An early tip from Tucson


FROM TUCSON — Finally, the Cougars play the early game on a Saturday, facing No. 12 Arizona in a 12 p.m. game this afternoon. We start the day with a wide array of links. Read on.

Our advance of the game in today's newspaper focuses on the Cougars' desire to stick to their fundamentals, especially defensively. That's just about all you can do against a team as talented as Arizona — control what you can control, be in the right places at the right time and hope you make more shots than they do. … As mentioned in that story, Mike Ladd won't play again today, and it doesn't sound like he's all that much closer to returning. Ken Bone said the thought has crossed his mind that Ladd might miss the rest of the season, but he's not yet to the point where he's preparing not to have him. … The Arizona Daily Star has this feature on Royce Woolridge. … Marquess Wilson is at the NFL draft combine this week, which means he is answering reporters' questions for the first time about his departure from WSU. The Seattle Times and the News Tribune both wrote about Wilson today. The gist: he still maintains of the coaching staff that “the stuff they were doing, it wasn't right,” and he simply plans to tell the truth when NFL teams ask about it. Another interesting note is that Wilson will hold his Pro Day at Eastern Washington in Cheney on March 6. … Mike Leach held a live chat with the Times yesterday. … Fun game between Klay Thompson's Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs last night. … Missed this yesterday, but CougCenter continued its series of breaking down the Air Raid. … SB Nation also looks at Mike Leach's first season at WSU compared to Dana Holgorsen's season at West Virginia.

Around the Pac-12 … California continues its surge for an at-large bid with a 3 p.m. game at Oregon State (Pac-12 Networks). The losses keep piling up for the Beavers. … Oregon is hoping it doesn't waste another opportunity against Stanford tonight (5 p.m., Pac-12 Networks). … Washington and Arizona State cap the day with an 8 p.m. game on ESPNU. The Sun Devils have the conference's best defender, according to an ASU assistant. … USC's tall guys are a big help. … Colorado wants to take advantage of a rare break in its schedule. … Utah's freshmen have helped build a solid foundation this season.

That's all for now. We'll check back in before the game.

Christian Caple can be reached at Twitter: @ChristianCaple

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