The Washington State men's basketball team will officially begin their season Friday, against Montana State. The Cougars are looking to improve off a disappointing 2015-16 season, and an exhibition game against Carroll College that left plenty to be desired.
WSU won last week's tuneup game 78-70, but trailed by 13 early in the second half before mounting a comeback. Montana State is coming off of a 14-16 season, but brings back its top scorer, in sophomore guard Taylor Hall. During his freshman season Hall was very impressive shooting the ball. He finished the season averaging 18.6 points per game while making 43% of his attempts from behind the arc.
Freshman guard Malachi Flynn started and played 33 minutes in the exhibition game, and it will be interesting to see how he fares against Montana State's fellow freshman Harald Frey. Interestingly enough, it easily could be Flynn playing for the Bobcats, as reported by Parker Gabriel of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. Flynn took an official visit to MSU last year, but Frey committed first, so the Bobcats ended up with the Norwegian instead.
One thing to watch in this matchup is how quickly the Cougs get back in transition. Ernie Kent has decided to basically abandon offensive rebounds this season, in an effort to improve his team's defense. Instead of waiting around the basket in hopes of a second chance, all five players are going to get back on defense after a shot goes up. Against Carroll, WSU didn't allow a single fast break point. We'll get a better look at this strategy Friday.
The Cougs and Bobcats will tip off from Beasley Coliseum at 4 p.m., and the game will be broadcast on the Pac-12 Network. For more reading on the basketball team, Jeff should have a story up later today for your enjoyment.
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