PULLMAN – The 3,476 in Beasley Coliseum on Monday night may have been drawn by curiosity.
Count among them Washington State University’s new head basketball coach Ken Bone.
“Very curious,” Bone said after his Cougars ran away from Lewis-Clark State College 73-51 in WSU’s lone exhibition contest this season and Bone’s debut as WSU coach.
“I thought a few of the guys would be a little more nervous than they appeared to be,” Bone said of his young team. “I thought we were for a few minutes early in the game, but we settled down and did some good things.”
“I was pretty nervous at first, to be honest,” said freshman Reggie Moore, who started at point guard alongside four sophomores. “It felt good once I got the ball in my hands.”
And he showed he knows what to do with it.
Playing 23 minutes, Moore had eight assists, including two for fast break dunks – something new for the Cougars faithful to digest – added four rebounds and scored six points, four on two more breakaway dunks.
The biggest recipient of Moore’s largesse, as he probably will be much of the season, was Klay Thompson. The sophomore showed off his refined ball-handling skills – he was fouled three times taking the ball to the rim – and his usual outside stroke – he was 6 of 9, including 4 of 4 beyond the arc, for a game-high 19 points.
“We shared the ball,” Bone said when asked what he liked. “Eighteen assists, and eight by your starting point guard, is very good.
“We defended them. Obviously, they didn’t shoot a high percentage … but part of that was the good defensive job our kids did.”
That defense – the Warriors shot 25.8 percent, including 4 of 19 from beyond the arc – was keyed by DeAngelo Casto and Marcus Capers.
Casto, the 6-foot-8 sophomore post, led everyone with 11 rebounds, three blocks and chipped in 14 points, hitting 6 of 10 shots, though none of the makes were from farther than 5 feet.
Capers started and took on the responsibility of guarding Markus Monroe, the Warriors’ (2-2) leading scoring threat. Monroe had eight points. Daniel Williams led LC State with 15.