As we work on our Pac-10 notebook for tomorrow's S-R, thought I would take a little time and catch you up on a couple things, including this morning's practice.
• The Cougars got up early - the people that really got up early were the support staff, the equipment folks and trainers – and ran through an hour and a half practice in the indoor facility. There was some good news – defensive end Kevin Kooyman was running around better – and some bad – senior center Kenny Alfred was not going, keeping his leg straight so the stitches can heal, and tackle Tyson Pencer was in a boot, after rolling an ankle last Saturday. Yes, another offensive lineman that is out for at least a while. B.J. Guerra and Zack Williams didn't practice, but Guerra and Steven Ayers ran some today. ... With the loss of Daniel Simmons to a broken leg – he was on crutches today – the Cougars are down to three healthy cornerbacks (Brandon Jones, Terrance Hayward and Anthony Houston) this week. Coach Paul Wulff was asked about that and whether he was tempted to lift the redshirts from Nolan Washington or Anthony Carpenter. He said the coaching staff has talked about it but they want to stay the course. Wulff said Myron Beck will work more at safety, allowing Chima Nwachukwu to play more corner. He also hopes Aire Justin will be healed up enough to practice and play next week. ... So how were the attitudes of the players practicing so early? A lot better than mine. The drills seemed crisp and the players were energetic, but they cleared out in a hurry. Class or sleep? You decide.
• A couple basketball notes. We mentioned last week Xavier Thames was waiting for NCAA clearance to get back on the court. He got it Monday and will be back this week. ... Also, the MRI DeAngelo Casto had on his knee was negative so he's OK to practice as well. ... Real practice starts Friday evening.
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back later. Until then …