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There's a buzz around WSU

COUGARS

As we promised yesterday, here's a link to Glenn Kasses' story concerning June Daugherty's hire. Don' forget, you can listen to the entire press conference, dividing into segments, on this post below. And there will be more on Glenn's blog.

Also, John Blanchette weighed in on Daugherty's hire with this column in today's S-R.

I usually agree with John on most things, but I disagree with some of his assessments here.

Daugherty is a tremendous recruiter, and if you are wondering, "If she's so good, why did all the Inland Northwest's best players get away?" I'll tell you. There was a long-held belief – especially prevalent with former Cougar coach Harold Rhodes – that you can't win in the Pac-10 with Washington – especially Eastern Washington – kids. You have to recruit California to be a power.

Even if Daugherty bought that – I have no idea whether she did or didn't – at UW, it's almost certain the athletic administration did. After all, that's the way it's been done for years. But the success of Emily Westerberg and Aubree Johnson has changed that – and that's those two's most enduring legacy to ASU and the Pac-10. When they were being recruited, however, few in the conference really knew the depth of the talent they would bring.

Now everyone knows what type of player comes from this area, including the powers-that-be around the conference.

So who is the second-best player in the Inland Northwest this year? Lewis and Clark's Katelan Redmon. And where was she going? To UW to play for Daugherty. Along with one of the top five players in Seattle, Roosevelt's Mackenzie Argens. Though she may have been late to the game, Daugherty adapted.

And she'll adapt to Pullman. Kids will want to play there, because they will want to play for her. It won't take long, and the Cougars will be moving up the Pac-10 ladder.

Will they win the conference? Probably not. Stanford, ASU, UCLA, USC have the advantage for the next five years at least. But the top half is a possibility in the same time period.

• The hire was covered on the West Side as well, with stories from the Times, the P-I and the News Tribune. If Puget Sound publicity was what athletic director Jim Sterk wanted, he got it Saturday.




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