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Sunday, September 15, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Bone talks Stanford, stretch run

COUGARS

Ken Bone didn't have a lot of questions to answer on his media call this morning, but he had some interesting things to say, so read on.

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• Opened up the questioning by asking Bone about Stanford and its road woes (the Cardinal is 1-5 away from Maples this season). He said the record would show they've had some problems, like most teams, but he doesn't see anything on film that was different. It's just harder to win on the road. ... I asked him about Josh Owens, Stanford's junior center who missed last season. He had nothing but good things to say. ... Stanford was one of WSU's two Pac-10 road wins and the Cougars did it without Reggie Moore, due to his one-game suspension. I asked Bone about having Moore in the lineup this time and what that might mean against the Cardinal. He said it would be different and hoped it would be a positive. He talked about Faisal's effort that night, the tightening down of the rotation and the more minutes everyone played. All turned out to be good things for WSU. ... That led into my next question about last Saturday, when the Cougars rotation got longer because of foul trouble and the contributions of the two freshmen, Patrick Simon and Will DiIorio. Bone said those two and Dre Winston, who didn't play against OSU, have always been ready to contribute, whether it's for longer stretches or just a few seconds at a time. And that's not easy, sitting, watching, not knowing if you are going to play, then getting called to run to scorer's table and play. ... Jim Moore asked if Bone like where WSU is at right now, and Bone said yes. He talked about the Washington win, the "really disappointing effort" at Oregon and then bounce back game at Oregon State. He called their ability to play hard from the get-go in Corvallis a test of their character that they passed. ... There were a few questions on Klay Thompson and, surprisingly, the three letters NBA were not uttered. Bone said he liked the way this season the Cougars have been able to rally when Thompson hasn't been at his best, which he wasn't this weekend. Last year's terrible shooting stretch was brought up and whether Bone was worried about a repeat. The answer to that is no, because last year's streak still shocks him. He thinks it was a real aberration and Thompson is more mature and a better shooter than he was last season. ... The stretch run is in full swing – Bone likened it to the last lap of a mile race – and Bone was asked if this was the fun time of year. The word fun made him laugh. There is a lot more at stake, sure, but fun isn't a word Bone would use. ... Prior to that, he mentioned how his team understood how important Saturday's game was and they responded with an aggressive effort from the opening tip. That is another sign, he believes, of their maturity and how they are a tight-knit group that likes to play together. ... And yes, Bone understands every game from here on in is critical to WSU's postseason chances. ... And that's about it. We can't summarize Bone's Pac-10 call because we couldn't get on it. The person who answered the phone at the ConferencingCenter, which handles the call for the Pac-10, couldn't find the Pac-10 basketball coaches conference call on her computer. So, by the time she got help, Bone was finishing up. I will have to listen to the tape later. ... Here is some highlights of the presser, courtesy of WSU's video department ...

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• That's all for now. We may be back later if anything interesting comes out of player interviews that won't be in our Thursday story, but we'll be back in the morning for sure. Until then ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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