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Eagle Madness at Reese Court

S-R photojournalist Jesse Tinsley covered Eagle Madness at Reese Court at EWU.  Check out this big picture gallery of event photos.

Highlights from each school’s Pac-12 media day session

USC: The Trojans have six new players this season, including highly-touted freshman point guard Jordan McLaughlin. Head coach Andy Enfield expects McLaughlin, ranked No. 4 nationally among point guard recruits by ESPN, to contribute immediately.

“Jordan is a terrific student-athlete,” Enfield said. “He's a student of the game. He understands where his teammates need to be. He lead's by example, he's a very hard worker, he has an amazing attitude … We're expecting big things from him. I think he came to USC for that opportunity, to be relied upon as a freshman. He'll have that opportunity as a freshman.

WSU: DaVonte Lacy is known for feeling a kinship with the jungle's king. He has a huge lion tattoo on his left arm that reads “Soul of a Lion” and his philosophy on social media is that a “lion does not concern himself with the opinions of sheep.”

It sounds like new Cougars coach Ernie Kent may have found his spirit animal as well.

“Having been out of (coaching) for four years, the definition I use, I feel like I've been a big bear in hibernation and now you get a chance to come out and eat!” Kent said.

We have more Pac-12 media day highlights after the jump.

Ambassadors of the Game premieres tonight at 7 p.m.

Ambassadors of the Game, a documentary about the Pac-12 All-Stars trip to China last summer, premieres on the Pac-12 Networks tonight at 7 p.m. We just got done watching an advance screening, and it was pretty cool. Washington State's DaVonte Lacy was on the team and is the most prominently featured player in the documentary. Highlights for WSU fans are lots of Lacy cameos, a few dunks and an impromptu singing of “I believe I can fly.”

However, you're not going to like what happens after he loses a game of H-O-R-S-E to Washington's Andrew Andrews.

Ewu sports chat Oct. 23 (noon)

Read the transcript for today's chat on the extended portion of this post.

Ernie Kent and DaVonte Lacy at media day

Here is a transcript of Washington State basketball coach Ernie Kent and senior guard DaVonte Lacy's remarks to the media at Pac-12 media day:

Eastern basketball picked high in the Sky

The Eastern Washington men's basketball team is picked for a high finish in the Big Sky Conference.

Despite missing the postseason the last two years, the Eagles are picked to finish second by Big Sky Coaches and third by the media,the conference announced Thursday.

Defending champion Weber State is picked to repeat at the top. The coaches selected Eastern Washington second, followed by Northern Arizona and Sacramento State. Eastern Washington earned one first-place vote and 100 points. Northern Arizona garnered two first-place votes and 99 points. Sacramento State received a first-place vote and 90 points. It marked the first time the Hornets have received a first-place vote in a Big Sky men’s basketball preseason poll. Portland State was selected fifth with 80 points.

 

 

 

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott addressed the media before the players and coaches came to the podium at Pac-12 media day. Here is a transcription of his remarks, courtesy of the Pac-12:

Pac-12 men’s basketball media poll

The Pac-12 men's basketball media poll was released today and, as expected, for the fourth consecutive season Arizona was picked to finish first, followed by Utah, Colorado and UCLA. Washington State was picked to finish No. 11 and Oregon State is projected to finish in last place by a wide margin.

The poll is after the jump.

The area’s college football scene has a bit of everything

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Are we blessed around here or what? We have four college football teams, all playing a different level of the game, all with varying degrees of fan support, but none on the outskirts of the game. That isn't the way it is everywhere. Read on.

Pac-12 basketball: media day

The Pac-12 is having its annual media day get together of men's basketball coaches, players and media today and from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. you can watch the action live on the Pac-12 Networks or right here.

At some point in the next few hours we'll also get the official results from the preseason Pac-12 media poll. This will consists of Arizona followed by the other 11 teams in one order or another.

For the record, here is how I voted: 1. Arizona 2. Utah 3. Colorado 4. UCLA 5. Stanford 6. Cal 7. Washington 8. Washington State 9. Arizona State 10. USC 11. Oregon State 12. Oregon

The schedule of player and coach appearances we'll be working off of today is after the jump.

Introducing Eric Mele

Eric Mele, Washington State's interim special teams coordinator, has rarely trod the obvious path. He let the opportunity to wrestle at West Virginia pass in favor of playing football at a Division-III school. His father and brothers are police officers and he graduated with a degree in criminal justice, so of course he quickly became a part-time assistant at a school that takes eight-hour bus rides to playoff games and gives its assistant coaches less free gear than the lowest manager at a Pac-12 school gets.

Our story in today's paper looks at Mele's unique path to WSU and what his plans are for the Cougars special teams.

More links are after the jump.

Kelowna holds top spot despite first loss

The Kelowna Rockets (10-1-0-0) maintained their No. 1 ranking in the weekly Canadian Hockey League poll despite losing for the first time this season. Four Western Hockey League teams are among the top 10, including the Everett Silvertips (6-0-2-1), who host the Spokane Chiefs tonight. Read story

Wednesday WSU football chat

 

Try Relay: the free SMS and picture text app for iPhone.

 

The week rolls on to Saturday

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Are we to Wednesday already? That means it is time to go back to work. Read on.

A brief basketball interlude

Tomorrow the Pac-12 will hold its annual men's basketball media day. Unfortunately, I'm in transit now so we won't have any more football practice reports this week. We'll replace them, however, with the start of our coverage of Ernie Kent and the Cougars basketball team, which will ramp up as the season approaches.

We'll still hold our weekly WSU football live chat today on the blog at 11 a.m. Until then we have links, which are after the jump.

WHL notes: Class action lawsuit targets CHL

This week's Western Hockey League notebook leads with a class action lawsuit filed in Toronto last Friday that seeks $180 million in compensation for outstanding wages for past and present Canadian Hockey League players, including those in the WHL. The CHL said it will “vigorously defend” the way its teams operate, claiming that league players are amateur student-athletes. Read story

WSU defense prepares for Arizona’s race car offense

After practice Mike Leach said that turnovers weren't any particular point of emphasis on Tuesday, but the defensive ones and twos seemed to make it a priority forcing three consecutive fumbles at one point in practice.

Taylor Taliulu got things started with a big hit on a wide receiver, then the next two were forced by group of defenders all converging on the ball carrier.

“(Upcoming opponent Arizona is) the Indy 500 of offenses,” defensive line coach Joe Salave'a said. “Tempo never slows down one bit so I think our tempo in our practices is going to be critical and our work this week is going to be critical. We don't half-step anything and we're trying to keep up with the pace of the offense.”

Lineman Darryl Paulo capped a solid day for the defense with a pair of consecutive sacks and Darryl Monroe, who was recently passed on the depth chart by Peyton Pelluer, had the hit of the day on running back Austin Hall as the ball carrier tried to bounce a run outside only to be met by Monroe in the backfield.

We have more from practice after the jump.

(Update) Report: Squally Canada has left WSU

(6:15 p.m. Update: After Tuesday's practice Mike Leach confirmed that Canada has left the program. The running back was not listed on the practice roster.)

Chris Shaw, who covers Washington State football for Cougfan.com, reported on Twitter that freshman running back Squally Canada has left the WSU program. Canada's departure is surprising given that he has played well for the Cougars during underclassmen scrimmages and has drawn a lot of praise from the coaches. Canada, along with some other players including regular contributors, was absent from Saturday's bye-week practice.

I haven't been able to confirm Shaw's report but the Cougars practice at 3:30 so we'll ask the coaches after that.
  

 

This Fall Classic should be classic

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The weather, so nice and warm over the weekend, is going to begin to turn today, making its inexorable march to the depths of winter. You know what that means, right? Tonight must be the start of the World Series, when the Boys of Summer finish their season in the Fall Classic. Read on.

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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.

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