8. Washington State Cougars (7-5) LW: 8
Following Washington State’s second consecutive loss and second loss on the season to New Mexico State, point guard Ahmed Ali reportedly got into a verbal altercation with a Lobo player.
The altercation was perhaps a microcosm for the entire season as it has been a frustrating start for the 7-5 Cougars.
The latest loss alone had its own reason for frustration as Washington State battled back from a 16-point deficit to tie the game late against New Mexico before ultimately falling to a Lobo three-pointer with 1.9 seconds remaining in the game.
While the 10-3 Lobos have had an impressive start to the season, the other three losses for the Cougars have come to below-average teams in form of Seattle, Montana State, and San Diego.
The majority of the struggles have come from the defense, or lack thereof, for WSU, who has allowed 75.8 points per game as of Dec. 19, ranking them 266th in the nation in scoring defense.
While the team struggles as a whole, senior forward Robert Franks has been one of the few bright spots for the Cougars.
As of Dec. 19, Franks was tied as the eighth-highest scorer in the nation at 24.5 points per game while leading the Pac-12 in that category.
The 6-foot-9 inch forward has been a well-known scorer in the Pac-12 after dropping a career high 42 points against Oregon last season in a conference matchup.
Franks will look to continue to lead Washington State as the team will look to stop their two-game skid against Santa Clara before beginning conference play against in-state rival Washington.