HOOPS Q&A: Motum on Moore, upcoming season

PULLMAN--Ken Bone's decision to dismiss Reggie Moore tempered expectations for Washington State's upcoming basketball season and also reaffirmed one piece of conventional wisdom — the 2012 Cougars will go only as far as Brock Motum can carry them. The 6-10, senior forward sat down with CF.C Tuesday to weigh in on Moore's departure, the upcoming season, his ability to frustrate defenders and more.

CF.C: Do you feel more pressure to be a leader now that Reggie Moore has left the program for an undisclosed violation of team rules?
Brock Motum: "Myself and Mike Ladd will be the two seniors— I think we'll take that role seriously and do the best we can. Reggie was a great player, a three-year starter and we'll miss him a lot. He did a lot for the program but now he's gone and we need to move on. I think we'll find ways to do that."

CF.C: Is it now on you to be more of a vocal leader?
Motum: "I think there are certain times when you need to be vocal. But if you lead by example then you'll gain respect. Then when things need to be said, they get said. I couldn't be like Ray Lewis. There are different guys who do that. I just lead by example and when things need to be said I address them."

CF.C: What were your initial thoughts when you heard Reggie was kicked off the team? What type of message was Coach Bone trying to send with the dismissal?
Motum: "It's tough losing a teammate. But he wasn't just a teammate; he was a good friend of mine so it's tough. If you're on a team and someone is your best friend and then they're gone from the team I'd feel the same way you feel. It was tough to handle but there's always going to be adversity that a team faces and that's just one thing in the road.

CF.C: You've been in Pullman almost four years now without a single incident with Pullman Police Department. Why do you think it's been so hard for WSU athletes to stay out of trouble?
Motum: "I can guarantee you there are just as many guys who get in trouble for doing things around campus that we do. It's just the fact that athletes are in the spotlight because they're representative of the school. Just because they're athletes doesn't mean they're more prone to get in trouble."

CF.C: Any message you'd like to relay to fans that are close to jumping off the Cougar basketball bandwagon after this latest run-in with the law?
Motum: "The fans that are real fans are going to be fans regardless—especially Coug fans. I think they're going to stick by us. There are going to be fans that jump on and off. That happens throughout the season anyway. We're still going to do the best we can. We've got a lot of talent on this team. It's close to one of the most talented teams I've been on since I've been here. I think it'll be an exciting year and like always when you put on the WSU jersey you're going to be an underdog.

"I think that's a good mentality to have, especially for away games. For the three years I've been here, we've been really tough to beat at home and I think that'll continue."

CF.C: Last year, you showed a real ability to agitate opposing players, which often resulted in a technical foul from they player you were guarding. What's been your secret to getting under guys skin?
Motum: "There's no secret. I just play hard. I take pride in playing hard and playing with passion which sometimes can be taken either way."

CF.C: Mike Leach has drawn attention for his time spent playing rugby at BYU. Did you ever play rugby growing up and what type of player were you?
Motum: "I wasn't a very good one, wasn't big enough. I think I played one game when I was in seventh grade and I don't think I did too well. Ever since then I didn't play. I was just a skinny little kid. I'd probably get broken in half."

CF.C: What's the best joke you've ever been told or heard about Australia?
Motum: " The ‘Just the put another shrimp on the barbie' line from Dumb and Dumber. They say in the movie Austria and not Australia."

CF.C: How sick are you of questions about Australia at this point in your career?
Motum: "Not sick at all. It's fine."

CF.C: Two years from now where do you expect to be playing basketball?
Motum: "Hopefully playing in America. I want to play in the NBA. That's my dream. It's been my dream ever since I came to America to play college (basketball). I've done everything I can to fulfill that dream and I'll keep doing so."

CF.C: How did you take such a big jump offensively from sophomore to junior season?
Motum: "Well, Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto left and there is still going to be the same amount of possessions in a game, same amount of points that need to be scored. I just kept working hard and got the opportunities and I made the most of them."

CF.C: More specifically, what part of your game did you really focus on improving?
Motum: "I really tried to not become a traditional back-to-the-basket big. I wanted to reinvent my post game. I just found different ways to play down there."

CF.C: Any particular professional basketball player out there right now who you try to model your game around?
Motum: "Not really. I take bits and pieces from different players and if I see something I like I try to implement into my own game. Obviously, everybody's body is different so if one person does one thing and then I do it my body is going to look a whole lot different."

CF.C: What's it going to take for WSU to return to a postseason tournament that's better than the CBI?
Motum: "Yea, hopefully better than the CBI. I think if we play together and if at the end of the day we just want to win… We've got a younger team this year with not as many seniors but I think they're a team that's looking to be led. Both myself and Mike Ladd can hopefully point us in the right direction and we'll all rally and have a really successful season."


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