Driving from Pullman to Spokane late last night, the wind was blowing so hard out of the south, my car seemed to be flying. I swear I must have gotten about 45 miles to the gallon in the old Honda. But the fact the gas gauge seemed to be going up the farther I traveled was an optical illusion, I'm sure. Just like Jorge Gutierrez's last shot Saturday night. It didn't get below the rim before it popped out, did it? Couldn't have. For more on the Cougars' 75-71 victory, and the rest of the night in the Pac-10, read on.
• Washington State: The Cougars wake up this morning knowing they face their next three games away from home, including games against two of the top three teams in the conference standings. But they also sit fourth in the Pac-10, a game ahead of Oregon, Stanford and Cal and 1 1/2 games ahead of USC. Being that WSU was picked by the media savants to finish fifth, it could be said the Cougars, despite their up-and-down nature, are actually overachieving. Most of you probably wouldn't say that of course, but it could be said. … We shared our thoughts last night before we caught the zephyr up to Spokane, so we'll just link you that post and move on to the stories. … Here is mine as it appeared in this morning's S-R. … Josh Wright had the San Jose Mercury News readership covered with this piece. … Bud Withers used the game as a backdrop for a Klay Thompson column. We will have some thoughts about Thompson's decision in the not-to-distant future. … As usual, CougCenter had its colorful, and interesting, charts. … AP had this sAnd that's about it. By the way, WSU's women are 6-7 in Pac-10 play, one of their best seasons in years. Dave Trimmer covers women's basketball for us and had this post last night.
• Around the Pac-10: If you want to talk about overachieving, use Oregon as your starting point. The Ducks are 6-7 in conference after their 10-point win at USC. The Ducks' zone was too tough for the Trojans in the 61-51 game. … Stanford upset the Huskies in Northern California a few weeks ago, but the Cardinal had no such luck Saturday. Isaiah Thomas took care of that in the UW's 87-76 win at a somewhat-dark Hec Ed. … A group of Native American youth made the trek to Pauley Pavilion to see Oregon State and UCLA play and, more than likely, to cheer on OSU's Joe Burton. Only the sophomore post didn't play in the Bruins' 69-61 victory, suspended for a violation of team rules. … The rivalry game in Tempe tonight on FSN features the first- and last-place teams in the Pac-10. … The Wildcats have a highly recruited freshman guard who is not playing at all and he's not thinking of transferring. Yes, you read that right. Not. Talk about bucking a trend. … An ASU running back was shot in the butt Saturday while visiting his hometown of Norco, Calif.
• That's all for this morning, and for today, more than likely. We'll be back, of course, if news warrants. Until later …