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How to watch DaVonté Lacy and Jordan Railey this summer

Former Washington State hoopers DaVonté Lacy and Jordan Railey will be playing in the NBA summer league during July.

The summer league is really three separate leagues in Orlando, Utah and Las Vegas where rookies can get their first taste of professional basketball while other young players can work out the kinks in their games. The rosters are dotted with players like Lacy and Railey who went undrafted but still have a chance to show NBA teams they're worth another look.

Lacy will be playing in Orlando with the Indiana Pacers team. He'll play alongside first-round pick Myles Turner out of Texas, and former Pac-12 rivals Solomon Hill (Arizona) and Conference Player of the Year Joe Young (Oregon). He'll have an opportunity to learn from head coach Frank Vogel and former Sonics coach Nate McMillan, who is one of Vogel's assistants.

Here is the schedule for Indiana's games, which run from July 4-10. It costs $14.99 to watch all the summer league games on your computer, tablet, phone or two-way wrist radio.

Railey will be playing in the Utah summer League with the Philadelphia 76ers. There he will play alongside No. 3 overall pick Jahlil Okafor who just won a national championship with Duke, former Duck Arsalan Kazemi, Colorado's Askia Booker and Arizona point guard T.J. McConnell. Here is the Philadelphia schedule.

Hometown team gives Jordan Railey a long look

The Portland Trail Blazers have hosted Beaverton-native Jordan Railey for a pair of workouts in advance of Thursday's NBA draft, the second one coming on Monday at the team's practice facility in Tualatin.

CSSNW.com has video of Railey speaking with reporters after the workout.

The 7-foot center averaged 6.6 points and 3.2 rebounds as a senior at Washington State last season, his third year after transferring from Iowa State University.

While those numbers are pretty measly for a fifth-year senior, Railey also showed that he's still improving with some breakout performances, like when he scored 17 points in a close win at California or when he blocked five shots at Utah.

He also did this.

Ultimately, the Trail Blazers were likely throwing a bone to a local guy while bringing in a good workout partner for another 7-footer they're taking a look at. The team doesn't currently have any second-round picks, so they won't be taking any flyers on a project unless they're willing to do some draft day trading. Railey has told me in the past that he's excited about the prospect of playing in Europe and getting to see the world while getting paid to play.

Still, Portland has given him an opportunity to play with talented players in front of NBA scouts and workout with NBA coaches. That's only going to help him, and if it leads to something more down the road, such as a summer league invite, then all the better.



Looking back at the Utah game

In the end Washington State couldn't spring the upset over No. 13 Utah, falling late in the game, similar to last week's loss at UCLA.

Unlike that game, when the Bruins simply overpowered the smaller Cougars in the second half, in this contest the Utes – No. 9 in the country in field goal percentage – made a number of difficult shots to pull away in a game that was initially a defensive struggle.

Here is our story from the game, final stats and a postgame video of Ernie Kent speaking to the media about the game.

Also, yesterday, Lia Galdeira scored 34 points to lead the WSU women to a win in their Pac-12 Tournament matchup against Oregon.

— WSU looked like it might be pulling away about seven minutes into the second half, going ahead by eight points and clearly being the more aggressive team. The Cougars got to the free throw line often during that stretch, although they didn't always make their freebies.

But it's not hard to see how Utah got back into the game and eventually took control: The Utes made 8 of 12 3-point attempts in the second half. That onslaught was kind of a mixed bag for the Cougars; WSU's defenders allowed a couple open looks when players lost sight of their men, who were able to run to spots and spot-up for an open shot, but many of Utah's biggest shots were well-contested. DaVonté Lacy and Junior Longrus each had good closeouts only to have the shots go in anyways.

Utah has three regular players that shoot 43 percent or better from behind the arc and they had a good shooting half, there wasn't a lot more the Cougars could do to stop them.

— That said, the Cougars sure would have helped their cause by playing a little smarter. Freshman Ny Redding isn't immune to the freshman wall that seems to be hitting all the first-year players right now – Utah's Jakob Poeltl had zero shots and four fouls in 17 minutes – and played most of the game in a fog.

One turnover came when Redding dribbled out the shot clock well past the 3-point line and it came after the Cougars had the ball out of bound. Other times WSU had a play to make on offense and simply didn't make the pass or cut that would have led to easy points.

Ernie Kent was adamant after the last two games that WSU would have won each of them if they'd made the plays easily available to them and was lamented last night that the Cougars aren't currently riding a three-game win streak that includes wins at UCLA and against a top-15 team.

Some notes from the game:

— Lacy blocked a shot for just the 14th time in his career.

— Lacy has 1,522 career points, just eight points shy of Brock Motum for fifth-place on WSU's all-time scoring list.

— Ike Iroegbu dished out a career-high seven assists for the second consecutive game.

And a couple quotes:

Jordan Railey on only playing three minutes in the second half: "I think my stupid fouls kind of hurt us. I don't think they had any answer for me or josh in the post and I have to play smarter. As far as what they did, I don't think they did anything different."

Kent on the last two weeks: "People continue to ask how this team's going to bounce back I thought we had just a terrific three-game stretch because we've gotten better, particularly defensively."

Ernie Kent Q&A: underclassmen taking the reins

Washington State's seniors have at least three more games to play but the torch passing has already begun, according to Ernie Kent.

Senior Night is Saturday and Kent expects the WSU underclassmen to step up and assume the leadership mantle by making sure DaVonté Lacy, Dexter Kernich-Drew and Jordan Railey win their (maybe) final game at home.

"The seniors have done a terrific job of leading up until this point," said Kent during Wednesday's media availability. "There's a transition phase that's getting ready to take place when seniors play their last game because I put that pressure on the underclassmen. It's their job to make sure the seniors don't lose at home."

Of course, it might not be WSU's last home game. As I wrote this morning, the Cougars could still host a game in the College Basketball Invitational. Kent may have let slip that he agrees today, answering another question about Senior Night by saying that it will be, "maybe the last time you'll play at home."

The full transcript from our interview with Kent is below:

WSU coach Ernie Kent

Q: Is Josh Hawkinson getting back into a rhythm?
EK: Well, what I told all of you earlier on when everybody talked about him not hitting 3s, looking like he's a little fatigued – well, he's only a freshman. He only played two minutes a game last year so he's his freshman season of playing major minutes and every single freshman will hit the wall.

Every freshman in the country hits the wall and at some point in time they have to climb over that wall and get going again and that's exactly what happened to Josh. He's played some major minutes, he's been outstanding, he hit the wall a little bit and a lot of it had to do with the scheduling of the teams that we were up against  and now he's climbing over it again. It is very, very difficult to have 18 double-doubles in a single year.

I don't care if you're a freshman, sophomore, junior or even a senior. That's very tough to do it and he's got that Cougar uniform on and he's doing it right here at Washington State, that's tremendous for our program.

Q: Is Brett Boese's confidence back after hitting a couple 3-pointers at UCLA?
EK: I certainly hope so and confidence is a very fragile thing where a relative can knock you out of whack, a girlfriend can knock you out of whack, reading social media can knock you out of whack and reading what you guys print can knock you out of whack.  And a coach can knock a player out of whack, too. It's such a fragile thing dealing with young people in this day and age and that's why we try to spend as much time as we can reinforcing things in a positive way.

You've never seen me dwell on the negatives too much because there's enough negative in the lives of young people anyhow, we try to take the positive approach with everything we do. I'm hoping he continues to play well, we certainly need his jump shot and, not only that, I thought he played well in the USC and particularly in the UCLA game in his energy and what he brought to the floor defensively.

Q: Are Senior Night games typically sloppy because of the distractions?
EK: Yeah there's two different times of the year: Exhibition games are usually terrible at the start of the year and then Senior Night. It's just because of the emotion. You really have to honor them and some coaches have gone away from honoring before the game and honor them after the game for that reason. I like to do it better before the game.

You have to keep the emotions in check and that's hard to do because you're coming down to the end of senior seasons, it's the last time you'll maybe play at home and you have to go out and play a basketball game afterwards. So it's a little bit of a balancing act but hopefully we'll be able to manage that.

Q: What kind of impact did these seniors make during their one year in your program?
EK: What they've been able to do in a year is, No. 1 buy into the coaching staff, particularly with seniors when you've got a coaching change and they're used to doing things a certain way. They completely bought in and, not that we changed things 360 degrees but there still was a lot of drastic change in the program, they bought into it and that's huge because by them buying into it everyone kind of follows suit with that.

No. 2, their ability to open up, communicate and allow us to have relationships with them was huge because typically with seniors, we did not recruit them, that's very difficult to do. But here are three guys that allowed us to get to know them as people so we could better serve them as coaches. So that was huge and I thought it helped them in terms of their growth and helped our program.

And lastly, just their ability to at times, each one of them had their moment when they carried the team in a ballgame, and certainly in practice, and that was huge because what they basically have done is taught the young guys how to work, how to be responsible. The fact that they're going to graduate on time, the importance of the academic piece and all of that. I'm going to commend them for hanging with us, allowing us to lead them, allowing us to coach them and buying into what we wanted to do.

Q: How important was it to get DaVonté Lacy on board early?
K: Well, DaVonté's a player, he knows. And doing TV games you have a bit of a relationship with those guys already because you have them with the microphone in front of their face. For him, walking in the door when you've got a coach and, not to pat myself on the back or anything, but you've got guys sitting in the NBA and you've won this conference and you've been to two Elite Eights, that's hard to do.

So, your credibility was already there so it wasn't difficult to get them to buy in. It was more or less, "let me show you what you need to do to get to that level." And that buy-in was not difficult at all.

Q: Is Lacy good enough to play professionally?
EK: I certainly think he has the ability to do it. But the NBA, it's all about matchups and how you match up with different teams and what they're looking for. In this day and age, with the majority of players in this conference that have that NBA potential, they're going to have to get to a workout situation, which a lot of those guys will do, then see how they perform and see which team kind of locks in with who they are and what they need.

With the majority of these players it's not going to be about coming out and being a star in the NBA. You're going to be a bench warmer and be a team player so it's very important that you have that mentality to sit at the end of that bench while LeBron is the star – that's his team. So they look at a lot of different things but he certainly has the character, has the game. It's going to be really right team right time in terms of his workouts.

Q: Are there examples off the court that demonstrate his maturity and leadership?
EK: I think again, as I said, how he handled himself on that China trip. That was away from us, that was off the court what they did on that trip and how he became one of the leaders of that group of All-Stars.

And I read where Larry (Krystkowiak) said if he had selected captains that would have been one of his captains. That says a lot about his character to be able to go in that environment, be submissive with his game but have the leadership quality that guys at that level, the All-Stars in the conference, followed him. That says enough right there.

Q: How can his success help with recruiting in western Washington?
EK: I think any senior that leaves a program, your former players become your greatest asset in recruiting. And that's why it was so important to grow the program while they were here, have some success while they're on the floor with this system, style of play, build some relationships.

They leave here feeling good about themselves and what was accomplished this year in terms of the growth of the program because I think any three of those guys, when they go back into their environments later on, I feel very strongly that they would have no qualms about recommending any player and pointing them in this direction because, No. 1 the style of play, No. 2, the academics that you have over here, the college environment, college experience that all of them have had here, the relationships we have with our players and just the feel of the program and where it's going.

I think they would be probably our biggest sales people as they leave out the door. That tells you you've had tremendous success within if you can get players to turn around and sell on their way out the door.

Q: What needs to change to play better against Utah the second time?
EK: We need to a much, much better job defensively and not make as many, what I recall, bonehead mistakes because we had a lot of mistakes in the game. They capitalized on the mistakes and then we did not do a very good job defensively, which our numbers have told us. I feel like against USC, UCLA, we're getting better defensively late in the year. We've made some adjustments we don't need to talk about but I thought for us to have an opportunity to close the gap with either Utah or Colorado, both those teams gave us problems, we've got to play a lot smarter, a lot tougher and a lot better defense.

The smartness is on the offensive end of the floor, the toughness is just the game in general and the defense is obviously on that end of the floor.

Q: How do you prevent a similar carryover from Utah to Colorado game as last time if the Utah game goes the same way?
EK: It's just different. You're at home, you're not in the altitude, you're not sitting in hotels for a long time. It's a different environment coming home and closing it out in the seniors' last game. The piece that you guys have yet to talk about – in my programs in the past the seniors have done a terrific job of leading up until this point. There's a transition phase that's getting ready to take place when seniors play their last game because I put that pressure on the underclassmen. It's their job to make sure the seniors don't lose at home.

That's the transition, the seniors have led up until this point. Now the underclassmen get to take the responsibility that they're going to have anyhow as they head into the spring that they're going to become the leaders of this program and where it goes next year so this is huge, these games, in terms of how we handle the emotions, how we perform, how we compete, how we handle the success and hopefully send our seniors out on the right way.

It's just as important for the underclassmen to get ready to lead this program as we head into the future.

Q: Have any underclassmen stepped up already?
EK: I don't know if it's any particular person, that's what you're cultivating right now because that passing of the gauntlet is coming quick and they need to know that. When I look at this team and I talk about Ike and Que and Junior, obviously Brett, those guys have been through the fire. This becomes their team and more so than it becomes a freshman's team although Ny Redding has been good this year and very vocal, and his energy has really helped us a lot in practice. It's the returning players that have played the big minutes, hit the big shots, that have been in the games. It's their turn, their time to lead and that all starts whenever your season ends but for me that starts right now with your seniors and sending them out the right way and eventually they lead us into the spring workouts, summer workouts and all those things.

Looking back at Utah

We dissect Washington State's 86-64 loss to Utah in our usual day-after post.

Perhaps the Cougars are on a bit of a slump. Perhaps, as Vince Grippi suggested, they just don't play well against former Montana coaches. Or maybe something about playing the Pac-12's top two scoring defenses threw WSU for a loop.

Whatever it was, the Cougars lost again last night and Utah, the nation's No. 12 team playing in its own house, never seemed very threatened.

— Unlike the Oregon State game, the Cougars were actually able to play at their own pace and forced the Utes to run with them for the games first 10-15 minutes. That might not have been the best thing for WSU, however, because the Utes had the athletes to keep up with WSU and the defensive skill to force WSU into bad decision.

The Utes showed an occasional trap defense and forced WSU into 17 turnovers. WSU's fast-break offense worked against it, increasing the number of possessions and increasing the speed at which the Utes were able to distance themselves from the Cougars.

Those turnovers threw WSU out of its offensive rhythm and WSU's only effective offense the rest of the game was early in the second half when it made 6 of 7 3-pointers, not all of which were great looks.

— Senior Jordan Railey had an interesting game in his first extensive action since the California game.  After the best game of his career in Berkeley, Railey played just five minutes against Washington and then 10 minutes in each of the last two games, ostensibly because of personnel matchups.

The glaring stat from Wednesday's game is Railey's 2 of 9 performance at the free throw line, which admittedly isn't great at a shot so easy the original basketball architects decided to put "free" right in the name.

Put in every other regard Railey actually played pretty well, scoring 12 points and collecting eight rebounds in 24 minutes. He also had a career-high five blocks and by getting to the line so frequently he kept Utah's bigs in foul trouble efor much of the game.

Some stats of note:

— DaVonté Lacy made three 3-pointers, moving him into fifth-place on WSU's all-time list.

— Freshman Trevor Dunbar's 15 minutes were his most yet in a Pac-12 game.

— Aaron Cheatum scored his first Pac-12 points.

Quotes of note:

Brett Boese on how WSU can better defend 3-pointers while in a zone defense:

" I think if you close out with high hands, hands in the passing lanes, everyone talks about the Syracuse zone how they're so effective, because their hands are always up."

Jordan Railey on attacking Utah inside since the Utes didn't have 7-footer Jakob Poeltl:

"I don't necessarily think it was anything to do with Poeltl himself, it was just what was available at the time.

Ernie Kent on why they lost:

"The number one thing we talked about today was taking away the 3-point shot and we did not do that. I thought our energy was good getting up and down the floor, I thought we battled back at times to cut it to 10 but you've got to take care of easy buckets."

Utah coach Larry Krystkowiak on the game starting with a technical for dunking in warm-ups:

"I'm just happy now that we're enforcing all the rules of basketball."

Looking back at WSU’s win over Oregon

Indulge me for a second while I pastiche my favorite Aaron Sorkin soliloquy:

Offensive basketball when played almost perfectly is like music. It has rhythm and movement and pattern and harmony. These are the properties of music. And music has the ability to find us, and move us, and lift us up in ways that literal meaning can't. Do you see?

Well-executed offense is music and yesterday's game was 45 minutes of the opening stanzas of Baba O'Riley. At times the action was too quick to follow while trying to fire off a tweet or even simply mark a play in my notebook.

Just check out the sequence in this video captured by CougCenter's Jeff Nusser. A Vine video can only last six seconds and that one includes WSU taking the ball out of the net after a make, inbounding it and scoring.

Washington State made 14 of 24 3-pointers, almost all of them were wide open and most seemed to come when a player passed up a good shot for a better one. It certainly helps that basically every player had a good shooting night – Que Johnson was the only nine players that saw the floor to shoot less than 50 percent, and he made 2 of 3 3-pointers – but regardless of how well WSU is shooting the ball movement and knowledge of a new offense is impressive.

— The defense, obviously, could be better. Kent said afterward that it wasn't Jordan Railey's type of game – because of all the running, I believe, and that he's saying Railey is more suited to a half-court game like the Cougars played against California in which he excelled. But with Railey only playing 10 minutes the Cougars didn't have anyone to protect the rim and UO's Elgin Cook was able to score 26 points.

Joseph Young had a huge night with 32 points. WSU needs to get better at stopping high-level guards having now given up 29 or more points to Corey Hawkins, Nigel Williams-Goss and Young.

— WSU is now 2-0 in overtime games and has won three consecutive conference games that came down to the wire.

— Ike Iroegbu may not be playing point guard anymore but he is still WSU's shot creator on fast breaks, which is how he tied for the team lead with five assists. The Cougars have run the break very well in these last two games and if they score on an initial cutter they do a good job of finding the trailing big man, like in the video above and on a pretty pass that led to a Junior Longrus dunk.

Here are some more stats from the game:

— Lacy now has 1,302 career points and ranks No. 13 on the all-time WSU scoring list, having passed Carlos Daniel and Derrick Low yesterday.

— Josh Hawkinson had his 10th double-double of the season.

— WSU's 57 first-half points were the most first-half points scored by the Cougars in at least 15 years, and probably a lot more.

— Brett Boese scored a career-high 16 points. He's played 30-plus minutes in each of the last two games.

— WSU's 3-1 Pac-12 start is the best since the Cougars went 4-1 during the 2007-08 season.

Let's open up that quote book:

DaVonte Lacy:

"We're being confident and calm. Coach always talks about not getting too high and not getting too low and I think we've done a good job of that besides the mishap at Cal but we bounced back from that and still won that game. But we've played two games and knocked down our free throws and taken care of the ball and that's what good teams do."

What's really impressive about this team is we only have three seniors and all the young guys – these two (Josh Hawkinson and Ike Iroegbu) are sophomores and they're playing with really high character and high confidence in late-game situations. I don't know if we've had that in the past.

Coming into the game we knew how they were playing and they're very similar to us – they like to run and stuff. So coming into the game it was kind of a joke like we're going to put 100 up. That was like our motto, we're running and we're going to put 100 up. It was funny because right when we hit 100, I didn't notice it, but I looked at the bench and it was like, 'hey, we got a hundo.'

(How does your knee feel?)

It feels good. I wasn't 100 percent, I wasn't going to help my team out. If someone else was going to be 100 percent, I was probably like 85-90 percent but someone that was 100 percent was going to help the team better. It's just a little stinger but I'll be alright in the morning.

Ernie Kent:

This was about my basketball team and the next hurdle that we needed to overcome. They played really good on the road in conference play. They needed to come back home and handle all the adversity of playing at home and sometimes you think there is no adversity, there's a lot of adversity because now you have classes, you have the students pack, you have people patting them on their back. You can really fall into a trap and not have them ready to go like you are on the road when we can keep them in hotel rooms, keep them together, keep them in walkthroughs. I was proud of the fact that they got themselves ready to play.

My staff did an outstanding job getting them ready to play with the scouts and everything and when you're in an environment where you have to come down to the wire with a chance to win and don't get it done and come back and play even better in the overtime, that's pretty impressive.

It seems like with this team the bigger the stage, the better they're starting to play and if that building continues to be on fire like that with the students coming back and the energy it provides and the energy from the community sitting behind my back, there's so much more basketball in us and you're seeing a team that's really growing up before your eyes. It's Washington State's basketball team and it's an honor and a privilege to coach them because that's an excellent group of young men down there that have really bought in and believe.

WSU basketball: looking back at UC Davis

It wasn’t always pretty, but Sunday's 90-83 win over UC Davis was just what Washington State needed.

You can read our story from that game here and we'll take a closer look at yesterday's game after the jump.

Looking back at the UTSA win

Washington State's 91-71 win over Texas San-Antonio on Saturday was insightful, but not indicative.

The Cougars are likely to win every game in which they shoot 60 percent on 3-point attempts and they are unlikely to come close to that success rate very often, so there's not a whole lot to be gleaned from yesterday's shooting performance other than that DaVonte Lacy appears to have found his shot and the team is shooting with more confidence.

But there is still a lot to dissect from yesterday's game and we'll do just that, and pass along the game book, after the jump.

Jordan Railey punctuates WSU win with a dunk

With less than a minute on the clock, most fans were hoping for one more 3-pointer to break the Washington State single-game record. Jordan Railey looked for a shooter, but sized up the defense and decided to take it himself.

Ken Bone and the team he leaves behind

From Pullman — Rejoice, anti-Bone blog commenters. Your long-awaited day is at an end. Washington State athletic director Bill Moos fired basketball coach Ken Bone earlier this morning in the fifth-year of his seven-year contract. No word yet on who his replacement may be, but here is our story on the firing, Bone thoughts on his tenure and a look at who could be next.

Before he left Bone and I spoke in-depth about next year's roster and what he expects to see from certain players. His thoughts are after the jump.

Video: Ken Bone before Cal

From Pullman — Ken Bone addressed the media on Tuesday to talk about Washington State's upcoming game against Stanford, Jordan Railey, and more. Here's the video of that interview, courtesy of WSU Athletics.


Railey hoping success comes with confidence

From Pullman — You have not noticed, but there's one Washington State basketball player who has been dominating all season. A stalwart on defense, offensively this player is an unstoppable force with no immovable object to halt his Newtonian dominance. Washington State's biggest player has also been one of its best.

If only practice mattered.

Railey’s low minutes due to lack of offense

From Pullman — 

Washington State center Jordan Railey has been a mainstay in the Cougars’ starting lineup, handling the opening tipoff in 18 of the team’s 20 games. But while getting on the court has been a given for the 7-footer, staying there has been a challenge. WSU coach Ken Bone has had a quick hook for his starting center and junior transfer from Iowa State averages less than 16 minutes per game. 

Find out why after the jump.

A brief update on WSU’s suspended basketball players

From Pullman — We had a chance to speak today with Washington State men's basketball coach Ken Bone, who provided an update on the statuses of Jordan Railey and Danny Lawhorn, who were each suspended indefinitely by Bone for violating team rules. Lawhorn has since left the team but Railey has returned and is practicing with the Cougars.

Bone said that Railey has done "everything we've asked of him," although he wouldn't yet say whether or not the center will be available to play in WSU's season-opening exhibition game against Central Washington University on November 1. Railey — who transferred to WSU from Iowa State — is known for his shot-blocking ability on defense, and provides crucial frontcourt depth for the Cougars.

Bone said that Lawhorn is back with his family in Connecticut. The WSU coach is fielding calls and emails from other coaches inquiring about the point guard, and Bone hopes to help him find another school to play for.

A brief update on WSU’s suspended basketball players

From Pullman — We had a chance to speak today with Washington State men's basketball coach Ken Bone, who provided an update on the statuses of Jordan Railey and Danny Lawhorn, who were each suspended indefinitely by Bone for violating team rules. Lawhorn has since left the team but Railey has returned and is practicing with the Cougars.

Bone said that Railey has done "everything we've asked of him," although he wouldn't yet say whether or not the center will be available to play in WSU's season-opening exhibition game against Central Washington University on November 1.

Bone said that Lawhorn is back with his family in Connecticut. The WSU coach is fielding calls and emails from other coaches inquiring about the point guard, and Bone hopes to help him find another school to play for.

Live chat today, lots of news from WSU


FROM PULLMAN — As we've said in this space recently, this time of year is typically accompanied by a dearth of college football and basketball news. Well, Tuesday was different. Read on for our daily rundown.

Jordan Railey talks about WSU commitment


FROM PULLMAN — Spoke for a bit earlier this evening with former Iowa State center Jordan Railey, who has given his commitment to transfer to Washington State next season. Here's a part of our conversation.