WSU faces Butler in Old Spice Classic opener today
PULLMAN – The Washington State basketball team won’t be home for Thanksgiving this year. Instead the Cougars have traveled all the way to Orlando, Fla., to take part in the Old Spice Classic.
“In this business you spend most Thanksgivings with your team,” coach Ken Bone said. “This will be an enjoyable one because we have a great group of kids that like hanging out with each other.”
The Cougars (2-2) will take on the Butler Bulldogs (4-0) of the Big East Conference at 11 a.m. today to begin the tournament, and will then face either No. 5 Oklahoma State or Purdue on Friday. All three teams are undefeated this season.
The Bulldogs and WSU faced each other for the only time during the 2010 Diamond Head Classic in Hawaii, where Butler came away with an 84-68 victory.
On the other side of the bracket No. 21 Memphis and Siena will square off along with LSU and St. Joseph’s.
“We’re really excited for this opportunity to potentially play nationally ranked opponents and to do so on national television,” guard Royce Woolridge said. “We want to make the best of this opportunity.”
After winning their first two games the Cougars lost their next two to Gonzaga and TCU. The Cougars have struggled to score, and are ranked 305th among all NCAA Division I teams with a .305 shooting percentage. Junior guard DaVonte Lacy leads the team with 20.3 points per game.
Today’s game will be just the second time in WSU history a men’s basketball team has played in the state of Florida, and the first time since 1975.