Washington State's Brock Motum 'questionable' with sprained ankle
Cougars' top player has not practiced since injuring ankle in Wednesday's game against Oregon State
Seattle Times staff reporter
Pittsburgh @ WSU, 7 p.m.
Brock Motum, Washington State's leading scorer and an All-Pac-12 forward, hasn't practiced since spraining his ankle Wednesday night at Oregon State and is a question mark entering WSU's College Basketball Invitational game Monday night against Pittsburgh in Pullman.
"I think there's a chance, but it's a very slim chance," WSU coach Ken Bone said Saturday afternoon.
Bone said Motum has been in a boot and getting considerable therapy on the right ankle, "but he's questionable."
Without Motum for most of the game, the Cougars went on to a 72-55 victory over OSU to crack the CBI final. It's a best-of-three matchup, with the second and third game, if necessary, scheduled for Pittsburgh on Wednesday and Friday.
"Obviously, there's a better chance for him to play Wednesday," Bone said, referring to Motum. "He wants to get out there. That's always a good sign. Sometimes you kind of sense or know, (some players) really don't have a desire to get out there. It's 'I'm hurt, leave me alone for a few weeks.' "
The Cougars (18-16) aren't a rugged team, and the loss of Motum would be a major blow. He leads WSU in both scoring (18.0) and rebounding (6.4) and shoots 55.4 percent, 39.7 from three-point range.
Pitt (20-16) has had a disappointing season. It was ranked ninth by AP in November, but failed to make the NCAA tournament.
Turnovers have been a problem, as the Panthers are 283rd nationally with a minus-2.0 margin, and field-goal defense has also been suspect at .437 (205th). Guards Ashton Gibbs and Tray Woodall lead the team in scoring at 14.8 and 11.5.
Pitt beat Wofford, Princeton and Butler to make the CBI final.
If Motum can't play for WSU, it will mean more playing time for several others, including Mike Ladd, Charlie Enquist, D.J. Shelton and Patrick Simon.
"We're excited about this," Bone said. "Like anybody else, our sights were set on getting to the NCAA tournament, but we as a staff are extremely proud of our guys. Practices are upbeat, they're working hard, and the guys are doing a good job in games.
"It's not like hanging an NCAA banner ... but we're peaking at the right time of the year."