"I think we're coming along pretty good," Capers said. "Reggie's (Moore) being more of a floor general this year, Davante Lacy has come along and Mike Ladd has been playing aggressive, so I feel all around everyone's improving."
Capers added that the departures of Thompson and Casto to the pro ranks have provided a gap in the offense, but that he doesn't think it will affect the scoring. Capers said now more than ever it's going to have to be a "team" effort throughout the season, and the team is ready to take on the challenge.
"I just feel across the board we should be a better team," Capers said. "We're really not depending on one or two players to score, we're depending on everyone to do their job. Losing two pros is pretty hard, but we're adjusting to it and we can't dwell on it."
The Cougars will return senior Faisal Aden who averaged 12.7 points last season in his first year at WSU. The team will also have plenty of newcomers including Mike Ladd, who had to sit-out last season after transferring from Fresno State. Ladd is expected to provide the Cougars with a lift offensively and has showcased throughout practice this season his ability to knock down a mid-range jumper.
One of the freshman who is expected to make a large contribution for the Cougars is guard Davante Lacy of Tacoma's Curtis High. Lacy is a big-bodied guard who can not only stroke from the outside but can also attack the rim and finish. Capers said Lacy's physicality is what has impressed him most early on, and that he's excited to what the first-year guard can accomplish this season.
"As a freshman, he's pretty strong," Capers said. "A lot of kids don't make the transition from high school to college pretty well, but I feel physically and mentally he's done his job. I can't wait to see him in a real game to see how he does."
For Lacy, he said that he's still adjusting to the college level and that one thing above everything has stuck out:
"The speed is way different and the overall size," Lacy said. "Everybody's bigger, faster and stronger. You hear that and then you actually arrive and it's true. That's the biggest difference for me. Everyone's faster than me now, so I have to work on my defense."
Regardless, Lacy said he is ready to work hard this season and be a contributor for the team. Lacy said he knows he won't come in during his first year and be the go to guy, but still understands he can make a big difference and help the team achieve it's goal of going dancing in March.
"My biggest goal is to help contribute to the team as much as I can," Lacy said. "Everybody's goal is to get to the NCAA tournament and win in the tournament, so if I can do anything to help that I'll be happy. If I score zero points and we win, I'll be happy, a lot happier if I were to score 50 points and we lose."
The Cougars were recently predicted to finish 10th in the Pac-12 conference this season by the Pac-12 media poll. Capers said it didn't come as a surprise to him that the Cougars were picked among the bottom teams in the conference, but in his time at WSU, he's grown used to being looked past.
"With us going to Washington State, I feel we're always going to be underrated," Capers said. "I feel like Reggie (Moore) is one of the best guards in the conference, and he's not really ever mentioned like he should be. I feel people that ranked us haven't really watched us play, they just go off names and politics. All that does is motivate us."