Cougar hoops round-up: Bone offers insight

PULLMAN -- The Ken Bone Era in Cougar basketball formally begins in two weeks with an exhibition against Lewis-Clark State, but until then many questions remain to be answered. Early Wednesday, in an exclusive interview with CF.C following a 6 a.m. practice, the new Cougar head coach offered insight on starting positions and a break down on each of his five true freshmen.

Bone said the Cougs will be using both a one- guard, and two-guard front. With the two-guard version, two wings will also be on the floor, along with one post player. The focus here is on the perimeter -- something that plays to the Cougars' strength because they're heavy on shooters and light on bulk down low.

The heftiest post player on the team is 6-8, 230-pound sophomore DeAngelo Casto.

"I'm not sure you can compensate for that (lack of bulk in the post). You either have it or you don't," said Bone. "Right now we are not a very strong team. We have DeAngelo Casto who's big, strong, and aggressive, but that's where it stops."

Earlier this week, Bone told CF.C that Casto, true freshman Reggie Moore and sophomore Klay Thompson are three likely starters.

Moore would be at the point, or 1 position, with Thompson at the 3 and Casto at the 5.

Bone said the 2 and 4 positions are wide open.

At the 4, senior Nikola Koprivica, true freshman Brock Motum, and third-year sophomore Abe Lodwick are all in contention for the starting job. At the 2, true freshman Xavier Thames, second-year freshman walk-on John Allen, sophomore Michael Harthun, and sophomore Marcus Capers are vying for the starting nod.

Charlie Enquist, a 6-10 third-year sophomore, also is in line for serious PT, mostly at the 5, as is second-year freshman James Watson.

Last season as a true freshman, Capers saw significant time at point guard in relief of Taylor Rochestie, but with the rookie talent that's been added to the team, his focus will be at his most natural spot: wing.

"I think he's more comfortable handling the ball at the wing so we will try and put him there," said Bone.

Bone said that each of his true freshmen possess great basketball talent and smarts. He offered an assessment of each:

Motum: "Brock is a skilled 4-man who's a good mid-range shooter and drives to the rim pretty well. He's got long arms on defense which could really help us in that area."

Thames: "He's a solid guard who's a threat from the perimeter. Very heady kid who knows the game well and makes good decisions."

Moore: "Can provide points and yet at the same time is one of our best passers on the team. He also has a good prescence defensively with his quickness and basketball instincts which are very good."

Steven Bjornestad: "Big kid (6-10) who right now is a little raw but has a great body. We need to work with him and try to develop his body. Coach (Ben) Johnson keeps saying he's similar to the way Aron Baynes was when he was a freshman."

Anthony Brown: "Hard worker, great kid, very coachable and does a very good job."

"I like our freshmen. I think they're very coachable, they're quick learners and their eager to learn," said Bone. "I'm excited about our freshmen."


* During Tuesday's practice, Harthun showed excellent range by going 3-of-4 from behind the arc during the 5-on-5 drill that ended practice.

* Koprivica did not participate in the 5-on-5 drill to end practice because he is nursing a groin injury.

* Allen showed great hustle that was appreciated by both coach Bone and players. He dove for a loose ball during the 5-on-5 drill to regain position for the crimson team. Then a few minutes later, he shifted to his right and took a charge from Casto.
* Bone will be in Los Angeles Thursday to attend Pac-10 media day. Koprivica is joining him there.

Cougfan Top Stories