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The day after ASU

Washington State wasn't able to pick up a win in Tempe yesterday. Here's what we learned.

Derrien King can be more than a spot-up shooter: King made just one of his first six shots -- he made his last two after that – but Ernie Kent kept him on the floor and started him the second half to provide offense. Why? Because the 6-foot-7 forward was beating defenders off the dribble and getting to the free throw line.

King had mostly been a tall spot-up shooter for the Cougars this season and entering the game he'd taken nine 3-pointers and just six 2-pointers.

The best thing about King's emergence yesterday – and Robert Franks, too, who also had 11 points – is that both players provide Kent with a lot of matchup flexibility. They're both about 6-foot-6, and both more comfortable facing the basket on offense. But Franks weighs 240 pounds (he'll drop some of that) and King showed yesterday he isn't scared to stick his nose in the paint. So both of them can be used in small lineups when the Cougars want to run, or they could both help form a huge lineup by playing outside when Kent puts Conor Clifford in the game.

The free throw struggles at Washington were a one-time issue. Missed free throws were the culprit in WSU's 99-95 overtime loss to the Huskies last week and it was fair to wonder if that issue would linger. But the Cougars didn't have any issues at the stripe yesterday, making 17-of-23 attempts (73.9 percent).

Here are some other notes from the game:

-- Josh Hawkinson had 15 points and 12 rebounds, giving him 11 consecutive double-doubles.

-- King and Franks had career-high in minutes played with 26 and 22, respectively.

-- Ike Iroegbu (18 points) has scored in double figures in seven of WSU's last eight games.

-- The Cougars have yet to win a game in which they trailed at halftime.

And a few more quotes from the quote book:

Derrien King: I was just trying to come in with more energy and just get some buckets to go in.

Robert Franks: (Playing well )was nice. I compliment my team a lot for not letting me get down and always having confidence (in me).

Junior Longrus: Definitely proud of (King and Franks). We went on kind of a scoring drought at the end of the first half and they came in and gave us that scoring that we needed. They're both two great scorers, very versatile and definitely have tools we can use in the Pac-12.



Jacob Thorpe
Jacob Thorpe joined The Spokesman-Review in 2013. He currently is a reporter for the Sports Desk covering Washington State University athletics.

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