Old Cougs making tracks around the world

WASHINGTON STATE'S men’s and women’s basketball teams made their season debuts Friday, the same day that a host of former WSU players -- or, in some cases, nearly players -- were making basketball news far and wide.

Forward D.J. Shelton (pictured above), WSU’s leading rebounder last season, has signed with Kangoeroes Basket Willebroek in Belgium’s top pro league. One of Shelton’s former WSU teammates, Abe Lodwick, plays in the same league for Ahopi Aalstar. Going into the weekend, Lodwick was averaging 6.3 points and 3.3 rebounds per game as a third-year pro.

Royce Woolridge, WSU’s starting point guard most of the past two seasons, scored a team-high 15 points in his debut with Grand Canyon of Phoenix. Woolridge sank all four of his 3-point attempts, but his teammates struggled mightily in an 81-45 loss at top-ranked Kentucky.

James Hunter, who rarely saw action in two seasons at WSU, started at center as a senior transfer at South Dakota. He had four points and four rebounds in nine minutes of action, but South Dakota dropped a 60-52 decision at Utah Valley.

Andre Winston, who played one season at Washington State before spending the past two seasons at Portland State, is now a senior at Southeastern (Fla.). He scored 33 points in each of his first two games with the Fire, the ninth-ranked team in NAIA Division II.

Danny Lawhorn, who was dismissed from WSU a year ago before taking a shot in a Cougar uniform, is now at Midwestern State in Texas. He had not played through the first three games.

Jermaine Morgan, a junior college transfer who signed a letter of intent with WSU but wound up at Bradley after the Cougars’ coaching change, started at center in an 86-75 loss to Texas-Arlington in Peoria, Ill. Morgan had eight points and five rebounds, but fouled out after playing 19 minutes.

Point guard Tramaine Isabell, another WSU signee who headed elsewhere after Ken Bone was fired by the Cougars, recorded eight points and one assist in 12 minutes off the bench for Missouri. Isabell had four fouls and three turnovers in the Tigers’ 69-61 loss to visiting Missouri-Kansas City.

Senior guard Andre Winston, who played one season at Washington State before spending the past two seasons at Portland State, scored 33 points in each of his first two games with Southeastern (Fla.). The Fire is ranked ninth in NAIA Division II.

Bryce Leavitt, who played one season at WSU as a walk-on guard before heading to North Idaho (junior) College, did not see action in Seattle Pacific’s season opener. The Falcons, ranked 22nd in NCAA Division II, lost 70-67 to San Francisco’s Academy of Art.

Patrick Simon, who starred at Seattle Pacific for two years after two seasons at WSU, was averaging 12.3 points and 7.1 rebounds as of Friday as a rookie pro in Germany’s No. 2 pro league.

Former WSU and California State Fullerton 3-point specialist Josh Akognon is enjoying another monster season in China’s No. 1 pro league. At last check he was averaging 25.0 points and 3.0 assists per game.

Brock Motum, who led the Pac-12 Conference in scoring in each of his final two seasons at Washington State, was averaging 23 points and 10 rebounds after two games back home in Australia in that country’s top pro league. Motum turned pro in Italy last season, then went to training camp with the NBA's Utah Jazz this year.

Austin Bragg, who redshirted one season at WSU before blossoming at NCAA Division II Western Washington, is a first-year pro in Slovenia.

Another rookie pro out of WSU, Sage Romberg, was averaging 6.0 points and 5.0 rebounds as of late last week in a women’s league in Spain. Germany native Ireti Amojo, who turned pro in a Germany woman’s pro league with former WSU teammate Carly Noyes last season, switched teams and is averaging in double figures for Herner.

Noyes and former WSU point guards Derrick Low and Reggie Moore have yet to sign with pro teams this season according to Eurobasket.com.

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