Pac-12 Tournament: DaVonté Lacy emotional after Washington State falls in first round
LAS VEGAS – DaVonté Lacy pulled his jersey up his over his eyes. Fists clenched, the Washington State senior guard couldn’t hold back his emotions in the waning moments of the Cougars’ 84-59 loss to California Wednesday at MGM Grand Garden Arena in the opening round of the Pac-12 Men’s Basketball Tournament.
Pac-12 Networks cameras later caught Lacy’s eyes welling up as he sat on the bench.
His college playing career was over along with WSU’s 2014-15 season, barring an invite to the College Basketball Invitational.
“To me, part of the emotion you saw was a young man who loved his teammates, who loved his college experience,” said WSU coach Ernie Kent after the game. “It was very difficult to see that come to an end.”
Wednesday marked just the fifth time this season Lacy scored fewer than 10 points. He ended with nine, thanks mostly to suffocating defense from Cal guard Jabari Bird.
A Tacoma, Wash. native, Lacy was a contributor from the moment he came to Pullman in 2011. Some four years later, he has the most three-pointers in school history, surpassing NBA all-star Klay Thompson’s mark, which he set in three years.
Each season, Lacy improved a new aspect of his game, whether it be ball-handling, defense or being a better teammate.
This year under Kent, he was a leader on a roster filled with youth.
“If anyone deserves to have success,” Kent said. “It’s DaVonté Lacy.”
When former WSU coach Ken Bone was fired after the 2013-14 season, Lacy considered transferring. Instead, he stayed on the Palouse to finish out and earned First Team All-Pac-12 honors for the first time in his career.
Said Kent: “That, to me, epitomizes what a college student-athlete should be all about – staying in, staying loyal, staying true blue, and staying at home and trying to build the basketball program.”