A GRIP ON SPORTS
Growing up, catechism was a big part of everyday life at St. Rita's School. We learned lots of Bible history, from the lion's den back in the old days to the letter writing of the later years. And we learned the importance of numbers. Three, seven and 40 were pounded into our heads via the nuns' rulers artfully applied to the backside of our hands. So when I counted today's links and finished at 40, I immediately thought of the years wandering in the desert, the days fasting in the wilderness, things like that. Some lessons reinforced via physical pain are never lost. Read on.
• Yep, we've got 40 links today. No, not 40 winks, links. Sheesh, pay attention. Even for us, that's a lot. And, because he gets to bed so late he can peruse the web and put up his post for a 6 a.m. unveiling, we leave most of the Pac-12 links to Christian Caple. And that would be one if you are counting (and believe me, we are this morning). Anyhow, with that many links to pass along, we're not going to delve into any issues all too deeply, though we do have a poll for you below (and that doesn't count as a link).
• Gonzaga: Let's start with the Zags for the second consecutive day, just because. They are in Portland tonight to face the Pilots, a team that is always tougher at home as Jim Meehan points out in his preview. It's GU's only game this week. … Former Bulldog star Courtney Vandersloot was one of the winners last night at Seattle's Sports Star of the Year banquet. … BYU represented the WCC well last night at Virginia Tech, winning for the first time on the road against an ACC school, 70-68 over the Hokies. The win should help the Cougars confidence when they host Saturday a St. Mary's team looking for separation atop the conference. … Jon Wilner rates the conference teams.
• Washington State: Christian has the lead for this week's college basketball notebook and it's about last week's college player of the week (that's three weeks rolled into one), Faisal Aden. He has more from Aden in this blog post, with the senior saying criticism motivates him. He must be one motivated dude is all I can say. After facing Arizona tonight (on Root at 7:30 if you're interested), the Cougars head up to Phoenix for an afternoon game with ASU. … Texas Tech responded to Mike Leach's offer to drop his suit with this letter, a letter that is about as easy to read as some of our catechism texts in fourth grade. Anyhow, Brian Floyd at CougCenter has some thoughts on the response. … From around the conference, it's less than a week until signing day – FYI, I will be at the Cougars' event at Northern Quest Casino that evening; we're holding the Patchin, Lukens and Osso show from there and I'm a guest host that day so say hi – and we thought it would be a good day to check in with the WSU commits. You can peruse Cougfan's list here, and read about one of those on that list here, though Robert Lewis isn't all that solid (is anyone these days?). … Rick Neuheisel has a temporary gig. … New ASU coach Todd Graham seems to be making recruiting inroads in Arizona despite his late start. … Former Oregon defensive back Cliff Harris still sees himself as a Duck. … Back to basketball, Bob Clark of the Register-Guard has his weekly Pac-12 notebook, a former So Cal high school player returns home with Colorado and Arizona will wear these uniforms just once, but that's once too many for this writer.
• Eastern Washington: Jim Allen begins his report today with this Collin Chiverton feature. Chiverton leads the Eagles, and the Spokane area, in scoring. … Montana will be in town tonight and Montana State on Saturday, something Jim covers in his short weekly summary. … Jim has more football news as well. … Former Ferris guard Shawn Stockton makes his final trip home in a Montana uniform tonight.
• Idaho: The Vandals will host San Jose State tonight and Hawaii on Saturday. … The Spartans locked in their football coach yesterday with a long-term contract. … Utah State's hoops team is still struggling with consistency.
• Preps: Thursday is Prep Page day and Greg Lee has a feature on current Shadle Park Highlander – and soon-to-be WSU Cougar – Brett Boese. … Greg also has his column, asking the Greater Spokane League to consider divisions now that the WIAA classifications are set, a notebook and a post from yesterday. … Mike Vlahovich was at a wrestling match last night, covering what seems to be an unstoppable Mead juggernaut. … Here are the state basketball rankings. … A group of state legislators want the WIAA to change some things.
• Chiefs: Spokane had another win last night, 4-2 over last-place Everett.
• Seahawks: As we had earlier, former quarterback Jon Kitna is set to become Lincoln High's coach.
• Those are all the links we have this morning. It's a radio day, so we'll be on the Patchin, Lukens and Osso show today on 700 ESPN, starting at 3 p.m. You can listen here (hey, that's 41, but we just won't count it). Until later …