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Archive for July 2008

WCC releases schedule

Gonzaga will make at least eight appearances on the ESPN family of networks during the conference season, according to the schedule released by the WCC on Thursday.

As expected the WCC has moved to a Thursday-Saturday format after playing Saturday-Monday since 2005. Game times weren’t announced.

Six GU games will be televised on ESPN2 (vs. Saint Mary’s, Jan. 29; vs. San Diego, Jan. 31; at Portland, Feb. 5; at Saint Mary’s, Feb. 12; at Santa Clara, Feb. 26; at San Diego, Feb. 28) and two on ESPNU (at San Francisco, Feb. 14; vs. Pepperdine, Feb. 21). ESPN also will televise the WCC Tournament men’s semifinals and the men’s and women’s title games.

More below.

We have some WSU questions

Boy, that was an interesting discussion we had the past couple days. The depth of the animosity is amazing. Then again, I have a sister who graduated from UCLA and her feelings about USC, well don’t get her started. Some of the T-shirts she used to have drove my dad nuts. Anyhow, let’s see what we have for today.

Post Falls standout recovering

Former Post Falls High football standout Rollin Putzier, who has a Super Bowl ring from his days with the San Francisco 49ers, is recovering from a gunshot wound to the stomach in Huntsville, Ala.

Here’s a link to a story in the Huntsville Times.

Spokane has most Olympics fans

Over 128 Million Summer Olympics Fans in the U.S. are gearing up for the torch lighting in Beijing on August 8. As the world focuses its attention to the summer games, sports fan research firm Scarborough Sports Marketing reveals that people in Denver, CO and Spokane might be looking forward to the start of the games more than any other city in the country.

Who do Husky fans hate more?

Everyone seemed to have a little fun with Monday’s question, so I thought I would ask another today. Read on.

Some questions for a Monday morning

Not much to link this morning but that doesn’t mean we don’t have questions – and an answer.

Low headed to Australia

I know football season is about to get started, but there are a couple basketball links worth passing on this Sunday morning.

Chiefs release regular season schedule; Dudra departs organization

The Spokane Chiefs will begin defense of their Memorial Cup championship on Thursday, Sept. 18 when they travel to Cranbrook, British Columbia, to open the 2008-09 Western Hockey League season against the Kootenay Ice.

The Chiefs will drop their championship banners on Saturday, Sept. 27 when the Tri-City Americans visit the Spokane Arena in the home opener.

Here’s a link to the complete schedule and details on how you can get tickets.

Also, the Chiefs announced yesterday that after 18 years, 15 as the organization’s head scout, Ray Dudra has left the Chiefs to take a position with another team in the WHL, which is expected to be announced next week. Here’s a link to the release on that.

More on media day

With yesterday’s Pac-10 media day in the rear-view mirror and still about a week or so before fall practices start, let’s catch up with what was reported out of Los Angeles. Read on.

Gibson looking ahead to senior year, not beyond

Talked with Brandon Gibson for a while during lunch at the Pac-10 media day and asked him about 10 different ways about his NFL future. Other than saying it was dream put on hold, he wanted to focus on WSU and the upcoming year.

For an unedited version of my main story that will appear in the S-R tomorrow, read on.

It’s all a somewhat-educated guess anyway

The coaches have gotten through the session with Dave Cutaia, the conference’s coordinator of officials, and now are getting ready for a morning of meeting with electronic and print media.

While I have a minute, I’ll go over my Pac-10 preseason vote.

Shock hope to maintain momentum

The Spokane Shock are playing with fire this weekend.

In their last three games there has been something at stake for the top-ranked Shock (14-1), and head coach Adam Shackleford doesn’t see this Saturday’s arenafootball2 contest against the Boise Burn as being any different.

Vandals picked eighth

The University of Idaho football team was picked to finish eighth out of nine teams in the Western Athletic Conference this fall in both the media and coaches polls.

Click the tab below to read more from an Idaho news release.

Life in the Pac-10’s fast lane

Let’s see. In the first few minutes of freeway driving, we saw the aftermath of a motorcycle accident, a Lexus zipping by at about 95 and three Highway Patrol cars parked on the side of the road.

Welcome to L.A.

Now on to the Cougar football news.

Eagles picked second in preseason polls

The Big Sky Conference wrapped up in annual summer Kickoff in Park City, Utah, by releasing the pre-season polls of both conference coaches and media members.

Eastern Washington is picked to finish second to Montana in both polls. You can read more details here.

Shock prove tricks aren’t just for kids

Below you’ll find my unedited game story from the Spokane Shock’s 78-51 arenafootball2 victory on Saturday night.

View photos from the game.

WSU basketball schedule becomes official - if not complete

The official announcement of WSU’s 2008-09 basketball schedule occurred this afternoon, with nothing different than what we had here last weekend – though there is the addition of quotes from coach Tony Bennett.

There is still no word on the teams who will be in Pullman to play the Cougars in the Legends Classic. When the tournament picks the teams to travel to the Palouse, then the schedule will be complete.

The truth about Etu Molden

I wondered from the moment I saw Etu Molden was on his way to Spokane to play for the Shock - what’s a guy with his credentials doing here? As you’ll see, that wasn’t at all meant to say anything negative about the athletes in the arenafootball2 league. The question came to mind because Molden was such a success in the AFL.

As you’ll also see, Molden completely opened up about it. It’s always refreshing, and appreciated, when that happens. The personal things he shared with me answered my question, too. It’s a question I figured a lot of people were asking - so here’s the link to my feature with the answer.

Oh, and if you think that name - Molden - sounds familiar, it should. At least, if you’re an Eastern Washington University football fan. I pasted (off the EWU website) more on that below.

A much better Daye for Austin

The Austin Daye story has taken several unusual turns the last week and there was another one Thursday. A big one, apparently.

Tamara Daye, Austin’s mother, said second and third opinions on Austin’s injured right knee brought a much different diagnosis than Monday’s discouraging news that Daye had a partially torn ACL and would likely need surgery.

Click below for an unedited article that will run in Friday’s S-R.

Pendo, Sorenson on WCC honor roll

Gonzaga had 145 student-athletes make the WCC Commissioners honor roll, including David Pendergraft and Andrew Sorenson from men’s basketball. More here.

Saw Pendo at Hoopfest and he’s entered the work force with Next IT (ex-Zag Jeff Brown also works there). Click below for a press release from his employer.

Blanchette on Daye, Zags

S-R columnist John Blanchette puts some perspective on the latest injury (Austin Daye) to hit the Zags. Here’s a link.

Daye discusses knee injury

Talked by telephone with Austin Daye earlier in the 9 o’clock hour and just filed an updated article that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.

Austin sounded a little bummed, understandably, but he was also appreciative of having two visitors at his home in Irvine Monday night — Ronny Turiaf and GU assistant coach Tommy Lloyd.

One clarification: Daye said doctors have told him he has a partially torn ACL. He wasn’t sure of the percentage of the tear or what a partial tear vs. a complete tear means in terms of surgery and recovery, but he expects to have surgery in the next few days. Daye said there is no damage to other knee ligaments (PCL, MCL, LCL) or cartilage.

Daye attended the first session of summer school at GU. He said he might return to Spokane earlier than normal to begin rehabilitation work on his knee, but will wait to see what unfolds in the next few weeks.

Click below for the updated article.

Daye has torn ACL in his knee

Gonzaga’s Austin Daye thought he had avoided a serious injury last week when he crumbled to the court at the LeBron James Skills Academy, but follow-up tests revealed that the talented forward has a torn ACL in his right knee.

The original diagnosis in Akron, Ohio, was that Daye had injured a tendon in his hamstring. But further exams performed after Daye returned home to southern California confirmed a torn ACL.

“Unfortunately injuries are part of the game,” Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. “We just feel really bad for Austin. He was having a really good off season and working hard, but we expect him to return at some point, better than ever.”

It wasn’t immediately known if the knee injury would sideline Daye for the entire 2008-09 season. Kansas guard Brandon Rush tore the ACL in his right knee in late May, 2007, but returned to game action in mid-November and helped the Jayhawks win a national championship.

Daye was one of GU’s top players last year as a true freshman and he was expected to assume a bigger role this season. Gonzaga has been ranked in the top 15 of numerous preseason polls.

Check back here for updates as more information becomes available.

Shock stay perfect on road, Gilliam sets af2 record

STOCKTON, Calif. – In the process of the Spokane Shock completing a perfect road campaign this season, Sergio Gilliam finished what he started.

Gilliam, the Shock rookie defensive back who picked off three passes in Spokane’s arenafootball2 season opener this year, picked up his league-leading 16th interception on Saturday night to break the af2 single-season record as the Shock defeated the Stockton Lightning 65-47.

You can read more below.

WSU basketball schedule filled in

If you’ve been wondering why I haven’t updated the WSU basketball schedule for 2008-09 recently, the answer is simple and two-fold: I wanted to wait for the schedule to be finished and I wasn’t going to disturb a family vacation – which includes such highlights as painting, landscaping and remodeling.

We’re still on vacation, but the last hole on the schedule has been filled in, so I am passing on the information, glares be dammed.

Aaron Dunn has moved

I’m out at the USA Softball vs. Spokane All-Stars game and ran into Aaron Dunn. He confirmed he’s verbaled to WSU for football, but the bombshell is that he’ll be doing his tight-end thing at Mead where the family has moved. Mead’s gain is Shadle Park’s loss making Class 4A a little bolder.

Shull makes three

Hey baseball fans, Trevor Shull has signed to play professional baseball. The Central Valley grad is headed to West Virginia tomorrow to play in the Appalachian League for Tampa Bay’s Rookie team. I have a story in The Spokesman-Review tomorrow. Also, for an update, when I checked today Jarek Cunningham and Bryan Peterson were tearing up the Gulf Coast League. Cunningham was hitting .412 for the Pirates and Peterson .385 for the Red Sox.

Three professional signees in one year getting it done. Speaks even louder for this year’s senior class. More tomorrow

Report: Turiaf agrees to deal with Warriors

Ex-Zag Ronny Turiaf might be on the move. The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that Turiaf has agreed to a four-year, $17 million offer from Golden State.

The Lakers have a week to match the offer to keep Turiaf, who just completed his third season in Los Angeles. He averaged career-bests of 6.6 points and 3.9 rebounds last season. He dropped to 2.0 points and 1.4 rebounds in limited duty in Lakers playoff games.

More here and here.

Back to work for Shack and the Shock

I’m back from vacation and the Spokane Shock are back to work after their bye week. I caught up with the Shock players and coach Adam Shackleford, who all enjoyed a little bit of rest last week, today at the Arena.

Receiver Raul Vijil went to San Antonio to visit family, Sergio Gilliam traveled across the country to spend eight days with his family back in South Carolina and Shackleford spent time with his family, which included a Fourth of July barbeque with friends.

No fireworks, though.

“We’ve got the little one,” said Shackleford, referring to his young son.

“My wife lets me have about three hours of fun and then it’s time to shut it down,” he joked. “She gave me that look and it was time to go.”

You can read an unedited copy of my Shock notebook, which will run in tomorrow’s section, below. Also, there will be a feature on Shock quarterback Nick Davila in Thursday’s sports section.

No stopping Minnerly

I couldn’t even jinx him with Thursday’s feature story. Minnerly’s ability to scramble, throw on the run, throw with precision, run bootleg and option-pitch and occasionally go long, coupled with clock management, proved the difference in the East’s comeback 17-14 win over the West in the All-Star Summer Classic football contest in front of a full house at Central Valley. CV’s Tyler Cochran led all tacklers with seven solo and two assists.

“Minnerly, what can you say?” said coach Dave Carson. “What a great competitor, one of the great ones to come from Spokane. He has a great knack for making plays.”

The Ferris senior enabled Gonzaga Prep’s retiring coach to go out a winner.

“That’s the way it should be,” said Carson. “No regrets. The assistant coaches did a helluva job. It was a helluva game.”

My game story for tomorrow’s Spokesman follows.

All-State Football Summer Classic

It’s hot, humid - yes, it’s summer - but football is in the air (and will be literally) when East meets West in Thursday’s High School All-State Football Summer Classic, 7 p.m. at Central Valley.

Here’s the second installment, about West receiver Cory MacKay (Eastlake), who committed to, then de-committed from the UW and signed with WSU. Tomorrow in Chapter 3, we visit with a couple of Greater Spokane League quarterbacks and future Eastern Washington University teammates Jeff Minnerly (Ferris) and Bryan Karwacki (Gonzaga Prep).

Then it’s game day. Be there. Some 50 will go on to play in college and you’ll get a sneak peak.

Shock back on top in poll

The Spokane Shock have moved back into the No. 1 spot in the Week 15 Coaches Poll, the arenafootball2 (af2) league office announced today.

Get your baseball Jones

Can’t get enough baseball? The annual American Legion wood bat tournaments are this 4th of July weekend. Games are spread among fields in Spokane and Coeur d’Alene.

Also, a couple of former North Central boys and the best of Spokane’s and Idaho’s girls basketball players are on the road for tournaments. The Girls head to Oregon City this weekend, then Seattle for the prestigious End of the Trail tournament and then Seattle’s Midsummer Night’s Madness featuring elite teams from all over the country.

The Spokane Stars Blue team has nary a Spokane player, made up of athletes from throughout Idaho and Washington, but the Red team is almost exclusively GSL and local gals. Other Spokane and Idaho stars are on several other teams, including the Northwest Blazers and North Idaho Elite.

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Jim Allen (@srjimallen) 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 (@srjimm) 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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Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

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