DaVonte Lacy more than all those points
Lacy arrived at WSU at a time when it seemed one Cougar player or another was in the news as much for the police blotter as the box score. “Me coming in, I thought it was important to stay out of trouble and continue to have success to show that you don’t have to be a criminal or something to have success," Lacy said. "I feel like I wanted to be more remembered as the guy that did it the right way and just gave it his all.” Indeed, former WSU head coach Ken Bone texted CF.C this week that he recruited Lacy out of Tacoma’s Curtis High for three key reasons: a huge passion for the game, the work ethic to maximize his talent, and HIGH CHARACTER. Those capital letters are straight from Bone’s text. “We also needed him!,” Bone added. “He would be an integral part of the team with a scoring role . ..” And score he did. When Lacy steps onto Friel Court for one last time today -- at 3:30 pm vs. Colorado -- he’ll do so as one of the top scorers in the Pac-12 for two years running and as a holder of multiple WSU records. At 1,522 career points, he needs just nine more to pass Brock Motum for fifth place on the all-time WSU scoring list and 41 more to eclipse Don Collins for fourth. Last Sunday he surpassed legendary Klay Thompson for most 3-pointers made in a career. Despite three losing seasons and just one post-season berth (the 2012 CBI, barring a stunning run in the Pac-12 tourney) in his four years, Lacy says the ride has been one to remember. “To be honest I’ve had a great four years,” Lacy said. “I can’t ask for more and I’m really blessed to be here doing what I’m doing... .” First-year Cougar coach Ernie Kent doesn’t mince words when assessing Lacy. “The fact that as a new staff he’s here and playing in this day and age where players – especially star players – transfer when things change, he did not,” Kent told CF.C. “He helped us in the transition process, helped us move the program forward. Washington State was really good for him and he was really good for Washington State.” Kent noted that WSU needed Lacy to be “the guy” early on in his career and that responsibility helped him to grow and develop, not just as a player but as a leader as well. Kent said he received phone calls from people in the Pac-12 office last summer praising Lacy for his work on and off the court as a member of the Pac-12 All-Star team that toured China. “To help them through that trip, being in a foreign a country, that says a lot about him because he’s not only a good player, he’s very, very mature for his age,” Kent said. “He has an ability to handle our younger players and he’s given us an opportunity what I would call to shape and to kind of point our program in the right direction because that leadership and that ability to lead off the floor as well as on the floor.” WSU junior forward Junior Longrus echoes those comments. “DaVonte is a really enlightening guy man, a lot of people don’t really know that,” Longrus said. “They know that he comes out here and hits a three, comes up and gets a dunk, but he’s a very enlightening person … he just taught me a lot about kind of going through life with a chip on your shoulder and believing in yourself and your abilities no matter what anybody says and his perseverance is something to look up to, and I’m definitely blessed to have him by my side for the past three years.”
Before this season began, Lacy told CF.C that one of his main goals was to help bring the team closer together, creating a family atmosphere within the group. With just one game remaining before the start of the Pac-12 Tournament next week, he believes the mission is accomplished.
“We can go over to anybody’s house, chill, whatever,” he says, noting that he’s very proud of the way the veterans welcomed in true freshmen Ny Redding, Trevor Dunbar and Jackie Davis. “To bring them in as a family and really have it like a family atmosphere I think it was huge and that’s part of my legacy …
“You don’t have each other’s back if you don’t believe and trust each other … I get on Que (Johnson) a lot for not playing up to his potential sometimes and I think that’s all about being a family. It’s not all sunshine and candy…there’s some rain storms where you’re going to get after it and of course we’re going to have some altercations, get in people’s faces but it’s all because we want to be better and I think we did a good job of balancing it and like I said we are a family.”
The Cougars enter today’s 3:30 pm tip off (Pac-12 Networks) at 12-17 overall and 6-11 in Pac-12 play. Colorado is 14-15/7-10. Lacy is one of three seniors who will be honored before the game. The other two are Dexter Kernich-Drew and Jordan Railey.
WSU and Colorado are battling for more than just a win when they face each other today. The Buffs currently are ninth in the league and the Cougars are 10th. If WSU defeats the Buffs, thus tying the two at 7-11 in Pac-12 play, the Cougars would get the No. 9 seed in next week's Pac-12 Tournament and face the eighth-seeded team (most likely California) and then, if victorious, battle Arziona. WSU has the tiebreaker over Colorado thanks to its win over the No. 3 team in the league, Oregon. If WSU loses to Colorado, the Cougs would hold the No. 10 seed and take on the seventh seed (most likely Oregon State) and then, if victorious, would play Utah or Oregon.
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