We have some football news for you before tonight’s game, then we’ll get into our thoughts about Cal. Read on.
• On Monday I checked on the status of a couple of WSU football players who had been suspended last season. At that time, coach Paul Wulff expressed the feeling that Toby Turpin, who missed the final two games, and Kevin Norrell, who had been out for most of the year, would be reinstated quickly. Well, Turpin has been. He met with the coaches this week and will be back on the field in the spring. But Norrell, by his own accord, won’t be. The sophomore receiver has decided to drop out of school and stay in California to be with his family. According to his father in an email to the WSU Football Blog, said the Norrell family needs Kevin closer to home right now. Kevin Norrell told receivers coach Mike Levenseller the same thing. Wulff understands. “We fully support Kevin and his family’s decision,” Wulff said Thursday. It’s my understanding Norrell was ready to rejoin the team, having just to talk with Wulff and convince him that he was excited about playing and ready to follow team guidelines. Norrell missed the season following an early Labor Day morning arrest. He later pled guilty to first-degree negligent driving. He leaves WSU in good academic standing.
• Now for Cal. I don’t believe there is a tougher matchup in the Pac-10 for WSU. A win tonight would be a big deal. Why? Mainly because Cal can throw three perimeter scorers at you and the Cougars have trouble guarding that many this season. Marcus Capers can guard, there’s no doubt about that. But Klay Thompson and Reggie Moore are up-and-down at best, due not to any athletic deficiencies but an inability to stay focused on both ball and man during the course of a possession. With Mike Montgomery’s ability to pick the right play to attack weaker defenders, the Cougars could be in trouble. If they stay in man. Which is why I expect about 5 minutes of man, then a switch to zone, something Cal struggled to attack against UCLA. Unless Moore and Thompson step up and play tough defense. … I also expect Patrick Christopher to body up with Thompson a lot tonight, though he might guard Capers and give help to Theo Robertson on Thompson. We’ll see. … One last thing. This is one game in which DeAngelo Casto has to come to play and not get into foul trouble. If he does, with the size of the Cal posts, it could be a long night.
• That’s it for now. We’ll be back at halftime. Until then …