After eight games this season, Washington State is 7-1. That’s a simple statement that makes it clear the Cougars are playing pretty good basketball. But let’s put it into perspective. How many times in the past 20 years other than this one has WSU started 7-1 or better? The answer is five. And in four of those years, the Cougars made the postseason – 1991-92 (NIT), 1993-94 (NCAA), 2006-07 (NCAA) and 2007-08 (NCAA). In that time span, only in 1996-97, under Kevin Eastman, did WSU start 7-1 and not make a postseason tournament. That team lost 8 of its last 10 and finished 5-13 in the Pac-10. Read on for more.
• Washington State: After re-reading my story from last night’s game, one point might not been as clear as I would have liked. The slow start was not from lack of effort but more so from a lack of focus. The clearest manifestation of that was the number of cheap reach fouls the Cougars picked up, something they haven’t been saddled with all year. The fouls limited the aggressiveness of some players, most notably DeAngelo Casto and Klay Thompson. As the game wore on, they had to be wary of going inside offensively and being physical defensively. … John Blanchette had this column concerning the Cougars appearance in Spokane. … A couple of other views of the game, from CougCenter, Cougfan and Ryan Collingwood in Lewiston. … The Associated Press short story.
• Around the Pac-10: ESPN.com’s Ted Miller opens his mailbag as we enter the awards and bowl seasons. … Bud Withers had trouble with his Heisman vote. … Larry Scott was out selling next year’s conference championship game and feeling out possible TV partners. … Washington: The Huskies’ hoop team are on the road in an opponent’s arena for the first time this season. … The Huskies’ football team are back to practice. … Oregon State: Highly touted recruit Roberto Nelson will get to play Sunday. … Oregon: LaMicheal James is not a big fan of heights. … California: Bad feet can stop you in your tracks. That statement comes from personal experience. So I know it’s really tough to play basketball with them. … Stanford: Nothing here. … USC: The Cam Newton saga has to help the Trojans’ NCAA appeal. … UCLA: The Bruins lose a prized basketball recruit after less than 10 games. … Arizona State: Jamelle McMillan is not happy with how he is playing. … Arizona: The Wildcats get another shot at BYU’s Jimmer Fredette, who torched them for 49 points last season.
• That’s all for this morning. We’ll be back sometime soon with some thoughts and a little personal news. Until then …