A GRIP ON SPORTS
Yesterday was a good day. After eating lunch with a bunch of folks and talking sports, got to go on the radio and talk sports for three hours. Then, en route to the Spokane Valley to cover a high school basketball game, got to listen to Bud Nameck and the first part of the Cougar game. After writing, headed home and got to listen to Tom Hudson, Matt Santangelo and the end of the Zag game. Yep, this retired thingee is cool. Read on.
• So I guess it really isn't retirement if you are working a lot, but that's what it says on my business card – "Vince Grippi, retired guy, don't call ... and get off my lawn" – so I must be among the 30 to 40 million retired folks in this country. Anyhow, I did cover the District 8 3A boys title game between Shadle Park and U-Hi, which the Titans won rather handily (there is a link below), culminating a pretty busy but fun day. So I was in a good mood this morning when I arose. And I'm not going to let anything change that. ... There were two things that struck me about last night's college basketball in the area. The first was how well Santa Clara played despite coming in with a 13-game losing streak and a team decimated by injuries and suspensions. Not that I expected anything less, and said so on the radio. No matter what the standings say, no matter what the national pundits say, no matter how much the WCC expands, the Bulldogs remain the Yankees of the WCC. Everyone in the conference turns out to root against them, every team wants to put their pelt on the wall, every player gets excited to compete against them. And they still win more than 90 percent of the time. That's pretty damn impressive. And positive. ... Now a negative (hey, I want to keep my retired-journalist card). What's the deal with the attendance in Pullman? Last night, with Arizona in town, it was 3,616. Now I wasn't thinking the Cougars would draw 10,000 or anything, but they have been playing good ball at home, they have one of the top five players in the conference in Brock Motum and Arizona is still one of the better teams on the West Coast. With the students around, you would expect a crowd of 5,000 or more, wouldn't you? Maybe you wouldn't, but please tell me why. I don't get it. Feel free to set me straight in the comments section below. Otherwise, I might just start ranting about how poor WSU fans are, and nobody wants that, do they?
• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan was in Santa Clara (the city) covering the game with Santa Clara (the university) and files this game story. He'll have a next-day post soon. ... From the Bay Area, we can pass along the San Jose Mercury News story and the AP one from the SF Chronicle. ... BYU went into USF and pulled out an 85-84 win behind Matt Carlino's 30 points. That helped hold off a San Francisco comeback. ... USD led big, but had to hold off Portland in overtime. ... The Gonzaga women moved into first place alone in the WCC when they pounded Santa Clara 87-55 (Jess Brown has this story) and BYU lost at home to lowly USF, 71-64.
• Washington State: Christian Caple was one of the folks in attendance in Pullman last night and he had a post-game blog post, a story in this morning's paper and his full-of-links morning post. ... In breaking WSU news, the Texas State Supreme Court handed Mike Leach a defeat in his lawsuit against Texas Tech for wrongful termination. Leach is now free to try to prove, legally, his dismissal was inappropriate, but, under sovereign immunity, TTU can't be held accountable for any monetary damages even if Leach proves his point. ... We found a couple stories from the Bay Area on former Cougar Klay Thompson. Seems they love his game down there. ... Speaking of that area, Cal is now considered the best around in one ranking system. ... Here are the postgame comments from coach Ken Bone and the WSU players.
• Bone's comments ...
• The players ...
• Eastern Washington: Jim Allen recounted the Eagles' stirring Wednesday night comeback in this blog post. ... Sacramento State is getting good play from a guy who wasn't expected to play anymore this season. ... Missed this yesterday, but Weber State was able to win in Bozeman on Wednesday. The Bobcats are missing their leading scorer after an altercation with a couple football players and a track athlete.
• Preps: Now to our stuff. We have our story on the District 8 3A title game and Mike Vlahovich's piece on the girls game, won by Shadle Park. ... Greg Lee is headed to wrestling on the other side of the mountains, but this wrestling story is from Mike. And this one is from the News Tribune. ... The CdA girls are trying for another state title.
• NBA: The plans behind the basketball arena in Sodo were unveiled yesterday and that led to a lot of speculation. Here's Steve Kelley's column. ... There is still a lot of work to do before the NBA and/or NHL is playing in Seattle.
• Olympics: The Queen of these boxing trials moved on with a close win. John Blanchette has the story.
• That's it for today. Once again we'll be on the radio at 3 p.m., then we'll be heading out to the boys 4A district title game at U-Hi featuring Gonzaga Prep and Central Valley. You can listen to our radio show here if you like. Until later ...