Last year at this time, we were wondering how many Cougars would make the Pac-10 first team (the answer: none), if WSU could get to Pac-10 tourney finals (the answer: no) and what seed WSU would get in the NCAA Tournament (the answer: four). This year there are different questions, but just as many. And they’ll start being answered today, when the Pac-10 reveals its awards. Will any Cougar be honored (the guess: yes, Klay Thompson on the all-freshman team and Taylor Rochestie somewhere on the All-Pac-10 team)? Read on for a couple links and some thoughts.
• We sat down last night and put together this story concerning the Cougars’ upcoming week, what with the matchup with Oregon set for late Wednesday night. … You know, as the Oregonian’s John Hunt says, every one will be asking this week how hard it is to defeat a team three times in one season. It wasn’t too tough for Stanford last year against the Cougs (OK, it wasn’t easy, but the Cardinal did it). … The Register-Guard’s Ron Bellamy has this piece on the Ducks. … Freelancer Howie Stalwick, in Las Vegas right now covering the WCC tournament – and putting his earnings on Oregon State to win the Pac-10 tournament (no one ever said Howie was another Warren Buffett) – has an advance of the Pac-10 for people interested in WSU and UW. … Finally, the Times’ Bob Condotta examines how UW won the conference regular-season crown. It was the Huskies defense that did it.
• How you match up with your opponent is so important in postseason play and, really, could the Cougars have done better? They know to play against Oregon and, if they play well, they can dominate the Ducks. UCLA is another story, but the game in Pullman came down to the wire and WSU did win in LA already, shooting the lights out, sure, but also not playing its best on the defensive end. So there is least a shot at a win or two and an 18-win season. That should at least mean a mid-NIT seed, what with good wins over UCLA (maybe twice), Arizona and ASU (already twice) and only a couple bad losses (Stanford and OSU).
• That’s it for this morning. We’ll be at Tony Bennett’s conference call today and at practice later, so we’ll have more this afternoon. And we’ll try to add comment about the All-Pac-10 teams and awards when they are released. Until then …