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Archive for March 2008

Eags’ spring practice opener delayed

Eastern Washington’s first-year football coach Beau Baldwin had pushed Tuesday’s scheduled start of spring practice back until Friday because of snow on the Eagles’ practice fields.

You can read more here.

Burns joins Idaho staff

Former Eastern Washington University coach Mike Burns will join new Idaho men’s coach Don Verlin’s staff.

Click the tab below to read a news release from Idaho about Burns’ hiring.

Few finalist for coaching award

Gonzaga’s Mark Few is one of five finalists for the Clair Bee Award. More here.

And Davidson’s Stephen Curry, who shot down Gonzaga, Georgetown, Wisconsin and nearly Kansas in the NCAA tournament, says he’s coming back for his junior year.

Shock take third straight season opener

Click here for a game story from Spokane’s 64-48 win over Green Bay on Sunday.

Bennett decides not to explore Indiana opening


Just got off the phone with Tony Bennett. He called to let me know - and you - that he had preliminary talks with Indiana today, but decided to tell them no, that he was staying at WSU.

• UPDATE: Read on for quick, unedited story about Bennett’s decision. There will be more in the morning.

Shock season preview

As you can tell, I forgot to post our season preview of the Shock, who open up at Green Bay on Sunday. The article ran in Saturday’s S-R.

So here it is, better late than never.

Maryland overpowers Vandy

No. 1 seed Maryland built a 15-point halftime lead and coasted to an 80-66 NCAA tournament victory Saturday at the Arena.

Click below for an unedited game story.

Reports have Indiana, others offering Bennett jobs

COUGARS • UPDATED: 8:30 A.M.; 9:10 A.M.; 12:20 P.M.

An interesting post today, with an apparently inaccurate report out of Charlotte that Indiana has offered its head coaching position to Tony Bennett. That and more on the jump.

Idaho women’s coach resigns

Mike Divilbiss resigned as University of Idaho women’s basketball coach Friday.

Click the tab below to read more.

Schedule, roughest of rough drafts

Yes, I do get your e-mails by the dozens about the Zags’ schedule for next year. So here’s what I know thus far, but it’s a work in progress and won’t be complete until dates/TV times can be worked out.

Read on below for a rough, rough draft of the 08-09 slate.

Cougars had no shot against UNC


I know most of you have commented already, but if you want more to chew on, here’s the unedited version of my game story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.

Cougars lose. Season ends.


FINAL: North Carolina 68, Washington State 47

Read on for my quick post-gamer.

UPDATED: 6:50 p.m. PDT

There’s a formula WSU needs to follow


A lot of you have posted in the past few days, most of you optimistic about WSU’s chances today. That’s great. Fans are supposed to be loyal, positive and hopeful.

We in the media, however, can’t afford such sentiments. We’re supposed to be objective and analytical. So read on for more thoughts on the game.

Idaho preps

Click here to read a notebook on Thursday’s Prep Page.

Click here to see a track preview of Post Falls, Lakeland and Timberlake in Thursday’s Prairie Voice. Click here to see a track preview of Lake City, Coeur d’Alene, Sandpoint and Coeur d’Alene Charter Academy that was published Saturday in the Handle Extra.

Video: WSU-UNC preview


Some video from Wednesday’s press conferences of Washington State’s Tony Bennett, Taylor Rochestie and Aron Baynes; and North Carolina’s Roy Williams, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington.

Please forgive the horrible audio. That’s the way the NCAA’s video feed came into my computer. I will talk to their video guys Thursday to try to get it fixed. Hopefully you’ll be able to understand everything tonight.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Bennett back in Charlotte


Hey all. Nick chiming in, here, in my role as the official “supplement articles” guy this week. Wait, that title’s not official, but you get the idea.

After the jump is my feature on Tony Bennett’s return to Charlotte, N.C., where he played when he was a backup point guard in the NBA. The story will appear in Thursday’s paper.

Also, stay tuned later for some video from today’s press conference. I had to write my article first, so the video will be here soon.

Vandals’ first practice

The Idaho football team held its first spring practice Tuesday night.

Click the tab below to see Idaho’s news release about the practice.

Cougars about to hit the court


It’s official. There are certain places in America you just can’t to from Spokane. In one day, at least. But that’s behind us and WSU’s open practice is about to start.

So I’ll post some links and call it good.

Shock updates: Rummell traded; league announces free webcasts

The Spokane Shock hit the field for their first official Green Bay practice today. The Shock take on the Blizzard this Sunday in their arenafootball2 league season opener.

Here’s the link to my story that ran today on the release of last year’s backup quarterback, Justin Rummell.

Also, here’s a story that mentions former Shock defensive back Alex Teems, who moved up to the AFL after last season. If Teems’ bold prediction in the article is true, then this release will be relevant to Spokane fans as this week the league announced that the ArenaCup title game will be hosted by the highest-seeded team with the best overall record.

One last item - which you’ll find below.

Vandal spring football

I failed to post a story we published Sunday about Idaho spring football beginning tonight at 7 (yes that’s the correct time; I had it wrong in my story).

Here’s a link to the story.

Here’s also a link to a news release from Idaho. You can also access a spring prospectus loaded with information and bios on the players.

Baldwin Era opens at EWU; Raiders sign Meyer

The Beau Baldwin Era will officially open next Tuesday when Eastern Washington’s new head football coach puts the Eagles through their first spring practice.

WSU heads off to the Queen City


Eugene O’Neill once wrote a play about getting from Spokane to Charlotte, so we’ll leave all talk about today’s journey by the side of the road. We want to look forward. To the “big collision,” as Tony Bennett called it, that is coming Thursday.

It will be a collision of styles, a collision of philosophies, a collision of one of college basketball’s haves vs. one of the, over the years, have nots, a collision of tradition and today. North Carolina. Washington State. NCAA Sweet 16. Read on for links.

Idaho - softball previews

Click here to see our softball previews of Post Falls, Lakeland and Timberline in the Prairie Voice and here to see our softball previews of Coeur d’Alene, Lake City and Sandpoint in the Handle Extra.

Let’s see, can we get it done in three loads?


Back in the Inland Northwest and you can’t believe how happy I am to be able to write that. Home is where the laundry gets done. Where the big screen is. Where the Laz-Z-Boy lives (me, in that chair). About 12 hours here then back to Pullman, back to Spokane and then outbound once again to Charlotte.

On this Easter Sunday, I’ll share some links and then call it a day. I need some time to reintroduce myself to the dog. He’s over in the corner growling at me.

Some late night links and some notes


It’s late and we have a real early flight - so there won’t be a morning post unless it comes at the airport. Tonight, we’ll link to our game story and a sidebar and column by John Blanchette.

Cougs heading to Charlotte


FINAL: WSU 61, Notre Dame 41

DENVER – Sweet 16.

That’s all you have to say.

The Washington State men’s basketball team suffocated Notre Dame in their NCAA tournament second-round game Saturday, winning 61-41.

And jumping into the tournament’s Sweet 16 for the first time in school history.

(Keep reading.)

Will the Cougars get to Charlotte?


Here we go. About two hours to game time. Read on for my thoughts on the game.

Chiefs win Game One

The Spokane Chiefs put together a pretty complete performance tonight and rode their power play to a 5-2 victory over the Everett Silvertips in the best-of-seven series opener at the Arena.

The Chiefs lead the Western Conference quarterfinal series 1-0 and are back in Western Hockey League playoff action Saturday night at 7 at the Arena. Here’s the link to my game story from Friday. You can also check out Nick Patterson’s (Everett Herald) blog - which has more perspective on the Silvertips.

Any thoughts on the Chiefs’ performance in Game One? Keep reading below to see how the opening night of playoffs went around the league.

An advance and some bonus coverage


For an unedited version of my advance that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R, click the link. At the bottom is some bonus WSU coverage, kinda like CBS’ “bonus” game coverage that seems to always take you away from the game you really wanted to watch.

Verlin hired at Idaho

Longtime Utah State assistant Don Verlin has been named Idaho’s men’s basketball coach.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story that will be published in Saturday’s newspaper.

Verlin named Idaho coach

The University of Idaho has hired longtime Utah State associate head coach Don Verlin as its men’s basketball coach, Idaho athletic director Rob Spear confirmed moments ago.

A press conference will be held Monday to introduce Verlin, 42.

Spear said he conducted four interviews in the past two days. Others interviewed were former Fresno State coach and current Idaho Stampede assistant Ray Lopes and former San Diego coach Brad Holland. Spear declined to identify the fourth candidate.

Click the tab below to read more.

Curry steals the show

Stephen Curry, son of ex-NBA shooting guard Dell Curry, made 14 of 22 shots, 8 of 10 3-pointers and 4 of 6 free throws, en route to 40 points as Davidson knocked off Gonzaga.

For more on Curry’s performance, click below in extended entry.

GSL snowed out

Every Greater Spokane League softball, baseball and soccer game scheduled for today (Friday) has been postponed. So expect five days of competition if weather cooperates next week for some schools who must reschedule reschedules.

Shock break Fever

If the Spokane Shock’s exhibition win over the Tri-Cities Fever on Thursday night offers any indication, it appears that Spokane’s arenafootball2 team is poised for a winning season.

We’ll see in the coming weeks how their 63-32 victory translates. The Shock open the regular season March 30 in Green Bay, where they take on the Blizzard - the team they defeated in the 2006 ArenaCup to win the league championship.

As you’ll see in this game story, at least one player has secured his position on coach Adam Shackleford’s roster. Stay tuned for up to six cuts by the end of today.

Cougs play role of survivor and move on to Saturday


Want to know what we had to say tonight? What, you didn’t watch? OK, I know, there is no way you can miss “Lost.” I understand. Well, to catch up on the crash that was Winthrop in the second half, read my unedited version of my game story. It’s on the link. And for all of you who asked, WSU has the early game Saturday (3:40 PDT start)

Loyal Zag fan in ACC country

Gonzaga basketball has a rabid fan in Jake Guild, who will make the short trek from his hometown of Chapel Hill to attend the GU-Davidson game Friday in Raleigh.

Read more about Guild below.

Cougars blow out Eagles in second half

UPDATED: 6:55 p.m. PDT


FINAL: WSU 71, Winthrop 40

After the jump is my quick gamer.

Gonzaga-Davidson preview

Just filed this Gonzaga-Davidson preview article for Friday’s S-R.

The unedited version is in extended entry below.

(By the way, I’ve heard ex-Zag Adam Morrison is planning on attending the game tomorrow.)

Will WSU move on up today?


Just play well. Simple advice, but it’s the cornerstone of my pregame thoughts. Read on.

For those of you out of region….


Here is this link to the WSU-Winthrop game on the CBS Web site. Some of you have mentioned long waiting times, so good luck.

Before I head to practice…

Just thought I’d let everyone know that Chiefs’ forward Drayson Bowman made the second team for the Western Conference All-Stars.

I’m heading to the Arena soon, and will have much more later, including the complete list of All-Stars.

Quarterback derby under way

The Spokane Shock take the field for the first time tonight with an exhibition game against the Tri-Cities Fever in the Yakima SunDome.

Shock coach Adam Shackleford said tomorrow will be a big cut day. Right now there are three quarterbacks vying for two roster spots (the fourth - Derek Devine - was cut last week). You can read about them in this quarterback story that ran in today’s S-R.

Curry even text messages long distance

And here’s the aformentioned Stephen Curry feature. The Davidson sharp-shooter is averaging 25.1 points per game.

Click below for an unedited version that will run in Thursday’s S-R.

Looking ahead to tomorrow’s game


It’s been a long day, though not as long as tomorrow might be. Anyhow, here is the unedited version of my advance that will run tomorrow in the S-R.

Spear sets interviews

University of Idaho athletic director Rob Spear is wasting no time in the search for a men’s basketball coach.

Click the tab below to read an unedited story that will appear in Thursday’s newspaper.

Didn’t we just pass the Kansas state line?


After driving in from the Denver airport last night, it was obvious why athletic director Jim Sterk is trying to raise money for a basketball charter: To get the team from Denver International to downtown. Heck, the bus fare must be as much as a charter from Pullman.

Of course, I’m kidding. But not about the length of the trip from airport to downtown here. No wonder the two writers from the Rock Hill paper are driving to Denver. Read on for more.

Grier receives contract extension

Bill Grier, the ex-Zags assistant coach who led San Diego to the WCC tournament title in his first season, has been rewarded with a contract extension. More here.

Thacker resigns

Lake City High boys basketball coach Jim Thacker resigned Tuesday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited story that will appear in Wednesday’s newspaper.

Wildcats, Bulldogs have some parallels

Just filed this look at Davidson for Wednesday’s S-R.

Click below for an unedited cut-and-paste version of the article.

(Also, an update on the search at Idaho, which fired George Pfeifer on Tuesday. The paragraphs below are from an on-line update filed by the S-R’s Greg Lee:

A few names that surfaced Tuesday as possible candidates were former Utah and Eastern Washington coach and current Gonzaga assistant Ray Giacoletti; WSU assistant Matt Woodley; former San Diego coach Brad Holland; Portland State coach Ken Bone, whose team won the Big Sky Conference tournament and opens against top-seeded Kansas in the NCAA tournament; Southern California assistant and former College of Southern Idaho coach Gib Arnold; and former Wyoming coach and Colorado assistant Steve McClain.

It’s believed that Giacoletti isn’t interested.

From here to Denver in 486 words


Travel day. As I write this, Winthrop has already left South Carolina and is headed to Denver. The Cougars leave this morning and the S-R contingent this afternoon.

Before we hit the road, though, here are our morning links.

Winthrop looks in the mirror and sees WSU


With very little Winthrop access today, it was a challenge to get the following story together. But we’re gamers here at SportsLink, and we pride ourselves on our ability to play through pain. So read on for my unedited Winthrop feature that will be the S-R tomorrow.

Morning sweep

Tons of reading material out there, but we’ll start with some items that I wasn’t able to fit into the article in Monday’s S-R.

Gonzaga played 13 games against 10 teams that qualified for the NCAAs. The Bulldogs were 7-6 in those games, including 2-1 vs. San Diego and 1-1 vs. Saint Mary’s. Other GU wins: Western Kentucky, Connecticut, Saint Joseph’s and the tireless Georgia Bulldogs.

Those 10 teams were a combined 243-85.

Davidson played at the RBC Center in Raleigh, site of Friday’s game, when it lost 66-65 to N.C. State on Dec. 21st. That was the Wildcats’ last loss prior to their nation’s best 22-game winning streak. Stephen Curry had 29 points (seven 3-pointers) as Davidson lost in front of 14,024 on N.C. State’s home court.

Click below for a bunch of links.

Video: WSU’s NCAA selection party


As much as you all were happy with WSU’s four seed, so were the Cougars themselves. And the fans they celebrated with Sunday afternoon at Bohler Gym on campus. Here’s my video of the event.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Winthrop first up for the Cougars


After reading through your comments, it seems like you like the matchup WSU received in the tournament bracket. And not just the first round, but beyond.

Well don’t look too far ahead. Winthrop is an athletic group with more talent than most might expect. But that being said, the first round matchup might be even better than the Cougars might have hoped for. Read on for how the day unfolded. My unedited story follows.

Zags dancing for 10th straight year

The Gonzaga Bulldogs (25-7) were awarded a seventh seed and will face No. 10 Davidson (26-6) Friday in Raleigh, N.C., in the Midwest Region. Kansas is the region’s top seed.

The Bulldogs earned their 10th straight trip to the NCAA tournament.

The Gonzaga/Davidson winner advances to meet the winner of No. 2 Georgetown/No. 15 Maryland-Baltimore County.

Check back later for more.

Ams top Chiefs for all the marbles

KENNEWICK – There will be a vacant space on the Spokane Arena wall where the Spokane Chiefs would have loved nothing more then to hang a U.S. Division banner.

But after all their success in one of the best seasons in franchise history, and a game that more than lived up to its billing, it turned out that it just wasn’t meant to be.

Blair Macaulay and T.J. Fast scored and Chet Pickard turned aside 28 shots as Tri-City edged the Spokane Chiefs in a 2-1 Western Hockey League victory that earned the Americans (52-15-2-2, 108 points) the division title, top seed in the Western Conference and home ice advantage throughout the playoffs in winning the Scotty Munro trophy for the league’s best regular season record.

A big day on Sunday


As I promised this morning, there is some time now at the airport to sit down and put together some thoughts on last night and tomorrow. Read on for both.

I hate when this happens …

But it does.

This morning we took a first look at the Spokane Shock receivers in this story.

But it has been brought to my attention that a receiver was left off that list: former Idaho Vandal Daniel Smith. You can read more about him here, and please accept my apologies for leaving him off.

Also, single-game tickets for the 2008 season go on sale on Monday at 10 a.m. Ticket prices range from $8-$40 and can be purchased through TicketsWest. The Shock’s first regular season home game is on April 5 against the Stockton Lightning.

Who and where

Many of you are wondering about the Zags’ seeding, who they’ll be up against and — for those who will board a plane to go watch — where they will play.

Me, too.

Click below for a sampling of the guesswork. UPDATED: with USA Today’s bracket.

WSU-Stanford Pac-10 tourney post-game video


From the WSU locker room at Staples Center, here are Tony Bennett, Kyle Weaver, Derrick Low, Taylor Rochestie, Robbie Cowgill and Aron Baynes talking about their Pac-10 tournament semifinal loss to Stanford on Friday night.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

Cougs can’t hold on


FINAL: Stanford 75, WSU 68

Here’s a quick post for you to get out your frustration. On to the races with the deadlines.

Will Stanford’s Xs be too big for WSU’s Os?


Can the Cougars rebound? No, not figuratively, but literally. That seems to be as good an indicator of success against the Cardinal as anything. Last night Stanford had a 50-27 “edge” on the boards against Arizona. Read on for more thoughts on tonight’s Pac-10 tournament semifinal game with Stanford.

A filling breakfast courtesy of the Cougs


Good morning. As you awaken in the Inland Northwest – hey, how’s the weather? I won’t tell you what it’s like here – you better carve out some time. The number of words you can digest this morning compares favorably with the brunch at Percy’s. So grab a plate, a fork, a cup of coffee and chow down on the links.

Stanford is waiting in the semifinals


As per my usual end-of-the-night routine, here is the unedited version of the game story, along with some Web-only notes and quotes for you.

Shock have Fever

There’s been a change in the Spokane Shock’s March 20 exhibition game in Yakima. Instead of hosting the Amarillo Dusters, the Shock will now take on the Tri-City Fever, the second consecutive season that the Shock and Fever have played an exhibition game. Tri-Cities and Spokane will play four times during the exhibition and regular season in 2008.

Two cuts were made today in training camp and one more will occur tomorrow. Released today: late addition Kamron Leonard (OL/DL) and wide receiver Daniel Robinson.

I’ll have a full report on how camp is going so far tomorrow afternoon.

Cougs move on to semifinal


This is just a quick post so you can comment.

FINAL: WSU 75, Oregon 70

The Washington State men’s basketball held on to a close victory Thursday at the Pac-10 tournament, after jumping to a 20-point lead in the first half.

The Oregon Ducks’ midpoint adjustments gave the Cougars trouble, but No. 3-seeded WSU moved on to the semifinals Friday to play the winner of Thursday’s Arizona-Stanford game.

Blogging without accountability

In a story by Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, broadcaster Bob Costas asks if it is really so great that someone can blog away without being held accountable. Plus Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban talks about his decision to deny locker-room access to those who primary job is to blog, including newspaper sports writers. Read the extended entry for the story.

Baseball’s weather woes

The rain in Spo-kane lies mainly on the baseball (and softball) fields that teams spent most of their time digging snow off.

So Thursday was washed out for most if not all. But here at any rate is today’s quick glance and predictions for ya’ll to pick apart and the accompanying feature.

Idaho - preps

I wrapped up the winter season with this column looking back on many of the accomplishments of area teams and athletes.

We started our string of spring sports preview stories with a look at the Post Falls, Lakeland and Timberlake baseball teams in the Prairie Voice. On Saturday, the Lake City, Coeur d’Alene and Sandpoint baseball teams are featured in the Handle Extra. On deck for next week: softball.

Vandal player to transfer

The Lewiston Tribune reported Thursday that Idaho sophomore Katie Madison is leaving the program.

Click the tab below to read more.

Redmon leaving Huskies

Katelan Redmon, the Lewis and Clark graduate who led the University of Washington in scoring as a freshman this past season, is leaving the program and plans to transfer, UW officials announced.
Click here for the story.

Softball start formful

After the long snowy winter made things difficult on spring sports teams, the weather was blustery but otherwise palatable during the first day of Greater Spokane League softball. And from the two games I watched parts of, things don’t appear to be much changed from last year.

Things got off to a formful start when compared to last year’s finish.

Vandals meet Aggies

The Idaho men’s basketball team opens the Western Athletic Conference tournament on Thursday.

Click the tab below to read my unedited tourney story that will be published in Thursday’s newspaper.

Zags and the NCAA

Click below to find out what we know about Gonzaga’s men’s and women’s basketball teams and the NCAA tournaments.

Day-after San Diego

Nothing like a 4:30 wake-up call to catch an early flight.

Took care of some S-R story duties this afternoon so now I can move on to the day-after San Diego post.

Read on below.

Crunch time

Leave it to the Spokane Chiefs to keep the final week of the Western Hockey League regular season completely a) relevant and b) exciting.

With 102 points and a six-game winning streak, the Spokane Chiefs enter the final week of the regular season in a tie with the Tri-City Americans for the top spot in the Western Conference. The Chiefs have played 68 games, the Americans 69 and the two will meet on Saturday night in Kennewick.

Before then each team will play twice, Spokane on Wednesday in Kamloops and on Friday at home against Portland. The Americans will play at Everett on Wednesday and host Kelowna on Friday. Saturday’s game will be the Americans final game of the regular season while the Chiefs will make up their game in hand on Sunday night in Portland.

There’s much to discuss below - you know what to do.

From now on WSU is on the road


The sun is out, the rain helped decrease the snow berms and it is going to be 78 degrees today in Los Angeles. And there is a little WSU news to pass along, so read on.

Youngsters dominate Pac-10’s choices


As promised, here is our story about the All-Pac-10 teams with the WSU perspective included. And, at the bottom, news about WSU’s NCAA selection plans. Read on.

Just a quick post

Since this might pertain to the Spokane Chiefs, I thought I would paste below the Western Hockey League’s tiebreaking procedure.

Hope everyone had a good Monday. The release is below.

Day-after Santa Clara, and other stuff

That was a busy Sunday. Gonzaga women’s game, back-to-back press conferences, Gonzaga men, San Diego goes double overtime.

After sending in the Gonzaga men’s article last night (I poked my head out of the media room at one point and it was 16-2 Saint Mary’s) I saw probably the last hour of the San Diego game. Pretty incredible turnaround by Bill Grier’s club and it looked like the Gaels got tighter with every passing second.

So round three of GU-USD tonight for the title.

More below in our day-after post. Check back here after the GU-USD game for an update.

Let the postponements begin

North Idaho baseball and softball teams are scheduled to begin games this week, but most won’t be played unless they’re in Lewiston.

Click the tab below to see what we know as of now.

My pick was broken so I used a shovel


Had to mine a lot of different veins of information this morning to run down WSU and Pac-10 news for you, in part because I’m working without e-mail access.

But despite dealing with the lack of one tool, there were still nuggets to discover, so read on.

Gonzaga-Santa Clara game story

Back with our GU-Santa Clara game story.

An unedited version that will run in Monday’s S-R follows in extended entry.

As of this posting, No. 2 Saint Mary’s leads No. 3 San Diego 48-35 midway through the second half.

Chiefs, Ams gain ground in conference race

SEATTLE – David Rutherford and Judd Blackwater scored and netminder Dustin Tokarski stopped 34 of 35 shots as the Spokane Chiefs overcame a season-low 16 shots for a 2-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday.

Zags ahead by three at half

Gonzaga overcame a jittery start, falling behind by as many as eight, to take a 28-25 lead over Santa Clara at halftime in the WCC Tournament semifinals.

Josh Heytvelt hit two 3-pointers and had nine points and Austin Daye chipped in six points and six rebounds.

Gonzaga was slowed by 10 turnovers, but managed to hit 11 of 22 shots (50 percent) and 5 of 11 3s (45.5 percent).

Calvin Johnson led Santa Clara with nine points on 3-of-4 shooting on 3-pointers.

Gonzaga women’s game story

Click below for my unedited GU women’s game story.

WSU Senior Day video


I was trying to finish up this video last night, but alas, I am only human and needed to sleep. So here, this afternoon, is the video I produced about Senior Day at Friel Court.

Get the Flash Player to see this video.

It was … wait for it … classic


ESPN will occasionally replay a game on ESPNClassic a few weeks after it was contested, condensing it a bit and dubbing it an “Instant Classic.” Of course, the title is an oxymoron, but ESPN doesn’t care. All the network cares about is if has the broadcast rights to such games.

So, oxymoron or not, you can’t call WSU’s double overtime win over Washington an “Instant Classic.” It was on FSN. And that network just calls a replay a replay. But Saturday’s game was a classic of sorts. Read on for why it should go into Cougar-Husky lore.

Utah State scorches Vandals

Utah State secured the top seed to the Western Athletic Conference tournament with a 78-58 win over Idaho.

Click the tab below to read my unedited game story.

GU to face Santa Clara; USD wins

San Diego handled Pepperdine 73-55, which sends the Toreros into a semifinal matchup with No. 2 Saint Mary’s on Sunday night.

Click below for my unedited article — which focuses on the GU-Santa Clara semifinal — that will run in Sunday’s S-R.

Zag women march into title game, WCC notes

Just went through about 90 minutes of computer torment, but, for the moment, it appears to be working again.

So, here’s an update.

First, the men’s tourney. No. 4 Santa Clara edged No. 5 San Francisco 51-50 on John Bryant’s two free throws with 3 seconds left. The Broncos will face Gonzaga in Sunday’s semifinals.

Second, the WCC will hold a press conference at 4:30 p.m. Sunday to announce that it will hold next year’s tournament at the Orleans Arena in Las Vegas. Also on the agenda: the announcement of a new WCC commissioner.

Finally, click below for an unedited game story on the Gonzaga women.

Brooks suspended

Idaho starting point guard Jordan Brooks will miss tonight’s home and regular-season finale against Utah State.

Brooks was suspended for a game for conduct detrimental to the team. A junior, Brooks leads the Vandals in scoring and rebounding.

Gonzaga women advance to title game

Gonzaga advanced the championship game of the WCC women’s basketball tournament with an 81-64 win over Saint Mary’s on Saturday.

Heather Bowman scored 26 points for the second straight tournament game. Courtney Vandersloot had 14 points, eight rebounds and eight assists. Tiffanie Shives added 10 points, five assists and four rebounds.

GU will face No. 4 San Diego, which defeated Santa Clara 72-66.

Check back for the game story in about 90 minutes.

Shock add former All-American

The Spokane Shock added another player - wide receiver Patrick Bugg - on Friday in time for the start of training camp.

The Shock hit the field tomorrow for the first practice of the season. A total of 34 players will be battling for 22 roster spots.

WSU streaks across the rivalry landscape


The streak. Six consecutive WSU wins. The longest ever. First time since World War II.

That’s all anybody wants to talk about … this morning. The senior stuff? That’s so yesterday. Now it’s time to think about the game and how important it is. Hence the importance of the streak. Read on.

WCC men’s tournament, Day 1

Pepperdine held off Portland 50-48 in overtime on Friday night to conclude the first day of the WCC men’s basketball tournament at the Jenny Craig Pavilion.

Click below for an unedited article on Pepperdine’s win and San Francisco’s victory over Loyola Marymount.

State 2A - Cheney, Pullman go for fourth

Cheney’s boys and Pullman’s girls will play for fourth place Saturday in the State 2A basketball tournament in the Tacoma Dome.

The Blackhawks had balanced scoring from four players, Griffin Jones and Daniel Igbinoba scoring 12 each and DeAngelo Jones and Brandan Hardie with 11 apiece in a 59-49 win over River Ridge. They play Lynden at 1:30 p.m.

The Greyhounds beat Tumwater 54-43 with Shelby Cheslek scoring 13 points and Kirsi Voshell scoring 12. They face Othello, also at 1:30 p.m.

Season ended for Clarkston boys, who lost 55-43 to Lynden and West Valley girls, who lost 58-38 to Othello despite 18 points from freshman Hannah Love.

The Huskies come to Pullman to finish season


As I promised this morning, if you read on you will find the unedited version of my advance for Saturday’s paper, some quotes from Tony Bennett on each of the seniors who will be playing their final game tomorrow and some stats of the same players.

Trojans keep the pressure on WSU


USC did its part. The Trojans held on in overtime to defeat Cal and tie WSU for third in the Pac-10 (for now). With that, the Cougars need to win Saturday afternoon to assure the third seed in the conference tournament next week.

They also need to win if they want to sweep Washington for the third consecutive year. Read on for more on that, and the Pac-10 race.

Peters gets three-year extension

Sorry, I was away from my computer for awhile today and this is the first chance I’ve gotten to post, but there’s good news to share.

The Spokane Chiefs announced that head coach Bill Peters has signed a three-year contract extension that will keep him on the bench through the 2010-11 season. Peters is in the third year of a three-year deal that he originally signed prior to the 2005-06 season.

Read on for the rest of the release.

State 2A - tough day for GNL

It was a tough day for Great Northern League teams at the State 2A tournament in Tacoma.

All six teams lost games today, four dropping into the consolation bracket and two others eliminated.

GU women set for tourney

We’ve had a few stories involving the Gonzaga women, who play Pepperdine in the first round of the WCC Tournament in a couple of hours (1510-AM on your radio dial, pregame 1:30 p.m.).

The Bulldogs swept every WCC honor (complete list on the league site), led by MVP Heather Bowman, the subject of a feature today.

The Pac-10 honors are out, with Briann January earning Defensive Player of the Year, a new award for the league.

We also talked about their chances should they get upset in the league tournament. Keep reading for more on that.

Calling all skiers and boarders

This post isn’t about Cougars or Zags or Saxons or Tigers, but we figure there has to be some skiers and boarders among you. If you have played in the snow at our area ski resorts, we want your opinion. Click here for Bill Jennings’ ski column and let him know what you think of the area hills.

Chiefs breeze past Portland

A week of rest, and upon return, little relaxation.

Jared Spurgeon scored a goal and added three assists, Mitch Wahl scored a pair of goals and added two helpers and Chiefs captain Chris Bruton finished with three points – a goal and two assists – as Spokane skated to a 5-1 Western Hockey League victory over the Portland Winter Hawks in front of a larger-than-usual Wednesday night crowd of 4,660 at the Arena.

GU week ahead; Around the WCC

This will run on the Four Corners college basketball page in Thursday’s S-R, but you can read my GU contribution if you click below.

Eags’ Williams named to All-BSC second team

Eastern Washington’s Kellen Williams has been named to the second team All-Big Sky Conference men’s basketball team that was announced this afternoon.

You can read more about Williams and what first-year Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine had to say about his senior forward here, and you can get more details on the all league team and other individual award winners here.

Idaho - District I All-Star games

Click the tab below to read more about the annual District I All-Star basketball games for area seniors that will be played Friday at Mullan.

State 2A girls - Pullman/WV advance

Pullman’s girls have advanced to the second round of the State 2A tournament in Tacoma, but their foe won’t be Clarkston.

The Greyhounds built a nine-point lead through three quarters and won 57-51 over Anacortes.
Clarkston’s girls were outscored 32-22 in the second half and lost their 59-49 to Prosser.

On the other side of the bracket, West Valley built a huge lead around its freshman standouts and weathered a fourth-quarter comeback to beat Eatonville 36-31

WCC notes

It sounds as if the WCC presidents vote on Saturday is essentially a formality (see previous post), which isn’t really a surprise. The WCC Tournament appears headed to Las Vegas, beginning in 2009, according to a Nevada newspaper.

An announcement is expected Sunday.

Santa Clara coach Kerry Keating is optimistic Brody Angley, who suffered a concussion in Monday’s loss to Gonzaga, will be able to play in the WCC Tournament.

A CT-scan was negative, Keating said. “They want him to wait two days to let his head clear. He did seem to retain some of the events from weekend, but he doesn’t remember getting hit.”

More here.

Eagles’ big effort comes up short in season finale

Eastern Washington closed its 2007-08 men’s basketball season with a 76-74 road loss to Big Sky regular-season champion Portland State on Tuesday night.

You can read the game story that ran in Wednesday morning’s S-R here, and you can get more details and additional post-game quotes from Eagles coach Kirk Earlywine from this story posted on EWU’s website.

More Shock transactions

I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait for the press release frenzy to end and the season to begin. That said, the Spokane Shock added a player and released one on waivers today.

The links are below, which includes two I forgot from a week and a half ago.

Pargo named WCC player of the year

Gonzaga junior guard Jeremy Pargo was named the WCC player of the year, the conference announced Tuesday afternoon.

Gonzaga’s Mark Few and Saint Mary’s Randy Bennett shared coach of the year honors. Saint Mary’s Diamon Simpson was named top defensive player and the Gaels’ Patty Mills was voted top newcomer.

Pargo was joined by teammates Matt Bouldin and David Pendergraft on the first team. Other first-teamers were Santa Clara’s John Bryant and Brody Angley, San Diego’s Brandon Johnson and Gyno Pomare, San Francisco’s Dior Lowhorn and Saint Mary’s Mills and Simpson.

GU’s Austin Daye and Steven Gray joined San Diego’s Rob Jones, Saint Mary’s Mills and Pepperdine’s Malcolm Thomas on the All-Freshman team. Daye also received All-WCC honorable mention, along with Saint Mary’s Omar Samhan and Pepperdine’s Thomas.

Here’s the release from the WCC.

More later.

Day-after Santa Clara

I’ve watched nearly all of the replay of Gonzaga’s 88-54 win over Santa Clara on Monday night.

Deadline on an 8:30 start wiped out most of my opportunity to interview players and coaches afterward, but we’ve got plenty for our usual day-after post.

Also, All-WCC honors will be announced at 1:05, so I’ll post those as they become available.

Idaho - all-IEL boys

The Inland Empire League boys basketball coaches have announced their all-league teams.

Click the tab below to read more.

Shock kick off camp Saturday

It’s almost indoor football time. The Spokane Shock have been busy with transactions - additions, subtractions and a retirement - in getting prepared to open training camp this Saturday.

Read below for some links.

Whits get first-round bye

Whitworth University has received a first round bye in the NCAA Division III tournament and will host the winner of a Thursday night game between Pomona-Pitzer Colleges and Occidental College on Saturday at 7:00 p.m. Click here for the rest of the release.

Just a sprinkle of Cougar news


There is a chance of rain today, but there will probably be nothing more than a few showers, sort of like today’s WSU news on the Web. You would always like a downpour, but, on a Monday like this, with only one game on Saturday, a drizzle will have to do.

The Cougars have today off from practice, which means there won’t be much of anything until Wednesday at the earliest. To see what we’ve found this morning, read on.

Gonzaga-Santa Clara preview; WCC tourney scenarios

OK, we’re operating in reverse today.

Click below for a link to my unedited GU-Santa Clara preview that will run in Monday’s paper. There’s also some info on WCC tournament seeding scenarios.

And come back in about an hour for our day-after Saint Mary’s post.

Before moving around the country, here’s links to Saturday’s loss


As I sit in the Oakland airport, waiting for my Southwest flight to board – got a pretty decent number in my pocket today – I’ve scanned around the Net and found about all there is to find concerning the Cougars’ loss Saturday.

When the schedule came out, it seemed weird the last week of the season would contain just one game and a bunch of days off. Now it seems crucial. The Cougs can regroup, refresh and restart before next Saturday’s emotional senior day with UW.

Vandals win again!

The Idaho men’s basketball team made it two road wins in a row.

Click the tab below to read the story provided by Idaho’s sports information department.

Zags-Gaels game story

Click below for a my unedited Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s game story.

Gonzaga tops Saint Mary’s 88-76

Matt Bouldin scored 21 points and Jeremy Pargo had all 18 of his points in the second half as No. 24 Gonzaga defeated No. 25 Saint Mary’s 88-76 on Saturday.

Gonzaga secured no worse than a share of the WCC title _ its eighth straight _ and it can win the crown outright with a victory over Santa Clara on Monday.

Back with the game story in about 90 minutes.

Stanford rallies, prevails 60-53


The second half was all Stanford and so was the final score, 60-53. The Cougars scored 20 points in the second half.

We’ll be back in a while with our game story.

Next up, 3A-2A state

There are some happy coaches earlier this week and friday following the outcome of district and regional 2A and 3A state qualifying.

Idaho - state tourney notebook

Here are some leftovers from Friday’s 5A state semfinals (and this ain’t meatloaf!).

Click the tab below to read more.

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SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.


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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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Sean Kramer Sean Kramer 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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