Moore dismissal a step back for Wazzu

Reggie Moore was not an efficient player. Let’s get that out of the way right away. He shot 37.1 percent from inside the arc last season, and 33.3 percent from beyond it; he finished the year with an effective field goal percentage of 40.6 and an offensive rating of 97.8 percent. With the exception of the 32.8 percent assist rate Moore posted in 2012, there are few flattering statistics in the junior guard’s 2012 efficiency profile.

Even so, Moore was a three-year starter at Washington State. He was the team’s primary ballhandler and hands down its most experienced returner. Which is why Wazzu’s unceremonial two-sentence announcement late Tuesday night -- that Moore had been dismissed from the team for a violation of team rules -- nonetheless counts as a blow.

No reason was given for Moore’s departure; as The Associated Press reported, Cougars spokeswoman Jessica Schmick declined to provide any detail on why Moore had been removed from the team.

In any case, Washington State coach Ken Bone’s decision comes at a particularly difficult time. Washington State finished 19-18 (and 7-11) in 2011-12’s horrifically bad Pac-12, the lone bright spot being the emergence of criminally underrated forward Brock Motum. Motum is in line for a big season, but with the departure of a handful of seniors, and little in the way of high-profile talent arriving in the 2012 class, there’s little evidence Bone has anyone else on the Wazzu offense to take pressure off the big man.

It would be a bit overblown to say Bone is on the (horrible phrase alert) hot seat. This will be just his fourth season at a program that doesn’t exactly demand swift turnarounds and immediate success. Even so, the decision to get rid of a three-year starter at this juncture in Washington State’s rebuilding project could prove costly. For all his statistical faults, Moore was a piece. And now that piece is gone.