A GRIP ON SPORTS
Let's see. The World Series is going on, college football is getting to crunch time and the NFL nears the halfway point. So what do we focus on today? Local college basketball, of course. Read on.
• Actually, alums from our local college basketball programs. As we surfed the Web today we just kept running into stories about players who made their bones at the local institutions. First up was one of our favorite Zags, Adam Morrison (pictured). As the NBA cut day looms, it doesn't look as if Morrison is going to make it with the Portland Trailblazers. The former first-round pick has not played in the past two Blazer exhibitions and even he admits making the team will be tough. A little farther down the coast, former Washington State star Klay Thompson heard some good news yesterday. The Golden State Warriors had picked up the option on his contract, ensuring another few million dollars in his coffers. And even farther down the coast, another former Zag, center Robert Sacre, is also battling for a roster spot, though it looks as if will make the Los Angeles Lakers final roster. All in all, a rather interesting day.
• Washington State: There seems to be a running theme to Christian Caple's stories this week. By that, we mean he's writing a lot about the running game. In Thursday's paper, he covered Stanford's. Today he has this story on WSU's, including some news on Marcus Mason (pictured). He also had a blog post after last night's practice and one this morning, featuring links focused on the graduation rate information released yesterday. … John Blanchette chimes in with a Twitter-based column on Mike Leach's Twitter decision. … Jeff Tuel is the focus of this post on ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog. … In keeping with our basketball emphasis today, we bring you a story on a Utah player, one on Pauley Pavilion's makeover and another on Oregon's first exhibition. … By the way, received an e-mail yesterday from the United States Basketball Writers Association letting everyone know the NCAA has made it clear it is OK for college basketball coaches to talk about their so-called secret scrimmages after the fact. They can't publicize them beforehand but are free to relate anything they want after they are over. So if you read of any coach saying he can't talk about it, he needs to check with his compliance guy.
• EWU: If you had a question concerning Eastern basketball, you had a chance to ask Jim Allen yesterday during his live chat. As could be expected, however, the questions were mainly about football. … Jim has a feature in today's paper on defensive lineman Paul Ena. … Our Big Sky basketball story comes from Weber State.
• Chiefs: Mitch Holmberg's stellar play has earned him another honor. Jess Brown tells us Holmberg (pictured), who has been off to a hot start this season, will be part of Team WHL next month.
• Idaho: We can't give you any stories concerning the Vandals bye week, but we can pass along a basketball story from Logan, Utah.
• Preps: The playoffs continue, with Central Valley nabbing a regional volleyball spot (Jess has the story) and Cheney moving on in the soccer playoffs (part of our roundup). … Mead grabbed the second GLS 4A football postseason spot by defeating Ferris 34-19. Greg Lee has the story. … The most interesting story of the day comes from Jess, who touched base with former Lewis and Clark Tiger and current WNBA champion Briann January.
• Seahawks: When you play the Lions, there are two players you focus upon, one each on offense and defense. The offensive player is receiver Calvin Johnson, the defensive one lineman Ndamukong Suh. Even fun stuff about those two guys earns big play. … NFL trades rarely earn big play. … The road hasn't been kind to Russell Wilson.
• Sounders: After Thursday's final first-round games, the Sounders will play a Mexican team in the next round of the CONCACAF Champions League.
• Mariners: The first award of the offseason – heh, it isn't the offseason yet – went to M's shortstop Brendan Ryan (pictured). The award honors Ryan's defensive ability. And guess what? The M's season-ticket totals are way down. Shocking, I know. … The Giants are up 2-0 in the World Series (can we just ignore that?) after their 2-0 win last night.
• A couple of busy days await, starting this afternoon, as we're on the radio for three hours beginning at 3 p.m. You can listen to Dennis Patchin, Rick Lukens and myself here on 700ESPN. I'll also be on with Dennis tomorrow for the Cougar postgame show a couple hours after the Stanford game ends. Until later …