FROM PULLMAN — A tense homestand for Washington State concludes tonight with another important game, this one against Colorado. Read on for some thoughts.
So, which Colorado shows up tonight? The team everyone expected to compete for the Pac-12 championship? Or the one we've seen the last couple weeks, during which time the Buffaloes have lost four of five? (OK, so they probably should have only lost three of five, given that inexplicable ending against Arizona.) Colorado is likely in desperation mode, knowing that a loss here nearly guarantees they won't make the NCAA tournament without a miraculous finish. And WSU, coming off its first win of the Pac-12 season over Utah, could provide more evidence for the case that it's turning things around after a rough start. … The Cougars haven't found it easy to get the ball to Brock Motum in any of their first four conference games. Not sure that will change tonight. As Ken Bone said earlier this week, it seems each of WSU's opponents has someone long and athletic to clog up the paint and give Motum and the rest of the Cougars trouble. Well, Andre Roberson fits that bill, too. He hasn't progressed a ton offensively since his freshman season, but he's still a menace on the glass and a skilled shot-blocker. So, again, the key tonight for WSU is to make its outside shots like it did against Utah and force attention away from Motum. (Is that getting redundant yet?) … Guarding the perimeter will be a challenge for the Cougars, as Colorado guards Askia Booker and Spencer Dinwiddie are the team's leading scorers. And the Buffs are fourth in the conference in 3-point shooting percentage.
OK, all for now. Back after.