Want an interesting way to start your Wednesday? Sit down, make sure no one will disturb you for an hour or so and then just read on for Washington State links.
• Yes, even though it’s a Wednesday in late May, we have some links we can pass on from football to baseball to basketball and beyond. We’ll start with baseball because, after all, the Cougars are headed across the country today to play in their first NCAA Tournament since 1990. First on the agenda is John Blanchette’s column in today’s S-R about WSU’s Jay Ponciano and GU’s Tyson Van Winkle, catchers who both played at the same high school. Good stuff. … The Seattle Times’ Bud Withers has this feature on senior pitcher Matt Way, who, like so many high school baseball players, headed south to play in college. It’s just for Way, from Sitka, Alaska, south would have meant just about anywhere. It just happened to be Pullman. Way will be on the bump Friday when WSU faces Arkansas. … Moving on to football, Cougfan had the news last night that Randal Simmons’ son Matt has committed to WSU. If you don’t know Randal Simmons, he was the Washington State cornerback in the late 1970s killed in the line of duty last year with the Los Angeles Police Department. Because you have to pay for more on Cougfan, and we try not to link places that cost you money, we found this Tri-City Herald short. … The P-I’s Jim Moore has this to say about Ryan Leaf. … With the transfer of backup quarterback Justin Roper (and more, as you can see here) from Oregon, ESPN.com’s Ted Miller has this ranking of Pac-10 backup quarterbacks. … Finally, Seattle Pacific University found a replacement for former basketball coach Jeff Hironaka, now an assistant at WSU. He’s Central Valley High grad Ryan Looney.
• UPDATE: We’ve mentioned here before Klay Thompson would be trying out for the USA’s U19 team in June. What we didn’t know until today is DeAngelo Casto would be joining him at the trials in Colorado Springs. There’s more on the duo’s honor at the WSU website. They will be trying to impress a coach who has seen them play, Pitt’s Jamie Dixon, who will be assisted at the trials by a large group of college coaches, including Gonzaga’s Mark Few , as the post above details. ASU coach Herb Sendek will also be at the trials.
• That’s it for this morning. We’ll be back later in the week with more baseball items. Until then …