Well, that game happened. It didn’t appear that Washington State stepped off the bus as they were smacked by a mediocre Stanford Cardinal team Thursday Night in Palo Alto.
The game was tied for a total of 55 seconds and Washington State at no point held a lead. Just last week it seemed that the program may have turned a corner. They swept the Arizona schools, came within a nose of upsetting UW and then defeated Colorado. The Utah game Saturday was a disappointing bump in the road, but tonight was nothing short of pathetic.
The Cougars trailed 17-7 with 13:23 left in the first half, and would trail by double digits for the entire duration of the contest from then on.
The question has to be what on earth happened. Outside of Isaiah Wade and late in the game C.J. Elleby it didn’t look like anyone really wanted to be there. Robert Franks had an ugly 11 points, and no one outside Wade, Franks and Elleby hit more than a single field goal.
The offense was a problem tonight, but it was yet another just dismal effort defensively from WSU. While Viont’e Daniels, Jeff Pollard and Carter Skaggs were all out with concussions, it’s still inexcusable to get beaten that badly by an at best mediocre team. Stanford is ranked 102nd in NET Rankings, this isn’t exactly Duke or Gonzaga that crushed WSU.
KZ Okpala pretty much got whatever he wanted on the offensive end, both Isaac White and Cormac Ryan rained threes and Jaiden Delaire chipped in with 12 points off the bench. Most impressive? Stanford scored 98 points without getting anything from starters Oscar Da Silva or Daejon Davis who went down injured in the first half.
So after that inspiring stretch of basketball in the last couple weeks, any and all momentum the Cougars may have had vanished tonight on the Farm. It was one step forward but seems like two steps backwards after the last couple games.
Just a week ago, WSU seemed like they would cruise against the hapless Cal Bears on Saturday. But after tonight’s performance it’s not inconceivable to suggest that the boys in Berkeley could find their first win of conference play on Saturday. If that is the instance, there has to be some strong consideration that a change may need to be afoot for the program.