Washington State Magazine

Spring 2004


Spring 2004

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In This Issue...

Features

Mount St. Helens: The perfect laboratory :: It is impossible to accept the immensity of Mount St. Helens and the effect of its catastrophic 1980 eruption unless you are able to stand beneath the enormous crater on the pumice plain and listen to John Bishop talk about lupines.

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Mount St. Helens :: Photographs of John Bishop's research and the volcano. By Robert Hubner}

Lonely, Beautiful, and Threatened—Willapa Bay :: Willapa Bay is the largest estuary between San Francisco and Puget Sound. It boasts one of the least-spoiled environments and the healthiest salmon runs south of Canada. It produces one in every four oysters farmed in the United States and is a favorite stop for tens of thousands of migratory birds. And it's in trouble.

{ WEB EXCLUSIVE–Gallery: Willapa Bay :: Photographs by Bill Wagner}

Extreme Diversity—in Soap Lake :: Soap Lake is surrounded by dark shores, sheer rock walls, a primeval landscape. Its waters have long been thought by some to cure certain maladies. It is also home to strange, hardy organisms that live nowhere else.

Keith Lincoln, Barn Builder :: Over 25 years at Washington State University, alumni director Keith Lincoln built many things, including friendships and a place where alums can go to sit in the shade.

Panoramas

Departments

:: SEASONS/SPORTS: Golfer Kim Welch

:: SEASONS/SPORTS: Basketball's Marcus Moore

Tracking

Cover: Ecologist John Bishop has followed the reestablishment of life on Mount St. Helens's pumice plain. Read the story here. Photograph by Robert Hubner.

Sports
Marcus Moore

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Marcus Moore, WSU Basketball. Robert Hubner

Seeing the floor, making the plays: Basketball's Marcus Moore

by | © Washington State University

Very little ever got in Marcus Moore's way.

Faced with an obstacle, Washington State University's senior point guard could usually flash that Crest-friendly smile or whip around it with an ankle-buckling crossover dribble.

But last summer nothing, not the movie star smile, not the Mach 3 quickness, could get Moore where he wanted to be-into the first round of the National Basketball Association draft.

So after taking trips to predraft camps in Chicago and Portsmouth, Virginia, and not being assured a spot in the first round--guaranteeing a contract--Moore thought it over. He talked to his family in Inglewood, California, and decided to return for his final campaign in Pullman.

"It was never set where I was going to go [in the draft]," Moore says. "I knew I could come back [to WSU] if I needed to. I talked to my mom and dad, and it was a pretty easy decision to make."

Not that anyone would have blamed Moore if he had decided to take his chances with the draft or headed overseas to pursue his professional aspirations.

With Dick Bennett being named the Cougars' new coach last spring, and the prospect of playing his senior year in an unfamiliar system, it was almost expected and entirely understandable if Moore didn't return.

Only, a funny thing happened. Moore did what he thought would benefit him the most in the long run. And that did not include a circuitous route to the NBA through the minor league hinterlands of the NBDL, CBA, or any other alphabet league.

"To tell the truth, we went about things not expecting him back," Bennett says. "We were led to believe by a number of people that he was very likely to leave. Marcus was up front with us and wanted the chance to go."

And when Moore decided to return, he did with an open mind, despite some initial misconceptions about Bennett's style of play.

"It's a different approach," Moore says. 'I don't think we play a boring style of play. We slow things down, because we want to get things right. We want to get good shots."

Bennett, who took Wisconsin to the Final Four in 2000, employs a disciplined style of play, emphasizing defense and a patient offense that takes high percentage shots. It's been called ugly and boring, but it works.

And most of Bennett's new charges-including Moore--were used to a more freewheeling approach under former coach Paul Graham.

"It's been a bit of struggle, not just with Marcus, but with others like [guard] Randy Green, as well," Bennett says. "They've been playing this way for a few years now, and they have their habits, and it's hard to break those.

"But Marcus probably has had to make the most change. I have to give him a lot of a credit. He's had to come in here and work harder than he's had to before."

The gifted six-foot-six, 220-pound athlete ranks among WSU's top 10 in career scoring, assists, and steals at WSU. He's seen his scoring go down-from 18.2 points per game to 13.8 this season-but is averaging a team-leading 3.8 assists and 1.83 steals per game.

His ability to see the floor and make plays has never been in question, but now Moore is just as likely to slip a no-look pass to a cutting teammate, as he is to launch a three-pointer.

"I'm learning to take the best shot available," Moore says. "I've had to adjust a little. But I still come out and play as hard as I possibly can. I obviously look to try and be a leader. As a basketball player, I know this is good for me and us."

Bennett realizes Moore's return has given him a difference-maker in his first season of Pac-10 play. He also believes it couldn't have worked out better for Moore's professional future.

"I think it can help him try to reach his long-range goals," Bennett says. "When he plays a more free style of play, it exposes some of his weaknesses. I think he's more selective now, and he understands. I must tell you, I've had no difficulties with him. We get along well-he's an enjoyable player to be around."

Categories: Athletics | Tags: Basketball

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