OPEN GAME THREAD: Portland State at WSU

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Time: 4:30 p.m. PST

Location:  Toyota Center - Kennewick, Wash.

TV: FSN Northwest

Radio:  Find your local station here.  Or streaming online for a fee at wsucougars.com.

Kenpom.com says: No. 84 WSU 93, No. 177 Portland State 81 (69 possessions, 83 percent confidence)

Portland_state_medium

via wsucougars.com

Players to Watch

Reggie Moore, WSU:  There's got to come a point where Moore is more aggressive in the offense -- his individual stats suggest he's being vastly underutilized. Tonight would be an excellent time to start, since we're likely going to need another strong offensive option against LSU on Tuesday.

Dominic Waters, PSU:  Although he's averaging just under 18 points -- good, but not outstanding -- how he's doing it is pretty crazy. His effective field goal percentage (66.5) is 39th nationally, and he's taking a respectable 24.2 percent of his team's shots. He's the leader of a balanced Viking attack that can be incredibly potent when the 3s are falling.

X-Factors

Marcus Capers, WSU:  Capers has transformed himself into an offensive force in large part by becoming one of the team's best offensive rebounders -- pretty impressive for a 6-4 guard. The Vikings are one of the worst defensive rebounding clubs in the country, so there should be opportunities there for Capers to have a sizeable impact.

Melvin Jones, PSU: Jones has shot 51 3-pointers ... and made 26 of them. That's 51 percent for the non-math majors out there. He's proven to be one of the best shooters in the country, and that's a scary proposition against what was, at one point, one of the poorest 3-point defenses in the country.

The Keys:

The Cougars win if... they score a lot of points. The easy pick here is to go with 3-point defense, given that PSU is one of the top perimeter scoring teams in the nation. But the Vikings' defense has been so horrendous at times, that it might not matter how many points they score. The Cougs could hang 100 on them today. I'm not exaggerating. And if they score that many points, PSU just won't be able to keep up.

The Vikings win if... They hit a ton of 3's and play just enough defense to slow the Cougs down and eke out an 85-84 victory.

Either way, this should be one of the more entertaining games we've seen this year. Lots of possessions, lots of shots, full house (it's sold out -- nice!) ... glad this one's on TV.

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