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If incoming Los Angeles guard Milan Acquaah thrives at the point, Ike Iroegbu would be free to run at the 2 and 3

IN THE IDEAL Washington State basketball world, Ike Iroegbu would spend more time playing the 2 and 3 and less time at the 1. The Cougars made strides in that direction in the just-concluded season, but this stat tells you a lot: Iroegbu led the Cougars in assists with 60 and the next-closest guy – Charles Callison -- wasn’t all that close at 38.

To be fair, Callison’s total was hurt by the four games he missed in February due to a concussion. And Iroegbu did indeed get considerable work away from the 1, as illustrated by the fact he took 100 more shots from the field this season than last.

But a very-early-look at the 2016-17 campaign suggests that Iroegbu – for two reasons -- may finally be able to turn his time at the 1 from consistent to merely periodic.

First, Callison – who came to WSU last summer from the JC ranks -- will be a year older, stronger and wiser.

And second, 6-2, 190-pound point guard Milan Acquaah is coming to town. He’s the 3-star McDonald’s All-American nominee that WSU coach Ernie Kent signed last November out of Cathedral High in Los Angeles.

In the just-concluded season, Acquaah averaged 22.9 points and nearly 5 assists per game en route to second-team all-league honors. He also averaged 6.8 rebounds per outing.

Acquaah can score going to either his right or left and finishes exceedingly well at the hoop. That has to be music to the ears of long-suffering Cougars fans. He's often in the gym by 5 a.m. most days, trying to get in at least 600 shots before schools begins.

His arrival in Pullman isn’t to suggest the second-coming of Bennie Seltzer or Keith Morrison. Besides WSU, Acquaah’s only other known scholarship offer was from UC-Santa Barbara. But the fact is he started to draw attention from bigger programs a year ago during standout work on the summer circuit and he put an exclamation on his abilities with a stellar senior season at Cathedral.

When Kent signed Acquaah last fall, he dubbed him a “throwback” point guard and likened his style to Tim Hardaway, the five-time NBA all-star best known for his crossover dribble and career 8.2 assists per game average.

That kind of presence could make a world of difference for WSU at the point – but also for Ike Iroegbu at the 2 or 3.

RELATED STORY: Don’t forget bigger, stronger Jeff Pollard


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