The first day of men’s basketball at Washington State is in the books. We have some thoughts and a link to our story, so read on.
• The Cougars went through a 2 1/2 hour practice that emphasized toughness, intensity and, most importantly, physical play. This isn’t the biggest, strongest team on the planet, that’s for sure. As assistant coach Curtis Allen pointed out during a rebounding drill, the Cougars are going to have to fight for every rebound, every possession this season. Which, despite the addition of a few pounds of muscle to DeAngelo Casto, Brock Motum and, yes, even Klay Thompson, WSU is going to be undersized in most of its games. But that can be overcome. … One way is to shoot the ball well and it’s not hard to assume this team will. Thompson’s added muscle should help his range, enhance his ability to get to the rim and keep him from wearing down as the season goes on. Faisal Aden, though thin, has some definition and he’s the real deal when it comes to scoring – defense, that’s a work in progress. But Aden can fill it up, as he did in a late-practice scrimmage. Patrick Simon, who is more physically developed than any of the freshmen, Dexter Kernich-Drew, Brock Motum and, yes, Abe Lodwick, looked as if they will be threats from beyond 15 feet, especially Simon and Kernich-Drew. … Another freshman, Dre Winston, Jr., while rail-thin like Kernich-Drew, could play valuable minutes as a backup to Reggie Moore. … All of this, of course, is contingent on the freshmen playing. Decisions on redshirts are made well above our pay grade. … Inside, Steven Bjornstad (knee) is still out and walk-on big Chris McNamara (ankle) looks to be out for a while. That left Casto, Motum, Charlie Enquist, who also added a few pounds, Lodwick and Simon working inside. How Bone is able to handle that area may be a key to the season. … OK, enough first impressions. I learned long ago that watching one practice is never enough to make intelligent judgments, so we’ll leave it at this: These are very, very early thoughts. … We blended some of them into our story that will be in tomorrow’s S-R. … We also had a football advance up on the site this afternoon.
• That’s all for now. We’ll be back in the morning with our usual post. Until later …