DaVonte Lacy probable against Gonzaga

(Christian Caple)


FROM PULLMAN — Washington State players are out shooting around and warming up for tonight's game against Gonzaga. And for the first time in a little more than two weeks, DaVonte Lacy is with them. Read on for our pregame post.

(The above photo is a sign someone has in the Zzu Cru tonight. Clever, huh?)

Yes, Lacy is suited up and expected to play tonight. He's moving pretty well through warmups, wearing a brace on his left knee. I wouldn't expect him to start over Dexter Kernich-Drew in his first game back, since Kernich-Drew has been playing well recently and Lacy is likely going to be at least a little bit rusty. But if he's able to go — and it appears at this point that he is, with WSU officially listing him as probable — he'll give the Cougars another shooter off the bench. That's going to be important tonight against a Gonzaga team that figures to cause WSU problems inside. Lacy being back will help, but the Cougars need strong shooting performances from everyone — Kernich-Drew, Brock Motum, Royce Woolridge. If D.J. Shelton can aid in that cause — and he's shown he's at least capable — that will help bring Gonzaga's bigs out of the paint and force the Bulldogs to pay close attention to the perimeter, thus opening things up a bit. … Rebounding will be the other key tonight, I think. Gonzaga entered the week ranked third in the country in rebounding margin, and WSU coach Ken Bone has said all season that he's not sure the Cougars will be a great rebounding team. They haven't been all that bad through their first eight games (89th in the country in rebounding margin, outrebounding teams by a little more than four per game), but tonight certainly presents a bigger challenge in that aspect. Shelton and Motum need to show up in a big way on the boards, and they need help from WSU's guards — Mike Ladd, in particular, comes to mind as someone who has had strong rebounding games for his size.

We'll be back afterward with the usual fare.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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