TEMPE, Ariz. – The Washington State men’s basketball team has a tall task ahead of it, and it has nothing to do with its opponent today, Arizona State. For the Cougars (7-6, 0-1 Pac-12) to have a shot at a road win over the Sun Devils (11-3, 0-1 Pac-12) they must first recover from a historically bad offensive performance at Arizona on Thursday.
WSU had its lowest scoring output since 1938 in the team’s 60-25 loss to the Wildcats. The Cougars scored just seven points in the first half, and became the first Pac-12 team in 15 years to score 25 points or fewer in a basketball game.
The Cougars played without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy and Dexter Kernich-Drew, who are sidelined with injuries. It is unlikely Lacy will be available against the Sun Devils, and unknown if Kernich-Drew will be back from his concussion.
With a Thursday-Sunday split, the loss has had an extra day to linger on the minds of the Cougars. But the team has also had additional time to figure out what went wrong, and correct it.
“I think under the circumstances where we got beat so bad, hopefully it’s given us time to regroup and talk about our offense and try to get things right for tomorrow,” coach Ken Bone said on Saturday.
Scoring could still be a challenge for the Cougars today, as they take on the team that leads the Pac-12 with 7.29 blocked shots per game. No other team averages as many as six.
Bone said that Jordan Bachynski, who leads the Sun Devils with 4.93 blocks per game, could go down as one of the best rim protectors in the history of the conference. His presence will make it difficult for the Cougars to score inside the paint.
Still, the Cougars say they’re ready.
“He’s good and everything but I also think that I’m up to the challenge,” center Jordan Railey said of the 7-foot-2 Bachynski. “It will be fun playing against him, it’s always fun playing against a bigger guy.”
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