Player(s) of the Game: I have to split it. Faisal Aden continues to exceed our already high expectations, dropping in 26 points on 10 of 16 shooting (3 for 6 from three)... and adding 3 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals. But you also can't deny Klay Thompson, who was one assist away from a double-double. Klay posted a career high nine assists, to go with 23 points and 4 rebounds. You can't fault him for a 2-of-9 performance from behind the arc, especially when he becomes the distributor this team so desperately needs with Reggie Moore out.
Unsung Hero: Patrick Simon. Although, honestly, you're not going to fly under the radar as a true freshmen when you shoot 5 of 7 from the floor (1 of 2 from three) and score 12 points. Simon is a big wild card for this team... if he has a breakout season in his first year he will solidify the frontcourt, which is our biggest question mark at this point (minus Casto, of course, who had another four blocks tonight).
It was over when... Might have been sooner, but since the Cougs nearly coughed up a 30 point lead to the Vandals last winter, I'll go with Marcus Capers' dunk (off an assist from Klay) to put the Cougs up 81-64 with 3:28 to go.
Stat of the Game: WSU also did an exceptional job protecting the ball. Their turnover rate tonight was 16.6. Remember our last tournament team? They posted the exact same rate over the 2007-08 season.
WSU also posted an offensive efficiency of 121.9 (average is around 100) and an eFG% of 62.7. Now imagine how good this offense could be when Reggie Moore returns.
Also, congratulations to Idaho's Jeff Ledbetter on his upcoming graduation. You'll be shortly inducted into the Ryan Appleby Hall of Fame for streaky three-point shooters that I hate.