Washington State took the day off practice today, but that doesn’t mean it was an empty few hours. Coach Ken Bone held his two teleconferences this morning, and we have a summary on the link. Read on.
• Usually on these Tuesday things, the first question I ask concerns the week just past. But this one was a little different, in that Bone admitted up front he didn’t watch much of the UCLA game – later saying about 1/3. UW is more like USC in a lot of things it does defensively, so there was probably more for the WSU coach to learn from that DVD. … With only one game this week – UW has two, playing Seattle U. tonight – the Cougars are using the time to rest and then clean up “a lot of things,” Bone said. That came in response to a question I had about the defense against UCLA in the second half and if this was a time to get that crucial element straightened out. … I’m doing a story this week on Reggie Moore, so I asked a question about the possibility Moore might press playing in Seattle against a school that he wanted to attend as a kid. Bone agreed it was a possibility, but the LSU game probably helped in that Moore has already played in front of his family and friends once. But Bone does believe Saturday could be special for Moore. … The Huskies are 12-1 in Seattle and 0-6 everywhere else. Asked about this Bone said all he’s worried about is the 12-1 Huskies, because “they are very, very good at home.” Later, in the Pac-10 call, Bone explained why UW is so different. They are able to play so much more physical at home, he said. In terms of whistles, he was asked. “In terms of whatever,” Bone answered, diplomatically. (As an aside, Lorenzo Romar said his team has been playing passive defense on the road recently, so I guess he also agree with Bone.) … I asked Bone about Romar, and if this game is any different because he spent four years helping the UW head coach win games. They are close. He said he’s coached against Romar’s teams the past three years with Portland State and had “zero success.” But he feels the game itself is no different. He wants to win and he’s sure Romar wants to do the same. … Asked about the true freshmen on the bench who have burned their redshirt – Brock Motum, Steven Bjornstad and Anthony Brown – and whether any would play more the rest of the year, Bone said Motum had the best shot. The rest he didn’t mention. … I then asked about using Charlie Enquist instead of James Watson to back up DeAngelo Casto last weekend and the reasons behind that. Bone noted Enquist, after not having played for a few games, came off the bench against Stanford and supplied a spark, playing well enough to earn more playing time. He said Enquist and Watson supply a different skill set and he would use whichever fit better in the game WSU was playing. … There probably won’t be a lineup change this week, Bone said. He gave lots of thought to it last week, but decided to stay the course. He did emphasize, though, that key players would play the most minutes. … The rest this week gives everyone, including the coaches, a chance to regroup a little mentally and physically, Bone added. … Asked how the Cougars could attack zones better, Bone said they need to be able to hit more outside shots. He noted Klay Thompson is shooting 25 percent beyond the arc in conference play and, though Moore and Nik Koprivica are both shooting well, the Cougars needs everyone performing at a high level. … Expect to see WSU play some zone against the Huskies. How much, Bone said, will depend on the flow of the game. … In the Pac-10 call, Bone admitted the Cougars are playing better than he thought they might at the beginning of the season. He mentioned that they’ve lost a couple games at home but were able to win two on the road. Those two road wins – vs. Arizona and USC – should show his players, Bone said, they can play with anyone. … And that’s the highlights.
• That’s all for now. As usual, we’ll be back in the morning. Until then …