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Mon., Oct. 31, 2011, 9:48 a.m.

A frightful day for Gonzaga women’s basketball

Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves has been described as a “big kid” by one of his assistants. (Jesse Tinsley)
Gonzaga women’s basketball coach Kelly Graves has been described as a “big kid” by one of his assistants. (Jesse Tinsley)

There couldn't be a better way to start Halloween than with John Blanchette's column on a big kid that manages to enjoy the spirit of the day despite a few other demands on his time. It's part of what makes Kelly Graves (above, surrounded by his best friends in this Jesse Tinsley photo) so unique - and successful I'd say.

However, the Zags aren't in the preseason Top 25, a reflection of losing All-American point guard Courtney Vandersloot to graduation. An FYI, I'm no longer voting in the Associated Press poll since I will not be employed by The Spokesman-Review after Dec. 31.

Leftcoasthoops shows that the Zags are still pretty highly regarded. They'll certainly get a chance to prove it, going to Stanford for their second game Nov. 13 and getting a visit from USC on Dec. 4. By the way, while at leftcoasthoops, check out the series friend Michelle Smith is doing for ESPNW, a full access look at Stanford. Something tells me that Tara Vanderveer is one of the few coaches of an elite program that would allow that, though I'm sure Kelly Graves would as well.

Washington State is the only Division I team in the area that will play both of its allotted exhibition games. The Cougars played Seattle Pacific on Saturday and got a big boost from Spokane freshman Tia Pressley.




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