Nov. 5, 2009
PULLMAN, Wash. - The Washington State University men's basketball team will hold its final tune-up for the 2009-10 season, as it hosts Lewis-Clark State College, Monday, Nov. 9 at 7 p.m. at Beasley Coliseum's Friel Court.
Ken Bone enters his first season as the Cougars' head coach, as the team returns two starters and seven letterwinners from last season's squad which finished 17-16 and fell in the first round of the NIT. Bone comes to the Palouse after back-to-back NCAA Tournament appearances with Portland State. This year's WSU squad consists of just one upperclassmen, along with seven sophomores and eight freshmen.
"It's going to take time to work together and instill our philosophy," Bone said. "We are a very young team that I see progressing throughout this year."
Among the returning starters are senior Nikola Koprivica and sophomore Klay Thompson. Thompson ranked third on the team last year with 12.5 points per game and was named to the six-man Pacific-10 Conference All-Freshman Team. Other returners include sophomores Marcus Capers, 2009 Pac-10 All-Freshman honoree DeAngelo Casto, Charlie Enquist, Michael Harthun and Abe Lodwick; along with returning squad members John Allen, Ben Loewen and James Watson.
"The fact of the matter is, they (the sophomores) are, in a sense, the upperclassmen compared to the freshmen," Bone said. "There are no juniors and there's only one senior, so they need to provide leadership."
Last year the Cougars defeated the Warriors in exhibition, 76-31, with the then-freshmen combining for 50 of the Cougars' 76 points.
Admission is free to the public Monday. Washington State opens up the regular season hosting Mississippi Valley State, Friday, Nov. 13 at 7p.m. at Friel Court. This marks the second-straight season the Cougars will open up their season with the Delta Devils. Last year WSU came out on top, 76-25.