So I arrived on the Palouse yesterday and it was 50 degrees and sunny, today it's like this ... Winds are gusting up to 25 mph and its snowing sideways.
Let's get to the game. Obviously one of the keys for the Huskies will be to stop WSU's versatile big man Brock Motum. The 6-10 Aussie is second in the conference in scoring, but is averaging over 20 points per game in league play.
From my story ...
Motum averages 17.8 points per game – second most in the Pac-12 – and 6.5 rebounds per game, sixth best in the league. He’s shooting 56.7 percent from the field (fourth in the conference) and 41.4 percent from 3-point range (though he doesn’t have enough 3-pointers to qualify in the statistics).
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He’s been even better in Pac-12 play, averaging 20.7 points and 6.6 rebounds per game.
According to KenPom.com, a site that uses statistical analysis for basketball, Motum has an offensive rating of 110.8, the highest of any player in the Pac-12 used in more than 24 percent of his team’s offensive possessions. That means Motum isn’t just good, he’s efficient.
Even his coach, Ken Bone, is a little stunned.
“I didn’t see where he’d be scoring 20 a game, but we thought he would have a chance to be our leading scorer,” Bone said.
Bone figured 12 to 13 points per game. Instead, Motum has seven conference games of 20 points or more.
“I think he is the most improved player in the Pac-12,” Washington coach Lorenzo Romar said. “He’s become an exceptional basketball player. He’s aggressive. He’s tough. He’s really good.”
He’s also a pain for opposing coaches, who are trying to find ways to stop him.
Because there really isn’t a player like him in the league.
At 6-10, Motum is comfortable playing 20 feet from the basket. He will gladly shoot the 3-point shot. He’s attempted 58 shots from beyond the arc and made 24.
But if you come out too fast to defend the 3-point shot, he will dribble and go by you to the basket.
Around the rim, he’s crafty and a little unorthodox. He has step-through moves, up fakes, up-and-under moves, and he’s left-handed, which causes problems.
“He’s a matchup nightmare. He’s like a Nowitzki type. He’s not Dirk Nowitzki right now, but that’s the type of matchup problem he brings to the table,” said Romar, comparing Motum to the Dallas Mavericks star.
- Here's the statsheet.com preview page for the game.
- Here's Tim Booth's game preview for the AP
- Here's the game preview from Sportspress NW
- Here's Scott Johnson's preview for the Everett Herald
From the Cougar perspective ...Christian Caple has a plethora of coverage. Here'shis story
on WSU's senior class andthis blog post
has links to his other coverage, including small blog posts on all of the seniors and manager Neil Stover.
The good folks over at Coug Center also have a bunch of coverage. Here's Craig Powers game preview .... and here's a story from Brian Floyd on Stover as well. He sounds like a great kid and a valuable piece to the program.
Let's get to the audio ...
Here's my weekly radio hit with Ian Furness and Jason Puckett.
[HTML1]Former Husky player and current WSU assistant coach Curtis Allen joined Softy Mahler