Washington State Cougars blogger Insider Steve is back with a new weekly post-game look at the Washington State Men’s basketball program in his Love’ Em Hate’ Em column.
It’s an article that is never as easy one to write after a Cougars loss as it is after a Cougars win.
What I Loved from this game? I loved how the how the Cougs were able to run the floor with ease.
Yes, they shot 47% from the floor, but they were able to generate multiple second half scoring opportunities in transition. It allowed wing-man Faisel Aden to contribute 12 points, and it allowed Reggie Moore to be the lane crasher as a slasher.
Moore finished with 14 points and 4 assists. Mike Ladd was also able to benifit from the up tempo Cougars offense. Ladd finished with 13 points off the bench.
I loved how Brock Motum did his best De Angelo Casto impression
This is going to be the biggest question facing the Cougars all season. For last night though, Motum helped Cougar fans turn the page a little. Motum led all Cougar scorers with 17 points on 58% shooting from the floor. He chipped in 8 rebounds on the defensive glass, and 2 offensive rebounds.
He also chipped in with 4 assists.
I loved how the Cougs were tenacious on the defensive end in the second half.
After seemingly getting buried under an avalanche of Gonzaga 3-pointers, the Cougs switched from a zone defense to a more traditional man-to-man defensive set-up.
It didn’t really have too much effect for the remainder of the first half, but once the second half began, the Cougs really went after the Bulldogs offense.
The Cougar defense allowed the team to pull within 3 points at 81-78 with 1:24 left, but ultimately Gonzaga had enough to win.
What I hated from last night? I hated how Gonzaga thoroughly dominated the glass
As a team, Gonzaga out rebounded WSU 39-30 on defense, and 13-9 on the offensive side. Gonzaga was able to cash in on more than one occasion because of second chance opportunities.
I hated how Washington State had virtually no perimeter defense
Even when WSU switched from a zone defense to a man-to-man, Gonzaga was still able to throw daggers from behind the arc.
Keven Pangos led the Bulldog attack from behind the arc hitting 9-16, and finished with 33 points. As a team, Gonzaga hit 13 total treys that accounted for 39 points.
I hated how no one stepped up as a scoring threat
I knew this was going to happen. I didn’t think anyone was capable of stepping into Klay Thompson’s shoes, but I still found myself watching to see if anyone wanted to.
I didn’t see that.
What I saw was a collective group effort, with five players (Brock Motum, Reggie Moore, Faisel Aden, Mike Ladd, and Devonte Lacey) scoring 10 points or more. Which I guess is a good thing moving forward.
The Cougs definitely have a lot to improve on moving forward, but for the first game of the season, with a final score of 89-81, I’ll take it.
Where: McCarthey Athletic Center, Spokane, Washington
Officials: # Bobby McRoy, # Deron White, # Tom Wood