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Some pregame thoughts from Madison Square Garden

COUGARS

Well, we're in the world's greatest, or biggest, or most-important, or whatever arena a couple hours before game time, as is our M.O., and guess what? It's just as empty as other arenas. And not nearly as big or impressive as Staples Center. Or about 10 other arenas we've been in. Of course it's a heck of lot older. And broken down. But the building is going through a facelift, so there are areas blocked off and fakes walls in a lot of spots, so there's that. But we digress. As usual. You want basketball talk, don't you? Read on.


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• I was going to start with a warning about Wichita State but Jeff Nusser beat me to it, so we'll send you to CougCenter and wait for you to get back. Then we can share what Ken Bone had to say about the Shockers and their defense yesterday. … Bone is really impressed with WSU's ability to take teams out of their offense, if that offense revolves around screens. On- or off-ball, doesn't matter. They battle cutters with a fury, not allowing screens to open up much space against anyone. Which means Washington State will have to tweak their offense tonight. Bone thinks the Cougars will be able to attack off the dribble more than they usually can in Pac-10 play. We'll see if he's right. … The Cougars have another big body to use tonight if it comes to it. Steven Bjornstad is over his left ankle sprain and will suit up. We're just mentioning it as a fact not as a harbinger of things to come. … As I sit here near the court watching Wichita State warm-up, I am struck by one thought. When it comes to size matchups, I don't believe Washington State is undermanned. There might be few more big bodies, but nothing like many times during the Pac-10 season.

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• That's all for now. We will be on Twitter during the game, so follow along while you watch. I promise to tweet something stupid. Heck, make a drinking game out of it. Every time I write something dumb, take a drink of diet Coke. Until later …


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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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