Washington State returned home Thursday hoping to rediscover the defensive form that carried the Cougars to an unbeaten record through the first two months of the 2020-21 season.
He’s been the engine of Washington State’s offense this season, averaging a conference-high 21.7 points in Pac-12 games, but Isaac Bonton recently approached coach Kyle Smith with a play call that had nothing to do with high ball screens or pick-and-rolls.
LOS ANGELES – Charisma Osborne scored 28 points and No. 8 UCLA withstood a smart play by No. 25 Washington State that forced overtime for a 68-66 victory Sunday.
A four-game California road swing for Washington State culminated with one victory and three reminders of where the Cougars need to improve before they can start stacking up wins against the Pac-12 Conference's best teams.
In many ways, it's the best of times and the worst of times to be Washington State's athletic director.
The win-loss column would suggest both Washington State and UCLA had tremendous success through the first 11 games of the 2020-21 season. Thursday's game between the Cougars and Bruins was a reminder that not all 9-2 teams are created equal.
As a handful of contenders pursue the Pac-12 regular-season title, a clear frontrunner has emerged in the race for last place.
Kyle Smith may not have been bracing for this exact scenario, but the Washington State coach figured the unpredictable nature of the college basketball season meant his highly-regarded freshman class would probably have to take on a big role in 2020-21.
How much history can the Washington State women’s basketball team make this season?
The wounds Washington State suffered during Saturday’s loss to Stanford could be divided into two categories: those that were inflicted by the Cougars themselves and those that were inflicted by Oscar Da Silva.
BERKELEY, Calif. – Most of Washington State’s basketball players hadn’t left the general Palouse region in at least six months – let alone for a basketball game – before boarding a plane for the Bay Area on Wednesday. Understandably, Kyle Smith was anxious to see how a young team with three freshman starters would fare in a setting other than the one that played host to the first nine games of the season.