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One for the road

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FROM PULLMAN -- After beginning spring practices just over a month ago, WSU wraps up its 15-practice schedule with a final workout this afternoon. We'll be there with our usual coverage. To get your day started, have at some links.

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When the spring practice schedule was released, I figured this final workout would be of the lighter variety, considering it comes after the spring game and might have that last-day-of-school feeling to it. But coach Mike Leach has made it pretty clear that they're going to take things pretty seriously. Consider that he chose to have WSU's final no-pads day on Thursday last week instead of today. The coaches spent the last couple days breaking down film of the spring game, and they'll use this final practice to fix mistakes and refine some things based off what they saw on Saturday. As Leach always says, the goal of the spring is to arm his players with as many tools as possible for them to use during summer workouts, so they can come back with their skills even more polished in the fall. I'd expect today's practice to be pretty intense for that reason. ... CougCenter takes a look at the similarities between Marquess Wilson and Michael Crabtree -- not as football players, but in the manner Leach chose to motivate each of them. ... A former WSU coach was the center of perhaps Monday's second-biggest sports story (behind the whole Mickey Loomis thing), as John L. Smith ditched Weber State to become the interim coach at Arkansas. Smith was WSU's defensive coordinator in 1987 and '88, then moved across the border to coach Idaho for six seasons -- a period about 24 times longer than his stint at Weber. Bud Withers has some thoughts on the matter. ... The WSU baseball team stepped out of conference for an 8-6 win over Seattle in Everett last night. ... This is a few days old, but a reader requested a mention of WSU's marks from last weekend's Mt. Sac Relays, which were particularly eventful for a hurdler and a sprinter. ... Some more on WSU's first football commitment for the 2013 class, plus video.

Around the Pac-12 ... Some more on the former Xavier guard who could wind up at Arizona. Jesse Perry wants to defend his good name, according to his lawyer. The Wildcats are finally going to have a quarterback selected in the NFL draft. ... Some observations from Arizona State's spring game. ... UCLA certainly won't be able to blame lack of talent if it underachieves next season. The Bruins signed another highly-touted recruit, a center named Tony Parker, and are now considered by some to have one of the nation's top two incoming classes. ... Stanford is ready to steal the show on the first day of this year's NFL draft. ... Colorado's student section continues to feel the love. The Buffaloes will head east for a non-conference game in 2014, unless the world ends before that. ... Seattle-area reporters were given a lengthy tour of the Husky Stadium construction site yesterday, and a couple stories resulted. (Scott Woodward's quote about the project being "on time and on budget," by the way, is almost verbatim what Bill Moos told me the other day about the Martin Stadium project.) In a related development, Bob Condotta set the career blogging record for videos posted in a single entry. ... At least one Oregon player thinks the Ducks' defense is ready. Another is tired of just sacking the quarterback. ... Clearing the air (smoke?) after some interesting comments made by an Oregon State player last week. ... Pac-12 players who rank among the nation's top 25.

That's it for now, except for a reminder that we'll hold another live chat tomorrow at noon, as usual, to wrap up the spring and answer any other questions you might have.

Christian Caple can be reached at christianc@spokesman.com. Twitter: @ChristianCaple




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