DaVONTE LACY HEADS TO THE POST

DaVONTE LACY, the high-scoring elder statesman of the Washington State basketball team, isn’t just embracing change in this year of the new coaching staff and six new teammates. The senior guard is running toward it.

He’s been working this off season on adding to his repertoire in the post.

Yep, the guy who took 195 three-pointers last season (and drilled 76 of them) is aiming to do more damage down low.

“I worked on my post game a lot this summer because I feel like I’m a bigger guard and I feel like I can put the little guards in the post,” Lacy told CF.C in an interview prior to going to China with a Pac-12 all-star team.

He said he’s also been working on coming off ball screens and making good reads.

After averaging 19.4 points a game for the Cougars last season, expectations for Lacy this season are sky high. So high, in fact, that Ernie Kent said in his introductory press conference at WSU that he believed Lacy had the capability to be the best player in the Pac-12.

“God has a plan for me,” Lacy said. “If I have a good season, I have a good season, if I don’t, I don’t. I’m not really trying to look too far ahead, I just want to take each step and just prepare as if it’s going to be my last day.”

Lacy believes the Cougars will have the depth to spread the scoring load instead of relying on him for the majority of points.

“I’m excited about it because I’ll have the ball and there will be a lot of guys on help side and I think this year we have threats so if they do help so much I can swing to you or help side won’t be there,” Lacy said. “I think we’re going to have a more balanced scoring team, but if it comes down to the last shot hopefully I’m taking it.”

Right now, the biggest focus is on learning Kent’s up-tempo system — a system that could put some four- or even five-guard sets. NCAA-sanctioned twice-a-week practices over the summer have hastened the assimilation but much is left, he said

“We’re getting there, it’s just like anything it’s a learning curve and it’s a process,” Lacy said. “You just got to trust the process.”

One thing is certain, though. Lacy loves Kent’s attack mode.

“That’s pretty fun in terms of basketball where you’re always attacking, you’re always looking for ways to score and looking for ways to get your teammates open,” Lacy said. “I’m excited because it’s going to be in a different style of play that I’ve been used to.”

In Kent’s system, multiple players will get the opportunity to play the point, and that doesn’t bother Lacy at all.

“I’m really comfortable playing point guard,” Lacy said. “After my freshman year and after my sophomore year I did two tours in Jamaica and China and I played point guard on those teams so I know I can play point guard and I know I’ll be a facilitator and make my teammates better. I’ll be ready whenever he (Kent) puts me there.”

As much as Kent is known for offense, Lacy said the coach’s system is really predicated on making defensive stops and getting out in transition.

“To run how he (Kent) wants to run his system it has to start with stops so defense is huge in our concept and in our theories,” Lacy said. “We’re working on being a solid defensive team, having each other’s backs so we can get those stops and get those run outs (on offense).”

NOTABLE:

  • The Pac-12 all-star team that Lacy is part of will conclude its three-game tour of China on Saturday. The club won its first two games. In the first, Lacy scored 8 points, dished 3 assists and had a team-high 8 rebounds. In the second game Lacy scored 5 and had 3 assists. Utah’s Larry Krystowiakis the head coach.

  • Lacy on his pro prospects: “I don’t want to focus on it right now, but that will hopefully be my next step. I got to stay healthy and just be the best player that I can be because I know I can play at that level, I just got to make NBA GM’s think the same thing.”

  • Lacy last season became the 34th Cougar of all time to reach 1,000 career points. He accomplished the feat in 85 games, making him the ninth-fastest to get there.

  • Lacy missed a combined 17 games the past two seasons due to injuries. That missed action has served as extra incentive to get his body in the best possible condition for 2014-15, he said.

  • Six of the 15 players on WSU’s 2014-15 roster are new to the program: freshmen Ny Redding, Trevor Dunbar, Jackie Davis and Valentine Izundu, and JC transfers Aaron Cheatum and Marcus Graham.

  • The Cougars open the season Nov. 7 at home against Azusa Pacific.

  • Cougfan Top Stories