PULLMAN, Wash. – The Washington State University men’s basketball program opened the 2013-14 campaign with its annual off-campus team retreat Sept. 27-29, followed by its first on-campus practice, Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 3 p.m. in the team’s practice gym.
This year’s team features three returning starters in senior D.J. Shelton and juniors DaVonté Lacy and Royce Woolridge, as well as 10 letterwinners from last season. The Cougars lost 42 percent of their scoring from last season, 29 percent from the two-time Pac-12 leading scorer, Brock Motum (18.7 points per game), and the rest from fellow senior, Mike Ladd who averaged 10.5 points per game.
Thirty percent of the team’s scoring came from the guard duo of Lacy and Woolridge, as Woolridge was second on the team with 11.0 ppg and Lacy tied for third with 10.5 ppg. Woolridge averaged 18.5 in WSU’s final four games and 16.5 ppg in the final 12 games of the season. Lacy, who had an injury-plagued season, missed the final three games with an injury, but averaged 14.3 ppg in his final eight games.
Shelton ended the season with his best game of this career thus far, scoring a career-high 19 points against Washington in the Pac-12 Tournament. He was .462 from the field and .833 from the free throw line in the contest. Senior Will DiIorio returns after a respectable junior season where he averaged 3.2 ppg, as do juniors Keaton Hayenga and James Hunter and sophomores Dominic Ballard, Brett Boese and Junior Longrus, who was the only freshman last year to play every game.
The Cougars get a boost from two freshmen, guard Ike Iroegbu and forward Josh Hawkinson. Along with those two, redshirt freshman Que Johnson, who had to miss last season due to NCAA rules, JC-transfer, Danny Lawhorn, and 7-foot center, junior Jordan Railey, who redshirted last season after transferring from Iowa State, look to add to the group.
Fans can get their first look at the Cougars at their exhibition game on tap for Friday, Nov. 1 against Central Washington at 8 p.m. WSU opens up the 2013-14 season hosting CSU Bakersfield at Beasley Coliseum, Friday, Nov. 8 at 7 p.m.