FROM PULLMAN — Hey, there are six Pac-12 basketball games today, and one of them is in Pullman. Finally. Lots of game day reading for you to get to, so let's see about those links.
For today's paper, we wrote about the Cougars' long layoff between games at Beasley Coliseum — it's been 31 days, to be precise. As noted in the story, that's the longest gap between Pullman games since the 2004-05 season, when WSU went 36 days without playing on its home floor. Athletic director Bill Moos, who was in Yakima on Tuesday and Vancouver yesterday, said he'd rather avoid such lengthy gaps in the future, but that with the Spokane games and the back-to-back road trips the last couple weeks, that's just how it worked out. … We also have this preview box and a note about the weather and Mike Ladd's thumb in this story, as well as a scouting report of Stanford from Elliott Almond, the beat writer for the San Jose Mercury News. … The Kitsap Sun offers this preview, plus this WSU football notebook. … Bud Withers offers his thoughts on the winter wonderland of the Palouse. … Those of you with Scout.com memberships can read this Q-and-A between Curtis Allen and the Bootleg, a site covering Stanford athletics.. … Former Cougar Xavier Thames scored 22 points for San Diego State last night in a win over New Mexico. … Bizarre story here in the Texas Tech student newspaper about Craig James' request for a deposition of the author and publisher of a book titled “Double T - Double Cross,” which apparently details the saga of Leach's firing at Tech. … The Seattle Times has a feature on a pair of Jazmines, one of which is Jazmine Perkins, a WSU guard.
Around the Pac-12: It’s a packed weekend, with all 12 teams in action tonight and Saturday. Let’s get right to it. … Most coaches will tell you that the Washington trip for basketball is by far the toughest in the conference (the Utah/Colorado trip is tough, too, but Boulder is still much easier to get to than Pullman), and the weather we’re having makes it even tougher for Cal and Stanford. … Here’s a short Stanford preview from the San Francisco Chronicle. … Cal’s leading rebounder, Richard Solomon, was ruled academically ineligible on Wednesday and won’t play the rest of the season. The Golden Bears are enjoying the contributions of a sophomore guard. … Utah dismissed its leading scorer, Josh “Jiggy” Watkins (who hit two clutch shots to lift his team past the Cougs two weeks ago), from the team on Wednesday, ending the reign of the conference’s best (worst?) nickname. The Utes host Arizona tonight. … The Wildcats are preparing for the altitude in Salt Lake and Boulder. … Lorenzo Romar is closing in on some coaching milestones at Washington, which hosts Cal tonight. The Huskies' football staff is finally official. … Arizona State is having some issues at point guard as it prepares to play at Colorado tonight. The Buffaloes are glad to finally play a conference game in front of their students. Sound familiar? … Oregon State needs to shore up some defensive issues as it prepares to face UCLA. The Bruins, like everyone else, it seems, are still trying to prove they can get it done on the road, which is harder in the Pac-12 than most realize. … USC might be missing its best rebounder for the rest of the season. The Trojans face the Ducks tonight in Eugene. A football note from USC, also: remember Stafon Johnson, the running back who was nearly killed in a weight-lifting accident? He and USC came to an undisclosed settlement on Wednesday. …Oregon has some new faces, but they're experienced nonetheless. … A former NFL exec thinks the Colts should pursue Ducks coach Chip Kelly.
Phew. All for now. We'll be back before the game with some thoughts. Drive safely.