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Spring Practice Report: Day 12

From Pullman — Rain, rain, go away. Today's torrent drove reporters and athletic support staff into the upper bleachers to seek refuge beneath the overhang. Refuge was not to be found. I could go on about the weather but then we'd both be in a stormy mood.

Practice report is after the jump.

Kent lands his first recruit

From Pullman — Multiple recruiting websites are reporting that East Los Angeles CC power forward Aaron Cheatum (6-7, 240) made a verbal commitment to Washington State last night, making him the first recruit for new basketball coach Ernie Kent at WSU.  Assistant coach Greg Graham reportedly took the lead on Cheatum's recruitment.

He joins Tramaine Isabell as the second member of WSU's class of 2014. According to Cougfan.com's Braulio Perez, WSU sophomore guard Que Johnson and Cheatum were AAU teammates in high school.

According to Cheatum he chose the Cougars over scholarship offers from Central Florida, Tulane, Idaho and others. He becomes WSU's 10th scholarship player, meaning Kent has three more spots available should he choose to use them.

Cheatum was a sophomore this past season and will have two seasons of eligibility at WSU as well as a redshirt year available. The 2013 South Coast Conference Player of the Year averaged 15.2 points and 8.9 rebounds per game.

Hawks hope Midas touch works with Pryor

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Terrelle Pryor, lined up in the slot receiver position, goes in motion. He receives a handoff from Russell Wilson and it looks as if he's going to pass. But instead he takes off running. Ten yards, 20, 30, 40 and he's run out of bounds at the San Francisco 8. A spike, a few words and … darn, there's the alarm. Time to go to work. Read on.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — It's Spokane Week for the Washington State athletic department and here in Pullman the Cougars have just one week left of spring football. We began the week yesterday with a lunchtime chat. We also had a blog post on Gabe Marks' successful surgery as well as an off day Five Questions segment with Toni Pole. Cougar fans seemed pretty happy yesterday with the news that Bill Moos is no longer looking to make games in Seattle a priority. Last night the news came out that men's basketball coach Ernie Kent landed his first recruit at WSU.

Oregon still doesn't know who its backup quarterback will be … Arizona recruit Stanley Johnson was named California's Mr. Basketball … It was a Bruin who won the Boston Marathon … Cal's new coach has named two assistants.

Bill Moos says no more Pac-12 Seattle games

From Pullman — Washington State has played a Pac-12 opponent in Seattle the past three season with pretty paltry results. The Cougars, hosting some stiff competition, went 0-3 in their home games away from Pullman, losing to Oregon State, No. 2 Oregon and No. 5 Stanford by an average score of 50 to 22 ⅓. 

On Monday Bill Moos announced that the Cougars will no longer host conference foes in Seattle, keeping all Pac-12 home games home, in Pullman. Moos and coach Mike Leach spoke at the Spokane Luncheon on Monday as part of WSU's Spokane Week festivities. According to Cougfan.com, he said:

When I first got here, we didn't have TV money and the Pac-12 money. We needed to build a cash flow. I decided to schedule Oregon State and Oregon games in Seattle becasue we needed the money … That's not the case now, so we're going to reevaluate playing games in Seattle. I think it's served its purpose.

WSU opens the 2014 season in Seattle against Rutgers. 

WSU Receiver tweets surgery successful

Washington State receiver Gabe Marks has been limited this spring with a groin injury and has only participated in a few receiving drills. Yesterday, Marks indicated on Twitter that he had undergone surgery. 

Marks was WSU's most productive receiver last year, leading the team with 74 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. His receptions total is the second most in WSU single-season history. Marks achieved those impressive totals despite totaling only six catches in WSU's final three regular season games. 

A quiet day after Easter

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Turns out a lot of people had the same idea on Easter. Who would have thought it? Read on.

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Happy Easter, everybody. I hope you're enjoying your chocolate goodies. We've got some links for you to peruse while the children tear up your neighborhood in the relentless pursuit of multicolored eggs.

Washington State had its first official football scrimmage of spring. Here's our report from WSU's 11th practice and our story from the scrimmage

The Huskies finished off the year with a Spring Game that wasn't … Ted Miller gives his thoughts on Washington's legal troubles and more in his mailbag (sorry Vince) … USC's Spring Game was a cautious affair … The Bruins are ready to feast, with the NCAA's blessing.

Spokane Shock vs. Cleveland

S-R photojournalist Dan Pelle covered the Cleveland Gladiators' win over the Spokane Shock, 52-50, April 19, 2014, in the Spokane Arena. Check out this big picture gallery of his photos!

Shock lose on last play

Losses don't come much tougher than the one Spokane experienced Saturday night.

The Shock scored with 10 seconds left to take a 50-46 lead, but Cleveland connected on arena football's version of the Hail Mary, a desperation heave into the netting at the back of the end zone on the final play to pull out a 52-50 victory.

Thyron Lewis pulled in the game-winning 29-yard pass after the ball had rebounded off the netting.  

My unedited game story is below.

Spring Practice Report: Day 11

From Pullman — Washington State held the first of its three official “scrimmages” on Saturday, running 115 plays at full speed. Each school is allowed 12 contact practices, eight of which may involve tackling. No more than three of those eight tackling sessions can devote more than 50 percent of the practice time to 11-on-11 scrimmages, including the spring game.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Video: Idaho’s Petrino after scrimmage

Idaho didn't run (quite) as many plays, and the offense didn't have quite as many touchdowns. But coach Paul Petrino was pleased after the Vandals' third scrimmage of the spring in the Kibbie Dome. We have video of Petrino's full comments to the media after the jump. We also have an early version of our story and notes on the Vandals' occasionally dominant defensive line.

UI, by the way, ran 143 plays after going through 190 in the first scrimmage and 173 last week. Idaho also had 11 penalties, at least of which one or two were waived off.

Shock clash with unbeaten Gladiators

Spokane concludes a two-game homestand when Cleveland (4-0) visits the Arena tonight.

Here's my game preview.

The well-traveled Kyle Rowley, now with Portland, and the Thunder came up short against San Jose.

There are some shining lights out there

A GRIP ON SPORTS

As the good ship Mariner slowly sinks in the west, let's take a moment to be thankful for some of the good things out there. Read on.

Saturday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Some good news for the Washington State football team came down last night when Austin Joyner announced his intentions to play for the Cougars. Joyner is listed as a four-star running back but it appears he'll play cornerback at WSU. Yesterday we also posted some notes following an interview with athletic director Bill Moos.

In other Pac-12 news Washington unveiled its new football uniforms and they sure are uniforms … An Arizona basketball recruit's prep career is ending with a bang  … A departing Oregon assistant is going to get a quarter million dollars every year from the public employee pension fund … Gonzaga added a head-to-head series against UCLA.

UPDATE: Somehow I missed John Blanchette's column on the Gonzaga series. Forgive me.

WSU picks up a cornerback recruit

From Pullman — Austin Joyner of Marysville-Pilchuck high school has decided to play football at Washington State, according to his Twitter account. Joyner becomes the second known member of the class of 2015 to verbally declare their intentions to play for Mike Leach and the Cougars.

Rivals.com rates Joyner as a four-star player and ranks him the 27th best running back in the class, but he will player cornerback at WSU, according to Ransford. Last year Joyner said that he would accept a football scholarship from Washington under previous coach Steve Sarkisian.

In addition to WSU, Joyner currently claims football scholarship offers from Arkansas, Colorado, Oregon State and Washington.

WSU AD Bill Moos on Gonzaga series and more

From Pullman — Yesterday we reported that the Washington State men's basketball team will play Gonzaga in Spokane again next season as part of a three-year contract. The news drew a wide range of reactions from people like our own Vince Grippi, to CougCenter's Jeff Nusser to Barry Bolton ($) of Cougfan. Today I caught up with Bill Moos and we chatted about the series with Gonzaga, as well as some other items.

Those notes after the jump.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jim Meehan Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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