A quick post on coach Ken Bone's teleconference with the WSU coverage group. I was going to just post this as an update on the morning post, but decided to give the notes their own headline. Read on.
• The first topic of conversation was the lineup. Bone said on Saturday he was contemplating a change in the starting lineup after the weak beginnings to games and second halves recently. Well, Bone and the staff are still contemplating. He said they haven't made a decision yet. His guess: He won't be making a change, but there is still a chance. ... I asked him about his philosophy as it relates to the starting lineup, which led to a long answer. He compared it to a chess match and said he's not the type of coach who like to change starting lineups much. The juggling, he said, seems to get into kids' head more today than in the past. But still, he said, changes might have to be made. ... What changes? Bone talked about starting either Xavier Thames (for either Reggie Moore or Marcus Capers) or Nik Koprivica (for Abe Lodwick) or possibly even starting James Watson or Charlie Enquist for DeAngelo Casto. ... After listening to him talk, my feeling is the USC lineup will be the same. But if there is another slow start, expect a different one Saturday at Pauley. ... Speaking of USC, he thinks Kevin O'Neill has turned a corner with his team and they are playing with confidence. The Trojans, Bone said, are physical, athletic and quick. Which sounds a little like Kansas State. ... Bone was asked who the emotional leader of the team is, and he's not sure there is one. It's obvious this group is quiet and less emotional than most college teams. ... He talked in depth about Koprivica, about his leadership qualities, stemming from his attitude, about his ability to play more than one position – he's been playing more and more of the 3, giving Klay Thompson a break – and his basketball IQ – highest on the teams. ... Speaking of Thompson, Bone said he's capable of playing 35 minutes or more a game, but he wonders if Thompson might be more effective if he played around 30 or so. ... The next three games – all on the road – are key as Bone sees it. They will tell a lot about what type of team the Cougars are, Bone said. When they are done, WSU will have reached the halfway point of the Pac-10 season. ... The Cougars practiced Sunday, though the six guys who played the most minutes against Stanford did nothing more than watch video. Then they took Monday off. They'll go late this afternoon, then travel to LA tomorrow.
• That's it for today. We'll be back later if news warrants it. FYI, I'm traveling to LA today to spend tomorrow taking my father, who is 84 and not in the best of health, to a doctor's appointment. We'll post in the morning with our Thursday items then spend as much time with him as I possibly can. I'm sure you understand. Until then ...