COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:45 P.M.
If you've read this blog much, you know I'm not a big fan of predictions. I'm usually wrong and, because I hate being wrong, I rarely make a prediction. But tonight I will make an exception. I've got one for you. Read on.
UPDATE: Mississippi Valley State was delayed on 195 from Spokane. The Devils are in the building, and the game will start 30 minutes after they hit the court. My guess: 7:20.
• Yes, I'm going to predict something. And it will be really controversial. Ready? I predict, now sit down, Mississippi Valley State will score more points in tonight's game than the Delta Devils did last year against WSU. Not only that, I predict they shoot a higher percentage from the floor and score more baskets. OK, I've gone out on a limb here. So forgive me if I'm wrong. But I don't believe I will be. If you're interested, the numbers from last year were, respectively, 25, 16.7 and 9. ... OK, so I was being sarcastic. But it can't be any worse than last year, can it? Actually, that's what I thought last season, when MVSC came into Pullman a year after scoring 26 points against the Cougars in Spokane. But it was. ... The Devils come in 2-0 in their exhibitions, so they must be at least a bit better than last year's team that went 7-25 overall, 7-11 in SWAC play. We'll see. ... But just how good will the Cougars be in coach Ken Bone's debut? The exhibition wasn't all that dynamic, so there's that. It probably can be expected considering the nature of this team – young – and the dynamic of a new coaching staff. There is a lot to learn and only a short time to learn it. ... James Watson is suited up tonight. ... The big question tonight: Will the Cougars play faster, getting closer to the tempo Bone wants? It's crucial in these first six games, leading up to the Gonzaga game Dec. 2. No matter how difficult these first half-dozen games are, the next six are monsters: at GU, at Kansas State, Idaho, Air Force in Spokane, Portland State in Kennewick, and LSU in Seattle. ... That's about what I've got tonight. Except maybe one more prediction. Klay Thompson had 11 shots Monday night – nine attempts and two times he was fouled trying to shoot. He'll get more tonight.
• That's it for now. As no one seemed too interested in the halftime post Monday, we'll wait until the game is over to come back. Unless something weird is happening. Until then …