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College Basketball 2011-2012

Rosters, schedules, key games, key facts for regional college basketball teams.

Difference maker for WSU men’s basketball team

Brock Motum, F Brock Motum arrived on the Washington State campus as thin as a young Golden Wattle tree from his native Australia. At 6-foot-9 and 205 pounds, he didn’t fit anyone’s description of a power forward. That’s changed. As has Motum’s physique. He’s now 6-10 and weighs 245 pounds. He can handle himself around the basket against the bigs in the Pac-12, and he needs to. “When DeAngelo (Casto) departed, I thought my role would change a bit from my first two years playing here,” said Motum, who averaged 7.6 points and 3 rebounds last season. “So I thought this offseason I would add some strength and add some weight. And I would work on some of my inside moves, add that to my game.” WSU coach Ken Bone is on record as saying the Cougars need to replace the 6-8 Casto’s inside presence if they want to be successful. The key element of that will be Motum. He will have to score but also rebound on the defensive end. “I expect both of myself,” he said. “I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that happens.”

Eager Eagles

Jim Hayford isn’t having any problem with the product he’s trying to sell as a first-year Division I men’s basketball coach. His players at Eastern Washington University are buying into his new system in a big way, and have been since he was introduced last March as the successor to Kirk Earlywine, who was fired after going 42-78 in four seasons in Cheney.

Gonzaga women have tough act to follow, but expectations remain high

Was the off-season long enough to catch your breath or too long with the anticipation of any kind of encore? Either way, the college basketball season tips off tomorrow night and on the women’s side there is the promise of another NCAA Tournament opening weekend in Spokane.

With Klay Thompson, DeAngelo Casto gone, Cougars will rely on team concept

PULLMAN – It’s seems as if it’s all in the numbers. Start with the statistical subtractions (minus 1,128 points, 403 rebounds, 2,119 minutes) from last season’s two junior stars, Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto. Both left WSU a year early, Thompson for the NBA draft and Casto for pro ball in Turkey.

Conference predictions for area women

Pac-12 1. Stanford 2. Southern California 3. California 4. UCLA 5. Arizona State 6. Washington State 7. Utah 8. Oregon 9. Washington 10. Arizona 11. Colorado 12. Oregon State

GU difference maker

Elias Harris, F  The 6-foot-7, 235-pound junior had a strong freshman season, but his production tailed off last year, in part because of early season shoulder and Achilles injuries. In conference games, Harris averaged nearly 4.5 fewer points in 2011 than he did in 2010.