Earlier in the season, I thought that the Washington State Cougars needed to look for a new head coach. Boy, was I ever correct. Ken Bone has assembled the worst team in the Pac-12 this season, and it showed against the best team in the country, the Arizona Wildcats. Washington State looked like Champion Baptist against the Wildcats, only scoring seven points … at the half.
Luckily, the defense was surprisingly competent against the freak athleticism of Aaron Gordon, the height of Kaleb Tarczewski, the shooting touch of Nick Johnson and the playmaking ability of point guard T.J. McConnell. The Cougs held them to one of the worst first-half performances of the season, a 28-point, 35 percent shooting performance.
If it’s not the defense, it’s the offense. WSU shot a miserable 2-of-21 from the floor in the first half, which has to be a record for a half in the Pac-12’s existence. Add in 11 turnovers, and the Cougars showed that they are the worst team in one of the best conferences in the country. They finished the night scoring just 25 points, shot 9-of-45 from the floor and had 14 turnovers.
WSU has nobody that can create their own shot obviously, and coach Bone’s system relies on a point guard which they don’t have. He needs to adjust his coaching style to the players he has, who are good finishers. Adopting the Princeton-style offense could maybe allow them to score more points — shocking, I know.
Seven points in the first half led to 17 in the second for a season-low 24 points. Attribute that to the Arizona defense all you want, but it’s the WSU offense that is as bad as fans have seen. A once-storied program hit its low point of the season and the only way to go is up. But with a young team, it’s hard to not let them hang up their hats on a performance like that.
John Lloyd is a Pac-12 Basketball Writer for Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @JohnHLloydIII