The Washington State Cougars still have a basketball team. You may have forgotten that, as WSU will play just its fourth game since Dec. 1 when it takes on Mississippi Valley State on Saturday night (5 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).
Probably good for Ken Bone's squad that not many paid attention last weekend, as the Cougars looked unimpressive (save for Que Johnson's career-high 21 points) in a loss to UTEP. That game was far from pleasing to the eye, something that has plagued WSU all season, and that doesn't help a program that is losing followers fast.
So, why should the fans stick around for today? WSU will probably win! Mississippi Valley State is No. 335 in KenPom's rankings. The Delta Devils have just three wins on the year, two of with came over non-Division I schools. One of those wins was over Tougaloo, which is a school and definitely not some sort of dance craze from the 1950s.
MVSU is playing its second game in as many nights after falling 95-80 to Washington on Friday. The player to watch for the Delta Devils is Anthony McDonald. The junior is dangerous from the outside, hitting on 41 percent of 3s. He's joined in the backcourt by freshman Jordan Washington, who is hitting nearly 55 percent of his 2s, excellent at his 5'10 size.
WSU's leader, DaVonte Lacy, will look to bounce back from his worst outing of the season against UTEP. The Miners held Lacy to just seven shots from the field and six points.
EDIT: Okay, maybe Lacy isn't going to bounce back any time soon:
Best wishes for a quick recovery for #25 Davonte Lacy. Had his appendix removed this afternoon. #nohoopsforawhile #GoCougs— Bud Nameck (@budname) December 29, 2013
Without an upset from the Cougars in the next month, this could be Washington State's last win in a while (if they don't get upset themselves). The Cougs travel to the Arizona schools to start the Pac-12 slate, before hosting Colorado in Spokane and a suddenly-not-terrible Utah in Pullman. That will be followed by a visit to the Bay Area. That schedule certainly does not "set up for a fast start."
So, cheer away and enjoy every minute the Cougs hold the lead! It's going to rough sledding from here on out. Ernie Kent is on the call, so feel free to mute the volume to maximize your viewing experience.