The Washington Cougars have just two wins in Pac-12 play, but they are still in a tight race for the final games of the regular season. The USC Trojans are just one win behind the Cougs in the battle for 11th place. With USC on the road at Cal this evening, WSU has a real chance to grab hold of that 11th place spot against Oregon on Sunday night (6 p.m. PT, Pac-12 Networks).
Just one problem, though: Oregon beat Washington State by 27 in Pullman last month. That's a lot of points to win by, in case didn't know.
So, as we've been compelled to ask repeatedly over the past few weeks, how much of a difference will DaVonte Lacy make after he missed the first go-round? Can he make 27 points worth of difference?
But hey, did you know DaVonte Lacy has a career-high of 39, something he achieved only a short while ago? Did you also know that is more than 27 points? Simple math has WSU winning by 12 in that scenario, because that is always how basketball works, right?
Sure thing, especially if everything else holds. WSU just needs to Lacy to score 39, even if Oregon once again grabs a season-high-for-WSU-opponents 45 percent of its own misses. And if Oregon hits 41 percent of its 3s.
Even if that happens while the rest of Lacy's teammates make just 14 percent of their 2s and turn the ball over 23 percent of the time and grab just 19 percent of all those misses. It's simple math, you know. If everything else holds, negative-27 plus 39 equals positive-12.
But how could we forget the home/away factor? It's been said that being at home can give a team a 3-point boost, meaning it also takes away that 3-point boost from the visiting team. So factoring that in, WSU would win by a much closer margin of six.
If Lacy scores 39 of course. Just need those 39 from Lacy and WSU will be set.
Oregon best be hoping that Lacy doesn't go off for 39, because the Ducks can ill-afford a loss if they still hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Oregon narrowly failed in its last three chances to get a "resume" win, falling by two points to UCLA, Arizona and Arizona State. The Ducks get another shot at those three teams to end the season, but falling to Lacy's 39 points could nullify any gains made by wins over those squads.
So stay tuned to see if those 39 points come from Lacy. Also read Baxter's beer of the game post, because he put a lot of time and effort and standing in the snow into it. Make sure his standing in the snow (which he did not enjoy) means something.