Hoops Preview - Washington State

It's that time of year again - the 270th time, to be exact - as the cross-state rivalry is set to be renewed between the Washington Huskies and the Washington State Cougars. The first game of head-to-head meetings will take place in Pullman Sunday. The tip time is set for 7 p.m. PST and it will be aired live on Fox Sports Net National.

Although the Cougars were 10-2 in non-conference play, league play has been a different story. Washington State is currently 4-4, good enough for a tie for fourth place.

Leading the way for Washington State is one of top shooters and players in the country, Klay Thompson. The 6-foot-6 junior guard is averaging 22.2 points, 5.5 rebounds, 4.4 assists, 1.9 steals and 1.1 blocks per game. The only downside to the Ladera Ranch, Calif. native's game is he will occasionally go missing in action in big games. Sunday certainly qualifies as a big game, so he will have a chance to disprove that thought.

Even though Faisal Aden doesn't start for Washington State, the Hillsboro Junior College transfer is averaging a solid 14.1 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the field. The 6-foot-4 junior guard also registers 1.6 steals per game.

DeAngelo Casto gives the Cougars an intimidating presence down in the paint, standing in at 6-foot-8 and 255 pounds. The junior forward is averaging 10.9 points per game on 56 percent shooting from the field. The Spokane native is also averaging 6.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest.

The one Seattle native on the Cougars' roster - Reggie Moore - has been a solid point guard since arriving on campus. The 6-foot-1 sophomore is averaging nine points per game on just 34 percent shooting. To go with his scoring, Moore is averaging 4.1 assists and one steal every time he steps out on the court.

As a team, field goal percentage will be a key factor on both ends of the ball for Washington State. On the offense side, the Cougars are No. 32 in the country, shooting 47.7 percent per game. Defensively, they are holding teams to just 37.8 percent from the floor, good enough for the No. 6 mark nationally. In conference play, that mark goes up to 39 percent.

Following this contest against their heated rivals, the Huskies (15-4, 7-1) will stay on the road to face the Oregon State Beavers (8-11, 3-5) Thursday at 6 p.m. PST.

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