Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series. Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days. This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days. We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order. We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.
The early departures of Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto have set the Washington State Cougars program back. Had those two returned for their senior seasons, Wazzu would have competed for the Pac-12 title this year. Instead, Ken Bone and company will battle to be a middle of the pack team.
WASHINGTON STATE COUGARS
Last Season: 6th, 9-9 in Pac-10, 22-13 overall
Predicted Pac-12 Finish: 10th
Projected Depth Chart
F/C: Brock Motum (Jr)/Charlie Enquist (Sr)/Steven Bjornstad (So)/D.J. Shelton (So)
F: Abe Lodwick (Sr)/Patrick Simon (So)/Greg Sequele (Fr)
SG: Faisal Aden (Sr)/Dexter Kenrich-Drew (Fr)
SG: Marcus Capers (Sr)/Mike Ladd (Jr)
PG: Reggie Moore (Jr)/ Davonte Lacy (Fr)
Gone: SG-Klay Thompson, C-DeAngelo Casto, PG-Dre’ Winston Jr. (transfer-Portland State)
Despite losing Thompson to the NBA, Washington State will still have quality talent and depth on the wing. Point guard Reggie Moore returns to run the point and will look to improve after somewhat regressing during his sophomore season,. Faisal Aden and Marcus Capers will complete the three guard starting line-up. Aden figures to step into Thompson’s role as the go-to scorer while Capers is an athletic guard but has no resemblance of an outside shot.
The addition of Fresno State transfer Mike Ladd will help replace Thompson’s three-point shooting. Ladd connected on 38.1% of his triple tries three as a starter his sophomore season and will be a valuable asset off the bench. Davonte Lacy and Dexter Kenrich-Drew will try to earn minutes as true freshmen. Wazzu also added to their future depth when Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge committed. Woolridge will have to sit out this season though per NCAA transfer rules.
The frontcourt is where the real questions lie. With Casto now playing professionally in Turkey, Bone will rely on an underwhelming group in the frontcourt. Of those options, 6-10 Brock Motum is the most skilled. He has an effective inside/outside game and really improved between his freshman and sophomore seasons. If Motum can continue to make strides with his game, he will make the task of replacing Casto a little easier.
Besides Motum, Abe Lodwick should see a good amount of minutes due to his scrappy play on both ends of the floor. After that, seldom used Patrick Simon, Charlie Enquist, and Steven Bjornstad will compete for minutes along with JUCO transfer D.J. Shelton and freshman Greg Sequele. There is not a lot of scoring ability within that collection of players so the guards will have to carry the load while the bigs do the dirty work down low.
Player to Watch: Reggie Moore
Part of the reason Moore’s numbers took a dip from his freshman season to his sophomore campaign is because he had to take such a backseat to Thompson and transfer Faisal Aden on the offensive end. Both guys are shot happy players who are not afraid to pull the trigger with equated to less opportunity for Moore. With Thompson gone, Moore should see the ball in his hands more often and asked to be more of a scorer like he was during his freshman season.
Key Non-Conference Games:
11/14 at Gonzaga
11/24 vs. Oklahoma (76 Classic)
11/25 vs. New Mexico/Santa Clara (76 Classic)
11/27 vs. Villanova/UC-Riverside/Boston College/St. Louis (76 Classic)
OTHER 111 IN 111’S:
#94 Iowa Hawkeyes
#95 Ole Miss Rebels
#96 Nebraka Cornhuskers
#97 Oklahoma Sooners
#98 South Florida Bulls
#99 LSU Tigers
#100 Colorado Buffaloes
#101 DePaul Blue Demons
#102 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
#103 Wake Forest Demon Deacons
#104 Seton Hall Pirates
#105 Providence Friars
#106 Auburn Tigers
#107 South Carolina Gamecocks
#108 Texas Tech Red Raiders
#109 Penn State Nittany Lions
#110 Boston College Eagles
#111 Utah Utes
David Kay is a senior feature NBA Draft, NBA, and college basketball writer for the Sports Bank. He also heads up the NBA and college basketball material at Walter Football.com and is a former contributor at The Washington Times Communities. David has appeared on numerous national radio programs spanning from Cleveland to New Orleans to Honolulu. He also had the most accurate 2011 NBA Mock Draft on the web.
You can follow him on Twitter at DavidKay_TSB.Follow paulmbanks