The Washington State Cougars defeated the Central Washington Wildcats, 93-56, at Beasley Coliseum on Friday night. Big man D.J. Shelton led a balanced scoring attack for the Cougs with 17 points on 5-7 shooting. Junior Longrus added a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds in the win.
There isn't a whole lot to take away from a dominating win over a Division II team, but there may be some insights into playing style that can be derived from the box score. For example: The Cougars may be relying heavily on the three this season. WSU chucked 27 threes out of 66 total field goal attempts. That is good for a three-pointer on 41 percent of attempts, close to the 39 percent the Cougs logged last season.
Fans have been pleading for DaVonte Lacy work more inside since he got to Pullman, but Lacy was at his three-happiest on Friday. The junior guard tallied 10 field goal attempts, eight of which were from beyond the arc. He his three of those and finished 3-10 overall.
A more positive sign may be Lacy's six free throw attempts, but those may not come against equal competition.
What about the defense? For much of the offseason the mantra has been a pressure defense geared towards forcing turnovers. I didn't see the game, so I don't know if the former happened, but a look at the box score says the Cougs have a ways to go in forcing turnovers.
Central gave the ball away 14 times on 73 possession. That is a turnover on 19 percent of possessions, the same rate WSU opponents turned the ball over last season and under the national average. One would hope against overmatched competition, a pressure defense could take the ball away more.
These impressions could mean absolutely nothing, of course. The rotation is looser in an exhibition game and players might just play a little differently. The real games begin next Friday, Nov. 8 against Cal State Bakersfield.
But really, the most important thing is this:
Here is video of Ken Bone's press conference following the win: