Bone: surgery is not keeping Lacy down

SOME PLAYERS GO into isolation after suffering an injury. But Washington State coach Ken Bone said during his Monday afternoon teleconference that is not the case with junior guard DaVonté Lacy. Bone said the Cougars' leading scorer, who underwent an appendectomy Saturday, won't play when WSU opens Pac-12 play at 7 p.m. Thursday at No. 1 Arizona (TV: Pac-12 Networks).

While Lacy cannot practice, Bone said he served as a manager during the Cougars' workout Monday and handed out water bottles to teammates. Bone visited Lacy in the hospital after WSU's 85-48 win Saturday versus Mississippi Valley State. He said Lacy has remained upbeat even after his setback.

"He's that type of kid," Bone said. "There's no one out there that can handle it better than DaVonté."

The Cougars (7-5) now must navigate arguably the Pac-12's most hostile road environment without their top player. WSU has not won at Arizona (13-0) since 2010. Redshirt freshman wing Que Johnson, who has averaged 20 points in his last two games, played a season-high 34 minutes against MVSU in Lacy's absence. Johnson, along with true freshman guard Ike Iroegbu, figure to take more shots in Lacy's absence.

That might sound like an enormous challenge for a couple of first-year players, but Bone thinks both are capable of handling it. He said that top-flight players compete against each other more than ever in tournaments when they are in high school. He also noted that WSU sophomore forward Junior Longrus and Arizona's Brandon Ashley were teammates at Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School as juniors. Ashley, a forward, played his final year at Findlay Prep in Nevada.

"Nowadays these kids are very aware of the top talent in the country," Bone said.

How long the Cougars are without arguably their top talent remains undetermined. As previously reported by CF.C, Bone said he heard the operation could sideline Lacy, who averages 18.9 points per game, for as long as two weeks. He hopes to gain more clarity after Lacy is examined by a doctor this afternoon. Bone said it is unlikely that Lacy will play Sunday at Arizona State, but he is hopeful that he will be able to travel with the team.

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