Good morning. Hope there wasn't too much ice on the windshield this morning, or snow on the ground (for those of you reading this in Arizona, well, I can't write the words going through my head). It was a little cold last night in Pullman, but that doesn't really matter. It's basketball season and all the important stuff occurs indoors. Read on for more of that important stuff (yes, my vocabulary shrunk over the holidays).
• We've got one fun Washington State story for you this morning. It's from the Bend Bulletin and it's a profile of former Mountain View High star, and current WSU starter, Abe Lodwick. ... And that's it, Cougar-wise, other than to say Ferris High quarterback Connor Halliday reaffirmed his commitment to WSU on Cougfan again. Really, why worry? There's nothing anyone can do about it. As Pete Carroll said earlier this year, commitments are like being engaged. The marriage comes in February. And folks, there's always a heck of a lot of flirting going on among the engaged but a great majority of them still walk down the aisle. ... Back to hoops. The Ducks, who open Pac-10 play Thursday here, improved their winning streak to four with a 73-53 home victory over Arkansas- Pine Bluff. Big old Michael Dunigan had a career-high 26. ... Cal also won another nonconference game, 85-51 over Utah Valley State in the Golden Bear Classic (George Raveling's definition of a "classic:" When a coach invites three teams he knows he can beat). The Bears finish up tonight against UC Santa Barbara. Expect the Bears to win that as well. ... The coaching change at USC really altered the future of two Pac-10 schools. ... Finally, Arizona is still stinging from Monday night's rout at home at that hands of BYU. Which brings up two questions: Why isn't BYU (13-1) ranked and which conference is better this season, the Mountain West or the Pac-10? Just wondering.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back later with our Pac-10 preview and some notes from coach Ken Bone's press conference and practice. Until then ...