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Heading to Kennewick with some links

COUGARS

FROM SAMMAMISH — Our time on the west side is over, because it's time to head to the east side for a basketball game. But not to Pullman just yet. Washington State plays its first game in Kennewick since 2009 this afternoon. We have links to tide you over until the 3 p.m. tip against Idaho State. Read on.


We have a short advance of the game in today's newspaper, taking a look at WSU's recent trips to other cities for “home” games. Whenever I think of the Toyota Center, I'm reminded of perhaps the most remarkable basketball game I've ever witnessed, played there in 2006 during the NWAACC tournament. But that's a story for another time. About seven or eight hours from now, actually. … Nevada football coach Chris Ault announced his retirement yesterday. Yes, that is WSU-related. The reason? WSU running backs coach, Jim Mastro, spent quite a bit of time in Nevada, helping implement and further the Pistol offense under Ault's tutelage. Mastro was in Reno yesterday (he still owns a home there, apparently, and happened to be visiting, according to that linked story) for Ault's press conference. And because of that very obvious Nevada connection, Mastro's name will likely be mentioned ad nauseum in connection with that vacancy in the coming days and weeks. WSU has already lost inside receivers coach Eric Morris to Texas Tech and linebackers coach Jeff Choate to UTEP. … Kelvin Sampson, the embattled former WSU and Oklahoma head coach, is reportedly a candidate for the Brooklyn Nets' vacant head coach position.

In Pac-12 football news … Arizona State has a chance to further solidify its successful season against Navy today in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN2). … UCLA's season lost some of its shine after a bad bowl loss. … Stanford's star tight end grew up while in school. The Cardinal players are taking in the Rose Bowl experience. Their coach is living up to his role as the program's face and ambassador. … Looking at the good and the bad in 2012 for Colorado. … Oregon wants to work hard, but also play hard as it prepares for the Fiesta Bowl. … One Oregon State player is thinking about a lot more than football as the Beavers prepare for today's Alamo Bowl game against Texas (3:45 p.m., ESPN).

In Pac-12 basketball news … UCLA appears to be re-establishing itself as a Pac-12 power after beating No. 7 Missouri, 97-94, on Friday. That's a lot of points for a Ben Howland team, both scored and allowed. … Utah rolled to a 72-38 win over College of Idaho. … Colorado isn't looking past its game against Hartford today (noon, Pac-12 Networks). … An Arizona freshman is biding his time, even if it's not coming on the court. … Arizona State hopes to avoid a letdown against Coppin State today (11 a.m., Pac-12 Networks). … Oregon State hosts Towson at 1 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. … California hosts Harvard at 5 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. … Stanford hosts Lafayette at 7:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks. … Washington plays at Connecticut at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2.

That's all for now.

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


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