The Washington State Cougars have started their four seniors the last two games, moving 6-foot-8 Caleb Forrest into the mix at the power forward spot.
Forrest has responded by scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the two games, raising his season averages to 6.2 and 3.3, respectively.
“Caleb has stepped his game up and is playing at a nice level right now,” WSU coach Tony Bennett said.
With Forrest in the lineup, 6-7 Daven Harmeling has moved to the small forward spot. Harmeling, who is averaging 7.3 points and hitting 43.5 percent of his 3-pointers, made just 1 of 4 attempts against Idaho before not taking a shot in the 64-52 loss to LSU.
“He needs to keep hunting (his shot),” Bennett said. “He has to be aggressive in that manner. … We need him to look to take those shots, to be assertive and productive.”
Going into conference play, there are four Pac-10 teams with at least 10 non-conference wins. Two of them, 12th-ranked UCLA (10-2) and 17th-ranked Arizona State (11-1) were expected, as they were picked atop the conference standings. But the other two are a bit eye-opening.
“Certainly Cal and Stanford have been surprising,” Bennett said. “You look at what Stanford did to Texas Tech and you think, ‘Oh my, that was an impressive performance,’ ” referring to Stanford’s 111-66 rout of the Red Raiders on Sunday night.
Gonzaga adds wing
Gonzaga added to its 2009 class with the addition of 6-7, 215-pound Elias Harris, from Speyer, Germany. Harris joins Mangisto Arop, a 6-5 wing from Canada, and Sam Dower, a 6-9 forward from Minnesota, as 2009 GU commitments, according to a West Coast Conference release.
Harris, 19, hasn’t visited Spokane yet but is expected to in the near future.
Lost in Portland State’s upset win over Gonzaga last week was senior point guard Jeremy Pargo quietly reaching two milestones. He became the 30th Zag with 1,000 career points and he’s the fourth player in school history to surpass 500 career assists.
DeLeon will play
Eastern’s senior guard Adris DeLeon, who did not play in Monday night’s loss at Boise State, is expected to be available for this weekend’s Big Sky games. Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine would not give specifics about why DeLeon did not play, calling it “a coach’s decision.”
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