From Pullman — Yesterday we reported that the Washington State men's basketball team will play Gonzaga in Spokane again next season as part of a three-year contract. The news drew a wide range of reactions from people like our own Vince Grippi, to CougCenter's Jeff Nusser to Barry Bolton ($) of Cougfan. Today I caught up with Bill Moos and we chatted about the series with Gonzaga, as well as some other items.
Those notes after the jump.
— Moos said that the decision to play two games in Spokane came down to the fact that the Bulldogs' need for marquee games both at home on the road, and where WSU fit in those plans.
“This happened last summer. They were in a situation where they really feel they have to play some schools that have a high RPI because they don’t have that many in their league schedule, like we do. So they were adding more schools to their schedule to achieve that, and that’s all to jockey of course for NCAA tournament seeding.
“So we had a discussion about continuing our series and they had a problem this coming year where they needed another game in Spokane and we had just played them there last year, so that’s where the arena game came from. And then they come back down the following year.”
Moos said that he accepted two GU home games to one WSU home game because of the two schools' historic relationship. Next year's game at Spokane Arena will be a GU home game and the schools will not split the gate receipt.
“I didn’t think we could close the deal and I thought we were in jeopardy of losing the rivalry,” Moos said. “So I conceded, and I appreciated their dilemma. I conceded that with the stipulation that we could bring our spirit squads and band, and that we get some good tickets for our fans.”
— Moos also said that there are no current plans for new uniforms for the football or basketball teams. Cross-state rival Washington unveiled some new uniforms today but Moos said he would rather stick with a look and have it become associated with the school.
“I like how we’ve branded ourselves. Nike did a wonderful job for us. We’re true to our colors, we’re true to our logo and yet we have enough flexibility to I think have 36 different options in football. Young people I think enjoy that and it adds a little pizzazz to the game day and we’ll continue to do that,” Moos said. “But I’m happy where we’re at. I really think now that gray is the new black. You see a lot of schools going to gray when it’s not in their school colors and yet gray is one of ours so we’ll continue to showcase that even more than we have in the past.”
— Moos also said that he isn't ruling out some aesthetic upgrades to Martin Stadium once football operations building is completed. However, he wants them to be a “surprise” and isn't committing to anything until he sees how the construction project — schedule to be finished on May 19 — pencils out.
“We’re looking to see where we come in budget-wise,” he said. “I have a list of some things that I would like to address in Martin Stadium that I think would really finish it off and we will have those in place at some point. I just don’t know if we can get it all by the beginning of the 2014 season so we’ll assess that as we’re closing down the football operations building project and see what is left over and of if the timing of the projects can get done in a short time.”
—That being said, Moos thinks that the upgrades the stadium has already undergone — you can see pictures here — will be plenty impressive to fans.
“Our fans that haven’t been here since the end of last year will just be amazed at how wonderful our football operations building is and how it really – along with our premium seating on the south side and our video board – have really moved Martin Stadium into a realistic, major college football venue,” Moos said.