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WSU set to face Oregon State

COUGARS

We got to the Spokane Arena early today for a lot of reasons, but the main one is simple. This is my final day as The Spokesman-Review's Washington State beat writer and we wanted it to last as long as possible. Read on.

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• Another reason: There were a lot of emails and tweets to answer, most of them wishing me well on the future. We just might retweet them later if I feel egotistical. But for now a universal thank you. BTW, it looks as if I might be on the Root broadcast at halftime. Just a warning. ... As for today's game, Washington State has basically owned the Beavers for the past few years. But a big part of that was the Cougars under Ken Bone have always attacked zones efficiently. And the Beavers played a lot of 1-3-1 or 2-3 zone. But this year they are playing more man-to-man and have been doing it fairly well, especially when it comes to forcing turnovers. OSU's opponents turn it over almost 20 times a game, which doesn't bode well for WSU, which has struggled with valuing the ball at times this year. Yet on Thursday, of all the things the Cougars did poorly, taking care of the ball wasn't one of them. They had just 10 turnovers. If they have just 10 today, they'll have a good shot at defeating Oregon State. ... The Cougars big problem Thursday wasn't the offense though. It was their defense, mainly on the ball screen. That's something they expect to see quite often again today, that and transition. The Beavers can get out and run – and embarrass you, especially Jared Cunningham. Let them turn you over or take a bad shot that leads to a run out and Cunningham can throw something down that will put you on Sports Center and not in a good way.

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• That's it for now. I've been inundated with well-wishers, so this post has taken way too long. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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