ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here

SportsLink

Archive for June 2014

Leach lands seventh commit

Adam Gorney reported on Twitter that Darrien Molton, a cornerback from Temecula, California has decided to play football at Washington State. The 5-foot-10, 165-pound cornerback plays for Chapparal High. Rivals.com rates him as a three-star cornerback and he claims scholarship offers from California, Colorado, Duke and Utah.

Below is a video of Molton's defensive highlights.

 

Monday fast forward: Utah

Monday fast forward: Utah

In Mike Leach's two full seasons as the Washington State football coach, no Pac-12 opponent has been as consistently memorable as Utah. In Leach's first season the Cougars were embarrassed 49-6 in Rice-Eccles Stadium, the sixth loss in an eventual eight-game losing streak. Leach was so unhappy with the Cougars' effort in the game that he made the unusual move of sending the entire offensive and defensive lines to speak to the media as units after the game.

The postgame setting following last year's win over the Utes in Pullman could not have provided a starker juxtaposition as fans stormed the field when the Cougars attained bowl eligibility for the first time since 2006.

In Leach's third year the Utah game likely won't have such an immediate reaction due to it being just the fifth game of the season, but it is a winnable game on the road against a well-coached opponent and should prove to be very important in the long term.

Change is the one constant these days

A GRIP ON SPORTS

College basketball is a year-around sport these days. There is the regular season, March Madness, recruiting and, this time of year, transfer season. Read on.

McClellan transferring to GU

Gonzaga has added another key transfer. Vanderbilt's Eric McClellan announced Sunday that he'll transfer to Gonzaga after he finishes up three classes this summer. Byron Wesley, a three-year standout at USC, announced last month that he'll join the Zags for the upcoming season.

McClellan will likely be eligible for the second half of the 2014-15 season, but he hopes to obtain a waiver that allows him to be eligible immediately.

I spoke with McClellan for about 10 minutes after finishing up Ironman Coeur d'Alene duties and put together the article below for Monday's S-R.

Read on for an unedited version.

There are a lot of sore people downtown today

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I can tell you right now, though I could have told you last night as well: Even just watching Hoopfest is something you should train for. Read on.

Spokane takes down L.A. again

Spokane thumped L.A. 64-46 on Saturday to clinch a playoff berth. The Shock (8-7) advanced to the AFL playoffs for the fourth time in five years.

Erik Meyer tossed six touchdown passes, rushed for another and pounced on a Rory Nixon fumble in the end zone as the Shock swept the season series with the Kiss.

More below.

Twenty-five years of memories

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Every time I read a story on the roots of Hoopfest, I get a warm feeling. It is nice to know you were at the beginning of something. A trailblazer if you will. Or one of the original speed bumps, depending on how you look at it. Read on.

When it comes to rooting for the U.S., everyone is all-in

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It was kind of odd last night, while watching the NBA draft, to be interrupted with a World Cup discussion. But I guess that's where we are right now. Read on.

The delivery system is different but the desire is the same

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Believe it or not kids, there was once a time when streaming video did not exist. We had a thing you might call streaming audio. We called it a transistor radio. Read on.

Boise cools off sizzling Spokane

Until Wednesday night, every Spokane Indians game at Avista Stadium this Northwest League season had the same outcome: an Indians victory. Eight games, eight wins. The last four wins came against the Boise Hawks, whose losing streak had reached seven after Tuesday's setback. But Boise had the upper hand Wednesday with its pitching and hitting, ruining the Indians' shot at moving closer to the franchise-record 13-1 start set by the 1911 Indians. So Spokane had to “settle” for a 10-1 start and 10-2 current record heading in to a nine-game road trip over the next eight days. Read story

Kent lands first 2015 recruit

Ernie Kent has yet to coach a basketball game for Washington State but he's already made headway among recruits who won't be on campus until the season after next, receiving a verbal commitment from forward Jeff Pollard, a member of the class of 2015 who announced his decision with the above tweet. 

Braulio Perez of Cougfan.com spoke with Pollard ($), and the 6-8, 215 pound forward from Bountiful, Utah seems to value defense, telling Perez that it is the strongest part of his game. Southern Utah had reportedly also offered Pollard a scholarship and he told Perez that he was also being recruit by Weber State and the University of Portland.

According to MaxPreps.com, Pollard averaged about nine points and eight rebounds per game as a junior for Bountiful High. Here is a good profile of the newest WSU recruit from Utah's Deseret News.

Williams back in the game

I went into the way-back machine yesterday for a profile on 2006 Shock coach Chris Siegfried. I left that door open for today's feature on Jimmy Williams, who had an interception last week in his first game action since 2007 with the Atlanta Falcons. Not sure I've run across a Shock player who has been out of football for such an extended period of time.

Williams talks about his short NFL career and what he's been doing the last 6-plus years here.

Hey, the M’s won again

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There are mornings when I sit at the computer and know exactly what I'm going to write about. And there are mornings when I don't. Read on and then guess what type of day this was.

Indians show no signs of slowing down

There's almost a feel in the air at Avista Stadium that the Spokane Indians are going to find a way to win. After Tuesday night's 7-3 win over Boise, the Indians are 8-0 at home and 10-1 overall to start the Northwest League season. Five of Spokane's home wins have been by three runs or more. Boise is 0-4 against Spokane after entering the series with a 4-4 overall record. Eugene, which went 0-4 at Spokane to start the season, is 5-2 since leaving Spokane. Read story

Fast forward: Oregon

​(Our series previewing the 2014 WSU football schedule continues with Oregon)

A game against Oregon, the fastest, most efficient bully in college football, can quickly get out of hand. Washington State learned that last year when a commendable 34-24 halftime deficit turned into a 24-point blowout in less than six minutes. The Cougars scored the game's final two touchdowns in the 62-38 loss, which really upset UO defensive coordinator Nick Aliotti for about a day.

Still, it would be a mistake to write-off the Cougars in their Pac-12 opener against the Ducks. For some reason, UO has had some motivation problems lately and struggles to give its best in games that are not being played on the biggest of stages.

Its Rose Bowl hopes were dashed last season after a pretty pedestrian Arizona team dominated the Ducks offensively and defensively. They lost 42-16! So there really is no reason WSU – or anyone else – should feel like they can't beat the Ducks at home. Because for whatever reason the Pac-12's best team just can't always seem to stay focused.

Follow the jump for the rest of our look at WSU's fourth opponent.

Siegried leaves coaching carousel

I caught up with Chris Siegfried, who coached Spokane to the 2006 arenafootball2 championship in the franchise's inaugural season, last week and the result was this Then & Now feature that ran in today's S-R.

He's moved on from coaching after a couple of rough patches in Pittsburgh and Jacksonville and is now selling real estate in Orlando. He misses arena football, but he feels the tradeoff has been more than worth it — more time with his wife and two kids.

 

The end of June is a good time to take our temperature

A GRIP ON SPORTS

What can I say? I think I'm a little under the weather. Have I caught a mild case of Mariners fever? Read on.

Potent offense keeps Indians rolling

The hits started in the first inning and kept piling up. The Spokane Indians accounted for a season-high 15 hits Monday while improving their record to 9-1 with a 12-6 win over Boise in Northwest League play at Avista Stadium. Spokane had four hits, all after two outs, during a three-run third, and another four hits during a four-run sixth. The Indians' previous high for hits in a game was 12, accomplished four times. Read story

The U.S. was oh so close

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Never in the history of athletics – now that's a loaded statement – has a team's fans been more deflated by a game their team didn't lose. At least it seemed that way last night. Read on.

Indians’ start one for record books

You can tell these are heady days for the Spokane Indians when stories written about them contain references to events that occurred before World War II. By defeating Boise 6-2 on Sunday, the Indians (8-1) matched the 1937 Hawks for the best nine-game start in Spokane professional baseball history. This team's next goal is the 1911 Indians, who started the season 13-1 and are the only Spokane club with a start better than 8-1. Read story

Cougars add a late piece

“Do not pay attention to recruiting, for that way madness lies.” Williams Shakespeare spoke those words, or ought to have, anyways, because the twists and turns involved with populating a college football roster are enough to drive Poor Tom sane. Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com reported ($) last night that Chandler Leniu is headed to Pullman to enroll at Washington State. Leniu had declared his intentions to join the Cougars last year but ended up signing a letter of intent with California.

Bruce Feldman confirmed Ransford's report and added that Leniu will be eligible to play immediately, if that's what the WSU coaches want. Leniu appears to be around 6-foot, 220 pounds or so and is expected to play linebacker at WSU. He was pretty highly regarded out of high school, in fact he's WSU's best recruit in the 2014 class according to the recruiting sites. 

Here are his profiles from ESPNRivals, and Scout.

Just another day for U.S. soccer?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Ever since the New York Cosmos signed Pele, the Michael Jordan of soccer, to a contract, the sport has experienced many a most-important-day-ever in this country. Read on.

Indians improve to 7-1 with comeback

The Spokane Indians have been in control of many of their games during the early stages of the Northwest League season. Saturday night's game at Avista Stadium was different, as the Indians had to score twice in the bottom of the eight inning to dispatch Boise 3-2. The Indians have trailed some games this year during their other wins, but never so far along in the contest. Read story

You can never look back

A GRIP ON SPORTS

This is it. Summer has officially begun. It happened early this morning, so early even I was asleep. But we are now in the hot-day-at-the-beach mode, so enjoy. To celebrate, we'll be talking baseball today and weaving in Don Henley lyrics. Yes, our hair is combed back and the sunglasses are on. Read on.

Shock roll past Talons, 70-30

It seemed like old times for the Spokane Shock.

Erik Meyer was back at quarterback, the defense continued its strong play and the end result was a 70-30 dismantling of San Antonio on Friday at the Arena.

Meyer was sidelined for five games with a broken collarbone before returning to play in the fourth quarter last week. Spokane is 6-2 with Meyer as the starter, 1-5 in games he didn't start.

My unedited game story is below.

Friday Flashback: Southern Utah

Where to start with this one? When Washington State upended USC a week before the Southern Utah game, it effectively guaranteed a 3-1 start to the season. Following tough road games at Auburn and USC, the Cougars finished out the first third of their schedule with gimmes against Southern Utah and Idaho.

The Cougars were expected to win this one, their home opener, and win big. So they did, pretty easily. The offense piled up some impressive statistics, but it was the defense that turned some heads, allowing just one touchdown for the second consecutive week.

Follow the jump to find out what happened.

… 

Shock entertain Talons

Spokane will try to snap a two-game losing streak tonight against the AFL's worst team.

San Antonio (1-12) takes on the Shock (6=7) at 7 at the Arena. Here's my preview.

Savor the upcoming summer days

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Another week in the books. Or at least another work week. But this one corresponds with a day I hate. The longest day of the year. The end of spring and the beginning of summer. Why is it on my hit list? Because it's all downhill from here until, gasp, winter. Read on.

WSU’s Ivan McLennan arrested

Washington State linebacker Ivan McLennan was arrested on Sunday for unlawful handling of weapons capable of producing bodily harm after pointing a nonlethal Airsoft pellet gun at a student.

We have more information on his arrest after the jump.

Meyer makes swift recovery

Erik Meyer was told 8-12 weeks of recovery time by medical staff in Los Angeles and 6-8 weeks when he had surgery in Spokane. He came back from a broken collarbone in 5 1/2 weeks.

More on Meyer's recovery and what it means to the Shock here.

Nothing to see here

A GRIP ON SPORTS

A fight at a football practice? Oh my goodness, what's a fan to do? Relax would be my advice. Read on.

The first time was also the last time

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Do you remember your first time? I mean the first time you tried tobacco. I do. It wasn't pretty. And it was my last. Read on.

Indians pitching coach veteran before 30

Tuesday was a fine day for ducks but not for baseball players. Steady, heavy rain postponed the Spokane Indians' game at Avista Stadium against the Eugene Emeralds. The contest was supposed to cap a five-game, Northwest League season-opening series. Instead, Spokane (4-0) and Eugene (0-4) will make up the game as part of a doubleheader at Eugene on June 30. The change was necessary because Eugene doesn't play in Spokane again this regular season. The rainy weather allowed for time to talk to first-year Indians pitching coach Jose Jaimes, who is in his sixth year overall as a coach in the Texas Rangers' organization despite being a few days short of his 30th birthday. Read story

U.S. had something to cheer about

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The high temperature in Spokane is supposed to be 56 degrees today. What the heck? OK, I've lived here long enough to know mid-June is prone to days like this, but really? Why couldn't it have been 56 and raining yesterday when I was stuck in the house listening to chants of U-S-A, U-S-A and other, more raucous retorts. Read on.

Wins keep coming for Indians

The Spokane Indians have established patterns while starting the Northwest League season 4-0. In each game, the Indians' starting pitcher has worked at least five innings and earned the win. In each game, Spokane relievers have been (mostly) stingy. To top it off, the Indians are not only piling up good hit numbers — Monday's game was their third with nine or more hits — but the hits are coming at crucial times and often resulting in runs. Spokane goes for a five-game sweep of Eugene on Tuesday night, a feat last accomplished during a season-opening, five-game series in 1997. Read story

Monday fast forward: Portland State

Many fans agree that in today's college football world that the “A-B-C” tiered method is the best way to handle the out of conference schedule. The idea is that a team should schedule one “A” game against a marquee opponent, preferably one it can beat but enough of a challenge to give the fans a memorable win over a respected team they rarely get to see.

The “B” team should be winnable – two losses out of conference is a pretty bad start to the season – but interesting enough to make season tickets a little more enticing. A “C” is a body bag game — some small school gets a large down payment for its season expenses in exchange for getting butchered by a bigger school that gets to let its backups shine for one game.

While its debatable which team is the “A” and which is the “B” in Washington State's 2014 schedule – Nevada and Rutgers are honestly both B's – there is no question that Portland State is the “C.”

Yes, teams like Appalachian State and Eastern Washington have beaten bigger, badder schools recently, but those schools were among the best in the FCS and had some legitimate NFL talent fall into their laps. Even then, they needed almost everything to break their way to pull off the upsets.

Sure, if the Cougars come out half asleep and completely dismissive of their opponent than the Vikings might get in the end zone a few too many times for comfort.

But don't stress, WSU will win this game.

Follow the jump for more on WSU's third opponent.

Spurs’ experience outweighed their age

A GRIP ON SPORTS

So the Spurs won another NBA title last night. But could they win the intramural title at Maplewood Gardens? Read on.

Indians off to best start in 17 years

The Spokane Indians have had four Northwest League championship teams since 1997, but they hadn't had a team start the season 3-0 in 17 years until they accomplished the feat Sunday with a 5-2 win over Eugene at Avista Stadium. The I997 Indians started 5-0 after a season-opening sweep of Salem-Keizer. Stellar pitching was again on display Sunday, but the Indians had to make the most of their hits to pull off the trick. After collecting 12 hits on Friday and 11 on Saturday, Spokane was limited to three singles, one double and one home run. Zach Cone's solo homer in the sixth was Spokane's only hit after the third inning. Read more

Like all dads, we’re just living the dream

A GRIP ON SPORTS

I was greeted this morning with a Father's Day breakfast in bed. Three eggs, perfectly over easy, ham, bacon and sausage. Crisp hash browns, aromatic coffee, lightly buttered rye toast and, lest I forget, doughnuts. Mounds and mounds of hot, fresh, greasy doughnuts. And then I woke up. What a dream. Read on.

Thanks dad, for everything

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We'll be back soon with our links, but we promised you a special Father's Day post. Here it is. And thanks to everyone who responded. You made our week. Read on.

Indians make it 2 for 2

There's not much to criticize about the Spokane Indians after the first two games of the Northwest League season. Not only are the Indians 2-0, but they've collected 23 hits while five of their seven pitchers who have seen action haven't allowed earned runs. The Indians have made just two errors, and one was a throw home that hit a Eugene player in the back. Last year it took Spokane more than a week to pick up its second win. This season, their second win came less than 24 hours after their first. Read story

Shock fall under .500

Spokane lost for the fifth time in six games, falling to San Jose 47-37 on Saturday in San Jose.

Spokane activated quarterback Erik Meyer from injured reserve on Thursday but Brian Zbydniewski made his fourth straight start. Coach Andy Olson said he wasn't planning on playing Meyer but he put the 2013 AFL MVP into the game with 13 minutes left and the Shock trailing by 20. Meyer took a couple of hard hits but he tossed two touchdown passes as the Shock's comeback attempt fell short.

Spokane dropped to 6-7, three games behind San Jose in the Pacific Division.

Game recap below.

 

Maybe luck had nothing to do with it

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Was yesterday unlucky? Well, if you are a Mariners' fan, sure. An error by Robinson Cano led to the only run in a 1-0 loss. But a Texas fan might consider that lucky. Then there are the Ranger fans (hockey variety) that will remember this as the unluckiest Friday the 13th ever. Two shots hit the bar in a 3-2 loss to the Kings? But as a Los Angeles fan (during the Stanley Cup finals) and a hockey aficionado in general, last night's Cup-clinching double overtime win was as fortuitous as it gets. Read on.

Indians begin NWL season with triumph

The Spokane Indians combined a lively offense, sound defense, solid starting pitching and excellent relief pitching Friday night and came up with a 7-3 win over the Eugene Emeralds to open the Northwest League season at Avista Stadium. Spokane and Eugene will play four more games in the series, starting Saturday night. Read story

Friday flashback: USC

(Cornerback Damante Horton had a pair of picks in WSU's 10-7 upset of USC)

The Cougars may have played better than expected in their season-opening loss at Auburn, but they were still 0-1 as most analysts had predicted they would be. As if Washington State's foray into SEC country wasn't daunting enough, the next test for the Cougars was No. 25 USC at Memorial Coliseum, a venue they had not won in since 2000 against a team they last beat in 2002.

But there were signs that Troy was ready to tumble. Los Angeles partisans were growing weary of coach Lane Kiffin's style over substance approach and the coach faced enormous pressure to produce despite heading into the season with two mediocre options at quarterback (spoiler alert: he didn't).

Injuries had necessitated that true freshman cornerback Daquawn Brown play with the No. 1 defense the week leading up to the game and he had played well enough to give them confidence he would succeed in his hometown return (he did).

And WSU's passing defense had just held Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to 99 passing yards on the road. If the defensive backs could summon another monster performance against quarterbacks Cody Kessler and Max Wittek, then maybe they could keep the score close enough to stay in reach of the upset (yep).

More on WSU's game at USC is after the jump.

Meyer activated from IR

Spokane has activated quarterback Erik Meyer from injured reserve, roughly 5½ weeks after suffering a collarbone injury against Los Angeles.

“It’s great that he healed a lot faster than normal,” coach Andy Olson said in a release. “Having his surgery done with Northwest Orthopaedic Specialists and the treatment he’s got to this point with PT Associates and our team trainer Julie Woolf has been fantastic. They’ve done a good job of taking care of him and he’s done a good job of taking care of himself.”

The Shock (6-6), who went 1-4 with Meyer on injured reserve, face a key divisional game at San Jose (8-4) on Saturday. Meyer, the AFL’s most valuable player last year, is 3-0 in his Shock career against the SaberCats with 16 passing touchdowns, five rushing TDs and zero interceptions.

 

Today is your (un)lucky day

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Once more into the breach. It's Friday the 13th. What could go wrong? Read on. 

Spokane Indians fans will be seeing double

In one way, the Spokane Indians of 2014 will mirror the Spokane Indians of 2013. Indians relief pitcher Ryan Ledbetter is the identical twin of David Ledbetter, who was a starting pitcher for Spokane last season. Read story

Martin Stadium will get new FieldTurf

Photo courtesy of Washington State Athletics

Washington State finally announced that new FieldTurf will be installed at Martin Stadium, including crimson end zones that some fans have been hoping for. The school also released the above image of what the field is expected to look like when it is completed in late July.

“What began in 2011 with the construction of the premium seating addition at Martin Stadium, to the recently completed Cougar Football Complex, the football facilities at Washington State University have experienced a major facelift,” athletic director Bill Moos said in a statement. “The final touches to this three-year transformation are new playing surfaces on both Martin Stadium and the Rogers Practice Field, which is now in full swing.”

Moos has previously hinted that any unused funds from the Football Operations Building project would be put toward aesthetic upgrades to Martin Stadium. In the press release it sounds like they have enough money left over to make a couple other changes, although it remains to be seen what those are.

“With the new FieldTurf installed, and some additional cosmetic improvements, alumni, fans, recruits, coaches and student-athletes will be watching and playing college football in a first class venue in one of the most unique settings in the country.”

Jeter is worth appreciating

A GRIP ON SPORTS

It's a near-perfect day. The U.S. Open is on the television, exciting us old folks. For the younger, hipper set, the World Cup kicks off tonight in Brazil. And, for both, one of the better shortstops to ever play the game of baseball is on display in Seattle. For the final time. Read on.

Shock out of tune since Meyer injury

Spokane continues to struggle without quarterback Erik Meyer, who suffered a broken collarbone against L.A. last month.

Most figured Spokane's production would drop but its scoring average has slipped nearly 20 points per game. The defense has played  well the last five games but it hasn't been enough to overcome an offense that scored between 28 and 41 points in four of those games.

Here's a link to my weekly Shock notebook, which focuses on the offense's struggles.

There's no timetable set on Meyer's return but the 2013 AFL MVP amped up his cardio work Tuesday while his teammates were practicing nearby.

A fastball can burn into your memory too

A GRIP ON SPORTS

There are certain news flashes that fly by like a robin in a field, unnoticed and unremarked upon. But there our others that hit like a sparrow in a mall. They make you stop and take notice. One of the latter occurred yesterday. Read on.

Indians open three-day minicamp

The Spokane Indians' minicamp began Tuesday at Avista Stadium, highlighted by a handful of returning players. The Indians worked through the first day with only three infielders, but eighth-year manager Tim Hulett pronounced the day a success. Plus, the dark skies to the northeast of Avista Stadium never produced rain during the practice. The camp continues Wednesday and Thursday, leading to Friday's Northwest League opener against Eugene at Avista. Read story

A good conversation enhanced

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Like Garfield, the comically fat cat, I love lasagna. Unlike Garfield, I also love Monday's. Especially Monday's like the one that occurred yesterday. Read on.

Monday fast forward: Nevada

Monday fast forward: Nevada

This is the second installment of a series of weekly previews I'll be doing this summer on the Washington State football team's 2014 opponents.

Our Nevada preview is after the jump.

One of our favorite days looms

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Once a year it's fun to watch adults act like children. And I'm not talking about Christmas. Read on.

Pac-12 announces reforms following summer meetings

The presidents and chancellors from Pac-12 schools have concluded their summer meetings and released a statement today emphasizing their push for NCAA reforms, which they outlined in this earlier letter, expanded the Student-Athlete Health Initiative and announced an 11 a.m. television window for the Pac-12 Networks.

The press release from the Pac-12 is after the jump.

Spokane falls to Sharks

Jacksonville scored the game's last three touchdowns to rally past visiting Spokane 34-28 on Saturday.

Spokane failed to score in the second half and was unable to convert on four downs inside the Sharks' 5-yard line in the closing minute. Here's the game recap.

A roller coaster of a Saturday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Yesterday was one of those up-and-down days that make being a sports fan so worthwhile. Read on.

It’s been long enough

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Eleven horses have done it. Since 1978, 12 more have entered the Belmont with a chance to join them. But none have come through. Will California Chrome be the one to break a 38-year drought today? Will he win horse racing's Triple Crown? Read on.

Friday Flashback: Auburn

It was the first game of Washington State's best season in a decade, it was nearly the Cougars' most improbable upset, in hindsight, in at least that long. Auburn played in the BCS championship game last season, but its breathtaking run was almost undone from the start at home by an upstart team from the country's northwestern corner.

The muggy affair was a game of superlatives. Jeremiah Laufasa – since transferred to UTEP for want of a scholarship – scored two touchdowns. Auburn's Corey Grant rushed for 146 yards – twice as much as teammate Tre Mason, who was drafted 75th overall in the NFL draft.

Instead, Mason's impact was felt on a 100-yard second quarter kickoff return for a touchdown.

The WSU defense held Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall to 99 passing yards and just 10 completions in 19 attempts. Cougar counterpart Connor Halliday said afterward that, “If (Auburn) had a quarterback they'd be a top five team. They just don't have a guy that can throw it.”

They were bold words coming from Halliday, who threw three interceptions in the 31-24 loss, but they were prescient. Marshall was better after that first game and Auburn finished second in the AP rankings after a close loss to Florida State in the last championship game of the BCS era.

Follow the jump for more on WSU's 2013 season opener.

Whatever happened last night, it wasn’t cool

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Even Superman had his Kryptonite, right? I guess we found LeBron James' last night, didn't we? And, ironically for the team he plays for, it was the heat. Or maybe it was the humidity. Read on. 

Cameras will beam Indians players to Texas

The Northwest League opener is still eight days away, but plenty of activity has begun at Avista Stadium for another season of Spokane Indians baseball. One change this year is the installation of five high-definition cameras that will allow the parent-club Texas Rangers to follow every pitch and swing of the bat in Spokane. Dustin Toms, the Indians' director of public relations, offered a glimpse at the cameras Thursday while workers of all kinds got ready for the opener, June 13 at Avista against Eugene. Read story

Deone Bucannon signs with Arizona

All-American, first round NFL draft pick, now Deone Bucannon is also a multi-millionaire after signing a four-year deal with the Arizona Cardinals that is worth $7,709,200 according to Ross Jones of FOX Sports. Nearly all of it, $6,237,946, is guaranteed.

Bucannon became the first player out of Washington State to be drafted in the NFL draft's first round in a decade when Arizona took him with the 27th overall pick. He was a four-year starter for the Cougars, leading the team in tackles and interceptions his senior year as WSU made its first bowl game since 2003. 

Report: Idaho hires Molnar as WR coach

Charley Molnar, the former head coach at UMass and offensive coordinator at Notre Dame, has accepted an offer to become the wide receivers coach at Idaho, according to Pete Roussel of CoachingSearch.com.

Molnar was fired by UMass in December after going 2-22 in the Minutemen's first two seasons at the FBS level. He served as Brian Kelly's offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach at Notre Dame in 2010 and 2011 after working on Kelly's staff at Cincinnati and Central Michigan.

The hiring of Molnar, which Idaho has not announced, is likely the last in a series of coaching changes for the Paul Petrino-led Vandals. Offensive coordinator/receivers coach Kris Cinkovich took over as offensive line coach after Jon Carvin left the staff last month. Molnar will replace Cinkovich as receivers coach, while Cinkovich will still serve as offensive coordinator and assistant head coach.

The Vandals also lost cornerbacks coach Mike Mickens after the season. He was replaced by former NFL standout Ashley Ambrose.

Not just yet

A GRIP ON SPORTS

A blind man could see the glow grower brighter around here. After so many years in the void of lost dreams, the M's faithful are ready to embrace this team, to begin enjoying baseball again. Am I wrong to be reticent about joining in? Read on.

Jalen Canty will not enroll at WSU

Jalen Canty was one of the more intriguing players in Washington State's 2014 football class, but the 6-foot-8 defensive end announced on Twitter late Wednesday evening that he will not enroll at WSU. He apparently then told Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com that he intends to head to Casper College in Wyoming to play basketball, and is giving up football entirely.

Canty claimed to have been offered football scholarships by schools such was Oregon, Washington and Vanderbilt, and listed a basketball scholarship offer from California. When he signed with WSU in February he said he was going to try and play both sports in college.

On signing day coach Mike Leach said of Canty, “What was real impressive about Canty, he hadn't played a ton of football. The end of the year was really on fire, the end of the season was like 20-something sacks.” 

Canty's departure leaves the Cougars with just Hercules Mata'afa at defensive end in the 2014 class, with Kingston Fernandez expected to play BUCK linebacker. But the Cougars are deep along the defensive line and are not expected to need help from true freshmen at defensive end, although Canty might have been able to carve out a role thanks to his unique size and athleticism.

Ruffin quite familiar with two-a-days

James Ruffin puts in a full day's work, and then some.

The Shock defensive lineman also holds down a second job as a banker. More on how Ruffin juggles two jobs, and additional Shock notes, here.

WSU’s new football building passes the test

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If you have ever spent any time at all in Washington State's ancient football locker room, you would understand why some upgrades of the Cougar facilities were needed. Not that many of you probably have. Heck I was only in there a few times myself. That was enough. The “ambience” is now imprinted on my brain. Read on.

FOB media tour highlights

Bill Moos gave the WSU athletics press corps a personal tour of Washington State's nearly completed football operations building today. Its grandeur was enough to make me wish I'd learned how to whistle. You can check out our story in tomorrow's paper for all the details (rumor is it will make the front page) but I thought I'd share some highlights after the jump.

So who was better, Ruth or Gehrig?

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Ever sit around with friends and play conversational games? You know what I mean, asking each other questions like “What was the best TV comedy of all-time?” or “Who was better, Willie Mays or Hank Aaron?” and then arguing about your answers? Ya, me too. One of our favorites has to do with local high school basketball coaches. Like, “Who is the best?” And my answer always ticked off my buddies. Read on.

Monday fast forward: Rutgers

(The young WSU offensive line will have a tough first test to stop Darius Hamilton. Photo: Rich Kane/Icon SMI)

We have not yet entered the dog days of summer but we're getting close with only a few Washington State athletes competing in the last remaining NCAA championships. To stave off the summer boredom – and supplement the yeoman's work Vince is doing to find something worth writing about every day – I'm going to start some new series on the blog to prepare for the upcoming football season.

We'll begin today with a Monday Preview, a weekly series of previews of WSU's upcoming opponents in the 2014 football season. Also keep an eye out for some Friday Flashbacks that use the supreme intelligence granted by hindsight to contextualize the 2013 season.

Without further ado, our Monday Preview of WSU's first opponent, Rutgers University, is after the jump.

… 

Now that’s a nice surprise

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Ever find money you didn't know you had? I did yesterday, on a gift card that had been sitting on my desk for, I don't know, more than half a decade. It was a lot of money. And made my weekend better. But not as good as the Mariners'. They also discovered some found money, if you will. Read on.

Trevor Dunbar is headed to WSU

Braulio Perez is reporting that Trevor Dunbar out of St. Ignatius College Prep in San Francisco has committed to play basketball for Ernie Kent at Washington State. The 5-foot-10 point guard looks pretty crafty in the above video and chose WSU over scholarship offers from Cal Poly, Montana State and others.

Dunbar told Perez that he was planning to visit St. John's as well but has decided to end his recruitment. The diminutive guard scored 40 points against Serra earlier this year. Here is a good article on WSU's newest guard.

The school hasn't acknowledged receiving a signed financial aid agreement from Dunbar yet, but we'll expect a comment from coach Kent when they do. The Cougars still have one more scholarship left to offer, but I would expect them to save it unless they find a big man who can contribute.

(Update: This blog was updated on Monday to reflect that, because the spring signing period is over, Dunbar won't sign a letter of intent with the Cougars, but instead a financial aid agreement. Thanks to Twitter user 7lCoug for catching that.)

Lots of choices on this Sunday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

We've got a multiple-choice test for you today. Don't have a panic attack. It isn't as hard as that English exam you failed in 11th grade, starting you down the road to ruin. Where you ended up a sports writer. Read on.

Get blog updates by email

About this blog

SportsLink is your portal into sports news around the Inland Northwest and beyond. You'll find updates, notes and opinions, and plenty of reader feedback.

Filter










Latest comments »

Read all the posts from recent conversations on SportsLink.

Contributors

Jim Allen (@srjimallen) Sports reporter Jim Allen's primary coverage areas are Eastern Washington University football and men's basketball, and college and high school soccer. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Jim Meehan (@srjimm) Jim Meehan's coverage areas include Gonzaga University men's basketball, Spokane Shock football, golf and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Jim

Chris Derrick Chris Derrick is a sports reporter. His primary coverage areas are the Spokane Chiefs, Spokane Indians, women's basketball and high school softball and volleyball. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

Recent work by Chris

Vince Grippi is the online producer for SportsLink, a product of The Spokesman-Review.

Search this blog
Subscribe to this blog
ADVERTISEMENT
Advertise Here