Farewell to Brock Motum and Mike Ladd
After a porous 2012-2013 campaign, the Washington State Cougars must part ways with their two seniors.
They each had different levels of impact on the program, but impacts nonetheless.
With only two players leaving, the youth of this team is one thing to look forward to. But it is never easy to say goodbye.
Born in Brisbane, Australia, Motum was another product of the Aussie pipeline WSU so often takes advantage of.
Brock played at the Australian Institute of Sport under head coach Marty Clarke, and earned several honors during his tenure – U21 player of the year in 2008, Four Nations Tournament MVP in 2009, and was named to the Australian National Team that July.
After limited minutes in his freshman year at WSU, he came onto the scene in 2010 by leading the Pac 10 in field goal percentage with .599.
Averaging 7.6 points per game, Motum was thought to be a solid contributor in a supporting role to WSU great Klay Thompson, and Deangelo Casto. Motum had different plans.
With the departure of a few standouts, Motum had an offensive explosion in his new leading role his junior year. He led the Pac 12 with 18.0 points per game, was awarded to the First-Team All Pac 12 and named the Most Improved Player.
Finally getting a full work load, Motum answered the call with flying colors as he became a household name in the Pac 12 and put his mark in the Cougar record books.
His senior year had high hopes. Unfortunately, with the dismissal of Reggie Moore and the disqualification of a star recruit, the team faltered.
Motum was no longer under the radar, as he received most of the attention from the opposing defense with every possession. This did little to affect his output, however, as he posted 18.7 points as well as 6.3 rebounds per game on the year.
Motum will always be known as one of the most surprising stars in Cougar history, and ranks 5th all-time in field goal percentage with .567.
It is hard to replace someone with the skill set of Motum.
D.J. Shelton and Junior Longrus will likely be at the forward position, but neither comes close to the output of Brock.
We will need the guard play to step up in order to fill that hole left by the star forward.
Ladd was a player that just couldn’t quite reach his high ceiling.
Former high school teammates with Reggie Moore at Rainier Beach, Ladd put up great numbers as the team captain with 19 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists per game.
Ladd went to Fresno State, and quietly became a prolific 3-point shooter over there, leading the team in the category. After two seasons for the Bulldogs, Ladd transferred to Washington State.
His junior season was one plagued by injuries. He missed 11 games due to a thumb injury, on his shooting hand – greatly limiting his offensive game.
His senior year Ladd – finally healthy – came into his own and put up career highs with 10.5 points and 5.9 rebounds per game. He showed glimpses of stardom, averaging 14.3 points and 6.4 rebounds in Pac 12 play before going down with a knee injury.
Sadly, the story of Ladd was more about his limitations due to injuries.
Nevertheless, he will always be one of my favorite players to watch. I had never seen a shooting guard fight more for rebounds – a lost art in the game of basketball – and he was never afraid to take the big shot.
While Ladd will be missed, luckily Ken Bone has recruited guard heavy – giving plenty of depth to fill in for the departure of the senior guard.
Demarquise Johnson will likely take his role, as well as Royce Woolridge, once he is moved from the point guard position to make room for the incoming Ikenna Iroegbu.
This team is losing two great players, but Bone has recruited a solid amount of talent to make the transition less severe.
Thank you seniors for your great memories at Beasley, and congratulations on your graduation. On to bigger and better things!