A GRIP ON SPORTS
It's a Tuesday in late September. The baseball pennant races involve teams other than those we have a vested interest in. The college football season has really yet to hit full stride and the NFL, well it just started. So what do we talk about? Read on.
• You know how we promised yesterday we would have more in today's post? Sorry, but we can't live up to that. Oh sure, we have more links concerning the Washington State football team, as Christian Caple was busy yesterday, but that's about the only area in which there was growth. The Seahawks aren't back on the CenturyLink field for a week and by then even Russell Okung will be healthy. Heck, even the Sounders' most interesting news is about a 40-year-old backup goalie. So there isn't a lot to share. But there is some.
• In the Gonzaga section you'll find a link to an Oregonian story about Adam Morrison (at right when he was at Mead High) being invited to the TrailBlazers' camp. A small item in most newspapers, it's pretty big news around here due to Morrison's history in the area. A history I've been able to observe closeup. See, Morrison is my oldest son's age. I watched him play and my son's teams competed against his all through youth basketball. And while Morrison was at Mead High, I was the prep editor of the S-R, so I covered his games and attended practices. I've coached with and against John, Adam's father. Through it all, I always thought Morrison's competitive fire took him further than his talent ever should have. Sure, the guy could score on anyone in college. He was head-and-shoulders better on offense than anyone in the nation his junior year but his game had flaws. They just were buried under an ability to bounce the ball twice, get into the key, get his shot off, make it and draw a foul. And he hated to lose more than anyone his age I ever saw. He may have been one of the five best basketball players in the nation his junior year at GU but how his game would translate to the NBA was an open question. Michael Jordan and Charlotte didn't do him any favors drafting him so high – if it weren't for the hype, which is not Morrison's fault, he probably would have been a mid-first-round choice and played with a team in which his skills would have translated better. And once he got to Charlotte, it didn't help the team built its publicity campaign around him, causing another team member, from North Carolina, to freeze Morrison out whenever possible. I attended a Charlotte game against the Sonics in Morrison's rookie year and watched Raymond Felton lead a handful of fast breaks in which Morrison was open, but the ball went to the heavily guarded player on the other side of the court. Still, Morrison averaged 11.8 points a game. Not great but not bad on a bad team. Then the knee injury occurred and Morrison's career has been hit-and-miss ever since. Which is too bad. Love him or hate him (and most opponents' fans hated him), Morrison wanted one thing above all, no matter if he were playing pickup basketball in the park, alumni games at GU or on the parquet at Boston Garden: his team to win. And isn't that why everyone plays the game? As he tries to restart his NBA career one last time, I'm rooting for him to make it. He's not the dominating player he once was, but he still is that kid from Mead with the funny-looking jumper that always seemed to go in.
• Washington State: Christian did lots of work on the blog yesterday, with a look at WSU's weekly depth chart then coverage of Mike Leach's press conference. We also have some videos from WSU below as three players, Connor Halliday and Elliott Bosch from the offense (and Ferris High is Spokane) and Ioane Guata from the defense, addressed the media, all courtesy of WSU. … Christian also has his first look at Colorado and a story on the secrecy of the starting quarterback last week in today's paper along with his morning blog post. … Ted Miller has a quick look at the weekend's games at ESPN.com. … The WSU volleyball team has started the season well and, along with GU, leads Jim Meehan's volleyball notebook.
• Here's Halliday …
• Here's Bosch …
• Here's Guata …
• Chiefs: Spokane made a roster change yesterday as the season draws nearer.
• Seahawks: We learned some things, didn't learn others and found things to like in the win over Dallas on Sunday. … Pete Carroll laid out his blueprint for success, though it will be tougher to execute aganist the Packers. … Okung should be back. We'll wait and see.
• Mariners: Hector Noesi was just awful in Seattle's 10-4 loss to a contending Baltimore team. Which brings up a point. The Orioles were awful the past few years and now our good. The A's have been awful the past few years and now are good. How about the M's, huh? … Kevin Millwood may have made his last start this season.
• That's our report for this fine Tuesday morning (the weather has been spectacular around here recently). We'll be back tomorrow. Until then …