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Cougs predictably destroy Idaho

Posted by Jeff Nusser on November 18, 2007

Just got back from screaming my face off as the Seahawks beat up on the Bears, so consider this a belated postgame wrap of the domination of Idaho.

I said in the game thread post that the Vandals might be in for a long night against the Cougs, and the game pretty much went true to form. The Cougs held Idaho to just 35 percent shooting while shooting 51 percent themselves — a nice turnaround from the admittedly poor defensive performance against Boise State.

The thing that stuck out to me? WSU shot 23 of 27 from the free throw line, on the heels of shooting 23 of 33 from the stripe against Boise State. That’s 60 trips the last two games — an awesome indicator that while this team never will be afraid to shoot the 3, the Cougs are not settling for poor shots. They won’t go to the line that much against some of the more athletically gifted teams in the Pac-10, but it’s great now.

Anyway, enough from me, the guy who couldn’t find the game on the radio while driving over the pass Friday night. How about some reporting from someone who actually was at the game? Here are some thoughts from Zzu Crew embedded reporter Gabe DeMiero, who agreed to be our eyes since the game wasn’t on TV. Despite the impressive score, he saw some things for WSU to work on:

“Coming off a poor defensive showing against Boise St., the Cougars stepped up and held Idaho to just 43 points in a 74-43 romp in front of 8,000 plus at Friel Court on Friday.

“When you are ranked ninth in the nation and you play a team like Idaho, focusing on the little things is what really matters, though. I was only able to be at the first half of the game, but something that really stuck out at me was Idaho’s 11 offensive boards and second chance points in the first half.

“Scary thoughts went through my head as I pictured Ben Howland’s UCLA squad with legitimate inside forces and passers like Lorenzo Mata, Luc Richard Mbah-A-Moute and Darren Collison eating up opportunities inside. This is something Tony Bennett has to address because 6-3 Jordan Brooks piled up four offensive boards and many second chance points.

“On the offensive side of the ball, the Cougs looked pretty sharp, but 27 percent behind the arc is a bit of a concern. Brooks was quoted in the Associated Press after playing both Gonzaga and WSU this week that ‘I think WSU is a little tighter (then Gonzaga). They know how to get their shots. They know who to get the ball to.’ “

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2 Responses to “Cougs predictably destroy Idaho”

  1. Longball said

    Thanks Nuss! You now have my complete and undivided attention on the Coug Hoops blog since the football team has officially imploded.

    I hope the loss of Clark inside is something we can make up for with Forest and others. As someone who has observed the team more closely than others do you think we have the bodies inside to deal with the better teams we’ll see in Pac-10 play? Is Henry serviceable at all? I am looking forward to seeing it all in person at next weeks tourney so i’ll be back here to share my brilliant insights and razor sharp analysis. Saty tuned! go Cougs!

  2. Nuss said

    The short answer is no. Caleb Forrest is getting his minutes, and he’s a hard worker, but he’s no Ivory Clark. And all you need to know about Henry is how little he’s played in the first three games. After what seems like 14 surgeries, he runs like he belongs in a 40-and-over league. He’ll probably be nice for five fouls once we get into Pac-10 play, but that’s about it.

    That’s why we all hoped Abercrombie might bring something to the table this year — he’s long, athletic and potentially multi-dimensional. Even at 6-6, he looked like the kind of guy who might provide some of that weakside defense that Clark was so famous for. But he just doesn’t look ready to contribute.

    So, yeah, it’s a little scary without Clark, but I think the bottom line is this: If Baynes can stay out of foul trouble, I think they’ll be OK. That’s HUGE if with that guy, though. In the one game he was tested by active big men, he ended up in foul trouble again. It took a huge perimeter effort to come back and win that game.

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