The Western Hockey League is well represented in the latest Canadian Hockey League Top 10 poll. Kelowna (20-3-0-2) is ranked third, Portland (21-5-2-1) fifth and Everett (20-5-4-0) sixth. There's a new team at No. 1: The Erie Otters (23-4-1-0) of the Ontario Hockey League moved from second to first. Read story
Austin Rehkow plays football for the University of Idaho. And he may soon play basketball for the Vandals, too. Rehkow, a freshman punter and kicker, will spend the next week to 10 days with the UI basketball team and then decide if he wants to become a hoops walk-on.
Good morning (barely) everyone, sorry about the lateness of these links. There were some issues with the website on my end last night that didn't get resolved until recently so I'm just now getting to these. If you haven't seem then already, we've got stories today with reaction from two Pac-12 coaches to their colleague Steve Sarkisian's decision to leave UW for USC … An update on athletic director Bill Moos' efforts to get Washington State a bowl invitation … And our final Pac-12 Power Rankings of the regular season.
For bowl projections and links from around the conference, follow the jump.
The Zags have had a day or two off since Sunday's rout over Coppin State and they're preparing for New Mexico State's visit Saturday.
You can be sure rebounding drills will be fairly high on the coaching staff's practice script. This isn't a surprise. The list of preseason worries for Gonzaga centered on three things: Interior depth, defense and rebounding, and that list remains intact through the season's first eight games.
A deeper look into GU's rebounding here.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's cold here in Spokane. Really cold. Single-digit cold. But that's OK. We have a hot stove to keep us warm. Read on.
It was a bit chilly Tuesday afternoon at Roos Field as Eastern Washington prepared for a second-round FCS playoff game against South Dakota State. (And by the way. it was 10 degrees colder back in Brookings, South Dakota, so the Jackrabbits will be used to this.) Here's our practice report, along with some big news for Eagle quarterback Vernon Adams. We can discuss all of that and more in Thursday's live chat, but let's move on to the links … Here's a preview of the game from Eastern, but nothing yet from South Dakota State, though here are some stats. … Meanwhile, Montana faces an intriguing opponent in Coastal Carolina coach Joe Moglia.
If Don Verlin and the Idaho Vandals sign a high school player, chances are he's from the Northwest. That trend continued Tuesday when UI announced the signing of Arkadiy Mkrtychyan, a 6-foot-7 forward from Portland. Mkrtychyan has spent the last two years in Portland, but he's not a born-and-bred Northwest native. He originally hails from Moscow, Russia, and played his sophomore year in Honolulu. before transferring to Portland’s Columbia Christian High, where he had to sit out his junior season.
Verlin compared Mkrtychyan to Stephen Madison, Idaho's leading scorer and a Portland native, in terms of his versatility.
“He’s a multi-position guy who can play both forward spots, small and power forward,” Verlin said in a statement. “He has had extensive experience overseas. We saw him this summer and I really liked his ability to play around the basket and away from the basket, and he really fits into our system.”
Mkrtychyan joins Jake Straughan of Colton, Wash., as Idaho’s early period signees. “The things we’re excited about are his size, his ability, his ability to play multiple positions and getting another good, young high school player from the Northwest,” Verlin added.
S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered the LC girls basketball game against G-Prep. Check out this big picture gallery of game photos.
When the Saskatoon Blades play at the Arena on Wednesday night, it will be a homecoming of sorts for the Blades' Collin Valcourt. Read story
After Friday, the Spokane Chiefs will play three weeks without 18-year-old center Liam Stewart. The team announced Tuesday that Stewart has accepted an invitation to play for Great Britain at the U20 World Championships in Scotland. Stewart was born in London and raised in the United States. He is tied for sixth on the Chiefs with 13 points. Read story
Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams is one of three finalists for the Walter Payton Award given to the top player in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision, The Sports Network announced Tuesday.
Adams, quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo of Eastern Illinois and running back Terrance West of Towson have been invited to the awards banquet, which will be held in Philadelphia on Dec. 16.
Gonzaga senior Drew Barham has been nominated for the National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC), Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and Allstate Insurance Company's ”Good Works Team”, which recognizes collegiate student-athletes who have made significant contributions to the greater good of their communities through volunteerism and civic service.
Barham is one of 201 nominees.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Query. If last night's beatdown of the Saints turns out to be a preview of what the Super Bowl will be like, would you enjoy it? Or do you want that game to be more of a contest for the Seahawks? Read on.
The Jackrabbits are coming to Cheney. South Dakota State, which defeated Northern Arizona 26-7 last weekend, will face Eastern Washington on Saturday. Here's a first look at SDSU, along with a preview from Eastern and a look at the all-Missouri Valley Conference standouts from SDSU. … Meanwhile, UW is looking for a new head coach, and it doesn't appear the Huskies are looking in this direction, although Beau Baldwin's name showed up on Cougfan (registration required) and on similar fan sites at Montana (please, get Baldwin out of the Big Sky!) and at Montana State. … Baldwin's name has not surfaced either at the other UW, that being Wyoming, which just fired its coach. Stay tuned. … Montana also has a playoff game this week.
Just when you think everything's going to be quiet for awhile, all heck breaks lose. Yes, the similarities between Pac-12 football and my 10th grade battle with acne truly are a wonder. Steve Sarkisian cooled talk that he was on the hot seat with an Apple Cup win, so of course he was offered and accepted the prestigious USC job just a few days later … Now the Cougars' rivals have to find a coach, and the first choice seems to be UCLA's Jim Mora … What will happen next in this week's game of Pac-12 musical chairs? Word is that WSU coach Mike Leach has no interest in the Stanford gig … In other news the Pac-12 All-Conference teams are out and safety Deone Bucannon made First-Team … We've got a Q&A with WSU athletic director Bill Moos covering a variety of topics.
For the second time in the first month of the season, Idaho small forward Stephen Madison has been named WAC Player of the Week. And he wasn't the only Vandal feted on Monday — freshman kicker/punter Austin Rehkow hauled in a national award for FBS independent schools after he capped a remarkable freshman season with a big day on Saturday in a loss to New Mexico State.
All the details are below.
I've had the opportunity speak with Washington State athletic director Bill Moos to talk about the Cougars bowl situation, future construction plans and his vision for branding and marketing Cougars athletics going forward. Of course, the vast majority of what he said didn't make it into paper. With that in mind, I've transcribed the rest of those interviews in a Q&A format, which you can read after the jump.
Safety Deone Bucannon of Washington State has been named First-Team All-Pac-12, the conference announced on Monday. Bucannon led the Cougars with 109 tackles this season, and tied for the team lead with five interceptions. He is the only WSU football player to be named either First or Second-Team All-Conference, and the first Cougar to receiver First-Team All-Conference honors since Brandon Gibson in 2007.
Earning honorable mention honors for the Cougars were senior kicker Andrew Furney, senior cornerback Damante Horton, freshman wide receiver River Cracraft, and Spokane-native and senior offensive lineman Elliott Bosch.
Follow the jump to see the release from the Pac-12, which includes all players named to both teams, the individual award winners, and the players who earned honorable mention honors for each team.
Gonzaga returned from Maui with a shorter-than-usual turnaround than previous trips but it had the ideal opponent on the schedule. After playing three games in three days in Lahaina, GU was barely tested by the Eagles and led by 25 at half.
The rest of December is filled with tougher challenges — New Mexico State on Saturday, at West Virginia, South Alabama in Seattle, Kansas State in Wichita and the beginning of the WCC slate with Santa Clara and San Francisco.
Gonzaga (7-1) dropped five spots in the USA Today rankings, from 10th to 15th, after the loss to the Dayton Flyers, who are receiving votes. Saint Mary's and Boise State, coached by ex-Zag assistant Leon Rice, are receiving votes. GU and Memphis, which entertains the Zags on Feb. 8, are tied for 15th.
Kevin Pangos, who surpassed 1,000 career points in Maui, was named the WCC player of the week for the second straight time.
My day-after Coppin State is below.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Cue the Monday Night Football theme. Listen to a voiceover from the late Howard Cosell. Watch Brian Bosworth being run over by Bo Jackson, then cut in Marshawn Lynch's playoff run vs. the Saints. Now you are ready for this week's Game of the Century. Yep, it's time for New Orleans vs. Seattle my friends. NFC supremacy. Home-field advantage. Suspensions. Quarterbacks. Receivers. Defenders. Noise meters. This one has it all. Read on.