday at Oregon State, (No TV scheduled). In addition to that, Bone discussed the zone defenses his team might continue to see and the injury situations of his players.

No one played more minutes than junior forward Brock Motum, who did not leave the court during Saturday's 63-60 loss against UCLA. But Bone said that situation did not concern him as WSU (12-11 overall, 4-7 Pac-12) had four timeouts -- and two media breaks -- with 10 minutes remaining. He also noted that the game was played at a slower pace than others.

"We need him on the court as much as possible," Bone said.

He said the same applies to junior point guard Reggie Moore because "he's our best ball handler." Moore played 35 minutes against the Bruins.

Senior forward Abe Lodwick (32) and junior guard Mike Ladd (31) also played more than 30 minutes versus UCLA.

Ladd, who has missed 10 games this season because of a right-thumb injury, scored 10 points against the Bruins, but shot just 2 of 8 from the field.

"I doubt he's as confident (shooting) as he was back in November and early December," Bone said. "He's proven over the years that he can shoot the 3. He hasn't proven it with a bad thumb yet."

NO ONE SEEMED to shoot well during the second half versus UCLA. Many attributed that to the Bruins slowing Motum, who scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the first half, with a zone. Bone said it could have been a variety of factors that stymied Motum during the second half, including the zone or fatigue.

He said the Beavers (15-8, 5-6) and Oregon, whom the Cougars play at 3 p.m. Saturday, (TV: CSNNW only) both use different zones than the Bruins. In particular, he said the Ducks (16-7, 7-4) like to extend pressure with their zone.

WSU split its previous series against the Oregon schools in December in Spokane. After suffering a 17-point loss against Oregon, the Cougars responded with a 81-76 win versus OSU. Despite that, Bone said their performance against the Beavers was not special.

"We were really sloppy against Oregon State," he said, adding that he felt the 77-75 win Jan. 21 against California was his team's best performance of the season.

NOTABLE NOTES:
  • California's Jorge Gutierrez and Washington's Terrence Ross and Tony Wroten are Bone's favorites for Pac-12 Player of the Year. Motum, who averages 20 points per game in conference play, has outscored all of them in conference play, but Bone thinks WSU's struggles might hurt him.

  • Within 48 hours of becoming WSU's coach in 2009, Bone said he traveled to Australia to visit Motum. He said Motum initially wavered on his commitment after former coach Tony Bennett left for the same job at Virginia.

  • Freshman guard DaVonté Lacy (left ankle) did not practice Monday after he was injured against UCLA. Lacy is probable to play against the Beavers, Bone said.

  • Bone did not rule out signing another player this spring, but said his staff has not made any offers.


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