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When losing a high-volume scorer isn’t the biggest issue


Mike Miller

Washington State would’ve loved to have guard Klay Thompson back for his senior season. Goes without saying when the 6-5 wing might’ve led the nation in scoring.

But the Cougars might miss center DeAngelo Casto even more.

As Percy Allen notes at the Seattle Times, without the athletic forward around – he bolted for the NBA after his junior season – the Cougars feature a greatly depleted front line. Rebounding was an issue last season with Casto. Without? It could be a complete mess.

“We’re going to have to figure some things out to have a post presence on defense and a rebounding presence,” coach Ken Bone said at Pac-12 media day. “I think on the offensive end we can do some things to create points similar to my first year at the UW when we had Bobby Jones and Mike Jensen starting at the 4 and 5. Yet we still scored a lot.

“I think we’ll figure out ways to score, but can we stop other teams inside from dominating us on the glass. We struggled with that last year and that was with DeAngelo. So we will so, but we got our work cut out for us. What we will need to do, our guards have got to rebound. We have some quick, athletic guards and they will gain or lose playing time by how well they rebound.”

The Cougars won’t feature a lineup of shrimps. Junior forward Brock Motum is 6-10 and senior forward Abe Lodwick is 6-7, not mention three freshmen and sophomores who are all 6-8 or taller. But Bone favored a small lineup last season. He’ll almost certainly do so again this season when his strengths are guys like Faisel Aden (6-4) and Reggie Moore (6-1).

They can replace Thompson’s scoring. Casto’s inside presence? Not so much.

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