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Indians can supply their own excitement

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Minor league baseball features a lot of bells, whistles and other gimmicks to entice fans to the ballpark. But the best way isn't a gimmick at all. Fireworks? Who needs them when you have a lineup that supplies its own? Read on.

Indians open crucial series with a bang

It was put-up-or-shut-up time for the Spokane Indians on Friday. The Indians put up 10 runs and 11 hits on the scoreboard to overwhelm the Vancouver Canadians 10-3 to start a key Northwest League series at Avista Stadium. Read story

The Fourth is about independence

A GRIP ON SPORTS

The Fourth of July is full of memories for me. You too I bet. I'm not sure there is a kid in America who didn't do something athletic on the Fourth at least once in his life. Heck, climbing on the roof to watch fireworks might even qualify. Read on.

Friday flashback: Idaho

If you thought 2013 was fun, you should have seen 2003.

You can tell things are getting better for the Washington State football program because the Cougars are starting to do things that haven't been done since the halcyon days of 2003, when Marcus Trufant was young, Oregon and Stanford were gimmes and the streets of Pullman were paved with Cougar Gold.

That year was the last time the team went to a bowl game until last season's trip to the New Mexico Bowl. It was also the last time the Cougars shut out an opponent, opening the season with a 25-0 victory over sometimes rival Idaho.

Well, if Cougars fans started to get a sense of déjà vu while watching the Cougars last season the nostalgia likely began in the team's fourth game, when WSU sent those same Vandals home with nary a point to show for their pillaging.

Flash back to WSU's 48-0 beat down of Idaho, after the jump.

It’s been a long time coming

A GRIP ON SPORTS

Let's jump into the Wayback Machine and set the dial to 2007. Not all that long ago in days maybe, but seemingly a generation ago in baseball time. Read on.

The M’s are now the summer’s bright spot

A GRIP ON SPORTS

After the disappointment of the U.S. World Cup loss to Belgium yesterday, I'm sure we were all in the need for a pick-me-up. If you watched the Mariners' game, you got one. And another. And another. Read on.

D.J. Shelton will get his shot

D.J. Shelton's willingness to rebound and ability to hit the occasional 3-pointer made him a valuable player for Washington State during his three years in Pullman. While the Cougars did not find much success while Shelton was in school, he still has a chance to be remembered among a select group of former players who found success in the pros.

While Shelton went unselected in last week's NBA draft, he will have a shot to impress professional teams while playing for Atlanta in the NBA summer league. The league's regular season runs from July 11-15 with playoffs running from July 16-21. If you have NBA TV, or sign up here for $15, you can likely watch Shelton play alongside fellow Atlanta rookie Adreian Payne, who the Hawks made the 15th pick in the draft after watching him score 41 points against Delaware in Spokane.

In other WSU news …

— CBS takes a look at which Cougars have NFL prospects.

— Deone Bucannon is already impressing in Arizona.

— SLAM magazine has a profile of incoming WSU basketball player Trevor Dunbar.

— The ESPN Pac-12 blog has a Q&A with special teams coordinator and assistant head coach Eric Russell.

Another European power awaits U.S.

A GRIP ON SPORTS

If I had any culinary skills outside the barbecue, I would make waffles this morning. Smother them in butter and syrup and then eat them with gusto. I guess it would be my patriotic duty. Read on.

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.

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

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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.

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Josh Wright Josh Wright is a freelance correspondent who covers the University of Idaho football team and men's basketball team.

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

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