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Washington State and seven of its peers in the Pac-12 didn’t get the closure they desperately wanted when the conference decided last Thursday to cancel the remainder of its tournament in Las Vegas, following the lead of others in the college basketball world amid coronavirus worries.
Wednesday’s nightcap between No. 11 Washington State and No. 6 Colorado at T-Mobile Arena was the final game of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament, after the conference decided to cancel the remainder of the 2020 event due to concerns about the coronavirus illness.
Before WSU’s 2019-20 season started, the Cougars staged two closed-door scrimmages against opponents from the Big Sky. Perhaps it’s a positive sign the Cougars did well in both – blowing past eventual Big Sky regular-season champ EWU 96-75 before beating Montana 65-63 – because they’ll encounter a similar situation against ASU in the Pac-12 Tournament.
The lead already seemed good enough when Jeff Pollard caught the ball down low and slipped an inside bounce pass to Tony Miller, who drove to the basket, cocked his right arm back and punched the ball through the net, putting all 6-foot-8, 262 pounds of Evan Battey on Washington State poster.
Aligning with the school’s decision to move in-person classes to online formats following the spring break, Washington State Athletics announced new attendance protocols Wednesday for home athletic competitions that will take effect later this week.
Unless Washington State can win four games in Las Vegas, the Cougars’ 2019-20 basketball season will presumably end this week at the Pac-12 Conference Tournament.
Kyle Smith was a 39-year-old assistant at Saint Mary’s – three coaching stops and 11 years removed from where he is now – when Washington State last won a game in the Pac-12/10 Conference Tournament.
A statement from the Pac-12 Conference on Tuesday has reaffirmed that in the wake of concerns surrounding coronavirus, the league will still hold its men’s basketball tournament without interruption this week at T-Mobile Arena.
Our Taylor Brooks catches up with WSU Men's Basketball Head Coach, Kyle Smith as he gets ready for the Pac 12 Tournament in Las Vegas.
CJ Elleby picked up where Robert Franks left off at WSU, leading the Cougars in both scoring and rebounding this season. The standout sophomore followed in Franks’ footsteps again on Monday, joining his former teammate to become the second WSU player in as many years to earn All-Pac-12 First Team recognition when the conference announced postseason awards.
For the third consecutive year, Washington State will hold the No. 11 seed, take on the No. 6 seed and play in the late game on the opening day of the Pac-12 Tournament at T-Mobile Arena in Las Vegas.
Alonzo Verge scored 20 points, Remy Martin added 18 and Arizona State held off Washington State’s late rally for an 83-74 victory.
Nico Mannion scored 15 of 23 his points in the second half, Zeke Nnaji added 21 and Arizona raced away from Washington State for an 83-62 victory.
From most favorable (5) to least favorable (1), we list each of the teams the Cougars could square off with one week from now.
The Cougars led by 13 points at halftime, weathered Washington’s second-half storm by scoring 11 points in 64 seconds and delivered at the free throw line in the closing minutes Friday night to beat the Huskies 78-74 in front of 9,131 fans at Alaska Airlines Arena.
CJ Elleby’s quest for 1,000 points ended on Friday night, fittingly in the city where the Washington State sophomore first learned to love the game of basketball.
Noah Williams is deliberate with his pregame routine, because as difficult as it was to see his friend go, he knows it would be even worse to let Trevon McKoy’s memory disappear.
It would be accurate to say Washington State’s efforts from the 3-point line have both rescued and doomed the Cougars at certain points of the 2020 season.
With leg two of the 2020 rivalry series approaching – a 5 p.m. tipoff Friday at Alaska Airlines Arena – we combed every box score since 2000 and picked out 10 games where the effort of a single player was as noteworthy as the game itself.
Behind its stout play in the post and strong 3-point shooting, Stanford commandeered an early lead against WSU and never relinquished it, completing a regular season sweep of the Cougars with a 75-57 win that handed Kyle Smith’s team – playing again without starting point guard Isaac Bonton (hip) – a fourth consecutive loss.