What Losing Reggie Moore Means for Washington State

Posted by KDanna on September 26th, 2012

News broke out of Pullman earlier this week that Washington State dismissed senior guard Reggie Moore from the basketball team for a violation of team rules.

Moore’s Loss Creates Opportunities For Others at Wazzu (SI/Heinz Kluetmeier)

You can take a look at his stats and see what the Cougars will be missing; their third-leading scorer (10.2 PPG), top distributor (5.2 APG) and one of their best perimeter defenders (his 33 steals led the Cougars) from last year’s 19-18 CBI runner-up squad. Beyond those numbers, however, he was a guy who the Cougars could lean on when the going got tough. In Game 1 of the CBI Championship, Moore hit what would prove to be the game-winning jumper with a little more than a minute to play. He was the second-leading scorer in that 67-66 victory over Pittsburgh, one in which the Cougars were without lead act Brock Motum (the Panthers would take the next two games to win the coveted CBI crown). He was also often the guy who would step up to the line and hit clutch free throws; his career 77 percent accuracy from the line is just the beginning of that story. In the CBI first round game against San Francisco, Moore twice went two-for-two from the line when the Dons had cut the lead down to six late in the second half. He would finish that game 12-13 from the charity stripe, including going 11-12 in the final five minutes. Going back to his freshman year in 2009-10, he went 6-6 from the stripe in the final 33 seconds to hold off a surging Stanford squad that had closed a 20-point halftime deficit down to two in the waning moments. Washington State eventually won that game 77-73.

For a team that has looked very shaky in sticky situations on the road (the Utah and Washington games last year come to mind; losing in overtime at the Huntsman Center and blowing a double-digit second half lead in Seattle), the Cougars are losing someone who wasn’t afraid of the spotlight and didn’t shy away from attempting to make the big play. He missed a lot of shots (36 percent from the field last year), but at least he took them, and sometimes, that’s half the battle.

While this is apparently the end of Moore’s Wazzu career, it isn’t the first time he ran into trouble in Pullman. He was suspended by Bone in January of 2011 following a marijuana-related arrest and missed one game, on top of six other games that Moore missed due to injury that season. Moore’s career with the Cougs got off to a promising start in his freshman campaign, when he averaged a career-high 12.7 points and a career-best 56.9 true-shooting percetange, but in some ways he stagnated from there and never improved upon that rookie season. For instance, after getting to the line more than six times per game in 2009-10, his free throw rate dropped each of the last two seasons.

The cupboard isn’t exactly bare with Moore gone, though. DaVonté Lacy is a guy who showed off a good bit of panache and scoring ability his freshman year and Fresno State transfer Mike Ladd had his moments his first season in a Cougar uniform. Head coach Ken Bone will also get a lift from Kansas transfer Royce Woolridge, who sat out last year and is ready to go. Look for Lacy to be the lead man among the littles, but without Moore, he will need to do more than just jack up 170 threes. Lacy certainly appears to be more than capable of taking his game to a higher level, but it would help if Moore was still around rocking the crimson and gray.

KDanna (28 Posts)

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