COUGAR BASKETBALL NOTEBOOK

PULLMAN -- The Washington State Cougars have yet to play an official game under Ken Bone, but the new coach is already flashing midseason form in the quotes department. Bone, no doubt aware that his comments may serve as motivational tools for certain players in Friday's season opener, served up plenty of interesting remarks about his team's Monday exhibition triumph over Lewis-Clark State.

On freshman point guard Reggie Moore: "Reggie did a good job. I was real pleased with the fact he shared the ball the way he did (eight assists). I thought his defense could have been more solid, but we'll get him there."

On freshman forward Brock Motum: "I was surprised Brock Motum played so nervous … he's a better player than that."

On sophomore guard Marcus Capers: "He did a great job (defensively). That's one of the reasons Marcus is out there; he values the defensive end and takes a lot of pride in trying to stop guys with his quickness and long arms. He gives us a great presence at the guard spot."

On sophomore forward DeAngelo Casto's strong recovery from knee surgery: "He goes as hard as he can. He comes out of the game, sits for a few minutes, goes back in there and just busts his tail. He's getting in pretty good shape."

On sophomore guard Mike Harthun's hot shooting off the bench: "Mike did a great job. I thought he took really good shots. He wasn't forcing shots. He was getting his shots out of our offense."

On WSU's 11 steals: "It's kind of a fine line there. I don't want us to gamble defensively, but I want us to be able to get out and pressure a little bit more than these kids are used to from last year. Along with that, hopefully, the other team coughs it up a little bit."

On his coaching performance: "I did a bad job substituting. Some of these kids were just gassed."

On coaching the Cougars at Friel Court for the first time: "Not a big deal, unfortunately. I mean, I'm excited that we're out there finally playing some games, because that's what the kids are excited about. But I've spent some time here over the years on the other bench (as an opposing coach). I've been to Friel Court. I've seen the fan support. It was really exciting (Monday) to see the amount of students there. I was really happy about that. I think our players were fired up about that. But for me personally, another game."

WSU tips off against Mississippi Valley State at 7 pm tomorrow (Friday) on Friel Court. The Cougs have two more games in Pullman -- vs. EWU on Nov. 16 and Indiana Purdue-Fort Wayne on Nov. 19 -- before heading to Anchorage for the Great Alaska Shootout, Nov. 25-28.

BENNETT WOES: Ex-Cougar coach Tony Bennett's first season at Virginia continues to be rife with challenges before the Cavaliers play a single game. Last week, Bennett suspended promising center Assane Sene for the first three games for "conduct detrimental to the team."

On Wednesday, Bennett announced that talented forward Jamil Tucker has left the team indefinitely for personal reasons. Two other key players are battling injuries. In a preseason media poll, the Cavaliers were picked to finish 11th in the 12-team Atlantic Coast Conference for the second straight year.

WEAVER SITS: Kyle Weaver, the only former Cougar playing in the NBA, has not appeared in Oklahoma City's first eight games.

Weaver, who started 19 games and averaged 5.3 points as a rookie last season, was on the inactive list until Tuesday. He has fully recovered from July surgery on a torn thumb tendon suffered in the NBA Summer League, but he only played six minutes in one exhibition game with the Thunder.

KELATI SIGNS: Another former WSU backcourt standout, Thomas Kelati, scored 10 points in his debut with Valencia, Spain. Kelati, beginning his fifth pro season in Europe, signed with Valencia after being released by the NBA's Los Angeles Lakers during training camp. Kelati joined the Lakers after he failed his physical with a team in Greece.

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