COUGARS • UPDATED: 2:05 P.M.
Before we head to practice, we have some notes from Ken Bone's teleconference this morning. That, and a link to an interesting circumstance in Portland last Sunday along with another football signee. Read on ...
• Heck, we're going to start with the end of the Portland State game. Bone was asked about it on the Pac-10 coaches' call this morning and didn't answer, preferring to avoid the issue. Anyhow, Seattle U. hit a 3-pointer to take an 80-77 lead over PS with .5 seconds left and, according to what I read, the entire Redhawk bench ran out onto the court. And by bench, I mean the players, not the things they were sitting on. Technical foul, right? Nope, nothing. Just restore order, give PSU the ball and give them a chance to score. (Here is the Oregonian story, though there hasn't been a rule "change" per se, just a NCAA directive on how to deal with the situation.) So you can bitch about the Oregon call some more if you want. ... Back to Bone's conference, he revealed Charlie Enquist turned his ankle at practice Monday and is doubtful for Thursday's game (Enquist will not practice today). He also said John Allen had some ice on his ankle and Abe Lodwick, who dealt with strep throat last week but missed Saturday's game due to a stomach ailment, is still not fully over the stomach problem, so he sat out as well. ... The accountability emphasis is still in place, with the goal of making sure everyone is locked in mentally. Bone took the fall for not being more demanding in this area, saying he tried to talk with players and motivate them that way a little too long. Now it's do things right or sit. And it will remain that way. ... Bone talked about the challenges Stanford present, with conference leading-scorer Landry Fields complimented by Jeremy Green. Bone did say, however, if you concentrate too much on that duo, the other Cardinal players can kill you. ... He also said he hasn't been thinking too much about the Pac-10's postseason chances, but he has thought about how important playing somewhere in the postseason would be to his team. The extra practices and games would mean more to WSU than a senior-laden team, that's for sure. ...What will it take to make the NIT? Bone feels if last year's team made it in with 17 wins, this year's squad has to win at least 19. His reasoning is sound. The Pac-10 is down enough there isn't the opportunity to get the RPI-helping wins in conference play. ... He talked about Brock Motum's play Saturday and how he's worked extra to earn playing time. I asked about Motum's weight lifting, as Bone's mentioned in the past he needs to get stronger. During the season, the emphasis for Motum is on keeping his strength, not trying to add to it. For Steven Bjornstad, however, there is a concerted effort to add strength and weight even during the season. ... And that's about it.
• Except for the next football recruit. Xavier Cooper, a 6-foot-4, 265-pound defensive end from Tacoma's Wilson High (UPDATE: high school is fixed from earlier WSU information) signed with the Cougars today. Cooper was an All-Narrows League first-team selection his senior year. If you wonder how athletic he is, he's also a basketball player, which means he must be able to move some. With Cooper signing, WSU is nearing the end of its 25 initials - as far as I can tell, if the Casey Hamlett scholarship is credited to this class, then the Cougars are at their limit without asking somebody to grayshirt and enter in the spring, which is always a possibility.
• That's all for now. We're headed to practice this afternoon and will probably put together a notebook for tomorrow. If we do, we'll have it for you this evening on the web. Until then ...