Advertise Here


WSU battles Pauley’s ghost


Understatement of the decade: Washington State doesn’t have much luck in Pauley Pavilion. OK, now that’s out of the way, let’s look at today’s game. Read on.


• Here’s another understatement: WSU’s postseason chances are pretty slim. That being said, and we’ll use it as an argument later why the Cougars will be playing their freshmen more and more, there is opportunity in the way the schedule sets up. Every team Washington State plays from here on out in the regular season is ranked – UCLA, Arizona State and Washington – or playing as well as anyone in the country – Arizona. Such competition allows the Cougars to make a huge splash nationally if they can pull and upset or two. With such a win on their resume, one of the postseason tournaments would probably come calling, especially if the wins allow them to stay around the .500 mark.

But the only upset WSU has been able to post this season was against Arizona State in Tempe, and that one might have been more of a product of Klay Thompson having an career night and a good matchup for the Cougars. UCLA doesn’t present that opportunity. The Bruins play pressure man-to-man, not zone like ASU. The UCLA bigs, especially Nik Dragovic, can shoot the 3, something the Sun Devils’ posts just don’t do. And Pauley Pavilion is not Wells Fargo. They make a little noise here. But there is a heck of a reward available if WSU puts together the type of game its capable of and upsets the Bruins.

• And it would even be better if Thompson, DeAngelo Casto, Marcus Capers, Mike Harthun and/or Charlie Enquist have a part in it. Just playing here has to help the youngsters down the road, but winning here, contributing here, having success here, would help even more. Remember the shooting exhibition Derrick Low put on here at the end of last year’s game? There is no way he does that as a freshman and there’s no way he does that without having played here a couple times before. With little chance of a postseason reward for the seniors, the Cougars need to start looking to next year and beyond. Every minute the young guys get here, at UW, against the Arizona schools, allow the coaching staff to make evaluations of what they need to improve, allow the players memories to draw on as the work over the spring and summer.


• Well, we’ll know more in a few hours. We’ll post at halftime with an update then hit here again at the end of the game. Until then …

Please keep it civil. Don't post comments that are obscene, defamatory, threatening, off-topic, an infringement of copyright or an invasion of privacy. Read our forum standards and community guidelines.

You must be logged in to post comments. Please log in here or click the comment box below for options.

comments powered by Disqus
« Back to SportsLink

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

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.


Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.


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.

Recent work by Jim

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.

Recent work by Chris

Sean Kramer Sean Kramer is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

Recent work by Sean

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
Advertise Here