BONE: Lack of concentration means bench time

WASHINGTON STATE COACH Ken Bone said during his Tuesday news conference that he will continue to pull players who display a lack of concentration after Saturday's 78-60 win against Arizona. Bone also discussed Stanford's high-scoring combo of Landry Fields and Jeremy Green, postseason prognostications and much more.

It was perhaps the team's best game of the season.

But Washington State coach Ken Bone said during his Tuesday news conference that his team did not look quite as consistent in film study as it did during Saturday's 78-60 win against Arizona.

"It wasn't quite as sharp as I hoped," Bone said.

That partially was because redshirt freshman guard John Allen and sophomore forward Abe Lodwick (stomach flu) were out. Sophomore center Charlie Enquist also suffered an ankle injury during practice that makes him doubtful to play Thursday at Stanford (7 p.m., no TV). The Cougars (15-8 overall, 5-6 Pac-10) also have a 1 p.m. contest Saturday at California (FSN-NW).

BONE SUBSTITUTED PLAYERS liberally against the Wildcats, whom the Cougars swept this season for just the fourth time in program history. He said he previously tried "talking and pleading" with players to make changes, but decided to take a different stance after WSU's 81-70 loss Thursday against Arizona State.

"We're trying to make sure our players are being held accountable," Bone said. "There were a couple of mental breakdowns and we as a staff were not going to allow any more. We've been doing this for a number of months now and we need to do it the right way."

While the Cougars were outstanding on the offensive end on Saturday, shooting 51 percent from the field and converting 23 of 28 free throws, they were perhaps just as good on the defensive side. They outrebounded the Wildcats 32-23 and held Arizona to 42.3 percent from the field and just 13 free throws.

But the Wildcats led by as many as eight points less than five minutes into the game. Bone swapped out freshman point guard Reggie Moore for classmate Xavier Thames three minutes into the game and continued to sub starters frequently. No starter played more than Moore's 34 minutes.

"I thought our guys handled it well," Bone said.

ONE OF THE BIGGEST beneficiaries was freshman forward Brock Motum, who scored a career-high 10 points in 17 minutes. Motum previously had played 16 minutes combined in four Pac-10 games.

"I'm really excited for him," said Bone, citing Motum's frequent extra practice work with assistant coach Ben Johnson. "To see him get into the game and be very effective is pleasing."

With Enquist, who played 13 minutes in a 77-73 win Jan. 16 against Stanford, likely out against Stanford, Bone said Motum will see time and center Steven Bjornstad might as well. But he was noncommittal about how minutes might be distributed among those two and redshirt freshman James Watson.

WHAT CONCERNS BONE about the Cardinal (10-13, 4-7) is senior forward Landry Fields and sophomore guard Jeremy Green. Fields averages a conference-best 23 points per game, while Green adds 17.3.

"We're very aware of how good Fields and Green are on the offensive end," Bone said. "Our focus is going to be on where they are on the offensive end."

Senior guard Drew Shiller is third on the team at 7.2 points per game, but he converts 39.6 percent of his 3-pointers, while sophomore guard Jarrett Mann (6.5) has attempted 10 or more free throws in four different contests this season.

"They have some other kids who are threats too," Bone said. "It's more than just Fields and Green. They've got a good squad."

  • Some media outlets have predicted just one NCAA Tournament berth for the Pac-10, but Bone thinks two teams will get in.

    "The media that is talking about one team is mostly from the East Coast and a little bit biased," he said.

  • Bone said it is important for the Cougars, who graduate only Koprivica after this season, to play in the postseason now. He cited building on the program's success in addition to extra practice time as reasons why postseason play is significant for his team.

  • After advancing to the NCAA Tournament during former coach Tony Bennett's first two seasons, WSU went to the NIT last season and finished with a 17-16 record in 2008-09. If the Cougars do not advance to the NCAA Tournament, Bone thinks the NIT will require 19 wins because the Pac-10 is weaker this season than in 2008-09.

  • Bone said the starting lineup likely will not deviate this week, which means senior forward Nikola Koprivica should start for the fourth time against Stanford since displacing Lodwick.

  • Players generally lift twice per week during the season because of basketball practice and other constraints, but Bone said he treats Bjornstad more along the lines of a redshirt and has him lifting at least three times per week.

  • Paul Lindemann will be inducted into the Pac-10 Hall of Honor on March 13. The other individuals to be inducted include: Mike Bibby (Arizona), Jeremy Veal (Arizona State), Earl Robinson (California), Kenya Wilkins (Oregon), Dave Gambee (Oregon State), John Arrillaga (Stanford), John Block (USC) and Eldridge Recasner (Washington).

    Lindemann helped the Cougars compete for the 1941 NCAA championship -- they lost the title game, 39-34, against Wisconsin.

    The 6-foot-7 center averaged a team-high 10.2 points per game to guide WSU to a 13-3 record and a first-place finish in the Pacific Coast Conference North Division.

    Lindemann, who died in 1990, was inducted into WSU's Athletic Hall of Fame in 1980.

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