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WSU’s Thompson faces a friend


COUGARS

Tomorrow’s game in Beasley will match the top two scorers in the Pac-10, Stanford’s Landry Fields and WSU’s Klay Thompson. We found out today the two worked out together over the summer, which helped Thompson share a scouting report with us. We have an unedited version of our feature on the link. Read on.

••••••••••

• Here’s the feature …

PULLMAN – Both are around 6-foot-7. Both are products of Southern California’s fertile youth basketball culture. And both can put up points at an amazing rate.

This afternoon on Friel Court, Washington State University’s Klay Thompson, the Pac-10 Conference’s leading scorer at 22.7 points per game, will be wearing white. Stanford’s Landry Fields, No. 2 in scoring (21.8), will be wearing red.

And they both could be wearing out the scoreboard.

“They both can present a problem,” said WSU coach Ken Bone, charged with getting Thompson open and keeping Fields from doing the same. “They are both just outstanding basketball players, to simplify things.”

Thompson, from Ladera Ranch, and Fields, from Long Beach, are Orange County kids who worked out together this summer.

“He’s a good kid, I like him a lot,” said Thompson, before offering a scouting report. “He’s good. He’s athletic and he can shoot. He’s really complete.”

The workouts were aimed at polishing their games, as both knew they had to accept a bigger role in the respective offenses this season.

Fields, a senior, scored at a 12.6-points-per-game clip last season as seniors Anthony Goods and Lawrence Hill carried the main load.

Thompson, a 12.5 points per game scorer as a freshman, deferred to seniors Taylor Rochestie and Aron Baynes.

“We lost four seniors from last year who contributed a lot,” Thompson said of the 12-5 Cougars, 2-3 in Pac-10 play. “We’re just young. For our teams to win, we’ve got to be aggressive.”

“Landry has had to carry the load for us this season and he has down a terrific job,” said Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins. “He has taken on the responsibility and I am proud of him.”

Though both have been the focal point of their respective team’s offense, the first three weeks of Pac-10 play has been tough on their scoring averages.

Facing defenses geared to stop them, Thompson and Fields have averaged 17.2 and 16.8 points per game, respectively.

“We’re just playing good teams that have done a lot of scouting,” Thompson said of the decreased scoring opportunities.

“You have coaches within the Pac-10, this is not a time to be experimenting,” Bone said. “It’s ‘this guy here’s legit, we’ve got to stop him.’ The preseason is over.”

With Fields and Thompson wearing targets, teammates have stepped up. In Stanford’s case it’s sophomore guard Jeremy Green, who had 30 points against UCLA last week and is averaging 19.3 in Pac-10 play. WSU’s freshman Reggie Moore has contributed in a similar fashion, averaging 16.4 in conference, with a career-high 25 Thursday vs. Cal.

No matter what happens with the individual point totals today, Thompson has one overriding concern: not let Stanford improve on its 8-8 record, 2-2 in conference.

“The ‘W’ would be the biggest thing,” Thompson said. “Scoring 28 is real nice, but if they won and he only had 16 and we lost and I had 28, it would be horrible, so that ‘W’ is what’s important.”

•••

• That’s it for tonight. We’ll be back in the morning with more as usual. Until then …


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