FROM CORVALLIS — We've arrived at Gill Coliseum — one of the more unremarkable venues in the conference, yet a trip I always enjoy nonetheless — for tonight's contest between the Cougars and Oregon State (7 p.m., no TV). As usual, we have some notes and thoughts in our pre-game post below. Read on.
Way back on Dec. 9, another team from the Palouse — Don Verlin's Idaho Vandals — came into this building and tore the Beavers apart, winning 74-60 while holding the Pac-12's leading scorer, Jared Cunningham, to just seven points on 0-9 shooting from the field. Since then, the Beavers have lost at home just once — that quadruple-overtime marathon against Stanford. Meanwhile, Washington State is one of three teams in the conference yet to win a Pac-12 road game (Utah and USC are the others). So if the Cougars pull off an OSU sweep, they'll have to break a couple of trends in the process. … Ken Bone said this week he wasn't particularly pleased with the way his team played against the Beavers the first time around, though it resulted in a 81-76 win at Spokane Arena. The biggest concern, of course, was turnovers. The Cougars committed 16 of them, which is actually fewer than Oregon State forces on average (a shade over 18). DaVonte Lacy is considered probable to play today with a left ankle sprain. Against Oregon State's 1-3-1, they'll need him. He's dressed and looks OK shooting around right now, so I bet he goes. … After committing 15 turnovers — and allowing 18 points off those turnovers — against UCLA, Bone and WSU players spoke this week about concentrating on even the most simple of passes, not taking any of them for granted. Brock Motum said that sometimes all it takes is a reminder (in this case, the UCLA game), meaning it's something they can correct from game to game, if they've got the thought in the front of their mind. … Speaking of Lacy, he scored 18 points in the first meeting between these teams. WSU might need a similar output tonight to help complement Motum.
All for now. As usual, we'll be back postgame.