Hoops Preview: Washington State

In what will be the 268th meeting between the Washington Huskies (13-7, 3-5) and the (14-6, 4-4) Washington State Cougars, it will be another matchup featuring Lorenzo Romar against a former UW assistant. In this case, the assistant is Ken Bone. The game will take place at 12:30 p.m. PST at Bank of America Arena.

Bone, who was just hired this year from Portland State University, coached under Romar at UW from the 2002 to 2005.

Even though both Cameron Dollar and Bone were assistants together at one point, Romar said that this game will be a little different than the Seattle University game, which saw Romar match wits with Dollar, who took over as the Redhawks head coach after seven years with Romar at UW.

"Yeah, it's different in that coach Bone was with us three years, I believe, and coach Dollar was with us seven and three before that, and like you said we played Portland State two or three times and coach Bone was the head coach," Romar said. "We have played against his teams before. Now he is in conference, so that makes it a little more different. But he has come back in here and coached in this gym before."

Romar said that if the Huskies play the way they are capable of playing that things would finish on the good end.

"The plan is for us to play to our potential," he said. "And then whatever happens after that will take care of itself. If we play to our potential, hopefully things will go right. We will see."

Since leaving Montlake, Bone has gone onto face his former team three times in the last three years and has lost all three. However, each year his teams have gotten more and more competitive against the Dawgs.

This year will be under completely different circumstances though, as he took over at Washington State for departed Head Coach Tony Bennett, now at Virginia. The Cougars finished last season 17-16 under Bennett.

Although Romar said the relationship does change a little when Coach Dollar and Coach Bone left, he said that plenty of things still remain the same.

"The only place a relationship changes is when we were on staff," he said. Coach Bone and I, Coach Dollar and I, when we were on staff together, there weren't any secrets. Now it's just on the business side we don't share as much information. You keep that to yourself. But in terms of your friendship, that doesn't change."

So far this season, the Cougars have beaten Mississippi Valley State, Eastern Washington, IPFW, Alaska Anchorage, Nicholls State, San Diego, Idaho, Air Force, Portland State, LSU, Oregon State, Arizona, Stanford and USC. Their losses have come at the hand of Gonzaga, Kansas State, Oregon, Arizona State, California and UCLA. They are 3-4 on the road this season.

Leading the way for the Cougars is one of the nation's top players, Klay Thompson. So far this season he is averaging an astounding 22.3 points per game on 44 percent shooting from the field. He is also averaging five rebounds, 2.5 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

Starting at the point for WSU will be Seattle native and Rainier Beach alum Reggie Moore. He is averaging 14.4 points per game on 47 percent shooting from the field to go along with his 4.6 assists and 1.4 steals per game.

Another in-state prep standout, DeAngelo Casto, will start at the five, where he provides a solid presence on both ends of the court. This season he is averaging 10 points per game on 47 percent shooting, and is averaging 7.4 rebounds and 2.1 blocks per game.

As a team the Cougars are averaging 76.7 points per game on 48 percent shooting from the field. They are allowing their opponents 70.9 points and they turn the ball over 13.7 times per game.

With a win, it would be Washington's 170th win in the overall series. Right now they lead the series 169-98.

Following this game, the Huskies will not play until Thursday, when they host the Arizona Wildcats. The game will be at 7:30 p.m. PST.

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