Archive for November 2012
The battle between the Western Hockey League and the Portland Winterhawks continues. Read more
The long bus ride to Saskatchewan had no ill effect on the Spokane Chiefs, who blasted the Swift Current Broncos 7-2 on Friday night. The Chiefs opened a stretch in which they play six East Division teams in nine days. Todd Fiddler and Mike Aviani continued to tear it up for Spokane. Read more
The Stanford women, ranked No. 1 for the first time since 2005, are coming to Spokane on Sunday afternoon for their latest game with new West Coast power Gonzaga. The teams will meet for the fifth time in four years, but this year's installment has a bonus feature. Stanford senior forward Joslyn Tinkle will play for the first time against her sister, freshman guard Elle of Gonzaga. Read story
You know the drill. Here are the links: S-R gamer, S-R photos, A.P. gamer and a recap by LCSC sports information. (One fix on my game story: LCSC is still 9-0, last night's game was an exhibition for the Warriors, a counter for Gonzaga) .
Read on for more.
It was a busy day Thursday, with three stories out at Eastern, including my feature story on do-it-all linebacker Grant Williams, a look ahead to the Eagles basketball home stand that begins tonight against Cal State Fullerton, and finally a where-do-we-go-from-here look at Eastern's ambitious Gateway Project. We also had a live chat on Eastern football. Here is the transcript. Elsewhere in the Big Sky, Montana State is counting on a playoff-tested team against Stony Brook.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Yesterday it was quantity. Today, we're focused on quality. Ya, that's it. We're focused on quality. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Something tells me that moniker's not going to catch on. But today's game between Stanford and UCLA will, indeed, decide the Pac-12 championship, such as it is. We have stories about that, as well as our usual look around the league, after the jump.
FROM PULLMAN — Our weekly picks column in the newspaper ended last weekend with the final full slate of Pac-12 games. But since two more games involving conference teams remain until the bowl season, we'll go ahead and forecast those real quick for the record.
UCLA at Stanford (Pac-12 championship game, 5 p.m. Friday on FOX), Stanford by 8.5 — I'd expect more of a fight from UCLA this time around, but the result should be the same as it was last week. Cardinal to the Rose Bowl. Stanford 28-21.
Nicholls State at Oregon State (11:30 a.m. Saturday, Pac-12 Networks), no line — Maybe the Beavers couldn't keep up with the Ducks last week because they were looking ahead to this showdown. OSU 49-10.
Season record: 68-21 straight up, 43-37 against the spread
Barry Brust, who played for the Spokane Chiefs from 2000-03, recently set the American Hockey League record for the longest shutout streak while playing for the Abbotsford Heat. Brust blanked rivals for 268 minutes and 17 seconds, breaking the record set in 1957-58 by Hall of Fame goalie Johnny Bower of the Cleveland Barons.
Two former Chiefs, Dustin Tokarski and Tyler Johnson, are doing well with the Syracuse Crunch. Goaltender Tokarski is 8-2-1 with a 1.65 goals-against average while Johnson (Central Valley High) leads the league with 13 goals in 17 games. He also has eight assists.
Thanks to former Chiefs beat writer Dave Trimmer for the heads-up notice.
Ladies and gentlemen, Kyle Dranginis.
The redshirt freshman pretty much introduced himself to Gonzaga followers with a 30-point performance in GU's 104-57 rout over Lewis-Clark State College on Thursday. Dranginis, who came in averaging 12.8 minutes per game, logged 34 minutes as GU rested starters Gary Bell Jr. and Elias Harris.
Here's a link to my game story. Back in the a.m. with a day-after post.
The name on her birth certificate is Ki-Shawna Moore. She was KiKi Moore when she played for Washington State in 2009-10. Now she's Ki-Ki Moore, playing her second season with Fresno State and leading the Bulldogs in scoring at 17.3 ppg. The Cougars will take on their former player Friday night at Fresno, Calif. Read FSU's advance
Former Spokane Chiefs player Travis Green, the new head coach for the Portland Winterhawks because of stiff sanctions imposed by the Western Hockey League, met with the media on Thursday. He's happy to be a head coach, but not under the circumstances. Read more
The Western Hockey League, after saying on Wednesday that it would have no more comments, on Thursday clarified its sanctions against the Portland Winterhawks. Read more
Nine days, six games, hundreds of miles by bus. The Spokane Chiefs will begin their eastern sojourn on Friday at Swift Current, Saskatchewan. Read about the trip
A GRIP ON SPORTS
We'll keep this lead-in short, because we're going to be asking you for a lot of time today. Read on.
Eastern football Live Chat resumes today at noon, right here at SportsLink. Until then, here's my Eagle playoff notebook focusing on Brandon Kaufman.And in case you missed it, here's my practice report from Tuesday night, plus John Blanchette's great article on how the Wagner Seahawks overcame adversity this season. … Both schools offer a wealth of info on Saturday's second-round game. Here is the official release from Eastern and here's the one from Wagner. In other news involving Big Sky teams, Montana State faces a possession-minded team from Stony Brook, while Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh denies he's interested in the vacancy at Idaho.
FROM PULLMAN — Already wrote this clever little lead-in once. Then my computer ate it. So just keep reading if you want to keep reading.
FROM PULLMAN — The Battle of the Palouse is over, and it goes to the Cougars for the 10th consecutive time. We have our capsulated recap after the jump.
We now know the five finalists for the Idaho job. Arkansas offensive coordinator Paul Petrino and Central Washington coach Blaine Bennett will interview at UI over the next two days, The Spokesman-Review has learned.
Our story is below.
FROM PULLMAN — We have the transcription of Mike Leach's season-ending press conference in its entirety, but first wanted to pull out a few of the more significant notes.
— Leach was again adamant that the Marquess Wilson review has been a “total waste of time,” and said that Wilson has since “basically recanted everything he’s said.”
“Just wait and you’ll read the review. Stay tuned and when you all get bored talking about football, you can talk about that again.”
— There's no update on Jeff Tuel's request for a fifth year of eligibility. Leach said Tuel is lifting weights with the team. Offseason workouts started on Monday, with players lifting four days per week. Next week, they'll run and lift four days per week, then do the same thing the week after, Leach said.
— Leach said Travis Long's knee injury will keep him out of pre-draft workouts, but he still expects Long to get a shot with an NFL team.
— Leach expects all of his assistants to return next season, “as far as I know.”
— On his name coming up in other coaching searches, Leach said: “I’m not looking for another position and I’m happy here. It’s about as simple as that. There’s always dialogue that takes place but I’m happy here. I’m staying here. When I got here I planned to from the beginning, I planned to get to a place where you build it up and you turn it around. Not looking for just stop and start stuff.”
Here's the transcription:
Travis Green, one of the Spokane Chiefs' all-time greats, will step in as interim coach for the Portland Winterhawks, who were slapped with heavy sanctions by the WHL on Wednesday. Read more
The WHL came down hard on the Portland Winterhawks today for violations of league policy regarding player benefits. Read the story here.
Kelly Olynyk hadn't played in an official game for nearly 20 months, but the 7-foot junior shook off the rust quickly and helped Gonzaga win the Old Spice Classic.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
FROM PULLMAN — So it's not the Apple Cup. But the Battle of the Palouse — tonight's basketball game between Washington State and Idaho — is an interesting enough rivalry in its own right, I suppose. Read on.
Former Idaho coach Keith Gilbertson said Tuesday evening he talked with Idaho athletic director Rob Spear earlier this month, but he's not a candidate for the Vandals' vacant job. He would have considered taking the position, however, if Idaho had decided to move to the Big Sky.
We've got more from Gilbertson and our full story below.
The Western Hockey League gets a mention or two in this story about how hockey fans can pass the time while NHL players remain locked out. Read more
Just had a good talk with Whitworth senior guard Emily Guthrie. She and Washington State freshmen Lia Galdeira are featured in this week's women's notebook. Read more:
FROM PULLMAN — Sat down this morning with WSU assistant coach Ray Lopes, who coached at Idaho the past four seasons. Since the Cougars play the Vandals tomorrow night, we spoke with Lopes about his time there, his role with WSU and some other things. Read on.
Jason Gesser told The Spokesman-Review this afternoon that he'll interview for the permanent head coaching job, though the date for the interview has yet to be determined. The Vandals' interim coach said he's been told by athletic director Rob Spear he's still in the mix for the full-time gig, which apparently makes him of the five finalists. UI was set to interview Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey and San Jose State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren today.
Wyoming athletic director Tom Burman told the Casper Star-Tribune that he spoke with Spear about Tormey on Monday, and that Spear hopes to name a new coach by mid-next week.
Gesser, 33, reiterated his desire to stay at Idaho as an assistant if he's not hired for the head job. “I got my family invested here, I’ve got myself invested here,” he said. “I’ve got a lot of interest in this program, and I want to be apart of it, whether it be the head guy, a coordinator, quarterbacks coach, whatever it may be.”
As for now, Gesser and UI staff are in full recruiting mode. He leaves tomorrow to visit recruits, while the rest of the coaching staff is either reviewing recruiting tape or currently on visits, he said.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
If you want to major in dance or theater in many of our nation's universities, with the thought of heading to Hollywood or Broadway, you have that option. But if you want to major in athletics, with an eye on a professional career, you are out of luck. Is it time for that to change? Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Monday was a relatively quiet day on the Palouse, in that there were no football coaching rumors to tend to. But we did spend some time on the basketball side of things, so read on for a bit more on that.
Five candidates have emerged as finalists to become the head football coach at Idaho, and two of those coaches — Wyoming defensive coordinator Chris Tormey and San Jose State offensive coordinator Brian Lindgren — will interview with UI on Tuesday. FootballScoop.com reported that Tormey, Idaho's coach from 1995 to 1999, “remains a strong candidate” for the job. The coaching site also said Lindgren, the former UI quarterback, will meet with Idaho. The Spokesman-Review confirmed Lindgren is set to interview for the open position.
While athletic director Rob Spear's comments after UI's season-ending loss to Utah State suggested that interim coach Jason Gesser is out of the mix, Gesser said he will interview again this week, according to the Associated Press. That perhaps means Gesser is one of the five finalists.
(Here's a version of the brief we put together for tomorrow's newspaper)
PULLMAN – Two Washington State football players were named second-team All Pac-12 yesterday.
Junior safety Deone Bucannon and junior kicker Andrew Furney were voted to the second team, though linebacker Travis Long, who is fifth in the conference with 9.5 sacks, was somewhat surprisingly named only as an honorable mention.
Long joined receiver Brett Bartolone, center Elliott Bosch, linebackers Cyrus Coen and Darryl Monroe, defensive tackle Xavier Cooper, cornerback Daniel Simmons and running back Teondray Caldwell on the honorable mention list.
USC receiver Marqise Lee was named Offensive Player of the Year, and Arizona State defensive tackle Will Sutton was named Defensive Player of the Year.
Stanford’s David Shaw, who led the Cardinal to a 10-2 record and the Pac-12 North division championship, was named Coach of the Year.
Bucannon is tied for third in the Pac-12 with 8.8 tackles per game and finished the season with four interceptions, two off the conference lead. Furney, who was also named the special teams Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday, finished the season 14 of 20 on field-goal attempts. His 60-yard field goal was the longest in the Pac-12 this season.
Read on to see the full list of all-conference players.
If you're a college basketball fan you should take this week's news quiz for a chance to win four tickets to the Idaho at Eastern Washington men's basketball game on Dec. 6. Enter here, and you're in the running for the random drawing. Good luck.
Back with a day-after post following Gonzaga’s 81-67 win over Davidson in the championship game of the Old Spice Classic. The Zags handled Clemson by 8,
The Zags did things backward in one sense. They went to Disney World before winning the championship. They visited the park on Saturday’s off day.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Five years ago Washington State hired Paul Wulff to lead its football program. A year ago, after just nine wins, the Cougars fired him, an impatient action, according to some WSU fans, that came a year too early. Now it seems like the Cougs waited an eternity. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Sunday marked the first official day of the offseason for a whole bunch of college football teams. It also marked the beginning of a period that is likely to cause some consternation in Pullman for the foreseeable future. Let's explain. Read on.
It was easily Gonzaga's most entertaining game so far, but I expect that'll change with the challenges coming on the Bulldogs' schedule in the next six weeks. GU repelled numerous Davidson comebacks for an 81-67 victory, fueled by Kevin Pangos' five 3-pointers and tourney MVP Elias Harris' 24 points and 10 boards.
My unedited game story is below. I'll have a day-after post tomorrow, just not sure when because of an early flight and a short layover!
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It seems like it's been a month or two since the Seahawks last played a football game. But it's only been 14 days. It's just a lot has happened since the win over the Jets (that was their last opponent, right?) so the gap has been filled with some many games and holidays, it's hard to remember something that long ago. Either that, or I am getting really old. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — With WSU's football season officially in the rearview, our focus shifts — however long it takes — to basketball for the next 3-plus months. But there's some football news to pass along, too, and not the kind that we want to be writing about. Read on.
This was a big win for Washington State. BYU was selected to unseat eight-time West Coast Conference champion Gonzaga in a preseason poll of league coaches. WSU gave the Bulldogs fits last year in a two-point win for Gonzaga. The Cougars play at Gonzaga on Dec. 29. Read more
FROM PULLMAN — Since this is, unfortunately, turning into one of the bigger talking points from the Apple Cup at this point, this post is to note that CougCenter has posted video of a fan apparently striking a Washington Huskies player identified as Austin Seferian-Jenkins as fans stormed the field following Friday's game.
As you can see in the video here, it's not possible to make out a number or facial features or anything like that, but Seferian-Jenkins confirmed in a tweet Saturday night that he was, indeed, struck by a fan after the game.
Here's a detailed breakdown of the grainy video by CougCenter. The video appears to show a fan run up to the UW player, strike him near the head area, then run away into the crowd.
A WSU spokesperson said it wasn't immediately known whether athletic director Bill Moos or WSU administrators were aware of the incident. The video began circulating during the WSU men's basketball game against Arkansas-Pine Bluff. UW has told reporters that it isn't commenting on the matter.
As Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times notes in this blog post, Seferian-Jenkins spoke with reporters after the game and appeared fine. He did not mention the altercation.
The Spokane Chiefs caught fire in the final 12 minutes Saturday night and beat the Tri-City Americans 5-2 at the Arena in the 1000th Western Hockey League game for Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur. Read more
FROM PULLMAN — Not that this one needs a whole lot of additional explanation — WSU is simply a much better team than Arkansas-Pine Bluff, and that showed — but we have our usual capsulated game recap for you. Read on.
Football ruled the day, but not on my computer. Here's a rundown of tonight's post:
Gonzaga's defense, stellar thus far, faces its toughest challenge of the young season against Davidson on Sunday. The teams staged two memorable games in recent years. The most memorable was Stephen Curry draining eight 3-pointers and scoring 40 points, 30 in the second half, as the Wildcats edged Gonzaga 82-76 in Raleigh in the 2008 NCAA Tournament. Two years ago in the Battle in Seattle, Elias Harris scored 27 points, Robert Sacre 23 and Demetri Goodson 22 as GU rolled 103-91. The Zags made 41 of 54 free throws, a school-record for attempts.
Also, I was able to catch up with ex-Zags Austin Daye and Jeremy Pargo earlier this week and put together an update on their NBA careers. Per usual, both were generous with their time. It's strange to see Pargo (pictured above) wearing No. 8. Kyrie Irving wears No. 2 and Luke Walton has No. 4 so Pargo settled on No. 8.
Todd Fiddler's team-high 18th goal early in the second period Saturday night gave the Spokane Chiefs a 2-1 lead over the Tri-City Americans in the 1,000th Western Hockey League game for Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur. Story to come.
FROM PULLMAN — In case you'd forgotten after yesterday's events, there's a WSU basketball game today. The Cougars and Arkansas-Pine Bluff get underway from Beasley Coliseum here in about 10 minutes. We have some quick notes for you.
After Idaho's 45-9 loss at Utah State this afternoon, athletic director Rob Spear said five finalists have been named for the vacant head coaching position. Spear said an announcement would not come tomorrow, but he wants to move “as quickly as possible.”
We've got more from Spear after the jump.
Busy day ahead so we'll get to our day-after Oklahoma post here, then put together a short preview of GU-Davidson in Sunday's Old Spice Classic championship game and a feature on the ups and downs of former Zags Austin Daye and Jeremy Pargo in the NBA. I'll post those articles later.
The Idaho basketball team was up six early in the second half before succumbing to unbeaten — and perhaps soon-to-be ranked — New Mexico at The Pit last night. On the football field, meanwhile, the Vandals face an even bigger challenge at No. 25 Utah State (our preview is here). Kickoff is 12:05 PST, and as soon as the game ends, you can bet speculation about the next Idaho head coach will go into overdrive. We'll have updates here on the blog and on Twitter: @SR_JoshWright.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Welcome to Crimson Saturday. It's not it's official name, but after the largest comeback in Apple Cup history resulted in Washington State's 31-28 overtime win over Washington yesterday, today is dedicated to the Cougar fans. At least it is here. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Each Sunday morning, we recap the coverage of the previous day's game. Well, it's Saturday morning. But in case you hadn't heard, there was a football game here yesterday. It went well for the home team. Read on.
Heading into Friday night's game at Kennewick, the Spokane Chiefs hadn't played an overtime game this year. They also hadn't lost to the Tri-City Americans. They also were 11-0 when leading after two periods. All of that changed, but the Chiefs will get another shot at Tri-City on Saturday night at the Arena. Read story
FROM PULLMAN — It's a happier tale of the tape this time for WSU, as we break down the Cougars' 31-28 overtime win over Washington in the Apple Cup. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's a partial transcript of Mike Leach's postgame comments after WSU's 31-28 overtime win over Washington in the Apple Cup. Read on.
Gonzaga manhandled Oklahoma 72-47 on Friday to advance to the Old Spice Classic championship game. Elias Harris had 18 points, 14 in the second half and the Bulldogs worked over OU on the boards, 51-24.
The Bulldogs will face Davidson on Sunday.
Here's a link to my game story.
Andrew Furney's 27-yard field goal in overtime gives Washington State an unlikely 31-28 win over Washington in the Apple Cup on Friday in Pullman. Click here for the story.
Tell us what you thought of the game.
Back with a day-after post following the Zags' grind-it-out 57-49 victory over Clemson at the Old Spice Classic. Next up is Oklahoma, which was stout defensively in a 68-61 win over UTEP and showed more polish offensively than Clemson.
There were times when it was as hard for Gonzaga to score as it was for ex-Zag Jeremy Pargo to get into the locker room for a post-game address to the team. (He had a pass, but it took a brief meeting of arena security before Pargo was allowed to see the team.).
Here are the links: S-R game story, A.P. gamer and Orlando Sentinel first-day wrap-up (quotes Huggins about possible GU-West Virginia rematch. Huggins, by the way, wouldn't allow his players to wear WVU practice gear following the 84-50 loss to Gonzaga last week). Football is king in Oklahoma and the Sooners have a date with Oklahoma State on Saturday, so no byline story from the Daily Oklahoman.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It may be Black Friday in the retail world, but around the Northwest today is known for just one thing. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — This is it: our final batch of gameday links. It's Washington State. It's Washington. It's the Apple Cup. And we have some things for you to read before you watch the game. So read on.
Gonzaga remained unbeaten by grinding out a 57-49 win over Clemson on Thursday at the Old Spice Classic. David Stockton had a big second half with six assists.Kelly Olynyk, in his first action of the season, had his first two shots rejected, but he responded by contributing 13 points, three boards a steal and a block.
Elias Harris added 13 points, nine boards and four assists for the Bulldogs, who shot 33.3 percent in the first half and 70 percent in the second. Check back tomorrow morning for a day-after post.
Here's a link to my game story..
FROM PULLMAN — To preview Friday's Apple Cup game, Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times was kind enough to answer five questions for us. You can find Bob's blog here (as if there's anyone reading this who wouldn't already know), and follow him on Twitter: @bcondotta. Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It is customary in our country to give thanks on the last Thursday in November. The tradition dates back to the Civil War and, no, we're not talking about the football game in Oregon. But in the past 50 years or so, football has become an integral part of our Thanksgiving celebrations, whether it be the traditional NFL games from Detroit and Dallas or college games that mean just about everything to the fans involved. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Happy Thanksgiving to all, and to all a happy Thanksgiving. We'll keep the links short today. It is a holiday, after all. Read on.
The Spokane Chiefs took care of the Everett Silvertips at the Arena on Wednesday night, as has been their pattern during the last five years. Todd Fiddler, Reid Gow and Brenden Kichton supplied the offense for backup goaltender Garret Hughson, who defeated Everett for the second time in two weeks. Read the story
Gonzaga's undefeated season came to an end Wednesday at the Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. The Bulldogs played well on defense but couldn't get their offense going. Read story
Not a big fan when the alarm clock goes off at 4-a.m. something. Not a big fan of airports at 5-a.m. something. Not a big fan of hearing the pilot inform passengers that the pilot in the plane behind us noticed an emergency door ajar on our jet. Really not a big fan when I'm sitting in an exit-row window seat.
And this was actually one of my smoother trips! The door in question was near the back end of the aircraft and we were on our way after a short delay.
Arrived in Orlando and made it to the Amway Center early in the first quarter of the Orlando-Detroit game. I checked in with ex-Zag Austin Daye after the game for an article that will run in the near future. He played the final 3:40 of a blowout Magic win, but playing time has been scarce for the fourth-year pro.
When I returned to my hotel room, I flipped on the TV to the Maui Invitational and Illinois — GU's opponent Dec. 8 — was putting on another 3-point shooting clinic against Butler — GU's opponent Jan. 19. With Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor and the three games at the Old Spice coming up, Gonzaga has a rugged stretch coming up.
So, here's my preview of the GU-Clemson game on Thanksgiving Day night (6 p.m. Pacific). That picture of Kelly Olynyk is from his sophomore season. He redshirted last year and he's put on probably 30 pounds and added a combination Adam Morrison/Bill Walton hair style.
Butler has cut a double-digit deficit to 6 in the second half so I'm going to watch the conclusion.
FROM PULLMAN — The final practice of the season was a brief, light one for the Washington State football team, as they practiced for under two hours and bypassed their usual Thursday Night Football portion. Quarterback Connor Halliday and defensive end/linebacker Travis Long did not participate, as was the case the past two days. Afterward, we spoke with a couple of WSU coaches about the Apple Cup rivalry. Read on.
Eastern Washington is on its way to play 11th-ranked California on Friday at the Cal Classic by Doubletree. This recent article examines the Golden Bears' strengths. Read article
Idaho has added a junior college forward and high school guard from the Seattle area who, according to Don Verlin, is one of the biggest sleepers on the West Coast. Get all the details below.
Check out the NHL Central Scouting preliminary rankings of junior talent in North American and Europe. One of the listed players, Everett defenseman Mirco Muller, is in town tonight to play the Spokane Chiefs. Read article
The Ontario Hockey League has cracked down on fighting this season. (The OHL is one of three leagues under the umbrella of the Canadian Hockey League. The Spokane Chiefs' Western Hockey League is another.) Read more
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Our long regional nightmare is over. Read on.
The honors are pouring in for Eastern Washington players, especially wide receiver Brandon Kaufman; Here's our story. There's more to come, including today's Coach of the Year announcement from the Big Sky. Will Beau Baldwin win the award, or will it go to Tim Walsh of newcomer Cal Poly Co-Big Sky champ Montana State won both MVP awards yesterday. … Mick Delaney will return to coach the Grizzlies, Montana's athletic director said yesterday. The third co-champ, Cal Poly, put two players on the first team.
FROM KANSAS CITY — Actually, by the time this posts, I should be landing in Denver en route to Spokane. We'll still hold our live chat at 1 p.m., though, and will be at practice later this afternoon. First, we have a bunch of links to get to, so read on.
Idaho has its first win, and just in time. After beating Wisconsin-Green Bay, the Vandals' first win in three home games to start the season, it plays at unbeaten New Mexico on Friday and at Washington State on Nov. 28.
We've got our story and a few notes below.
Gonzaga puts its 5-0 record on the line Wednesday against No. 7 Louisville. People around here may remember when Gonzaga played Louisville in the NCAA tournament two years ago. One of Louisville's flashier players, Shoni Schimmel, used to live on the Umatilla (Ore.) reservation. Shoni is still around and has been joined by her sister, Jude. Read more from a story written last year about the sisters.
Keani Albanez and Jazmine Redmon scored career highs Tuesday night as Gonzaga began play at the Hardwood Tournament of Hope in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico with an 80-66 victory. The Bulldogs will meet No. 7 Louisville in Wednesday's semifinals. Read more
FROM KANSAS CITY — Washington State will be pleased to bid the Sprint Center adieu. It has not been kind to them. Neither have Kansas or Texas A&M. We have our capsulated look at WSU's 55-54 loss to the Aggies on Tuesday. Read on.
Just had a good chat with Spokane Chiefs center Mike Aviani. Here's the story
It looks like the Stanford women will be ranked No. 1 when they play at Gonzaga on Dec. 2. Here's a good AP story on how the Cardinal joined the school's football team in knocking off No. 1 teams.
FROM KANSAS CITY — We're about 20 minutes from tip-off of WSU's CBE Classic consolation game against Texas A&M, which the Cougars will play without sophomore guard DaVonte Lacy. The left knee injury that knocked Lacy out of last night's loss to Kansas will also keep him out of this one, and he'll be evaluated further when the team returns to Pullman tomorrow. Dexter Kernich-Drew is likely to start in Lacy's place. … WSU's loss to Kansas last night wasn't pretty, to be sure. But the team the Cougars face tonight is coming off a bad loss, too, one in which it struggled quite a bit offensively. The Aggies made a fair percentage of shots (44.2 percent from the field and 3-7 from 3-point range) but turned the ball over 19 times. Their frontcourt size — 6-foot-9 Kourtney Roberson and 6-foot-9 Ray Turner are probable starters — is a little more manageable, too. … WSU fans might recognize the name of Elston Turner, a starting Texas A&M guard who played two seasons at Washington before transferring. … This is what the pundits like to call a gut-check game for WSU. That's a cliche, yes. But this bit of early-season adversity — coming off an embarrassing loss, without DaVonte Lacy — could show a lot about WSU's character. And about its offense. The Cougars couldn't make shots last night. But even Kansas coach Bill Self admitted that some of that was more about WSU simply missing than it was KU playing great defense. Those buckets must go down tonight for WSU to have a chance. … As mentioned earlier, A&M's size shouldn't be quite as bothersome. Maybe that means a different defensive approach.
We'll be back after the game.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
The rain just keeps on keeping on. Hour after hour. Day after day. And, yes, that is a metaphor. Read on.
In addition to the big prize - a No.2 seed in the FCS playoffs- Eastern is collection some individual recognition. Here's my story. From Dave Cook at Eastern, more details on awards. Today, the Big Sky Conference will hand out its biggest hardware, including MVPs and all-conference selections. We'll keep you posted. Eastern is sharing the Big Sky title with No. 3 seed Montana State, whose coaches worked hard to solve the Montana running game. Big Sky newcomer Cal Poly also gets a first-round playoff bye, although the Mustangs will faces perennial power Sam Houston State in the Sweet 16.
FROM KANSAS CITY — Yesterday turned out to be a busy one. And not just on the basketball front. Read on for our usual assortment of WSU news and links.
FROM KANSAS CITY — Well, that was ugly. We have our capsulated recap of WSU's 78-41 loss to Kansas in the semifinals of the CBE Classic on Monday night.
Hola, women's basketball fans and other amigos. Gonzaga's women's basketball team is on its way to a three-day tournament in Mexico. Here's the story:
Good morning, back with my day-after South Dakota post. So far so good for the Zags, who trounced USD 96-58, even with a few hiccups. The links: S-R game story, A.P. gamer, Colin Mulvany photos and a recap in the Argus Leader with a byline you might recognize.
Now GU heads to Orlando (technically Lake Buena Vista) and the Old Spice Classic for a date against Clemson. Tough matchup for the Zags and PGA golfer/Clemson grad/Gonzaga fan Kyle Stanley!
A GRIP ON SPORTS
As much as I hate to admit it, the folks who say the BCS system keeps the regular season significant have a point. And it was illustrated Sunday when the FCS playoff bracket was announced. Read on.
FROM KANSAS CITY — From the Pacific to the Mountain to the Central time zones, we're busy this week. But not too busy to pass along some links, as well as some video from yesterday's WSU media availablity we weren't able to get to due to a tight travel schedule and other newspaper duties. Read on.
Back with a cut-and-paste version of my game story while I wait for the article to get posted on the S-R Website. Gonzaga rolled to a 96-58 win over South Dakota on Sunday afternoon.
Watching some of the GU women's game before I head home tonight.
Right in the middle of an NFL Sunday, Gonzaga returns to action today at 1 against South Dakota (the teaser that accompanied my short preview in the print edition had the time incorrectly listed at 6) Here's my preview. The GU women face Monmouth at 6 at the MAC.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
If we were smart, we would ignore what went on in Tempe yesterday, choosing to focus instead on the positive happenstances of Saturday. But, honestly, smart is not my middle name. Read on.
FROM PHOENIX — It's on to Kansas City later this evening to meet up with the basketball team for its games in the CBE Classic on Monday and Tuesday, but before we do that, we have our usual recap of Saturday's happenings. Read on.
It wasn't just the Idaho football team that lost a heartbreaker Saturday. The Vandals' men's basketball team dropped a gut-punching 66-63 game to Montana at Memorial Gym. Our story is below.
Idaho athletic director Rob Spear will interview Washington State linebackers coach Jeff Choate on Sunday for the head coaching job, FootballScoop.com reported. In September, Choate — an Idaho native and former Boise State assistant — criticized UI for playing BCS opponents “for a paycheck” and suggested the Vandals should drop down to the FCS level.
Idaho interim coach Jason Gesser said Saturday that he expects to get an interview for the full-time job. But is Spear really considering Gesser for the position? Gesser's comments on that are below.
Jason Gesser couldn't have been more to the point in his post-game news conference after the Vandals' 34-27 loss to UTSA. “If we didn’t turn the ball over, we would have won that game very easily.” Except there were plenty of other self-inflicted Idaho mistakes that led to its 10th loss of the year.
We've got our story and notes below.
The Spokane Chiefs are coming home for a Wednesday game with Everett. Saturday's game in Seattle was a 3-1 win, with Todd Fiddler recording his first career hat trick. Read more
FROM TEMPE — Another Saturday, another tough loss for Washington State, this one 46-7 to Arizona State. As usual, we look at the game in capsule form. Read on.
(My iPhone cut out before the last question, so apologies for that.)
After defeating Wisconsin during its home opener on Friday night, Gonzaga also had its attention on this game. Stanford comes to Gonzaga on Dec. 2. Read more
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Remember that old Yogi Berra line about a restaurant in New York? It went something like, “No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded.” Well, Yogi hit it on the nose. At least it felt that way last night. Read on.
FROM PHOENIX -- It's another gameday, which means another live chat later this morning — 11 a.m., as is customary for a 12 p.m. start — before the Cougars take on Arizona State. But first, we have some links to get to, including our stringer's game story from WSU's shocking 58-56 overtime loss to Pepperdine last night in men's basketball. Read on.
Gonzaga's home opener Friday was a game of streaks, as Wisconsin built a 14-point first-half lead but the Bulldogs used an 18-0 run to win 62-53. Read more.
FROM PHOENIX — We'll have a short item in the paper about this — and we wrote about it in today's newspaper, as well — but wanted to pass along the official release from WSU about the approval of construction for the football operations building.
WSU's release is after the jump.
Very late to this. Apologies. Need straight-up, against the spread picks.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Remember when I wrote yesterday about it being too cold to work in the yard. I was wrong. And now my shoulders are paying the price. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Another drive to Spokane and flight to Phoenix await. First, we want to add a few more thoughts to a story that ran in today's newspaper, and also pass along our usual links. Read on.
On his first day as Idaho's interim football coach, Jason Gesser said he wanted to run the program for years to come. But if the Vandals choose to hire someone else, Gesser still wants to stay in Moscow “in the worst way,” he told The Spokesman-Review for a story that ran today.
We have some bonus material below, as well as a look at Gesser's chance to land the permanent job.
UPDATE: FootballScoop.com reports that Rob Spear plans to speak with Gesser, Wyoming defensive coordinator and former UI coach Chris Tormey, Cal Poly coach Tim Walsh, Montana State coach Rob Ash, and several others.
The Gonzaga Bulldogs, off to a 2-0 start, will kick off their home schedule on Friday when the Wisconsin Badgers comes to McCarthey Athletic Center. Read Friday's women's basketball notebook.
Team Russia defeated a Western Hockey League all-star team coached by Spokane Chiefs coach Don Nachbaur 5-2 on Thursday in Victoria, British Columbia, to complete the six-game SUBWAY Super Series. Read more
Former Spokane Chiefs player Jared Cowen has suffered a setback. Read more
FROM PULLMAN — Thursday practices are downright routine around here — especially with WSU preparing for its 11th game of the season — so there really isn't much to report from a news standpoint. But since we weren't able to pass along anything from our conversation with offensive line coach Clay McGuire last night — basketball duties and all — you can read it here now.
Whether you're a Husky or a Coug, this week's news quiz is playing into your hands. One lucky winner will score four tickets plus a parking pass to the Nov. 23 Apple Cup football game in Pullman. Enter here, and you're in the running for the random drawing. Good luck!
A GRIP ON SPORTS
I have to admit it. I love this time of year. There's basketball on the TV almost every night, there is football on the weekends and it's cold enough I can beg off working in the yard. Yep, it's nearly perfect. Except for one thing. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — With football practice, a live chat, early signing day and a basketball game last night, there were a few things to write about. And now there are a few things to read about. So go ahead and read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's a transcript of coach Ken Bone's comments, as well as video of postgame interviews courtesy of WSU athletics.
FROM PULLMAN — We filed a short item earlier today on Washington State's early basketball signees, but also wanted to make sure we got something on the blog before the clock strikes midnight. Below is WSU's release announcing the signings of guard Ikenna Iroegbu and forwards Josh Hawkinson and Tanner Lancona, with comments from coach Ken Bone about each player.
Josh Hawkinson (6-9, 220, PF, Shoreline, Wash./Shorewood HS) averaged 18.0 points per game during the 2011-12 season at Shorewood HS for the Thunderbirds. Hawkinson was named to the 3A All-Western Conference First Team as a junior as he led the team to a 17-6 overall record and a 13-3 league finish.
“Josh will be a great asset to the team,” Bone said. “He is an extremely skilled passer that has the ability to shoot from the perimeter. In addition, he’s a tremendous student and we look forward to helping him continue to develop.”
Ikenna ‘Ike’ Iroegbu (6-2, 190, G, Elk Grove, Calif./Oak Hill Academy) joined Oak Hill Academy and 2012 Naismith Coach of the Year, Steve Smith, at the start of his junior year. That year Iroegbu helped the Warriors to a 44-0 record, No. 1 national ranking, and a national championship. Prior to playing at Oak Hill, Iroegbu played at Franklin High School in Elk Grove, Calif., where he averaged 4.5 points, 3.8 assists, and 3.1 rebounds per game as a sophomore. During the 2010-11 season, the Wildcats went 10-0 in the Delta Valley League, while Iroegbu averaged 7.8 points in the final four games of the season, including a 12-point performance, going 5-of-8 from the field in the final game.
“Ike is a very athletic and quick combo guard who we hope can make an immediate impact here at WSU,” Bone said. “He’s a good shooter and scorer and great in transition. We enjoyed having his older brother, Chuks, here as a walk-on last season and know he’s a great young man from an outstanding family.”
Tanner Lancona (6-8, 225, PF, Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif./Tesoro HS) played for coach Steve Garrett and the Titans during his junior season, leading the team to a 16-13 record after averaging 14.2 points per game. During the 2011-12 season, Lacona averaged 15.5 points per game over the final four games including a season-high 29 points against El Toro High School in a 66-51 win. As a sophomore, Lacona was named to the South Coast League Second Team and was named an All-Southern Section selection after his junior campaign.
“Tanner will be another good addition to our frontcourt as a stretch-four,” Bone said. “At 6-8 he can shoot the three, but he is also skilled in the paint. His ability to pass the ball shows what good of a feel he has for the game.”
FROM PULLMAN — Washington State cruised to what figures to be one of its easiest wins of the season, beating Utah Valley 72-49 at Beasley Coliseum. We have our usual game capsule, so read on.
Ryan Edwards and Lucas Meikle verbally committed to Gonzaga a few months ago, but they made it official on Wednesday by signing letters of intent. I talked with Edwards, who has hired a trainer and dropped 10 pounds, earlier today and filed this article that will run in Thursday's S-R.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
The clock was winding down. The visiting team from down the road was leading by a couple and had the ball. It was a chance to pull an upset that would reverberate throughout the L.A. basin. Then they “Anteatered It.” Read on.
The Eagles are ready to fly south, if only to Portland for the final game of the regular season. Tuesday night's practice was intense; here's my report, plus a feature on senior linebacker Tyler Washburn. There's a big game in Missoula this week, with plenty at stake for Montana State running back Kody Kirk and the second-ranked Bobcats. Montana quarterback Shay Smithwick-Hann has been a part of the Cat-Griz rivalry for a long time; now he'll be in the middle of it.
FROM PULLMAN — It's midweek for WSU's football team. It's gameday for the men's basketball game. And for us? Just another Wednesday. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Most probably assumed this would be the case, but it appears Washington State will start Jeff Tuel at quarterback again this week. That's what coach Mike Leach said after Tuesday's practice. He also said other things. Read on.
The Spokane Shock will open the 2013 season with three straight road games (at Cleveland, Chicago and Iowa). The team will remain in the Midwest during that time to save on travel costs rather than flying back and forth.
The AFL also signed a two-year agreement to have games televised on the CBS Sports Network.
Back with my day after West Virginia post. Gonzaga made quick work of the Mountaineers — just as it did eight months ago in the NCAA Tournament. It was the worst loss in coach Bob Huggins' six-year tenure at West Virginia. It was WVU's worst lost since an 84-46 setback to Villanova in Jan., 2005.
We linked to these late last night, but here's my game story, Jesse Tinsley's photos and John Blanchette's column. Here's a report from WVU sports information (with Huggins' blunt-as-always quotes), More from the Charleston Daily Mail.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
You want to know what really makes my morning? When our dog looks out the window near my computer and spies a squirrel in the backyard. He gets all revved up, starts jumping up and down and begs to be let outside. I usually oblige. Off he races, legs akimbo, tongue hanging out, barking. Down the stairs, across the lawn and boom. Nothing. His goal has disappeared. Gone. What a wasted effort. Sort of like the effort of a visitor to our area last night. Read on.
Like any science, bracketology is easier when there are fewer variables. It's this simple: EWU>PSU=FCS(3-5). For you non-football/science types, that means that if the Eagles beat Portland State this week, they can expect a third- through fifth seed in the playoffs. Moreover, our calculations exclude the volatile Grizzly coefficient, which, when combined with the sometimes unstable MSU molecule, is known to create an upsetting result. But again, the Eagles need to win in Portland State. Here's a preview from Dave Cook at Eastern, and here's the official release from Portland State.
FROM PULLMAN — Might make for some riveting midafternoon television, no? The drama continues here on the Palouse, where the first considerable snowfall of the season greeted us yesterday morning. And today, who knows? Read on.
Good evening, err, morning. Gonzaga took apart West Virginia for the second time in eight months, the latest an 84-50 throttling late Monday night. It tipped off just after 9 p.m., was essentially over by 9:30 and finally ended at 11:22.
Check back tomorrow for my day-after post.
FROM PULLMAN — Here's a transcript of some of Mike Leach's comments at his Monday press conference.
Gonzaga's first big early season challenge comes tonight when West Virginia, led by coach Bob Huggins, visits the MAC at 9 (deadline special!). Here's my preview, and more on the game here, here (second half here) and here. And here and here. That's a lot of heres.
Also, the NCAA announced second- and third-round NCAA men's tournament games will be held at the Spokane Arena in March, 2014. Seattle and Portland are preliminary-round sites in 2015.
In-game updates tonight at twitter.com/SRjimm.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
In Seattle, it was the best of times and the worst of times. In Spokane, it snowed. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — It's never dull around here these days, and this afternoon figures to be no exception. Mike Leach, as usual, meets with the media later today, along with three WSU players. First, we have links to start your week. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — It was another cold one on the Palouse, with the WSU football team practicing for about an hour before playing a little dodgeball to finish things off. But Mike Leach did address the school's investigation into Marquess Wilson's statement, so read on.
FROM PULLMAN — WSU sophomore linebacker Chester Su’a was arrested on an outstanding warrant Friday afternoon for failure to appear in court on a misdemeanor hit-and-run charge, Pullman Police Sgt. Dan Dornes said.
Su’a was transported to Whitman County jail, Dornes said, before posting bail in the amount of $1,050. Su’a was released, played in Saturday’s game and was credited with a tackle.
UPDATE: A WSU spokesperson said coaches are aware of the situation and will handle it internally, as is the standard.
Dornes said Su’a was cited for hit-and-run after a July 25 incident in which the vehicle he was driving – borrowed from a friend – allegedly collided with a van near Opal Street and Campus Street in Pullman and drove away.
Su’a told police that the van had struck the vehicle he was driving, Dornes said, but inspection of the other vehicle indicated it was more likely that the vehicle Su’a was driving had struck the van.
The arrest warrant was dated Nov. 2, Dornes said, though it is uncertain when Su’a was scheduled to appear in court.
FROM PULLMAN — In a statement released this morning, WSU president Elson Floyd announced he has asked the school's athletic department, as well as the Pac-12, to independently investigate Marquess Wilson's claims of abuse by the coaching staff.
Here is the statement:
“After consultation with WSU Athletic Director Bill Moos, I have asked our athletic department to fully review recent allegations raised concerning the football program and report their findings and conclusions as soon as possible. Simultaneously, I have asked the Pac-12 to independently do the same. Together, both reports should get to the bottom of the matter.”
For more on Wilson, click here.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
After four hours of sleep, we're all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Ya, even I know that's baloney. But we do have a morning post. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Lots to get to. So let's get right to it. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — We'll keep this quick because it's late, but here we go with our capsulated look at UCLA's 44-36 win over WSU. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — WSU outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons spoke with media just after midnight inside the Bohler athletic complex, and he had some strong words when asked about Marquess Wilson. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Mike Leach didn't want to discuss Marquess Wilson on Saturday night, but he termed his team's effort one of the best he's seen as a coach despite UCLA winning 46-38. We have a transcript of Leach's comments below, so read on.
Even if Idaho had played mistake-free football, it would have had a tough time hanging with heavily favored BYU. As it was, the Vandals committed five turnovers and never posed a serious threat in a 52-13 loss in chilly Provo, Utah.
Idaho, 1-9, hosts UT San Antonio next week on senior day before finishing the year at Utah State. We've got more details below, including an update on the Vandals' coaching search from athletic director Rob Spear.
FROM PULLMAN — Marquess Wilson, in a statement faxed to the Spokesman-Review and other media outlets, has announced his departure from the Washington State football team. Below is a copy of the letter.
FROM PULLMAN — As mentioned this morning, Vince is handling basketball duties for us this evening. But we'll be here for the first half or so, and have some pregame thoughts to get you going. Read on.
Back with the day-after post from GU's 103-65 victory over Southern Utah. Game story here.
It was a dominating performance and it certainly displayed the Bulldogs' variety of weapons, but, well, there's always a but. In this case, it's the fact that it came against a Thunderbirds team that returned just two starters and was picked to finish 10th in the 11-team Big Sky. And, as GU coaches and players were quick to mention in post-game interviews, a major challenge, West Virginia, is on the horizon Monday night.
Still, Gonzaga got about as much out of this game as possible. The Zags didn't play down to their competition, their intensity level remained high and there were few peaks and valleys, no matter who was in the game.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
If you are a football fan, it's going to be a long day. If you're not a football fan, well, college basketball season kicked off for real yesterday. Does that help? Read on.
It's Senior Day at Eastern Washington, which hopes this won't be the last home game this year. A win today vs. UC Davis and next week at Portland State will do the trick. A Big Sky title is also possible, but the Eagles need some help as Northern Arizona is still perfect in the conference. Here's a feature on the Lumberjacks' kicker, Andy Wilder. …Also in the chase is Montana State, which hosts Portland State today … So is Cal Poly, which is coming off a loss at Eastern last week and figures to take it out on Idaho State. Meanwhile, ISU coach Mike Kramer will not face criminal charges from an incident last month in which he shoved a player. The goals are more modest at Montana, which visits Weber State today.
FROM PULLMAN — There's so much going on today that we won't be able to witness it all in person, but that doesn't mean we can't offer an adequate preview of the weekend. I think. Read on.
Good evening. It was a good night for Gonzaga in general, and 7-1 Polish center Przemek Karnowski in particular.
Karnowski (pictured above) poured in 22 points in his Gonzaga debut and five other Zags scored in double figures as GU crushed Southern Utah 103-65 in the season opener on Friday. The last time Gonzaga hit the century mark was two years ago in the season opener against Southern.
My game story can be found here. I'll be back in the a.m. with a day-after post.
Idaho never found a rhythm in its season opener Friday night. Some of that was due to Wright State's frantic ball pressure. But mostly, the Vandals didn't have much energy. Which was hard for Don Verlin to swallow.
We've got our game story from Memorial Gym below.
As usual, your straight-up and against the spread picks, please.
Colorado at Arizona, Arizona by 30.5
Oregon State at Stanford, Stanford by 4
Arizona State at USC, USC by 9
Oregon at California, UO by 28
Utah at Washington, Utah by 1.5
UCLA at Washington State, UCLA by 14.5
The best EWU-related story of the day: John Blanchette's profile of fomer Eag and current CFL star J.C. Sherritt. We had a live Live Chat yesterday, and here is the transcript. The Eags play UC Davis tomorrow, and here are the details from EWU and from UC Davis. We also have a story from the local newspaper in Davis, Calif. At Montana, the Grizzlies are feeling better about their offensive line, while Montana State ponders its chances of a high seed in the FCS playoffs.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
What do we talk about today? Gonzaga opening what could be one of the more successful basketball seasons in its history (hence the poll question)? Eastern getting ready for a push to the playoffs and how nice that sounds when talking about football? Or the plethora of late-night games in the Pac-12 this Saturday, of which WSU's matchup with UCLA is one? How about all of that? Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — As we fight off a cold, we also prepare to fight off the cold weather that's fallen over the Palouse in the last 24 hours. Friday's links bring news of a possible new Cougar, so read on.
The Spokesman-Review's college basketball season preview ran Thursday, and my main story focused on Idaho wanting to take it to the next level with more postseason success. I also had a sidebar on Connor Hill of Post Falls and Antwan Scott (two difference makers) and five keys to the season for the Vandals. Lastly, Jim Meehan had a story on Don Verlin's approach to recruiting foreign players.
The Vandals open the season Friday night by hosting Wright State. Tipoff is 7:05 p.m. at Memorial Gym. We'll be back here on the blog with all the details from Moscow.
It's finally game time for the Gonzaga Bulldogs. Here's a short preview of GU's season opener against Southern Utah on Friday.
It's been a while since I checked in with the Spokane Shock. Talked with majority owner Brady Nelson and head coach Andy Olson to get an update on the roster and the organization's plan for assembling the 2013 team.
Here's my article that will run in Friday's S-R.
FROM PULLMAN — Last week I was marveling at how warm it was for November. Today, multiple pairs of pants were necessary. Read on for some notes from WSU's chilly, snow-covered practice.
Gonzaga's Elias Harris and Washington State's Brock Motum are on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50. More here.
More below on Harris.
Our college basketball special section is part of today's paper and rather than link to articles individually, here's an overall link. There you can pick out Gonzaga-specific copy or read the whole dang thing (if you have 2-3 hours to spare). There are links to 29 items!
The main theme was the influence of foreign players at area schools and there are several sidebars and John Blanchette's column on a international throwback. Highly recommended.
Gonzaga opens the season tomorrow against Southern Utah at the McCarthey Athletic Center.
Win a chance for four tickets to the UCLA at Washington State football game on Saturday in Pullman. Simply take this week's news quiz, and you'll be entered in a random drawing on Friday. We will be giving away four tickets AND a parking pass to the winner.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Wow, that was quick. As soon as the election ads end, the Christmas ones begin. And the college basketball stories start showing up. Read on.
Live Chat today at noon, folks, on all things Eastern football. Until then, here's a link to my Big Sky notebook. Out of Cheney, lots of info on this wee'ks game against UC Davis .. and a story from the UC Davis perspective … In Bozeman, a story on the resurgent Montana State running game, and from Billings, a story on Montana's two weeks of prep for Montana State.
FROM PULLMAN — Gameday never feels as close as it does on Thursday morning, especially when much of this week has been spent talking about a game that's already been played. Well, today we turn our attention toward UCLA. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — We have our usual notes and quotes from WSU's practice Wednesday night, but first, we'll address the latest in the Marquess Wilson situation. Read on.
The Election is over, but pollsters are still busy, and the Eastern Washington football coaches and players are paying attention. I also have a feature on Eagle kicker Jimmy Pavel, and don't forget our Live Chat tomorrow. The Eagles face UC Davis on Saturday: here's the link to the Aggies' site. The Eastern site is chock-full of info about, well, everything related to EW football. Out of Billings, a feature on how Rob Ash has built the Montana State program into a winner, and from the Missoulian, a Grizzly notebook.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
After the past few days, I'm sure you would love a hiatus from any news. I know I would. But will we get the chance? Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — It was a full Tuesday, with plenty to discuss on both the football and basketball fronts. We'll discuss some more in our weekly live chat this afternoon. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — We'll keep this brief since it's late and it was, after all, an exhibition game. But we have our usual tale of the tape from tonight's 62-50 win by WSU over Saint Martin's. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — With basketball duties out of the way, we'll pass along today's comments from outside receivers coach Dennis Simmons, who gave an emotional description of his relationship with his players while answering questions about Marquess Wilson. Read on.
I wasn't planning on a feature on Rem Bakamus from Gonzaga's media day Monday, but after talking to the walk-on freshman it became the obvious choice. When I told Kevin Pangos I was going to do something on Bakamus, he deadpanned: “Rem???” Then he started smiling and said, “That's a good call.”
More on Bakamus here.
The Election season is almost over: final FCS ballots will be cast in just 12 days.
I'll be at Eastern practice this afternoon; until then, here are a few links from around the Big Sky Conference - starting with the official release from Dave Cook at EWU and the Big Sky Conference. Also, EWU quarterback Vernon Adams won a big honor this week.
Idaho interim head coach Jason Gesser said Monday that Logan Bushnell, who started last week, will again be under center when the Vandals play at BYU Saturday night. Backup Taylor Davis will play for a “series or two” in the first half, Gesser said. Both QBs need more game-time reps, Gesser said, to be more consistent.
Meanwhile, Idaho senior Trey Farquhar was one of 20 kickers honored as Lou Groza Award semifinalists. The award honors the nation's top kicker. Farquhar is 12-of-15 on field goals this year and is the active career leader in the FBS on field goals of 50 yards or longer. “He’s consistent,” Gesser said. “He continues to work to try to perfect his craft every single day. To see him being recognized, that’s awesome. He deserves it very much so.”
A GRIP ON SPORTS
I love Twitter. I really do. It's a fun, lively, entertaining way to have a dialogue across miles and among thousands. It's one of the more interesting recent social media inventions. But yesterday, when the Marquess Wilson walkout-turned-suspension-turned-who-knows-what played out at Washington State, the Twitterverse was rampant with misinformed commentary. OK, you're saying, duh. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — A silly question, we know. It's very late and we've been up quite a while, so let's just dive into day's links. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — Apologies for getting this posted so late, but other responsibilities occupied our time earlier in the day. Anyway, here's the transcript of Mike Leach's press conference today, with player videos following.
FROM PULLMAN — Mike Leach met with reporters for nearly 30 minutes today during a press conference that grew contentious at times and enlightening at others. But the primary news value is that Leach said he doesn't know whether suspended receiver Marquess Wilson has left the team, or whether he can return to it after serving his suspension. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — After reportedly walking out of a conditioning workout last night, WSU receiver Marquess Wilson has been suspended, a school spokesperson said. Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
You know what I hate? Raking leaves. But when you have four huge old deciduous trees in your yard, not to mention two big pines and assorted big bushes, it's hard to avoid. Read on.
FROM PULLMAN — We're back on the Palouse, where WSU said that it canceled its scheduled Sunday practice — but it appears that it did indeed work out — and will take its usual day-off today. Coach Mike Leach and three players will meet with the media later today. And tomorrow, the basketball team plays its exhibition game against Saint Martin's. So lots to get to this week. We'll start with links. Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
We are going to keep it simple here today. We sort of have to. Read on.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — I'm boarding a couple flights later today and will arrive in Spokane later this afternoon, then make the drive to Pullman, then attend what all of a sudden looks like it should be a pretty interesting practice. Read on for links from yesterday's proceedings.
Jason Gesser won't look back fondly at his debut as Idaho football coach. The Vandals never fully capitalized on an assortment of San Jose State miscues — including three first-quarter turnovers — and lost steam late in the third quarter of a 42-13 loss. SJSU scored the last 28 points after Idaho drew within 14-13.
My story and notes are after the jump.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — We've all been there.
You're sitting in a class of, say, 15 or 20 people, one of those face-to-face settings where the teacher knows everyone's name. They're asking about last night's reading assignment, or something just discussed in class.
They're calling on kids to answer questions. But you don't know the answer. So you do everything you can to avoid eye contact and pray you don't get called on.
That's what Saturday's postgame interview session felt like, as coach Mike Leach made his offensive and defensive lines, as individual units, sit on a podium and answer questions from reporters.
It's not that any of them were trying to duck responsibility or avoid questions, necessarily. They answered each question that was asked, which couldn't have been easy. But it had a very juvenile feel to it, as if the players had been caught doing something they shouldn't have.
Yeah, things got a little strange after this 49-6 loss at Utah. We recap the game, whether you want to or not, in our weekly tale of the tape. Read on.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — Here is the full transcript of WSU coach Mike Leach's comments after the Cougars were beaten 49-6 by Utah here today.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
It may be hard to believe but, after eight games, of which they have won only two of them, the Washington State Cougars face a crucial contest today. Read on.
It's a sellout in Cheney as Eastern Washington takes on Cal Poly: I'll see you there. In the meantime, here's our preview, plus a complete look at the Cal Poly team, a release from Eastern, and a link to our Live Chat. Farther afield, here is a preview of the big Montana State vs. Sac State game. … and the not-so-big game between Montana and Weber State.
FROM SALT LAKE CITY — A whirlwind week continues here in Salt Lake, where the Cougars face Utah this afternoon in a 12 p.m. game on the Pac-12 Networks (that's 1 p.m. for all you folks in the Mountain time zone). Read on for our usual assortment of links and such.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
Remember when catching gear was called the tools of ignorance? Ya, back in the dark ages. Not anymore. It's time to retire that pejorative phrase. Read on.
It's only two days until Eastern's big home game against Cal Poly. Today's paper has a feature on how defensive back McKenzie Murphy got back in the game. We also had a lively Live Chat. Here's the transcript…. Look for a game preview in tomorrow's paper. In the meantime, out of Bozeman, a story on how Montana State hopes to build on the momemtum of last week's win over North Dakota. … At Montana, the Grizzlies are making more adjustments.
FROM SAN FRANCISCO — It's on to Salt Lake City this afternoon, but not before passing along plenty of reading material about a couple different sports this morning. Read on.
FROM SAN FRANCISCO — We spoke with Ken Bone for a bit today at Pac-12 media day festivities, and he confirmed that freshman guard Brett Kingma has been suspended indefinitely. Read on.
A little late to this, but here it is. You know the drill. Get your picks in before the UW-Cal game tomorrow night.
Washington at California (Friday), Cal by 4
Stanford at Colorado, Stanford by 28
Washington St. at Utah, Utah by 12
Oregon at USC, Oregon by 8
Arizona at UCLA, UCLA by 3.5
Arizona State at Oregon State, OSU by 4.5
FROM SAN FRANCISCO — Here's a PDF of the transcription of WSU's time on stage at Pac-12 media day.
Call this a prep playoff primer. Or, everything else I couldn’t get into our postseason information box today. And a few other things. Pictured above is Coeur d'Alene running back/linebacker Reece Mahaffy two weeks ago against Lake City.
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And as always, feel free to comment. What are your predictions for the games this week?
Remember, I'll be tweeting scores Friday. My Twitter address is: @srpreps
FROM SAN FRANCISCO — Results of the Pac-12 men's basketball preseason media poll were announced today. The Cougars are in the same spot they were last year. Read on.
A GRIP ON SPORTS
I didn't even have to yell “get off my lawn.” No one walked on it. Mainly because very few came to the door last night. Only 10 Halloween candy seekers rang the doorbell. A pretty depressing turnout, considering I purchased 60 candy bars. Read on.
The Cal Poly Mustangs and their triple option offense are coming to Cheney. Here's a sneak peek. We will also talk about Cal Poly and Eastern in today's Live Chat at spokesman.com / SportsLInk. Cal Poly also can throw the ball out this offense. Elsewhere, a struggling Montana team takes on Weber State. The Montana State defense continues to dominate.
FROM SAN FRANCISCO — We have plenty of football links for you, as usual. But today, we shift our attention to basketball with media day being held at the Pac-12 Studios in downtown San Francisco. We'll be there, and you can join us. Read on.