Sports

Four corners notebook: No easy solution to WSU’s shooting

In Washington State’s loss at Washington last week the Cougars shot poorly enough to have their hunting license revoked.

The team was 14 of 35 from the field and 4 for 23 on 3-point attempts.

DaVonte Lacy was 4 of 8 from behind the arc; the rest of the team missed all 15 attempts. Illustrating the ineptitude of WSU’s offense were the 10 missed 3-pointers by D.J. Shelton alone.

Coach Ken Bone took the blame for Shelton’s performance after the game, saying that he encouraged the forward to continue shooting even as the bricks piled up. Although he said it was “my fault” after the game, Bone has no plans to rein in his senior shooter.

“I was talking to D.J. earlier today about when Klay Thompson was here, he missed (24) shots in a row, and they weren’t all 3-pointers, just shots,” Bone said on Tuesday. “I say that to say that even some of the greatest players go through those times when it’s hard to buy a bucket.”

Part of Bone’s conundrum lies with the fact that there are no other players to direct those shots toward. The Cougars don’t have enough offensive depth to fill the shallow end of a kiddie pool.

Lacy has not played enough games – 75 percent – to be listed among the Pac-12’s scoring leaders so the Cougars don’t have a single player among the top 30 scorers in the Pac-12.

Lineups in flux

The Cougars have used the same starting lineup the last three games.

Royce Woolridge and Lacy have been the primary guards for WSU with Dexter Kernich-Drew as a wing. Shelton has been a point-forward while Jordan Railey has started at center.

That relative consistency has not been the norm in recent weeks for the Cougars, who have also started players such as Junior Longrus, Ike Iroegbu and Que Johnson. Bone said that the starting lineup remains fluid and could still change heading into the regular season’s final week.

“I think D.J. and DaVonte will definitely start Thursday night,” Bone said.

“The other three positions we’ve tried to be a little more opened minded. (The starters will be determined by) who is performing well and who fits in regards to the different matchups.”



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