A GRIP ON SPORTS
If we were going to take a day off, today seems as if it would have been the day. Heck yesterday was expected to be pretty dead. No M's. No spring football. Then all heck broke loose around here. Read on.
• The culmination of the night was, of course, the Chiefs' 4-3 overtime win at the Arena to force a game seven in the WHL playoff series with Tri-City. But before then, we were treated with two Gonzaga women's basketball players – Kayla Standish and Katelan Redmon – having their named called at the WNBA draft, more in the way of Ryan Leaf news and a couple of unexpected feature stories. We have all the links below.
• Washington State: Christian Caple didn't have much in the way of news to pass along yesterday – call it the post-Mom's Weekend hangover in Pullman – but he did put up a video interview with Leon Brooks, then added to it with his morning post today. … Christian linked Jim Allen's feature on Brad Jackson (left), the former Cougar player who coached Western Washington to the NCAA Division II title this year. One of the Vikings' stars? Former WSU walk-on guard John Allen. … Christian also linked out story on Leaf's probation possibly being revoked, so we ran down this story from Texas to add to your knowledge. … Ted Miller and the ESPN.com Pac-12 blog checked in yesterday on the scrimmages around the conference and the quarterback battles. … As any Cougar fan knows, this is Spokane Week. So there should be some Spokane content, right? OK, here it is. KXLY TV interviewed Bill Doba, Matt Kegel and Will Derting (hey, nice facial hair) while 700 ESPN also has this interview with Doba.
• Gonzaga: The biggest news for the Zags, and covered by Jim Allen, was the selections of Standish and Redmon. Standish, from Ellensburg, was at ESPN's headquarters for the draft (right) and had to wait with her dad and coach Kelly Graves until the 19th pick for her name to be called. As this Minneapolis Star-Tribune story relates, it will be an uphill battle for the forward to make the defending WNBA champion's roster. Redmon, who played her high school basketball at Lewis and Clark in Spokane and wasn't on a lot of folk's radar, was picked by New York with the very last selection of the draft. … If you followed GU women's basketball a while back, as I did, you know this guy. Leaving Wake Forest for North Texas seems an odd choice, but he left Spokane for New Mexico, so it's not the strangest choice he's made.
• Eastern: Jim Allen also has this story on the success of the Eagles' defense this spring.
• Idaho: Nothing on the Vandals, per se, but San Jose State lost its highly successful athletic director yesterday.
• Chiefs: Another tight game between the Chiefs and Americans last night in the Arena, with Spokane pulling out the victory on Liam Stewart's overtime goal. John Blanchette has the story, which includes this lyrical quote from Stewart (hugged at right): “I just kind of closed my eyes and hoped for the best. Luckily, the best came to me and it went in.” … The Americans seemed a bit stunned with the defeat, but nowhere near as stunned as the Portland Winterhawks. The Hawks, who led their series with Kamloops 3-0 at one point, were up 5-2 going into the third period of game six in Kamloops. Then they lost 7-6. Game seven will be in Portland on Wednesday.
• Mariners: Though the M's didn't play at Safeco yesterday, we still can call your attention to a rhapsody about the ballpark from John McGrath. … A couple of early season thoughts on Chone Figgins, leadoff hitter, and Jesus Montero, catcher. … The Indians head to Seattle tonight to start a three-game series.
• NFL: Wondering how Peyton Manning is doing in Denver? Wonder no longer.
• That's our rundown for the day. We hope it was enough to get you going. And we also hope SpectreCoug isn't upset we dissed New Mexico. Until later …