Arizona at Washington St Preview
Arizona will try for a road sweep when it squares off against Washington State in Pullman. The Wildcats are coming off an ugly, low scoring victory against Washington, while the Cougars lost by four points to Arizona State on Thursday.
WSU has struggled all season and has yet to beat a quality team. In fact, the Cougars’ best victory by far is a road win against lowly Oregon State. However, WSU has shown it can hang with quality opponents; games against Gonzaga, Oregon, and ASU all came down to the wire or close to it.
The Cougars rely heavily on their best player, Brock Motum. The 6’10” senior anchors WSU in the middle, but his skill set extends to the perimeter. He has attempted 80 3-pointers, sinking 35%. Motum is a bonafide star, but Arizona has the size and depth to at least contain him. Senior guard Mike Ladd is the only other Cougar who averages double figures. He scores nearly 12 points per game while pulling down an impressive six rebounds. DaVonte Lacy and Royce Woolridge are the next highest scorers. They join Ladd to form a three guard starting lineup. What could have been:
WSU could have had a formidable team this season if not for the loss of Reggie Moore. The explosive playmaker was dismissed prior to the season for an unspecified violation of team rules. With that decision, the Cougars lost their most experienced player and top ball handler. Outlook:
It’s unlikely Arizona will fall victim to the Cougars. WSU isn’t good by any measure, as it ranks among the worst major conference teams in the country in scoring, assists, and field goal percentage. The Cougars will need to pull the Wildcats into another ugly game to have a chance at the end. If Arizona plays with fire in the first half, as it did against USC, Washington State may not be able to recover. If not, the Wildcats still have to like their chances in a close game. Arizona is 4-1 in games decided by five points or less or in overtime. In contrast, the Cougars are 1-5 in the same situation.