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Tue., Nov. 20, 2012, 7:52 a.m.

Pouring salt into the wounds

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.

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• Monday sporting news from Washington State University: Basketball team loses by 37 in Kansas and may be without a starter for a while; football team may not have it best player – and arguably its heart and soul – for Apple Cup; and a backup quarterback is not at practice amid reports he may have a concussion. Talk about pouring when it rains. Let's take each of those pieces of news one by one ...

• Did anyone really think WSU had a good shot against 12th-ranked Kansas in Kansas City on Monday night? Especially after a disappointing loss at Pepperdine last Friday? But the way the Cougars lost to the Jayhawks harkened back to the 75-44 semifinal loss to Wichita State – hey, another Kansas school – in the semifinals of the NIT a couple years ago. Last night's beatdown was over early, with WSU lacking any continuity on the offensive end and being unable to matchup with the Jayhawks on defense. The bad news was made even worse when starting guard DaVonte Lacy, one of the Cougars more consistent performers, went down with an apparent knee injury. Lacy will be evaluated later but he probably won't play tonight.

• It's a short week for the football team, what with the Apple Cup on Friday, which doesn't help Travis Long. The senior defensive end has started 47 consecutive games for WSU – every game in his career if you are keeping score – including more than a few with injuries that would keep most players on the sidelines. But a knee injury suffered in Tempe may cost Long – full disclosure here: he is one of my all-time favorite people I've ever covered – the last game of his college career. No matter how bad Long's injury might be, and WSU does not disclose that information, let's hope there is some way the Gonzaga Prep graduate can start Friday's game. He deserves it.

• Connor Halliday was not at practice yesterday and Cougfan reported he may have suffered concussion-like symptoms after the ASU game. If it is true and the sophomore quarterback can't go against the Huskies, it would mark the second consecutive season he's missed the Apple Cup due to an injury suffered in the previous game (last year it was the lacerated liver against Utah). Just for the record, this year WSU has given up 53 sacks (with one game left). The year before it was 40, the year before that 51, the year before that 53, the year before that 43. You get the picture. Until the Cougars can do a better job keeping the quarterback upright, injuries like this are going to continue.

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• Washington State: Christian Caple was in Kansas City for the basketball game, which means he not only got to eat some great barbecue, he also was able to video the postgame interviews. He had a pregame live chat, put together a tale of the tape and had a game story as well. This morning he has his usual post with links. ... Christian also has a Then and Now story on a former Cougar running back. ... Josh Wright, our Idaho correspondent, slid over the Pullman to cover practice and filed this story for the morning paper. ... The news yesterday UTEP Mike Price is calling it a career resonated around here. Unless you moved here yesterday – or have trouble with your memory – you know Price made his bones as Washington State's head coach. John Blanchette looks back at Price's career and wonders what might have been. ... So does the Times' Bud Withers. ... Bob Clark of the Register-Guard points out how tough the Pac-12's all-conference picks are going to be. ... Numbers might not be that much of a help in those choices, because too many players have great stats heading into the final week of regular season games. ... The fate of California coach Jeff Tedford has yet to be decided.

• Gonzaga: Jim Meehan weighed in yesterday with a blog post the day after GU's rout of South Dakota. ... The women did the same to Monmouth later Sunday, which led to the Monmouth coach voicing her appreciation of the Gonzaga program. The Bulldog women are south of the border, as Chris Derrick's story points out.

• EWU: With success comes rewards, usually in the form of awards in the college football world. So it's no surprise there are a few Eagles up for national honors. Jim Allen has all the details. Jim also has a morning post today.

• Preps: The state football semifinals are set.

• Chiefs: The NHL lockout means the league's players are scrambling to find places to stay sharp in case it ends. One WHL alum just headed back to his former team.

• Seahawks: The bye week is over which means the Hawks have returned to work rested if not completely healthy, though they are better off than last season. ... More than halfway home, how do the Seahawks, and quarterback Russell Wilson, rank?

• Sounders: Now that the 2012 MLS season is done, the Sounders' management looks forward to 2013 and beyond.

• Mariners: It's the offseason for the M's as well and a deadline looms. The choices the team makes about its 40-man roster might shape the deals it is able to make.

•••

• That's it for today. I'm busy the rest of the day trying to find an app that explains how big a cubit is, then I'll be making a trip to Home Depot for my ark supplies. Until later ...




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Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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