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WSU-PORTLAND RECAP: Klay Thompson Leads The Cougs Again

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Some quick notes again:

  • This offense is very good.  They posted a 126.1 offensive efficiency rating WITHOUT Reggie Moore.  When he comes back, watch out.
  • On the other side, there is reason for concern.  Portland posted a 107.9 efficiency rating.  It didn't happen the way you think it would have either (lights out shooting).
  • Portland dominated the Cougs on the boards.  They posted a ridiculous 45.2 offensive rebounding percentage.  This was the strength of their offensive performance.  The Cougs are going to need to rebound the ball better on the defensive end if they want to compete in some of their bigger nonconference games and into Pac-10 play.
  • Klay Thompson is still awesome.  I'm most impressed with how much he is scoring inside the three point line.  He only hit 3/4 three pointers on his way to 35 points.  He took advantage of his height and hit a lot of mid-range baskets.  He also posted three assists and six rebounds.
  • I'm even more impressed with Faisal Aden now that I've seen him in pictures.  He can create his own shot.  He buries open looks.  He quietly put together another strong offensive performance, putting up 21 points.  He scores in bunches, which makes him a perfect candidate for 6th man whenever Reggie comes back.
  • Dre Winston is still a work in progress.  He probably shouldn't be getting the minutes he is right now, but two early fouls on Capers threw him into the action.  He looked awesome at times, but he also made some pretty bad decisions on offense and was burned on defense.
  • Casto loves to block shots.  FSN had him at three, pretty sure he had more than that.
  • Against some size in Portland, Casto didn't score much.  I don't think that is an indictment on his offensive game.  I just think that WSU was shooting so well, they didn't feel the need to take it inside.  Still, it would be nice to see him get more points his own way, through rebounds and other garbage-type plays.
  • Portland was within one in the second half at 57-56.  WSU built the lead after that.  I find that encouraging.  Good teams bury teams in the second half when talent and depth take over. 
  • The Cougs most miss Reggie Moore in the area of free throw rate.  They did better in the second hall, posting a 37.3 number.  However, it is pretty clear that they are having trouble getting in the lane and drawing fouls right now.  Even Casto, who is usually very good at getting to the line, has not shot many free throws.  Hopefully when Reggie returns, we see that free throw rate rise, because this team will not be able to shoot themselves to victory against higher competition.

If it wasn't for that late run to pull away from the Pilots, this recap may have been a lot more negative.  I'm happy with the final score.  I'm happy with the way this team is playing offense without one of its best players.  I do hope that this rebounding performance is not a predictor as to how the rest of the season will go, but coming off of a poor rebounding performance against Idaho, I would not be surprised if it is. 

It was nice to see Klay be Awesome Klay again.  He was in such a bad slump at the end of the year I think we all forgot how good he can be.  It helps to have a guy like Aden taking the pressure off.

Grady will be along later with the charts.