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Archive for October 2010

More on WSU’s loss in Tempe


COUGARS • UPDATE: 7:30 P.M.

We’ve put together our follow on the Arizona State defeat and we can pass that along. But we also have a few more thoughts that hit us on the plane home, along with more from Washington State coach Paul Wulff from his Sunday night press conference, so read on.

Washington football play-in games

Click the tab below to see the matchups for Eastern Washington prep football teams in play-in games this week.

‘Roadkill’ describes Chiefs’ big win

The Regina Leader Post doesn’t have the stories posted from the Chiefs’ 11-1 drubbing of the Regina Pats but reporter Greg Harder shared his stories with us - one on the game, the other on Tyler Johnson’s return to Saskatchewan, a golden memory fo him. They’re on the extended entry.

WSU’s loss to ASU, the day after


COUGARS

We know you didn’t have a chance to watch the game yesterday, but we have some thoughts we want to share. We also have all your links. And all this is coming to you from Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix, as we wait for the flight to Portland and beyond. Read on.

Hawaii rolls past Idaho, 45-10

If you’re an Idaho fan who missed the Vandals’ late-night matchup at Hawaii, well, you didn’t miss many positive developments. Read on for our story.

Hawaii laying it on Vandals

If only the Vandals could restart the second quarter. Idaho played Hawaii even for all but the last few seconds of the first quarter, when UH scored to take a 10-3 lead. Then the Warriors started pouring it on. Idaho’s three first-half turnovers led to 21 points for Hawaii, which leads 31-3 at halftime.

Nathan Enderle threw two interceptions to set up UH touchdowns, then Daniel Hardy lost the ball in the flat after a short reception. Hawaii recovered and raced 50-plus yards for a score.

You can follow my in-game updates on Twitter here.

WSU starts flat, gets flattened by ASU


COUGARS

Once again we’re going to have to try to find our way out of a dark and locked stadium. But at the end of the rainbow is a cold drink and the ability to forget what I just watched. Anyhow, we have some notes and links, so read on.

ASU leads WSU 28-0 at halftime


COUGARS

A quick post because we have a lot to do at halftime today. The Washington State defense just can’t get off the field on third down, as ASU has converted 5 of 7 times on either third or fourth down to keep drives alive. … WSU has moved the ball OK after an ice-cold start, but Jeff Tuel hasn’t been sharp at all, throwing a couple of bad interceptions and missing an open Wilson for what would have been a score. In his defense, however, ASU’s defensive line, led by freshman Junior Onyeali, has been in his face all game. No sacks, but a lot of hurries and pressures. We’ve tweeted the stats. More later.

Idaho state football pairings

Click the tab below to see the Idaho state high school football pairings.

A third state championship

UPDATED

Coeur d’Alene senior Kinsey Gomez did something no other Idaho 5A runner has done - she captured a third state championship today at the state cross country finals. Also, the Coeur d’Alene boys, second a year ago, took third. Gomez (19 minutes, 01.92 seconds) was as dominating Saturday as she was a year ago, winning by more than 32 seconds. In 3A, Timberlake’s girls defended their state title and Timberlake sophomore Ashly George, third last year, was second (20:50.60).

Gomez is pictured above.

More later including Washington state-qualifying results.

A couple hours to WSU/ASU kickoff


COUGARS

One thing you don’t need this week is a coat. It’s warm in Tempe, not as much as it could be, but pretty darn warm. We don’t have to worry about that, though. But we have other things to cover, so read on.

No Walter, WSU isn’t on TV today


COUGARS

The second-longest Pac-10 trip for Washington State’s athletic teams is here, with only the jaunt down Interstate 10 to Tucson longer. But the Cougar football team’s trip to Phoenix last night was even longer than usual with the weather delay and extra bus trip. No matter what, though, the game will be played today at 4 p.m. You can’t watch it, but you can listen and follow along with our tweets. For now, though, read on.

Major test vs. Hawaii awaits Idaho

Last year, Idaho played one of its most complete games in silencing Hawaii. But that was in Moscow — far away from Honolulu and the Warriors’ Aloha Stadium. UH is always much tougher at home, and it’s playing much better now than at this point in 2009.

The Vandals and Warriors will square off at 8:30 Pacific. We’ve got more below.

Chiefs lose in Moose Jaw

The Spokane Chiefs lost on the road and it sounds like they were lucky it was only 3-2. We have the story from Moose Jaw below.

Ferris tops G-Prep, CdA wins

A couple of great ballgames tonight. Ferris captures Greater Spokane League championship 38-13 over Gonzaga Prep while top-ranked Coeur d’Alene held off upset-minded Lake City 19-14. Click here to read the Ferris/G-Prep story and click here to read CdA/LC.

WSU fashionably late to Phoenix


COUGARS

Now that the Washington State football team has made it to Arizona – we have more on the link – we feel ready to put up an evening post. Read on.

GU women not ranked

Gonzaga women are just outside the Top 25 in the preseason AP poll. It’s 1-2 UConn and Baylor, which play an early-season game. LThat game is the Tuesday before Stanford visits McCarthey on Sunday (Nov. 21) so the Cardinal are still likely to be ranked No. 3 - still the highest-ranked team to visit. Tennessee is No. 4 and Xavier, which knocked the Bulldogs out in the Sweet 16 last March, is No. 5. Notre Dame, which meets GU in Seattle after Christmas, is No. 12. North Carolina, elminated by GU in the opening round of the NCAA tourney, is No. 15. The Tar Heels play WSU and could meet GU in Hawaii over Thanksgiving. Texas A&M, eliminated by GU in the second round, is No. 8. My vote is below.

Monster game for local seniors Lexi Bishop (Shadle Park) and Kelli Valentine (Mead) in Portland State’s exhibition game.

The latest “stink” between Tennessee and UConn. It’s a stink because of 24-7 sports and the internet.

Finishing up for our special college basketball special section, which will be on your doorstep in a week.

WSU on the way to Tempe


COUGARS

Took the 7 a.m. flight to Seattle – booked for 10, but my ride to the airport has to be to work by 6, so 7 a.m. standby it was – so this is a hair later than usual because I was too crowded to type on the plane. But now we have a bit of time, so we can catch up. We have links, notes from practice and Paul Wulff’s press conference, and other stuff, so read on.

Zettle 8th all-time

University clipped Mead in overtime last night and Titans running back Jory Zettle finishes eight all-time in single season rushing at 1,458 yards. Also, Mt. Spokane topped North Central. More here. Tyler Green of Mt. Spokane is pictured above.

Holy Cow! The Holy Bowl

The first football meeting between DeSales and Tri-Cities Prep takes place Friday, and they’ve dubbed it the Holy Bowl. Read here in the Tri-City Herald.

WSU picked fifth in Pac-10 basketball


COUGARS • UPDATED: 1:30 P.M.; 4:10 P.M.

A quick post to let you know what we’ve tweeted already. Washington State was picked fifth in the Pac-10 men’s basketball media poll. The order: 1. Washington; 2. Arizona; 3. UCLA; 4. Arizona State; 5. WSU; 6. USC; 7. defending champion California; 8. Oregon State; 9. Stanford; 10. Oregon. Read on.

GU ranked 12th in A.P. poll

Gonzaga, ranked No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today preseason poll released last week, is also No. 12 in the A.P. preseason poll. Duke holds down the top spot. More here.

Also, Steven Gray is acting up again, and this time so is Kelly Olynyk. More here.

Thursday Prep Page

PREPS

You know the routine. Click tab below to see today’s menu.

A congested Thursday at WSU


COUGARS

Thursdays aren’t usually all that busy on the Washington State beat. A story or two, a Paul Wulff press conference, football practice, a blog post or two and, if there’s a road game on the weekend, a drive to Spokane. But today we throw in the Pac-10 basketball media day, which we’ll be following from here in Pullman, and things get a little crowded. So let’s get to the morning post. You can read on.

Chiefs win big over PG

The Spokane Chiefs are hitting the road with a little jump in their step, whipping Prince George 7-3. The complete box is below. Here is the story.

Ex-Zags Daye, Turiaf open NBA season

Former Bulldogs’ Austin Daye and Ronny Turiaf had mixed results in their NBA season-openers.

Daye started and played 21 minutes, but only had four points (2 of 8 shooting) and three boards as Detroit blew a seven-point lead in the final two minutes and lost to New Jersey. More here, here and box here.

Turiaf came off the New York Knicks bench and scored eight points, grabbed four boards, blocked four shots and had two steals in 23 minutes. He left in the fourth quarter of the Knicks’ win with a sore back after accidentally colliding with teammate Amar’e Stoudemire. Turiaf also took a flagrant elbow to the face from the Raptors’ David Andersen. More here, here, here and box here.

WAC close to adding Texas schools

Texas State and Texas-San Antonio appear on the verge of becoming football members of the Western Athletic Conference, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The two Texas schools, currently in the Football Championship Subdivision, would join by 2012. Montana is also a possibility to join the league, which splintered this summer, but the Grizzlies are still conducting a feasibility study of jumping from the FCS to the Football Bowl Subdivision. 

Meanwhile, Nevada and Fresno State will stay with the league through the 2011-12 school year and pay a smaller exit fee, ESPN.com’s Andy Katz reported. The WAC has scheduled a press conference to discuss the issue tomorrow morning.

The league seems intent on keeping at least eight football members. ESPN and the Mercury News also reported that the University of Denver and Seattle are strong candidates to join the WAC as non-football playing members.

 

Shock will open title defense in San Jose

The AFL schedule was released Wednesday and Spokane learned that it will visit San Jose to open the 2011 season.

More here and here.

And more below.

Physical play returns to WSU practice


COUGARS

The pads were on today, at least the shoulder pads, so Washington State did a bit of hitting at practice. Not a lot, but enough to know the Cougars are ready for Saturday’s game at Arizona State. Read on.

All-Area teams

For years I’ve done All-North Idaho teams for football, boys and girls basketball, volleyball, soccer and wrestling. And we’ll continue to do those. It’s like a franchise that we’ve owned and the coaches have bought into it, too. It’s a step above all-league but a step below all-state if you know what I mean. A great honor for the athletes. Participation has been fabulous.

I got to thinking, though - and that’s always dangerous when a sports writer starts thinking. What if there were All-Area teams for the Inland Northwest. Who would be candidates in football, volleyball, etc.

Give it some thought and tell us who would be on those teams and why. For example, is Bishop Sankey not the best running back in the region if not the state of Washington? Who’s the best quarterback - regardless of classification or league? Let me know.

A Giant post about WSU


COUGARS • UPDATED: 1 P.M.

You know, it’s kind of funny. I never knew how many Giants fans lived around here until this week. It’s World Series time, the Giants have pitched themselves into it and all of a sudden all these folks are rooting for them. Interesting. As for Washington State, we have notes and links, so read on.

Katie Baker back big for Grizzlies

Working on women’s basketball preview for next week before heading off to a hockey game. No doubt we’ll stumble into a number of things to share with you on this post, so keep checking back.

Swishappeal website looks at Gonzaga and star Courtney Vandersloot, who is doing a blog for the GU website. Speaking of blogs, Eastern sharpshooter Kayla Evans is reviving hers and it’s quite well done. I believe I tweeted (SRtrim) in the past that Northern Arizona senior Jenna Gallway (Ferris) is also writing.

Sometime today the West Coast Conference will shock us with the announcement that Gonzaga is favored to win the WCC championship, as the Bulldogs have done the past six seasons. Any guesses to who will join Vandersloot on the preseason all-league team?

 

Montana had it’s intrasquad scrimmage last night and Katie Baker (Lake City) was back in full force (read what coach Robin Selvig said here about Baker before the game, plus check this out on the baseball nut coach), 25 points in a losing effort. Her first game since blowing an ACL at Eastern last year. Unfortunately, no sign of Misty Atkinson (Clarkston), who has battled injuries her whole career.

Chiefs regroup to face PG

In their last outing the Spokane Chiefs lost 4-2 to Red Deer and it wasn’t their best effort. Coach Don Nachbaur let them know but that doesn’t mean all is lost. We’ll find out tonight if they learned anything when they face the Prince George Cougars to end a six-game homestand. It’s the last home game for two-plus weeks. We’ll report every goal via Tweet (SRtrim) and have the story on the blog afterwards.

 

WSU plays it cool at practice


COUGARS

There is a line in the musical “Oklahoma” about the wind whistling down the plains. In the Palouse the only thing that the wind whistles down is your neck. OK, I wanted to say something a little more derogatory, but bit my tongue. Didn’t feel any pain, though, because it was frozen. … But I jest. Yes, it was cool in the football field Tuesday, cooler than it needs to be in late October, but former Cougar Kenny Alfred was in shorts and a light jacket, so it couldn’t have been well-digger-rear-end cold. It just seemed that way to us old folks watching practice. We have notes from the practice and Paul Wulff’s press conferences, delayed some from the icicles on my fingers. Again I jest, so read on.

GU to host NCAA women again in 2012

Gonzaga is one of 16 sites the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee announced for the first round of the 2012 NCAA Tournament.

The Bulldogs are hosting the 2011 tournament in March and have already sold more than 2,100 all-session packages. Washington State is the host for the 2011 West Regional at the Arena the following weekend.

The 2012 regionals are at Des Moines, Iowa; Fresno, Calif.; Kingston, R.I., and Raleigh, N.C.

First round sites are below.

Busy week in prep sports

Click the tab below for a quick look at what’s on tap this week in high school sports.

Former Chief Ryan honored

Former Spokane Chief and Spokane native Derek Ryan, a forward for the University of Alberta Golden Bears, scored eight points in two games at home against the Lethbridge Pronghorns last weekend, including three straight goals and six points in the first game, en route to a pair of wins for Alberta. He was named University Player of the Week.

On Friday, the fourth-year player scored three straight goals to break open a 1-1 tie, beginning midway through the first period, tallying on the power-play, at even-strength, and on a 5-on-3 penalty kill. He then assisted on the next three Alberta goals to make the score 7-1 after two periods before the Bears won by an eventual score of 8-2.

Ryan started the scoring on Saturday evening for the home team when the Bears were down 2-0 early.  His goal and assist knotted the game at two goals apiece in the first period, preceding an offensive outburst by both teams, which finalized with a 9-6 score for Alberta.

He is tied for the Canada West scoring lead with teammate and former Chief Chad Klassen with 16 points.

 

Chiefs deal Cratsenberg

The Spokane Chiefs have traded seldom used forward T.C. Cratsenberg to Chilliwack for a conditional eight-round pick in the 2012 Bantam Draft.

Originally a sixth-round pick out of Federal Way, Wash., in 2007, Cratsenberg has appeared in just five of the Chiefs’ 10 games this year and only 25 last year. In those games he had just one assist but 55 penalty minutes.

“Considering the dynamics of our current roster T.C. was going to have a tough time getting the ice time that he deserved,” Chiefs General Manager Tim Speltz said. “Hopefully he can take advantage of the opportunity in Chilliwack. We wish him the best of luck.”

GU favored again

Gonzaga is favored to win its 11th consecutive conference title, according to the WCC coaches’ preseason poll released Tuesday. The Bulldogs received six first-place votes and 48 of 49 possible points. 

Loyola Marymount is picked to finish second, followed by Saint Mary’s and Santa Clara. LMU and Saint Mary’s each earned one first-place vote. Coaches are not permitted to vote for their own team.

GU senior Steven Gray and sophomore Elias Harris were selected to the 10-player All-WCC team.  

More here.

An early Tuesday post on WSU, Pac-10


COUGARS

Some times 6:30 in the morning arrives earlier than other times. This was one of those earlier times. But it’s here, you’re there and we have links and notes, so read on.

Then & Now: Scott McGlocklin

Here’s a Then & Now feature I did on former Mead football standout Scott McGlocklin that will run in Tuesday’s newspaper. You can read it here. McGlocklin is pictured above at his office at Bouten Construction where he’s a project manager.

WSU heads to bubble to prepare for ASU


COUGARS

For the first time this season, the Washington State Cougars took football practice into the bubble. Which, all of the assembled observers agreed, was a really good thing. Warmth, benches, a roof. What’s not to like? We have notes, so read on.

Football playoffs becoming clear

It’s the last week of regular season play in Idaho and the last week of regular season play in the Greater Spokane League, and the playoff picture is fairly clear.

Click the tab below for more.

Akey on Dickson’s injury and more

Idaho coach Robb Akey said this morning that linebacker JoJo Dickson, who fractured his leg and dislocated his ankle Saturday, had surgery Saturday night and is expected to be out of the hospital today. Dickson’s injury was “a lot better than I expected,” Akey said. 

Read on for more from Akey — and comments from New Mexico State coach DeWayne Walker on the hit that injured Dickson.

Daye earns starting spot

Former Gonzaga forward Austin Daye has earned a starting spot, at power forward, for the Detroit Pistons. Daye, a second-year pro, had a solid preseason and has surprised some by performing well at power forward against bulkier players.

More here.

OKC makes it official

It’s not exactly breaking news, but Oklahoma City finally made it official that the franchise will no longer play in the AFL. There was some talk that OKC might drop into a lower league, but that doesn’t sound like an option (they’re refunding tickets) in this report.

WCC studies scheduling options

I wrote this article a few days ago, but I forgot to post it because it was held until this morning. Anyway, the addition of BYU to the WCC, beginning next season, will create a nine-team league and a bit of a scheduling quandry.

We looked at the scheduling issue here.

Despite better numbers, WSU’s run game still lacks consistency


COUGARS

The wind is blowing, the leaves are whipping around like a frozen strawberry in a blender and we have a short Sunday night post for you. Read on.

The loss to Stanford, the day after

COUGARS

One of the harder parts of writing the morning-after post is getting out of bed. Really. It’s Sunday morning, there’s a chill in the air and the pillows are soft. Why not just stay under the covers and let you folks forage for your own information. But such thoughts pass quickly, unlike the headache I’ve got. So we sit down at the computer and start typing. The result is on the link, so read on.

Post Falls captures 5A Region I

UPDATED: Sunday afternoon

PREPS

The Post Falls volleyball team prevailed at the 5A Region I Tournament Saturday.

Click the tab below to read our Idaho volleyball roundup with the pairings for the six state tourneys on the bottom of the roundup.

Chiefs fall to Red Deer

Red Deer doubles up Spokane 4-2 in a testy WHL game at the Arena Saturday night. The complete box is below. Read the story here.

WSU falls to Stanford, 38-28


COUGARS

If you saw it, you know Washington State dug a hole it could not get out of, trailing 31-7 going into the final quarter. But the Cougars did find a way to battle back in the final 15 minutes to finally fall 38-28. We have more on the link, so read on.

Dickson fractures leg in Vandals’ win

Next week, Idaho linebacker JoJo Dickson was set for a return to Hawaii, his homestate, to play the Warriors for the final time in his career. But that trip most likely won’t happen, and Dickson definitely won’t play after he broke his left leg during a frightful sequence at the Kibbie Dome.

You can read about Dickson’s injury — and the Vandals’ 37-14 win over New Mexico State — after the link.

Eags survive big Sac State scare

With its offense struggling once again on Saturday, Eastern Washington took advantage of a horrible Sacramento State punt late in the game to put together a game-winning 35-yard touchdown drive and retain a share of the Big Sky Conference lead.

You can take a look at the game story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R here.

 

Half: Idaho 31, New Mexico St. 7

The Vandals continued their dominance at the Kibbie Dome by jumping all over New Mexico State in the first half to take a 31-7 lead into the break. Idaho has outscored opponents at home 106-14 in 21/2 games.

Idaho quarterback Nate Enderle was 20 of 32 for 256 yards and three TDs. The senior benefited from a handful of splendid catches, two by Maurice Shaw. Shaw, back after a one-game asuspension, had 5 receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown.

The Aggies had 11 first-half penalties, two on one drive that negated a would-be touchdown and first down.

Stanford leads 24-7 at the half


COUGARS

It’s halftime, it’s raining – lightly – and Stanford leads 24-7. The Cougars’ two turnovers hurt, though Stanford had just three points, those coming from the first one. And Washington State took advantage of the Cardinal’s turnover – an Andrew Luck interception – to score its lone touchdown – a Jeff Tuel to Jared Karstetter 12-yard pass. But WSU could have more points and the Cougars have missed just enough tackles to keep two Stanford scoring drives alive. … The Cardinal get the ball to start the second half. … The halftime stats: Total offense – WSU 129, Stanford 255; rushing yards – WSU 41, Stanford 142; Passing – Jeff Tuel 8 of 12 for 88 yards, one interception and one touchdown; Andrew Luck 11 of 16 for 113 yards, one pick and a TD. … The Cougars are actually getting some pressure on Luck, but he’s tough to sack. And Tuel hasn’t had the time for the receivers to make the double moves they need to get open. … By the way, do you think WSU, trailing 17-7, should have gone for the fourth-and-1 from their 36 with 2:57 left in the first half? Or was the punt the right thing to do? … We’ll be back after the game with our stories. Until then …

WSU, Stanford about ready to face off


COUGARS

I promised a weather report, so, like Ollie Williams, we stood outside for a minute and can shout that there’s no rain yet. But, according to the Weather Channel, it is supposed to start at about 1 p.m. and continuing on for the remainder of the afternoon. We’ll see. We have some other thoughts, so read on.

Vandals back in the Dome … finally

For some time now, it’s felt like college football season was over in Moscow. The Vandals have been in some other part of the country or on a bye since Sept. 18. But now they’re back — and fittingly it’s homecoming weekend. 

We’ve got more about Idaho’s conference tilt with New Mexico State, set for 2 p.m. in the Kibbie Dome, after the link.

Following WSU in the modern age


COUGARS

One of the crucial skills in the modern world is an ability to point-and-click. It’s not as important as say hunting was 10,000 years ago, but without it, some folks might starve. I’ve always felt pointing a cursor to the right spot and clicking was perfect for me, the pinnacle of my athletic strike zone so to speak. Until this morning. Then, for some reason, I started to struggle. A wrong link here, a mistaken double click there. An Alex Rodriguez-in-the-playoffs type of slump. It made finding the morning links a laborious chore. Now that, hopefully, I’ve elicited some pity, will you please read on? Thanks.

WSU, Stanford will tough it out Saturday


COUGARS

Not a lot to add tonight, as Washington State wasn’t able to do its walk-through at Stanford Stadium due to a light rain. We do have some links though, so read on.

Sankey runs wild, G-Prep wins

UPDATED: Friday, 10:30 a.m.

Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey cruised past the Greater Spokane League’s all-time rushing record as the Bullpups held off Mead 35-21.

The story is here. Sankey’s overall career yardage is now 4,801. So he will crack the 5,000 yard mark with at least two games left - next week against Ferris and a play-in game. By the way, the 359 was 7 yards short of the all-time single best game.

Another record Sankey broke last night was the single scoring mark. He now has 192 points (32 touchdowns), breaking the previous record, 180, set also by CV’s Tyree Clowe.

QUESTION: Hey Coug fans, think Sankey might look good in a WSU uniform?

CLICK the tab below for a game-by-game breakdown for Sankey this season.

The new Pac-12 is a hit already


COUGARS

We’re on our way to Northern California, taking the long, slow detour through SeaTac. With the plane about to load in a few minutes, we thought we would pass on as many links as we can before our deadline hits. Read on.

NC runners do their thing

North Central cruises to the Greater Spokane League boys cross country championship in a showdown with University - both were unbeaten - and leads the way in 3A qualifying for regional, which is Oct. 30 in Wenatchee. The story there is that Mt. Spokane and Shadle Park, ranked in the top 5 3A teams, didn’t come close to making it. The Wildcats advance five runners, enough to score at state but … One coach was heard to mutter, “It’s so frustrating.”

On the girls side, which had no bearing on the GSL regular-season title, Shadle Park and Mt. Spokane qualified.

The top seven individuals not on a state qualifying team also advance. The GSL standings and the 3A regional qualifiers are below. The story is here.

WSU and the new Pac-12


COUGARS

So know that the water-boarding by the boss – better known as the yearly performance evaluation – is over, we can get back to the real work. Which is to give you folks some information on the Pac-12 and other Washington State-related news. Read on.

Thursday Prep Page

PREPS

I’m late in posting the menu for this week’s Prep Page.

Click the tab for more.

Shock sign DL Brown

Nekos Brown is the newest member of the Spokane Shock. The former Virginia Tech defensive lineman had short stints with the Washington Redskins and Tampa Bay Buccaneers earlier this year.

More here.

Gonzaga No. 12 in coaches’ preseason poll

Gonzaga is ranked No. 12 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches’ preseason Top 25.

More here.

Morrison released by Wizards

Former Zag Adam Morrison has been released by the Washington Wizards. More here.

More on AFL divisions, conferences

As promised, here is more on Spokane’s division, conference alignment for 2011 season.

Montana, EWU women picked 1-2

Montana has been tabbed by coaches and media in the Big Sky Conference preseason women’s basketball polls but Eastern Washington, which won it’s first-ever regular-season title last year, picked up a couple of first-place votes and finished second in both. The Eagles boast the Coach of the Year in Wendy Schuller and return league MVP Julie Piper. Portland State is third in both polls.

Tennessee is picked No. 1 in the SEC and senior Angie Bjorklund is a preseason all-league selection.

 

New Pac-12 defined


COUGARS

The press conference is over, so now we know what the Pac-12 football schedule will look like. For more on that, read on.

One ballot for women’s preseason Top 25

College basketball practice is underway. For the women it’s been underway for a couple of weeks. For some seven teams, they’ll be practicing in Spokane until late in March. That’s four teams at the NCAA Tournament at Gonzaga March 19-22 and, I’m assuming something here, the survivor and three other teams at the Regional in the Arena March 26 & 28.

It’s a complete crapshoot who might make it to Gonzaga (and I’ll assume something here) to join the Bulldogs for the first two rounds. As for the Regional, the theory is it should be four of the Top - hoping to be Sweet - 16.

That’s a round-about way to say Friday is my deadline for my ballot for the preseason AP Top 25, which will be formally released on Friday, Oct. 29. However, you can see my ballott below - along with my preseason All-American first team, which will be out the following Tuesday.

You can get this information quicker, along with other tidbits as I discover them, quicker through Twitter, SRtrim.

AFL announces division, conference alignments

I’ll have a bit more on this in the next hour or so, but the AFL has issued a press release that finalizes the division and conference alignments for the 2011 season.

Spokane, as expected, will remain in the West Division with Utah, Arizona and San Jose, one of four new AFL members. The Shock also remain in the National Conference.

There will be 18 teams in 2011 — the four newcomers are San Jose, Kansas City, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia; the one contraction (Oklahoma City). Again, no surprises there.

More here.

WSU has its eyes on Stanford


COUGARS

Sometimes even spell check can’t save you. Like yesterday when Word (capital W) informed me with a wiggly red line I had misspelled a word (lowercase w) in my morning post. I saw it, but somehow forgot to correct it. So the post went up with a word missing an “i.” I would say “see if you can find it,” but I already fixed it this morning. Ya, I noticed it and corrected it, which, even to me, seems strange, but that’s what I did. Anyhow, for more comments, few as off-the-wall as this one, and maybe a misspelling or two, read on.

Vandals’ midseason report

Seven weeks in, seven weeks to go. The Idaho football team is at its midseason point, so this is a good time to stop and access the Vandals’ season so far and look ahead through Dec. 4. But first, here’s a link to our story for today’s paper on the UI defense.

Read on for more.

Gal gets three, Chiefs get 8

The Spokane Chiefs peppered a pair of Calgary Hitmen goalies with 53 shots, but it was one of them, a non-shot, that kind of defined this game as the home team wins 8-1. Blake Gal (10) got a hat trick, and was almost embarassed, but, of course, no one turns down a three-goal game. The story is here, the extended box is below.

Hitmen stalking Chiefs

The Spokane Chiefs are about to tackle defending Western Hockey League champion Calgary at the Arena. The Hitmen played at Tri-City on Tuesday, losing 3-1, but Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur came away impressed, saying Calgary was the better team. The complete box is posted  below. We’ll keep you posted on scoring tonight through Twitter, SRtrim.

WSU a day closer to Stanford


COUGARS

For the third consecutive day, Washington State went sans pads at practice, limiting the hitting and concentrating on the mental aspects of preparing for Saturday’s game with Stanford. For more on practice, read on.

Mead/G-Prep football

Thursday’s single football game at Albi Stadium between Mead and Gonzaga Prep is at 6:30, not 7:15 as listed on some schedules. Make note.

EWU’s Dean sidelined with stress fracture

The 2010-11 college basketball season has not started off well for Eastern Washington men’s coach Kirk Earlywine and his Eagles.

Less than a week into practice, Earlywine has lost sophomore point guard Glen Dean for an indefinite time because of a stress fracture in his foot.  And promising freshman Geoffrey Allen has been lost for the season with a broken wrist that will keep him in cast for about three months.

You can read more in the story released by EWU sports information department here.  Here is a link to the story on the Eagles’ injury woes that will appear in Thursday morning’s S-R.

 

 

GSL/CBBN crossovers confirmed


Greater Spokane League secretary Randy Ryan just confirmed the football play-in and crossover seeds/sites between the GSL and CBBN in two weeks.

Click the tab below for more.

Sharing WSU news on a Wednesday


COUGARS

Literally got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning and hit my knee on the way out to the kitchen. Not a good way to start the day. But the morning got immeasurably better when I started to travel around the web looking for stories. It’s always nice to find something to share. Read on.

WR Shaw back at Idaho practice

Suspended Idaho wide receiver Maurice Shaw was in pads this afternoon and practiced with the Vandals. He missed last week’s game at Louisiana Tech and his status for Saturday’s Homecoming game with New Mexico State is still in question.

We’ve got more Vandal football notes below.

WSU saves wear and tear at practice


COUGARS

With the number of Washington State players banged up – not injured mind you, though there are quite a few of those, but banged up – the coaching staff decided to go in shorts, T-shirts, shoulder pads and helmets today. In other words, not full pads. There’s a desire to save bodies and energy for Saturday, which should be a physical battle from the opening kickoff. For more on Tuesday’s practice, and Paul Wulff’s conference calls, read on.

Vandal men picked 8th in WAC

Both the WAC coaches and media tabbed the Idaho men’s basketball team to finish eighth — which is where coach Don Verlin thought the Vandals, with just one returning starter, would end up in the preseason polls. Also worth mentioning: No Vandals were honored with individual preseason honors.

Click below for more.

Shock expected to hire Biletnikoff Jr.

The Spokane Shock are expected to name Fred Biletnikoff Jr. as its new offensive coordinator, according to Arena Football League sources.

Biletnikoff was the head coach at Central Valley, one of Spokane’s rivals in arenafootball2, but the Coyotes decided not to play in 2010. He is the son of Fred Biletnikoff, the former Oakland Raiders receiver who was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1988 and the College Football Hall of Fame in 1991.

Biletnikoff will replace Matt Sauk, who left Spokane to become offensive coordinator for the AFL Utah Blaze. Spokane was 9-0 versus Central Valley from 2006-09 — three of those outcomes decided by two points and one by three points.

Idaho women picked 4th/5th

The Western Athletic Conference released its women’s basketball preseason coaches and media polls Tuesday, and the Idaho Vandals were picked to finish fourth by the league’s head coaches, and fifth by the media.ESPN’s women’s basketball schedule is also out. (We interrupt this regularly scheduled blog to let you know I have joined the Tweet world and will be tweeting about women’s basketball season as new arrives. I’m at SRtrim.)

Cross country on home stretch

The regular season ends for cross country this week so we’ll try to sort out what’s happening in the Greater Spokane League and Great Northern League, with their standings on the extended entry, the next post-season step or steps with State at Pasco on Nov. 6. Idaho regionals are this weekend and we’ll have something on Wednesday’s Prep Page.

To get you in the mood for foot racin’ we visited with one of Spokane’s all-time great female runners in a Then and Now on Tuesday morning. There is also the occasional tweet on cross country - it comes from SRtrim. However, we won’t be able to keep you updated from the GSL boys championship race on Thursday or any post season events for two reasons. One, even though I’m now a tweeter, the company hasn’t given me a tweet-capable phone, which is OK, because, two, God didn’t give me a brain capable of figuring it all out if they did.

Central teams visit Chiefs this week

The Spokane Chiefs face some new blood this week with a pair of Central Division teams coming in, starting with defending Western Hockey League champion Calgary Wednesday. For other WHL news and a little more on the Chiefs, click the tab below.

Preps this week

We’re nearing the end of the soccer, volleyball and cross country seasons in Idaho and we’re getting close to starting the state-qualifying process for those sports in Washington.

Buckle your seat belts folks. The next few weeks will be busy to say the least. Not to mention there are some interesting races in football in the various area leagues. Click the tab for more.

Tuesday morning WSU links and notes


COUGARS

An interesting morning what with some news on the Pac-12 expansion front, some notes out of last night’s Washington State practice and a few thoughts about the rest of the season. Read on.

WSU begins prep for Stanford


COUGARS

Monday nights are getting a bit colder this time of year and the number of players who watch the installation of the game plan due to injuries or hurts seems to be growing. Read on for more.

State football, soccer

The WIAA has posted the state football and soccer brackets. You can see them here.

Butts won’t play for Vandals rest of year

Idaho senior starting cornerback Isaac Butts did not travel to Louisiana Tech last week and will not play the rest of the season, coach Robb Akey said this morning. Akey declined to give details on Butts’ departure. “That’s between me, him and this football team, but he won’t be playing this season,” Akey said.

Keep reading for more from Akey’s Monday morning media sessions.

WSU takes a last look at Arizona


COUGARS

With the long march to open the season a little over halfway done, the Washington State Cougars are contemplating some changes to the practice schedule this week. The goal will be try to continue the steps toward respectability without straining a roster that’s starting to bend under the stress. We have more on that and other items, so read on.

WSU’s loss to Arizona, the day after


COUGARS

Some things have changed around Washington State, that’s for sure. We document them, plus add our day after post, so read on.

WSU comes close once again


COUGARS

It’s late, so here’s our post for tonight on Washington State’s 24-7 loss to Arizona. We’ll have more in the morning, if I wake up. Read on.

Chiefs show some power in 3-1 win

The Spokane Chiefs get a pair of power play goals and defeat the Everett Silvertips 3-1. The stars were 3, Tyler Johnson (goal, 2 assists); 2, James Reid (18 saves) and 1, Brenden Kichton (assists on both power plays). Complete box below. Here is the story.

La. Tech too much for Vandals

That opportunistc, big-play Idaho defense? Today in Ruston, La., it showed only a faint resemblance to the UI defense of previous weeks. And the result was a 48-35 beatdown from Louisiana Tech.

We’ve got all the details below.

WSU trails Arizona 14-0 at half


COUGARS

Though Arizona has moved the ball consistently – and Washington State hasn’t – the Cougars head to halftime trailing by just two scores, 14-0. Part of it has been a WSU defense that’s forced one turnover, plus a successful onside kick by the Cougars to open the game. Part of it is a right knee injury has sidelined UA quarterback Nick Foles since early in the second quarter. … This is the first time this year WSU has failed to score in the first half as Arizona’s defense has put relentless pressure on Jeff Tuel. So much, in fact, left tackle David Gonzales has been replaced by walk on Elliot Bosch, a 258-pound redshirt sophomore. … Tuel has been sacked three times, but WSU has sacked Foles and Matt Scott four times. … The halftime stats … First downs, UA 17, WSU 4; Rushing yards, UA 72, WSU 1; Passing yards, UA 179, WSU 55; Total offense, UA 251, WSU 56. … We’ll be back later with more.

WSU and UA ready to go


COUGARS • UPDATED: 4:10 P.M.

Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott is in Pullman today and is speaking right now on the Cougar Road Show with Bud Nameck. John Blanchette is over in Hollingbery Fieldhouse and will talk with Scott when the radio show is done, so when he gets up to the press box we’ll fill you in. We have some other thoughts about today, so read on.

Nothing short of amazing

PREPS

I’ve watched hundreds of prep football games in my 26 years here, but the comeback win by the Ferris Saxons was impressive. Click here to read the story. By the way, Ferris is 7-0. My story listed a 6-0 record. Here’s our GSL roundup here with Gonzaga Prep’s Bishop Sankey inching closer to the league’s all-time career rushing record. Here’s our roundup of the other games in the region. Here’s a list of all the Washington and Idaho scores. And the Lewis and Clark girls soccer team captured the GSL championship here.

CLARIFICATION: The play at the end of the third quarter in the Ferris/Mead game - that I wrote about in the top of my story - was properly conducted by the referees as it turns out. A double personal foul had been called on each team and by rule one more untimed play must be allowed before starting the next quarter. The explanation given in the press box was incorrect. The referees did their job. I personally didn’t see the flags on the play.

WSU gives UA a chilly reception


COUGARS

It’s game-day morning on the Palouse and it got cold last night – I hope all those RVs are heated. Not as cold as say next month, when Cal comes to town, or certainly not as cold as it should be for a December Apple Cup, but chilly nonetheless. With all the byes around the Pac-10 today – there are only three games and four teams have the week off – it’s a little chilly links-wise. But we do have some, including one that should make you chuckle, so read on.

Idaho, LTU ready for encore

Last season’s matchup between Idaho and Louisiana Tech was a Hallloween thriller that went down to the last second. The Vandals prevailed to become bowl-eligibile. But they also didn’t win another WAC game after that.

Keep reading for more about UI’s WAC opener this year.

WSU basketball takes to the court


COUGARS

The first day of men’s basketball at Washington State is in the books. We have some thoughts and a link to our story, so read on.

Krazy start for GU basketball

Gonzaga officially launched the 2010-11 season with Kraziness in the Kennel on Friday. Click here to read my article that will run in Saturday’s S-R.

News from around the WHL

There is some news around the Western Hockey League today to get fans ready for the Spokane Chiefs’ game against Everett, in its first road game of the season, at the Arena Saturday night. Check the extended for the links.

A busy Friday at WSU


COUGARS

Not only does Saturday’s football game with Arizona start the second half of the season, the men’s basketball season officially starts around the nation tonight – and in Bohler Gym. The Cougar men and women will hold a Midnight Mayhem exhibition at 8 p.m. (that’s midnight in the Bahamas, right?) featuring contests, autographs and scrimmages. But that’s tonight. This morning, we have your football links and notes, so read on.

Chiefs power play lacks power

After a hot start the Spokane Chiefs have gone ice cold. We don’t mean wins and losses, the Western Hockey League team is 2-5 with Everett coming to town on Saturday. No, the Chiefs had seven goals on their first 24 power plays, 0 on the last 24. However, there this is no time to panic, according to coach Don Nachbaur. Here is our story.

Santangelo replaces Fox on GU radio team

Former Gonzaga standout Matt Santangelo has joined the GU radio broadcast team, replacing Richard Fox. Tom Hudson is back for his 9th year calling play-by-play.

Fox has decided to concentrate on his job with Shell Energy of North America. He was Hudson’s sidekick for three seasons.

More here.

Shock add offensive lineman

Offensive lineman Van Nelson has signed with the Spokane Shock. Nelson has two seasons of AFL experience, splitting the 2008 season with Philadelphia and Dallas, then playing for Dallas last year. In Philadelphia, Nelson and Shock head coach Rob Keefe shared a locker.

More here.

WSU going extra mile for UA


COUGARS

When a college football team prepares for a game, there are certain players on the other squad that demand a plan. Where is so-and-so is crucial in an offense’s and a defense’s prep work. For more on that, and other items from Thursday’s practice, read on.

Thursday Prep Page


PREPS

Click the tab to see this week’s menu of prep items. Feel free to offer comments or start a conversation.

Catching up with WSU


COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:05 A.M.

Wow. You take a day and the emails pile up, the number of stories to link becomes nearly unmanageable and basketball season jumps into the picture. It’s overwhelming. The moral of the story? Never take a day. Read on for the damage control.

Idaho’s Jackson turns the corner

During the Vandals’ bye week, I sat down with senior running back Deonte Jackson, who’s career has gone from freshman stud to injured backup to, now, a key part of Idaho’s running game.

You can read my lengthy profile of Jackson here and also check out below for more that didn’t make it into the story.

CV girls win, Knight shatters record

It was a pretty big day in Greater Spokane League cross country, three records broken and a championship to help mend a broken heart - or broken hearts, because though running is individual, this is definitely a team sport.

We couldn’t be everywhere, particularly at Manito Park, where Kendra Weitz and Katie Morris of Shadle Park broke the girls record and Kenji Bierig won the boys record in beating Shadle’s Nathan Weitz.

We were, however, at Audubon Park, when amazing North Central sophomore Katie Knight broke the 6-week old record of Coeur d’Alene’s senior star Kinsey Gomez, which got overshadowed somewhat by Central Valley surging past Mead for the GSL title. With so much to write and so little room, we are providing you with an extended version of the story online here.

Finish line nears for cross country

Cross country is on the homestretch.

In Idaho, Kinsey Gomez has two races left, regionals in Lewiston on Oct. 23 before heading south to state, where the Coeur d’Alene star goes for her third title, to go with a runnerup finish. We checked in with her today.

Meanwhile, the Greater Spokane League is facing its final two meets with more on today’s action and the standings below.

Johnson has big impact for Chiefs

Columnist John Blanchette talked to hometown hero Tyler Johnson (above) about how a small player can play a big role for a Western Hockey League team.

Meanwhile, the WHL suspended Brenden Shinnimin of the Tri-City American for 12 games for a checking from behind penalty that injured Josh Nichols of the Saskatoon Blades (check here for the hit).  The Tri-City Herald story and John MacNeil of the Prince Albert Daily Herald tracked down Shinnimin for a story that noted the players had talked. However, Nichols is a little disappointed with the length of the suspension. The Ams were on their Eastern Divisions swing and Shinnimin, from Winnipeg, missed the “home town stop” in Brandon. He returns Nov. 13 - when the Americans play in Spokane.

Prince George adds goalie Chase Martin, 18, to its roster. Martin was a fifth-round pick by Spokane in 2007 bantam draft and played in one game last year.

 

WSU hits hard at practice


COUGARS

The Washington State Cougars have finished their first true practice of the week, at least the first one in full pads, and are well on their way in preparation for the University of Arizona this Saturday. The practice featured a lot of hitting once more, though it was toned down some from the past two weeks. We have some notes from practice, so read on.

Vandal receiver arrested for DUI

UPDATED: 6:50 p.m.

Maurice Shaw, a senior wide receiver for the Idaho Vandals, was arrested early Saturday morning for driving under the influence on the Washington State campus. Read on for comments from coach Robb Akey on Shaw’s arrest.

WSU’s Wulff talks about Arizona, arrests


COUGARS • UPDATED: 6:25 P.M.

Coach Paul Wulff’s done with his Tuesday Pac-10 and local media teleconferences. We have a summary of what he said, so read on.

Tuesday morning WSU links


COUGARS • UPDATE: 11 A.M.

This is an interesting week in the Pac-10, with four teams having byes, including the two highest ranked ones. But there is some news for a Tuesday morning, so read on.

• UPDATE: There is a story in SI this week detailing the career of agent Josh Luchs. Why does that matter here? Luchs alleges he gave money to a lot of the first Rose Bowl team in the late ‘90s, including a bunch of money to Ryan Leaf. You can read the story and make up your own mind.

WSU’s late Monday practice over


COUGARS

Had a chance to talk with Paul Wulff after Monday’s practice and asked him some questions concerning a big hit in the Oregon game and some off-field problems. Read on for what he had to say and news about a receiver who will be out for at least a while.

G-Prep loses Hopkins

Gonzaga Prep senior and two-way standout Charlie Hopkins has been lost for the rest of the season because of a knee injury, Bullpups coach Dave McKenna confirmed moments ago.

Hopkins (6-foot-7, 265 pounds), who has given Stanford University an oral commitment, suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in the first quarter against Central Valley last Friday.

Hopkins, a two-year starter at defensive end, is pictured above blocking for running back Bishop Sankey in a game against University earlier this season. He played at left guard and fullback on offense this season.

Preps this week

Click the tab and you’ll see a quick look at the big games/events this week.

Monday morning WSU links and notes


COUGARS • UPDATED: 3:30 P.M.

It’s Monday morning and, hey, I got a coffee maker for my birthday, though I really don’t know how to use it. And never want to clean it. But it will make a great space-eater on the counter. Yeah. I guess I’ll have to dust it once in a while. Crud. Enough of my whining. Let’s get on to the links.

More on Oregon’s win over WSU


COUGARS

A little more than 24 hours after the loss to Oregon, Paul Wulff got on the phone for a conference call. Read on for what he had to say.

A look back at Eags’ win over NAU

Eastern Washington’s defense came up big in Saturday’s 21-14 Big Sky Conference win over Northern Arizona on Saturday, and we’ve got some additional post-game comments from linebackers J.C. Sherritt and Zach Johnson,  a couple of big contributors to that defensive effort, below.

But the inconsistent play of his offense — alberit against an NAU defense that is as good against the run as any in the league — obviously has Eagles’ coach Beau Baldwin concerned heading into next Saturday’s Big Sky matchup against Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colo., especially with Taiwan Jones banged up once again.

For those who missed them last night, I included this link to the EWU-NAU game story that ran in Sunday morning’s S-R, and this link to what Eastern’s sports information department posted about the game.  I’ve also included this link to what NAU’s sports info folks posted, along with this link to the gamer that appeared in The Arizona Daily Sun.

Read on.

WSU’s defeat to Oregon, the day after


COUGARS

The great thing about college football in general and the Pac-10 Conference in particular, is no matter how good or bad things get, looking back is only an option for about, oh, 30 minutes. The No. 3 team – Oregon, for now – may have just left town with a 43-23 win in their pocket, but that has to be forgotten. The No. 9 team – Arizona, for now – in the nation will be here in less than a week and it will be pissed off, after losing 29-27 to Oregon State. Get caught looking behind and the team in front steamrolls you. But, thankfully, we don’t have that problem. We can look back all we want. And we will on the link, so read on.

WSU hits Ducks hard, but not hard enough


COUGARS

We’re back, though you probably have given up and gone to bed. If you’re still awake and need something to put you under, read on.

Chiefs fall

The Spokane Chiefs continue to struggle on the power play, going 0-9, to fall to Portland 2-1 for the second straight night at the Arena. Story is here, complete box below.

Eags win despite offensive struggles

Eastern Washington’s offense committed five turnovers on Saturday, but its defense came through with a huge effort in an important 21-14 Big Sky Conference win over Northern Arizona at Roos Field.

You can read the game story that will appear in Sunday’s S-R here, and you can see what EWU’s sports information department posted about the game here.

And be sure to check back tomorrow for additional thoughts and comments on the victory.

 

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WSU falls 43-23 to Oregon


COUGARS

We’re up in the interview room, but before anyone arrives, wanted to put up a post so you folks can comment. Up until Jeff Tuel’s interception at the end of the third quarter, WSU still had a shot at the No. 3 team in the nation. An outside shot, sure, but a shot as it was 36-23 at the time. We’ll be back soon.

WSU, Oregon ready to get going


COUGARS

You know, for mid-October, this is a perfect day. Too bad it has to be ruined by a football game (insert rim shot here). But in a sense, this day would be perfect to fly a kite, fertilize the lawn, blow out the sprinklers, rake leaves, just about anything but watch the nation’s most explosive offense run up and down Martin Stadium’s turf. Will it happen? We have thoughts, so read on.

Saturday morning WSU vs. Oregon post


COUGARS

It’s football Saturday on the Palouse. The smell from the homecoming bonfire was still quite evident at 1 a.m., which just gave the party noises coming from the apartment complex a different feel than the usual Friday night. Another thing that’s different? The town is full of Subarus and Highlanders with Oregon license plates. Green might be a prominent color around Martin Stadium today. By the way, did you like the headline? Spent 1.7 seconds working on that one. Read on.

Akey pleased with bye week

The Vandals, off today during their one bye week of the season, had two lively practices Thursday and Friday before taking today off. We’ve got an update below on tailback Princeton McCarty — he’s expected to play next week with a broken finger — and more.

Ferris too much in showdown

After Mt. Spokane pulled even, Ferris pulled away in the Greater Spokane League showdown between unbeatens. Click here to read more.

Gonzaga Prep running back Bishop Sankey routinely beats teams with his legs. Friday, he used his arm as well as the Bullpups handled Central Valley. Read more here.

Check out all the Washington and Idaho football scores here.

Chiefs fall to Portland

First, enjoy Paul Turner’s thoughts on the nicknames of the Western Hockey League teams.

A last minute goal allows Portland to continue its dominance of the Chiefs in Spokane - but you don’t want to remember last year, went the Winterhawks went 4-0 in the regular season and 4-0 in the playoffs. Well, that streak is up to nine now.

The game story is here.  The long box is below with some notes.

FYI, we’re now tweeting,  SRtrim.

Friday morning from WSU


COUGARS

Sometimes even news you have been expecting for weeks can blindside you and make it impossible to sleep. Such is the case this morning, so we’re getting our morning post out of the way, then going back to sleep (we hope). As you start your day, hope what follows makes it better. Just writing it lifted my spirits. Read on.

Cowen knows what he has to do

Jared Cowen is disappointed he’s not in the NHL, of course, but Spokane Chiefs teammate Tyler Johnson happily gives up the C to have the big blue liner back with the Western Hockey League team. Story here.

 

Youthful WSU prepares for Oregon


COUGARS

Thursday’s practice in the books, so we can share with you what went on and what Paul Wulff had to say in his final press conference of the week. For all of that, read on.

Chicago DL Alston signs with Shock

Spokane has signed defensive lineman Mike Alston, who played for Chicago last season. Alston had 2.5 sacks in 13 games for the Rush. More below.

 

Williams joins Tulsa

Travis Williams, who played the difficult middle defensive back position for Spokane last season, has signed with the Tulsa Talons as one of the team’s three “Marketing Players” (read: earns $1,000 per game instead of $400).

Williams joins Jerry Turner (Georgia Force) as 2010 Shock players to join another team as an ‘MP’. J.J. Raterink, briefly with the Shock in training camp in 2006, has signed an ‘MP’ contract with Kansas City.

A conversation with WSU’s Reggie Moore

COUGARS

For the first time today it felt as if basketball season was around the corner. That’s because, for the first time this fall, I had to put on a sweatshirt to make the trip to the gym. It was that cool. And wet. Basketball weather. So, to honor the change, we’ve got the third in our series of Q&As with Washington State basketball personalities, this time sophomore point guard Reggie Moore. Read on.

Bouldin bound for Greece

Former Gonzaga guard Matt Bouldin has signed with Iraklis Thessaloniki, an A-1 (top pro division) team in Greece.

“This is a great opportunity, to be playing in one of the best leagues in Europe,” said Stu Lash, Bouldin’s agent.

Bouldin earned three first-team All-WCC honors and was the conference’s player of the year as a senior.

Bouldin, who was not selected in the NBA Draft, played for the Chicago Bulls summer league team, but was slowed by a nagging injury that stretched back into his senior season at GU. After summer league ended in mid July, Bouldin had surgery to remove bone spurs. 

More here.

GSL/CBBN football pairs finalized

Click the tab below to see the Greater Spokane League/Columbia Basin Big Nine play-in and crossover games for Week 10 that were finalized at a meeting Wednesday.

Thursday Prep Page

Today we offer a little bit of everything - from both sides of the border.

You know the routine: Click the tab below.

Chiefs win is just part of the news

On good thing that happens when the Spokane Chiefs venture to Kamloops for a Western Hockey League game is that in addition to a good game story from WHL guru Gregg Drinnan, there is also bonus coverage. Read about that and much more below.

 

Duck weather at WSU today


COUGARS

After a beautiful day yesterday, we’re greeted with Eugene-like weather today in Pullman, low clouds and a soaking rain. Maybe it will clear before practice today. If not, this afternoon will be an exercise in trying to keep the notebook and tape recorder dry. But that’s for later. For now, we have notes and links.

Freshmen focus of WSU practice


COUGARS

Reason No. 1,459 not to become a sportswriter. You’re on the practice field watching another form tackling drill while Roy Halladay is tossing only the second no-hitter in postseason baseball (thanks for the catch Andrew). But, boy, was that drill riveting. For more on the rest of practice, read on.

Nilles commits to Gonzaga

West Valley standout Shaniqua Nilles, a 5-11 guard, has committed to the Gonzaga women’s basketball team.

“I always wanted to go there,” she said. “It’s close to home. I’ve known coach (Kelly) Graves for a long time. They have a good program. My best friend, Jazmine Redmon (Mead), is there this year. Just a lot of good reasons.”

The Great Northern League MVP and 2A all-state player for the Eagles added, “I think I could be a good strength outside for them. I’m a taller guard. It’s going to be a challenge. I  know I’m going to have to work really hard and push myself.”

Heat on at WSU practice


COUGARS • UPDATED: 11 A.M.

How is everyone this morning? Take a moment today and walk around, feel the sunshine, enjoy the heat. If you live in the Inland Northwest, it more than likely will be your final day of 70-degree weather until spring. Build some memories because there will be days in January and February when you’ll need it. Do all that, of course, after you read on.

Chiefs lose in Cowen’s return

Defenseman Jared Cowen met the Spokane Chiefs at Chilliwack on Tuesday, just in time for a 2-1 loss to the Bruins. It was his first Western Hockey League game after being sent down by the Ottawa Senators. The game story from Eric Welsh of The Chilliwack Progress is below.

By the way, Cowen was wearing the C. Does that mean Tyler Johnson’s tenure as captain was just for one game after all that hoopla last week?

A busy Tuesday at WSU


COUGARS

The following post is going to be a long one. It’s going to contain a summary of what Paul Wulff had to say on the Pac-10 Conference media call and what he added during his local media press availability. Then it will finish with notes from practice, of which there is going to be quite a few. So much for the coming attractions. For the main event, read on.

More on Pangos

As mentioned in the previous post, Canadian point guard Kevin Pangos has verbally committed to Gonzaga. Those I’ve talked to said his basketball IQ is similar to Dan Dickau’s and I’m guessing the Zags envision a future backcourt with Pangos and fellow 2011 recruit Gary Bell Jr. playing together (seemed to work OK with Dickau and Stepp, Hall and Santangelo).

Pangos said he played competitive hockey, volleyball and soccer before deciding in the last year or two to concentrate on basketball.

Find my article on Pangos here. There’s more info on Pangos and Team Canada at the FIBA U-17 championships here, and here’s draftexpress.com’s review of Pangos from the tourney.

 

Pangos verbally commits to Zags

Just got off the phone with Kevin Pangos, who confirmed he has verbally committed to Gonzaga.

Pangos, a 6-foot-2 point guard who is a senior at Denison Secondary School in Newmarket (roughly an hour north of Toronto), joins GU’s impressive 2011 class (Gary Bell, Kyle Dranginis, Ryan Spangler and Chris Sarbaugh).

More in about 45 minutes.

King signs with Shock

Spokane has signed Mac linebacker Micah King, who had 5.5 sacks for Iowa last year.

This doesn’t necessarily signal an end to Aaron Robbins’ time in Spokane. Robbins, Spokane’s Mac LB last year, is looking at other options, with an eye on outdoor football. Spokane wants Robbins to return, but King gives them an option if Robbins goes elsewhere. Interestingly both players were with the 2009 Arkansas Twisters with Robbins winning the starting job and King eventually being released. The two might battle for a job again.

On a separate topic, Jack linebacker Antwan Marsh has bulked up to 230-235 pounds, up from his 2010 playing weight of 215. He’ll remain at Jack, but head coach Rob Keefe stressed that Marsh will still be able to handle defensive back in a pinch, as he did in the ArenaBowl.

“He’s a total workout warrior,” Keefe said. “He was a safety in college at 235 pounds. I know for a fact, he’ll be faster because he’s also doing speed training.”

More on King here.

Tuesday morning links and TV news from WSU


COUGARS

The reason this is a bit late this morning is simple. We have our usual morning links plus a detailed explanation about the television schedule for the week. And our boss called, so we had to take that. So now you can read on.

WSU back to practice for Oregon


COUGARS

A quick post following Monday’s practice is available on the link. As Paul Wulff said Sunday, there were some players moving around on the defensive side of the ball. For more, read on.

Idaho notes: BSU game sold out

More than a month away from a showdown with Boise State at the Kibbie Dome, the University of Idaho announced today that the game is sold out. The Vandals (3-2) will play fourth-ranked BSU on Nov. 12 at 6 p.m. The Friday night game will air on ESPN2.

We’ve got more notes about the Vandals below, including comments from coach Robb Akey.

Women start basketball practice early

Most women’s basketball teams started practice today, well before the men, because of a new NCAA rule. They still get the same number of practices, they’re just spread out more. Some schools are ignoring the earlier opportunity, some welcome it and you can check that out here.

We went by Gonzaga, which made the Sweet 16 last season and is hosting the NCAA Tournament this season, which could increase the pressure on the Bulldogs to make it again - or not. Also in the story are some notes, including a former local standout transferring and some freshmen committing.

Sirianni, McCombs won’t be back with Shock

Spokane Shock defensive coordinator Alex Sirianni will not return for the 2011 season. Standout defensive lineman Ben McCombs (No. 99 pictured above) won’t be back either.

Click here for the article that will run in Tuesday’s S-R.

Gray, Harris make Wooden Award list

Gonzaga’s Steven Gray and Elias Harris (pictured above) are on the John R. Wooden Award preseason top 50 watch list, which was released Monday.

Gray, a senior guard, averaged 13.6 points per game game last season. Harris, a sophomore forward, averaged 14.9 points. The two Zags are the only WCC players on the list. Washington State’s Klay Thompson is one of six Pac-10 players on the top 50 list. 

More here, and more below.

(FYI: Like several S-R sports staffers, I’m now on Twitter. You can find GU updates, including this one, Spokane Shock news, etc., at Twitter.com/SRJimm.)

Preps this week

Had a brain fart that was pointed out in my column last week. I said Mt. Spokane opened with wins over 4A teams Ferris and Central Valley. Meant to say Gonzaga Prep and CV. My bad. Sometimes it just comes off as if we don’t know what we’re talking about!

Click the tab below to see what’s going on this week.

Cowen a victim of numbers

Jared Cowen is headed to the coast and a Tuesday night game against Chilliwack. It’s not where he wanted to be, but it’s a definite lesson on the business side of professional sports.

The Spokane Chiefs defenseman was sent back to the Western Hockey League when age and contracts made it difficult for the Ottawa Senators to keep their 2009 first-round draft pick.

From the Ottawa Citizen, after this story about the move, is this story about the unsung veteran that got the final spot on defense. Here’s the take from the Senators’ website.

Ducks next up for WSU


COUGARS • UPDATED: 10 A.M.; 2:30 P.M.

We got up early to watch the Ryder Cup, which means I’m already hoarse. But instead of yelling at Stewart Cink for missing putts, we decided to get our morning post done. Read on.

UPDATE: Though this weekend’s home game against Oregon (a 2 p.m. start) won’t be on TV, the home game Oct. 16 vs. Arizona will start at 4:30 p.m. and be televised by Versus, according to WSU.

UPDATE 2: Klay Thompson was one of six players from the Pac-10 on the Wooden Award preseason watch list. You can see the whole list here.

Changes coming to WSU’s defense?


COUGARS

We’re done with Washington State football coach Paul Wulff’s post mortem on the UCLA game and have our follow story for tomorrow’s S-R done as well. We also have a few more thoughts on the links, so read on.

More on EWU’s big road win over Weber

Eastern Washington, with star running back Taiwan Jones watching from the sidelines, picked up a huge Big Sky Conference road win on Saturday by beating Weber State 35-24.  I’ve posted some links to the game and related stories below, so read on.

WSU’s loss in Pasadena, the morning after


COUGARS

After watching the Cougars’ offense almost do enough to overcome a UCLA rushing attack that covered more ground than Patton, we left the Rose Bowl and caught the second half of a Division III football game. But we still have more thoughts on Washington State, UCLA and comments. Read on.

Chiefs win thriller

The Spokane Chiefs pick up their first win of the Western Hockey League season in dramatic fashion.

Blake Gal scores with a minute left in regular and Mitch Holmberg scores in overtime - the second goal of the game for both - for a 6-5 win over the Tri-City Americans.

The story is here. The long box is posted below.

Close but no win for WSU


COUGARS

I’m sure you watched all of WSU’s 42-28 defeat at the hands of UCLA this afternoon on television, so what I have to add may not seem to big a deal. But if you want, read on.

Cowen sent down

The Ottawa Senators sent 2009 first-round draft pick Jared Cowen back to the Spokane Chiefs on Saturday afternoon. The Sens’ release is below but it doesn’t say much. Also, the full box from last night’s 6-3 loss at Kootenay.

Enderle, Vandal D come up big in win

UPDATED

The Idaho defense bottled up Western Michigan’s passing attack and Nate Enderle completed 30 passes to 10 different receivers as the Vandals pulled away from Western Michigan for a 33-13 win.

We’ve our game story below — plus a few notes.

Vandals lead 17-10 at half

The Idaho football team played well at times during the first half against Western Michigan — very well, in fact, after a perfectly executed fake punt that Shiloh Keo ran for big yardage. On the next play, Nate Enderle lofted a 30-yard touchdown pass to Kama Bailey, the first of two TD passes for Enderle. The Vandals led 17-3 before Enderle was sacked and fumbled inside Idaho’s own 20. That set up Western Michigan’s only touchdown of the half.

Idaho held WMU’s passing attack — ranked fourth in the nation — to 33 yards in the first half. Alex Carder was 5 of 16 with a TD and interception.

You can follow in-game updates from my Twitter account.

Some WSU pregame thoughts from the Rose Bowl


COUGARS

I promised a post before the game and, with Washington State and UCLA starting to warmup, I thought I better get to it. If you’re interested – or bored – read on.

Vandals travel to MAC land

The second leg of the Idaho football team’s three-game road trip that encompasses four weeks starts in just a few hours. The Vandals will take on Western Michigan of the Mid-American Conference (11 a.m., SWX), and we’ve got a preview here and much more below.

Not a lot of time left by WSU kickoff


COUGARS

It’s game day in Southern California – or SoCal as the hip and informed call it – which means we have a lot of items related to Washington State’s battle with UCLA in the Rose Bowl. Well, maybe a lot is stretching it. Read on.

Ferris tops CV; Lake City trips PF

Quite a night Friday for prep football.

Ferris, behind do-everything senior Jordan Tonani, downed Central Valley 31-10. Read story here.

In a thrilling 5A Inland Empire League opener, Lake City used a two-point conversion with seconds remaining to slip past Post Falls 22-21. Read story here.

Here’s a roundup of area games including Coeur d’Alene’s 34-22 win over No. 1-ranked Rocky Mountain of Meridian, Idaho.

In the picture above, Lake City’s Kaleb Mitchell knocked down a pass near the goal line intended for Jordan Pastras of Post Falls.

Spokane signs WR/LB Everett

Former UCLA Bruin WR and Milwaukee Iron LB Marcus Everett has signed with Spokane.

Everett made 29 tackles and had three interceptions last season for the Iron. He returned two of the picks for touchdowns. Everett finished his UCLA career (2004-08) with 97 career catches.

More here.

Candid conversation with Bobby Brett

When he and his brothers bought the Spokane Indians in 1985 – sale price: $137,000 – Bobby Brett “figured we’d get bored with it after a couple of years” and sell.

Now, professional baseball in Spokane has completed 25 seasons under Brett ownership; the hockey team, 20. He has turned his two Spokane franchises into model operations of their kind. Nearly 9 million spectators have taken in Brett productions here, including events like the Memorial Cup, NHL exhibition games, the Northwest League All-Star Game and the USISL Premier League finals.

His latest project: junior hockey’s first outdoor game, to be played Jan. 15 at Avista Stadium. On the eve of the Chiefs’ home opener Saturday, here’s a look back – and ahead – with Spokane’s managing partner.

WSU headed to LA


COUGARS

It’s late, I know, but that’s what happens when you have to catch a couple early flights to Los Angeles. Whoever scheduled both Washington State and UW in Los Angeles the same weekend probably got a little kickback from Alaska Airlines. Anyhow, we have our morning post, so read on.

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Jim Allen Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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Jacob Thorpe Sports reporter Jacob Thorpe covers Washington State University athletics. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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