2005 Washington State Cougars Basketball Preview
2005 Washington State Cougars Team Preview
The Washington State Cougars, a team without a major college superstar, must win close games because it will not be on the positive side of many blowouts. The Cougars were last in scoring in the PAC-10 and 325th out of 334 NCAA basketball programs. They finished 7-11 in the conference and 12-16 overall. After two years as the Washington State coach Dick Bennet (25-32) thinks his team is ready to take its next big step.
That next step may include finishing in the PAC-10 and overall with a winning season and perhaps even making it to the Big Dance—March Madness. Then again it’s been 11 years since the Cougars were seen in the Tournament and 64 years since they won a conference title. That’s right—1941 when Hitler was in power and America had just entered World War II is the last time the Cougars sat atop their division. Okay, maybe the next step is simply enjoying a winning season.
This could be difficult since the team’s two starting guards from last season are gone. Thomas Kelati averaged 14.3 PPG and 4.3 RPG and Jeff Varem was good for 10.5 PPG and 7.8 RPG. That means each guard averaged individually more rebounds per game than starting center Robbie Cowgill (3.4 RPG). Cowgill, who also averaged 6.0 PPG, has heart and quickness and will need to use both to click up his game and the club’s chances of winning.
Although the team has no guaranteed-to-throw-them-in shooter, they do have a player with a lot of potential. Sophomore Derrick Low (7.0 PPG) is becoming one of the most impressive point guards in the PAC-10; Low possesses the necessary ability and skills to secure top PAC-10 honors in his position.
Dick Bennet’s team has individual players who display fine potential as players but seem incapable of leading. If one of those players can step forward and carry the team on his shoulders, the Cougars will be growling with pleasure.
For more info on the 2005 Cougars check out the official Washington State athletic site.