The WSU men’s basketball team begins their season tonight in an exhibition game against Saint Martin’s University in Beasley Coliseum. In the last ten seasons, the Cougars have not lost an exhibition game.
WSU finished last season with an overall record of 19-18, including a 12-4 record at home. Head Coach Ken Bone talked about his team’s last season performance at the Pac-12 Media Day in San Francisco on Thursday.
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“I really like the way we finished the year last year,” Bone said. “We got beat, unfortunately, in the Pac-12 Tournament against Oregon State, but I thought our guys rebounded from that loss extremely well.”
The team will have to overcome the loss of senior point guard Reggie Moore, who was released in the offseason for violating team policies. Moore led the team last year in minutes played and averaged 10.2 points per game.
“It’s hard because, on a personal note, I recruited Reggie,” Bone said. “So, it’s too bad to not have him in our program still and playing the way I think that we all thought he was capable of playing going into his senior year, because he ended the year last year on a great note.”
Senior forward Brock Motum will now lead the team in its 2012-13 campaign. Motum led the Pac-12 in scoring last season with an average of 18.1 points per game.
“I’m just looking to accomplish a lot more wins than last season,” Motum said. “I think if I can score more than last year, and that helps us win more games, then I’ll do that by any means, but it’s more on a personal note, it’s more a team focus.”
Several returning players will complement Motum, including DaVonté Lacy, Dominic Ballard, Will DiIorio, Mike Ladd, D.J. Shelton and Dexter Kernich-Drew. Bone said Royce Woolridge, a redshirt sophomore transfer from Kansas, might step in to play in Moore’s position.
The Saint Martin’s Saints are led by senior forward Roger O’Neill, who scored 14 points in the team’s loss to Boise State University last Friday in the team's season opener. Despite losing 75-55 overall, the Saints won the second half of the game against the Broncos 31-30, with their bench players scoring 15 points.
WSU had three players who averaged double figures in points last season -- Moore was one of those players, as was Faisal Aden, a guard who graduated after last season.
Including redshirt athletes, the Cougars have five freshman, five sophomores, four juniors and two seniors on this year’s roster. This player make-up is not too different from last year as the 2011-12 team had nine underclassmen and seven upperclassmen.
The Cougars beat all seven of their non-conference opponents in 2011-12. This year’s team will get their first chance to continue that streak tonight when the ball tips off on Friel Court at 7 p.m.