Cougar Basketball Notebook

THE FASTER OFFENSIVE tempo that Ken Bone instituted with the Cougar basketball team this year manifested itself in two noticeable statistical ways, but not in the one – field goal attempts -- that might seem obvious. Indeed, this year's Cougars averaged 54 field goal attempts per game, up just a bit from last season's 50 per game.

Yet this year's Cougars scored an average of 71.9 points per game compared with 59.2 last season. That's the most obvious statistical upshot of WSU's faster tempo.

Given that both this year's and last year's Cougs connected with about the same frequency from the field – 44 percent and 43 percent, respectively – those 12.7 extra points per game didn't come off of those four additional field goal attempts per contest.

Nope. They came from the free throw line. If you look at the WSU stat sheets from the 2009-10 and 2008-09 seasons, FTs really stand out. This year's Cougs averaged a whopping 25 free throw attempts per game vs. 13.5 a year ago. Even with a big drop in accuracy – 77 percent from the stripe last season to 70 percent this season – this year's Cougs scored 331 more points from the line than did last year's team.

All those charity trips this season were, of course, a direct result of the faster tempo and taking the ball to the hoop. Klay Thompson, who drove to the hoop early and often this season, was the biggest beneficiary. Last year he went to the line 31 times. This year he made 166 trips – and hit more than 80 percent.

Thompson had some serious shooting woes in the Pac-10 portion of the season, but that didn't stop coaches from voting him to the league's 10-man All-Pac-10 team. And the case for his selection was powerful. Thompson averaged 19.6 points per game – third-best in the conference and among the top 30 in the nation. He also averaged 5.2 rebounds per game -- 14th-best in the Pac-10—and was sixth in 3-point field goals made and ninth in steals. He also played 35.1 minutes per game -- fourth-most in the conference.

DeAngelo Casto was named all-conference honorable mention and first-team All-Pac-10 Defense. He averaged 2.1 blocks, 6.9 rebounds and 10.7 points this season. WSU freshman point guard Reggie Moore was tabbed for the Pac-10 All-Freshman team.

On the women's side of the court, Cougar sophomore April Cook was voted All-Pac-10 honorable mention for the second-straight season, and freshman point guard KiKi Moore was named first-team Pac-10 All-Freshman and honorable mention Pac-10 All-Defense. Moore was named first-team Pac-10 All-Defense in a poll of media who cover the conference's women. She led the conference and ranked No. 10 nationally in steals. The Cougar women finished the season at 8-22 following a nail-biting loss to Arizona in the first-round of the Pac-10 tourney last night.

But back to the stat sheet for the Cougar men. While the Cougars scored an average of 12.7 more points per game this season, they also surrendered 15.2 more per game.

COACH BONE SAID after WSU's Pac-10 tourney loss to Oregon the other night that he's hopeful a post-season bid comes the Cougars' way. The NCAAs, which take 65 teams, are of course out of the question, and the NIT, which takes 32, would seem a big stretch. But the CBI and CIT tournaments invite 16 teams each. How about a first-round match up between the 16-15 Cougars and 17-14 Seattle U. Redhawks? Or perhaps the 21-10 Portland Pilots of the WCC?

Both tournaments require payments from host teams. The CBI last year required a $60,000 guarantee and it's been reported that number will stay the same this year. The CIT last season required a $28,500 guarantee. At Oregon State, who played in the CBI last season and went on to win the title, they needed a crowd of roughly 3,000 (with a healthy amount of $25 dollar tickets sold) to break even on the $60,000 payment.


  • In the state of Washington's Class 2A boys basketball playoffs in Yakima, a pair of future Cougars were victorious Thursday. Blair Bomber, who will play receiver for Paul Wulff this fall, scored 11 points in Lynden's 59-31 quarterfinals win over Deer Park. Meanwhile, 6-foot-9 future WSU basketballer Patrick Simon scored 21 points, pulled down nine rebounds and blocked three shots to pace No. 2-ranked Ephrata to a 62-43 victory over West Valley of Spokane.

  • In Class 3A action, Spokane's Shadle Park knocked off Seattle's O'Dea on Thursday in the quarterfinals and future WSU offensive lineman Jake Rodgers pulled down 19 -- yes, 19 -- rebounds for Shadle.

  • Defending Class 3A girls champion Kennedy High went down in a heartbreaker to Mercer Island in the quarterfinals of the state playoffs on Thursday. One of Kennedy's star players -- junior Aminah Williams -- is the daughter of Guy Williams, who arguably may have been the most talented men's player in WSU history. Guy played under George Raveling in the early 1980s. Today he's the executive director of the North Seattle Boys & Girls Club. Aminah, by the way, is getting serious recruiting interest from most of the Pac-10.

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