A GRIP ON SPORTS
OK, so I slept in this morning. Sorry. I was up late last night and I'll tell you, when you watch the clock hit 10:07 at night, it's no fun. And when you're still awake at 10:29, you know it's late. Read on.
• Just kidding, of course. I am up past 10:30 often, though not as often as when I was a working fool. For personal reasons last night I was awake more often than I would like during the evening, so pulling myself out of bed at 6 was not an option today. Which, I know, is a roundabout way to say I'm sorry this post was not available before 9 a.m. We'll do better tomorrow, I promise.
• I spent a couple of hours yesterday in Cheney watching the Eastern Washington Eagles prepare for their trip to Canada. I was especially impressed with their newcomers. Write down the name of Thomas Reuter, a 6-foot-6 freshman wing from Germany. Reuter is one of those players who doesn't do anything exceptional but does everything well. The type of player who makes his teammates better and helps a team win. He'll play a lot for Jim Hayford's team this season. As will 7-1, 285-pound center Frederik Jorg, if only because he's 7-1 and weighs 285 pounds. Jorg is also a freshman, and his basketball skills are still raw, but the big guy will be a force in the Big Sky around the basket before he leaves Eastern. Another freshman that stood out was Tyler Harvey, a 6-4 guard from Southern California. Tyler's dad Frank is a Pac-12 and WCC ref, but don't hold that against him.Danny Powell, a muscular 6-6 freshman from Phoenix, also may earn a spot in the rotation. The new group – point guard Daniel Hill from Australia, who should also contribute, will miss the first few games of the season and wasn't available for the foreign trip – isn't all freshmen, though. There are two transfers, center Martin Seiferth, a 6-10 sophomore from Germany by way of Oregon, and point guard Justin Crosqile, a 5-10 junior from St. Joseph's, who redshirted last season and should jump in right away. Team that group with returners like leading returning scorer Collin Chiverton (above), Jeff Forbes, Parker Kelly, Kevin Winford and Jordan Hickert and the Eagles will have a new look. One they begin trying to pull together into a team this weekend in Kamloops.
• Washington State: Even though it was the middle of the week, Christian Caple found plenty to do, including making his Pac-12 picks and putting together the weekly pick-'em contest on the blog. And, yes Christian, the spread is tough. That's why the casinos in Las Vegas look so nice. ... Christian also has a Q-and-A with Jim Allen, our EWU beat writer, on the blog, a live chat, plus a post-practice post with video (the buildup all season to the Apple Cup should be really fun with Mike Leach in Pullman), from last night. Add in his story from today's S-R and a morning post and you have a complete package. ... Well not totally complete. John Blanchette puts the final touches on it with his column on the new Martin Stadium. ... Speaking of picks, ESPN.com's Pac-12 blog has its choices. ... More on the Pac-12's important weekend from Jon Wilner.
• Gonzaga: Yep, a couple of GU stories, including a short on the number of games the Bulldogs will have on ESPN's family of networks this upcoming men's basketball season. ... The fun one, however, is this piece from Australia on former GU center Kayla Standish's upcoming pro season (she's pictured at right). It's fun just to read the style of writing. A bit different than here in the states.
• EWU: Jim Allen not only appeared on this blog as a guest commentator, he also appeared in usual role as EWU beat writer. In that role, he had this post this morning and will hold a live chat this afternoon. He also has this story in today's S-R about Eastern searching for their second consecutive win over an FBS school. ... The most interesting story of the day comes from Ogden, where Jody Sears, a former Eastern and WSU assistant, is trying to win with Weber State in his first stint as a head coach, though right now it has an interim label attached.
• Idaho: Utah State may be the best of the WAC and the Aggies hope to prove that against Utah this weekend.
• Preps: It's prep page day and the focus is on cross country. Correspondent Mike Vlahovich has this feature on North Central's Katie Knight (left) and a roundup of the local leagues. ... Greg Lee saw a lot of football last weekend and wasn't surprised by much.
• Mariners: Another day, another win over the Red Sox and another crisis for Bobby Valentine. Such was the end of the series against Boston for the M's. Kevin Millwood and the bullpen pitched in and out of trouble all day, but in the end the M's pulled out a 2-1 victory. That gives them 67 wins this season, matching all of last year, and showing they have improved. ... Luis Jimenez, dubbed "the fat guy" by my fellow radio show hosts, finally got his major league moment. ... A few players are dealing with aches and pains.
• Seahawks: It looks more and more as if Marshawn Lynch will play Sunday, though it's not a positive. I would put my money on the healing power of game day. I've seen it often in football, the closer the game becomes, the less pain there is, no matter how bad the injury. ... The Seahawk defense is a sight to behold at times. ... The Cardinals and the Hawks share one legacy, one Seattle is trying to break free from with Russell Wilson. ... Braylon Edwards not only made the team, he wants to prove critics wrong. ... The Kellen Winslow decision, translated.
• Once again, sorry this was posted so late. Hope it was worth the wait. Until later ...