SEATTLE – It’s amazing what you can learn in a 15-minute conversation in a hotel lobby. For instance, if Ken Bone ever challenges you to a game of HORSE, turn and walk the other direction. He’s so good that even DaVonte Lacy, who considers himself a regular Harlem Globetrotter of HORSE, has been schooled by the WSU head coach.
Here’s another bit of advice. If you’re a Gonzaga hater, don’t ask Lacy what he thinks of the Zags’ lofty national profile. And if you’re Ben Affleck, just be glad that this friendly sophomore from Tacoma doesn’t have a vote for the Academy Awards.
The other day, DaVonte took time to answer a few questions from me -- a 14-year-old Cougar fan -- as part of a semi-regular column that asks WSU players the questions adults might not think to ask.
I hope you enjoy our conversation.
1. What’s been the most difficult part of losing so many games at the end?
DaVonte Lacy : I think the most difficult part is not getting rewarded for how hard we work. We’re right there playing with every team, but it’s not getting rewarded for the hard work we put in.
2. Can you build on those frustrations in some way to be a boost for next season?
DL: We can. We can build from it. We can use it as motivation. We know how it is to lose these games …
3. Who do you think would win a game of HORSE between Ken Bone and Ben Johnson?
DL: You know what’s funny, Coach Bone says he’s never lost a game of HORSE. And he’s beaten me. Coach Johnson is not really a good offensive player, so I have to go with Coach Bone.
THE LACY FILE
High School: Curtis/Tacoma
Averaging 10.5 points per game, third-most on the team, and 2.9 rebounds. Second on the team in steals (22) and third in assists (49).
For more on Lacy, click here, and also join the Scout community.
4. Who would win a HORSE tournament among all the Cougar players?
DL: I would, because I’m the best trick shot shooter this side of the Mississippi.
5. Did you or someone else tutor D.J. Shelton in 3-point shooting? Where did that come from this season?
DL: He put a lot of work in over the summer. I keep trying to teach him the right mechanics … his form is really ugly, but it goes in.
6. What was your initial reaction when Reggie Moore was dismissed from the team?
DL: I was sad. You know, he’s one of my best friends. He was one of the closest connections I had on the team. My initial reaction I was sad.
7. Even though Brock Motum and Mike Ladd are graduating, some people think next season could be a turnaround year for the Cougs. What do you see as the main reasons for optimism?
DL: I think it’s because we’re young right now. With Mike (Ladd) out, four of our starters right now will be back. And we have a good recruiting class coming in, headlined by Ike (Iroegbu). Ike’s going to be really good for us. Also, Jordan Railey is playing really good in practice and Brett (Boese) is shooting the lights out in practice like always … It’s going to be a fun next year. I’m hoping people are along for the ride.
8. Who is the most entertaining member of the team and why?
DL: I don’t know. I think people would say me just because I never stop talking and I like to get involved in stuff. Keaton (Hayenga) is pretty funny in my view and D.J. (Shelton) is comedy too sometimes, he’s pretty funny.
9. How many practice shots a day do you think you average in the off season?
DL: Average per day, I would say 400 to 450 makes, so probably 700 to 800 attempts. I hadn’t really thought about that. Good question.
10. What part of your game are you going to focus on most this summer?
DL: Getting my ball handling right, having a better handle on the ball, so I can be in those situations where Coach Bone feels comfortable with me at point guard.
11. The Seattle-Tacoma area is known for producing a lot of NBA talent. Do you ever play with some of those guys in the summer?
DL: I used to play in a pro-am with all those guys. I was on Rodney Stuckey’s team. We played against Nate-Rob’s (Nate Robinson) and T-Wils’ (Terrence Williams) team in the championship. We also played against Jamal’s (Crawford) team. My last game I played in up there was against Tony Wroten and his team. We won. Down in Tacoma, IT (Isiah Thomas) comes home and plays. I was in the gym a couple of times with him last summer.
12. Who have been your biggest role models in life generally, and in basketball specifically?
DL: In life, just my mom. Having to deal with adversity in so many different ways, how she just stays strong, pushing away, plugging away ... On the court, I look up to a lot of people that did it before me like David Adams. He went to Wazzu (1991-2001) and then transferred to Wyoming. I look up to him, as well as Avery Bradley and IT (Isiah Thomas), who made it to the NBA from Tacoma. I always looked up to my coaches, Coach Kelly from Curtis and Coach Gary Ward ...
13. What can Coug fans expect from their team in the Pac-12 tournament?
DL: Expect us to give a good game, not just roll over. I think we can make a deep run. Honestly, I think we can ultimately win it. There’s no team we can’t play with and we haven’t played with. Especially on a neutral site, I think we can get anybody on a given night.
14. What movie do you think should have won the Oscar for Best Picture?
DL: Who won it? Argo? That’s a good movie. I just watched it last week. But I think Django (Unchained) should have won, because it was a good balance between comedy and seriousness.
15. What do you think of Gonzaga’s ranking
DL: I would say Gonzaga’s ranking is well deserved. Their record speaks for itself. People say they’re in a weak conference and such and such, but you still have to go out and win those games. I think it’s well deserved. I’m happy for ‘em. It was just a tough one we should have won in Pullman. We should have beat them.
THE AUTHOR: Ryan Witter is an 8th grader from Seattle and lifelong Cougar fan whose dad co-founded Cougfan.com two months after he was born. Ryan is a top-notch student as well as a three-sport athlete playing baseball, basketball and soccer.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR:
LACY PLANS TO FOCUS ON BALL HANDLING IN HIS OFF-SEASON WORKOUTS.
The first-ever CougsFirst! Trade Show is set for April 17 at the Hyatt Regency in Bellevue. Organized by a loyal group of WSU alums that includes Jack Thompson and Robbie Tobeck, CougsFirst! is all about Cougs supporting Cougs. It a volunteer initiative dedicated to having all WSU alumni think CougsFirst! whenever and wherever they purchase a product or service.
Join hundreds of Cougs in a casual and fun business environment promoting a wide variety of products and services. WSU and NFL great Drew Bledsoe will provide the keynote address and display wines from his Doubleback Winery. Other WSU alumni exhibitors include Alderbrook Spa and Resort, Sterling Bank, Aqua Quip, Xtreme Consulting, Beecher’s Cheese, Griffin Maclean Insurance, Tacoma Rainiers, Wine-By-Cougars, and many others. The CougsFirst! trade show is free to attend.
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