A GRIP ON SPORTS
Like a lot of you, I read before I go to sleep at night. Sometimes it's a book – right now I have sort of started Stephen King's 11/22/63 – and sometimes it's Twitter or Google news. Last night it was Sports Illustrated. A statistic contained within hit my eye. Read on.
• If you were one of the more than 1,000 folks who logged on to the News Tribune's live video feed from Lakes High yesterday, all to see where Cedric Dozier would attend college – after a long speech thanking everyone who helped him, which was nice, he put on a Cal cap, the school he originally committed to a while back – you might have been disappointed if you are a Cougar fan. But hope spring eternal – and internal – this time of year and you might be thinking maybe he'll change his mind today – according to the News Tribune's Doug Pacey he was all set to go to WSU until mid-morning – and send his letter of intent to the Cougs' fax machine instead. Get that thought out of your head right now. Because, even if a kid changes his commitment and comes to your school, it doesn't seem to work out all that often. Here's the statistic from the Jan. 30 SI I was talking about: "Since 2007, players ranked in the Rivals top 100 who change their commitment are nearly twice as likely to transfer, fail to qualify academically or be dismissed from their team (34.7%) as players who stuck with their original commitment (18.7%)." Which means of every three players who are enticed to make a switch, one will never make an impact for the school they sign with. ... But don't let me rain on your morning. It is Letter of Intent day, an unofficial national holiday – and probably an official one in states south of the Mason-Dixon Line. So sit back, watch the LOIs roll in (the official ones from WSU can be found here) and think up excuses for the boss – you know, the guy who the past couple years has morphed into a Duck fan – on why you didn't get the report done on time. We'll be talking about such things today on the radio, as we will be with Rick Lukens and Keith Osso live from Northern Quest Casino (poor Dennis Patchin is on the road with Eastern Washington basketball and, yes, it is still basketball season), site of Washington State's official signing day party. You can listen between 3 and 6 p.m. (PST) here. We also will be tweeting (@vinceg55) Mike Leach's and the assistant coaches' comments.
• Washington State: Christian Caple is on official Pullman duty today – been there, done that – and will have tweets on the signings (@ChristianCaple) throughout the day. Leach is speaking with the media at 2 p.m. and Christian will cover that as well. ... Of course, Christian has all the Pac-12 and WSU links you could desire on his morning post. ... Included in that report is coverage of the Faisal Aden news – he's out for the year with an ACL tear – and coverage of Ken Bone's press conferences from yesterday, which he summarizes here. ... Also from Christian today: His weekly story on the news football assistants, St. Maries' Jeff Choate. ... A former assistant, Todd Sturdy, found work in his home state of Iowa, at Iowa State. ... John Blanchette has a "get-off-my-lawn" moment concerning the outsized importance of recruiting. ... It looks as if Upland High receiver Kenny Lawler has narrowed his choices and WSU is not a finalist. However, he told ESPN.com earlier in the day the Cougars will still in it with Cal and Oregon State. ... CougCenter is holding a live chat all day. ... Back to basketball, USC is coming to Pullman on Thursday in crisis mode. Nothing new for coach Kevin O'Neill. ... Some questions at the Pac-12's halfway point. ... And USA Today picks former Cougar Xavier Thames as one of the year's key transfers. He's averaging 11 points and a team-high 4.9 assists for San Diego State.
• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan was at the Zags' media day yesterday and has this notebook. It's full of free-throw statistics and, yes, they are important. ... St. Mary's BracketBuster opponent would seem to be perfect for the Gaels and the WCC. ... BYU has lost back-to-back home games, something that hasn't happened since the 2004-05 season. And it could be three-in-a-row with GU coming in on Thursday, though Brigham Young has done well in February recently. ... The Cougars and Utah are missing out on all the Mountain West Conference fun. ... The two schools do have two programs ranked No. 1 in the nation, however.
• Eastern Washington: Jim Allen checks in with former Eagle Glen Dean, who had brain surgery in Utah late last year. He's doing well. ... Jim also took a look around the Big Sky in a blog post yesterday. ... Sacramento State is riding high after finally winning a Big Sky basketball game.
• Whitworth: Jess Brown has this interesting feature on the Pirates' Taylor Taylor. And yep, that's her real name (it has to do with marriage).
• Preps: Greg Lee was at Central Valley's win over Shadle Park in boys' basketball last night, as the Bears held on to the GSL's top spot. The CV girls weren't as fortunate, losing to Shadle for their first loss of the season.
• Chiefs: Spokane earned a big road win last night, downing Seattle 5-3.
• That's our morning report today. Until later ...