TEMPE, Ariz. – The Washington State Cougars will be without one of their best scorers when they face Arizona State at 2 p.m. today at Wells Fargo Arena.
Senior guard Faisal Aden, who sprained the MCL in his left knee during the first half of WSU’s 85-61 loss to Arizona on Thursday, will not play against the Sun Devils. WSU coach Ken Bone said Aden will undergo an MRI exam on Sunday after the team returns to Pullman. Aden didn’t practice Friday.
“Other guys are going to have to pick up the pieces and be ready to give us some minutes,” Bone said, “because at this point, anybody could get in and everybody could get in.”
Aden’s knee bent awkwardly as he tried to push off the floor on a layup attempt with just more than 4 minutes remaining in the first half of Thursday’s game. He collapsed in a heap and writhed in pain before being helped to the locker room by two WSU staff members.
The loss of Aden means the Cougars will be without two guards. Junior Mike Ladd missed his fourth consecutive game Thursday with a right thumb injury that also kept him out of action earlier this season. He isn’t expected to play today.
With Aden out and Thursday’s outcome decided, coach Ken Bone opted to play reserves Dexter Kernich-Drew and Will DiIorio for extended minutes in the backcourt.
Aden is averaging 14.5 points per game and was named Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday after scoring 33 and 24 points in wins over Stanford and California.
“I don’t foresee me getting all (Aden’s) shots or Reggie (Moore) getting all his shots,” freshman guard DaVonte Lacy said. “I think it’s just shots distributed throughout the whole team. So I don’t really see that much pressure.
“There’s pressure on us to win. That’s where the pressure is.”
The Cougars (11-9, 3-5 Pac-12) face an Arizona State team that has lost three straight and five of its last six, including a 60-54 loss to Washington on Thursday.
The Sun Devils (6-14, 2-6) could be without leading scorer Trent Lockett, who has missed the team’s last three games with an ankle injury.