Talking with the Washington State players after the 65-54 loss to Stanford on Thursday night, there was a grudging admiration of the way the Cardinal shot. Anytime a team hits a hair under 70 percent against you from beyond the 3-point arc, there has to be at least some acknowledgement that, yes, those guys were hot. But still, all three players we had time to talk with quickly pointed the finger at the crimson uniforms. Too many open looks. Too slow on rotations. Just all around too reactive on defense, according to coach Tony Bennett. As can be expected, it was a somber group of Cougars who trudged down the Maples Pavilion tunnel and out the door to their bus. Now they have to regroup, get refocused and get ready to play a Cal team that pounded the Huskies in the second half Thursday. Read on for links.
• Usually on the day after a game, we have more of the players' thoughts to share. But with the late finish last night, our conversations were short, and we used the best of them in our game story, the long version of which you can read here, if you haven't already. One of the best comments, from senior Daven Harmeling, ended my gamer, but didn't make the newspaper story because of space considerations. "They were hungry. We were the opposite of that."
If you're hungry for more on the game, here's freelancer Howie Stalwick's story that appeared in the P-I among other papers. And here's the Bay Area view, with Jake Curtis' piece in the Chronicle and Darren Sabedra's story from the Mercury News. And if you're not sated with Pac-10 news, here's the Chronicle's story on Cal's pounding of Washington by Rusty Simmons, Andrew Greif, writing for the Arizona Republic, had this gamer on ASU keeping Oregon imperfect in conference – Herb Sendek's 300th victory – and Bruce Pascoe watched as Arizona held off Oregon State for its first road win of the year.
• There's not much more to say, other than add it would surprise the heck out of me if the Cougars don't bounce back against Cal. The Bears have been up-and-down recently (like everyone else in the Pac-10), and have slipped a little offensively against the good defensive teams. Thursday night, WSU wasn't one of those. If they want to have a chance against the Bears, it will have to be Saturday.
• That's it for now. We'll be back this evening with our advance for Saturday's game. Till then …