Mouhamed Gueye is struggling with persistent hamstring problems

On Sunday, Washington State lost a heartbreaker in Colorado after KJ Simpson buried a three-pointer by under 5 seconds to seal a 58-55 WSU loss on the road. There were many reasons the Cougs fell short, including 17 turnovers and a 4-for-16 win from beyond the arc, but one notable thing was Mouhamed Gueye’s play. The 6’11” runner-up got in trouble early and only played 20 minutes, going 0-to-7 from the floor and finishing with no points.

After the game, head coach Kyle Smith explained that Gueye was trying to overcome an ongoing hamstring problem. Of course, Cougar fans might be concerned about the status of their star, who heads into his biggest home game of the year against Arizona later this week at No. 6/8. However, Smith didn’t sound overly concerned about Gueye’s health during his weekly news conference this Tuesday.

“I think he’s going to be fine,” Smith said. “I saw him yesterday. He didn’t mention it. The coach says he’s good.”

Smith went on to say that things can change in an instant, especially with ongoing injuries like those with hamstrings, so you’ll never know for sure. But because of Gueye’s commitment, WSU is confident that their future NBA nominee will be ready to hit the big stage.

“He’s such a stud. He didn’t apologize at all and knows he didn’t play well,” Smith continued, indicating Gueye’s insistence. “It’s rare these days. He’s a guy who will try to play no matter what. There are some people in his position who have futures to look after. He’s free to play, but some guys won’t. But he is [going to play]. I appreciate him very much for that.”

Of course, the Cougs will be looking for the win of the season over Arizona in Thursday’s rematch. WSU upset a then-top-five wildcat team in Tucson 74-61 earlier this month, and Gueye was arguably the player of the game, hitting a 24-point, 14-rebound double-double in the win.

We’ll have to wait and see if Gueye can bounce back against Arizona in the second round on Thursday night and pull off a similar performance. Tip-off is scheduled for 8pm from Beasley, with TV coverage on FS1. However, if you’re in the area, make sure you find your way to the Palouse to see this game in person.

WSU hosts #6/8 Arizona Thursday night – Washington State University Athletics
vs. No. 6/8 Arizona (17-3, 6-3) | Thursday, January 26 | 8 p.m. PT | Beasley Coliseum (Pullman, Washington)

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