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The calendar is about to turn a new leaf. Washington State’s basketball schedule is about to do the same thing. The Cougars will play their final nonconference game this morning in Baton Rouge, facing an LSU team that’s lost just once this season. Read on for links and thoughts.
COUGARS • UPDATED 5:45 P.M.
WSU gets back on the court tomorrow at 9-1 LSU. The Tigers will provide a formidable test for the Cougars, but their record is a little soft, with eight wins over teams with a Pomeroy ranking of 220 or worse (in way of contrast, 8-3 WSU has played seven games against teams with Pomeroy rankings of 190 or better). Read on for the unedited version of my advance for Saturday.
• UPDATE: According to CougFan, Gonzaga Prep’s Travis Long has given a verbal commitment to WSU. This is big news in that Long was one of the top high school seniors on the Cougars’ recruiting list. I was told not too long ago Long had narrowed his choices to WSU and Boise State, so the defensive lineman’s decision this week also shows WSU can compete against the top teams in the Northwest. Expect a story soon in the S-R from our prep writer Mike Vlahovich.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 3:45 P.M.; 2:30 P.M. DEC. 25
Wandering around the Internet last night, I saw a football beat writer who offered his thoughts about starters next year for the school he covers. It seemed like a good idea, so I decided to try my hand at the same thing. What follows is a list of frontrunners for starting spots based on information gathered since the end of last season. In some cases I listed players at new positions, much of which is based on conversations with coaches from throughout the year. At other spots I made some leaps based on the same type of information. Only a couple of recruits are mentioned, because no one is signed yet. A lot can happen between now and next August, so take these thoughts for what they are, my best guess on the day before Christmas.
Isn’t college athletics fun? Last Friday, WSU’s women’s basketball team handed the University of Hawaii an 18-point defeat. The two teams played again Monday. Read on to find out what happened this time.
A Monday evening in Spokane. It’s beautiful. Plus the ride from Pullman wasn’t too bad. There’s nothing like a day when 195 blends into the surrounding fields, and only the grooves in the snow tell you where to go.
We have a story to share – no, not one of my long-winded from 1987 that bores you to death, but a real story that will appear in the paper tomorrow. It’s about former Cougar star Aaron Haskins. At the end of it, I have some blog news from the man in charge. Read on.
Got back to Pullman last night around 9 p.m. after writing my story, posting it to this blog and driving slowly down the highway. Come to find out an hour or so later that I beat the Washington State team bus back to town.
Seems the Cougars’ bus got stuck in the Kibbie Dome parking lot. Then got stuck going up a hill. Then got stuck again. They didn’t arrive back at campus until almost two hours after they left Moscow. The trip was a battle. Just like the game. Read on for links.
COUGARS • UPDATED: 10 P.M.
With Aron Baynes dominating inside – 18 points and nine rebounds – and Taylor Rochestie controlling the perimeter on both offense and defense – 11 points, five assists and limiting Mac Hopson to 10 points – the Cougars raised their record to 8-3 with a 55-41 win over Idaho. Read on for the unedited version of my story that will appear in tomorrow’s S-R.
I have to head back to Pullman and I understand it’s going to be a slow drive, so I’ll post my thoughts on the game either later tonight or tomorrow morning. Check back in then.
WSU gutted out a 55-41 win behind the inside play of Aron Baynes and the outside shots of Taylor Rochestie. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with a game story.
Halftime in the Cowan Spectrum and this one isn’t going according to plan. It’s being played at a slow pace and Idaho is staying close. A big reason is WSU is shooting so poorly. The shots are there, the Cougars are just not knocking them down. At the half they are shooting just 38.5 percent (10 of 26), including 1 of 9 from beyond the arc. Only a Klay Thompson layup with 1.4 seconds left gave WSU a 22-20 lead.
The other aspect is the lack of whistles – on both ends. This one got incredibly physical down the stretch as the officials called four fouls the entire half, two on each team. Plus, there was just one travel called and I saw at least four others. Maybe they want to beat the storm out of town. We’ll be back at the end of the game with a post. Till then.
Good evening from snowy Moscow … and snowy Pullman … and snowy just about anywhere in the Palouse. I’m hoping I’ll be able to get back to Pullman after the game, but who knows? As long as the snowplows are working, I’m OK I guess. Well, enough of that. Let’s get to our pregame thoughts.
We’re still searching for the best way to present our posts on this new SportsLink site, so we’re back to leading off with the Cougar label. Hope that helps you find each individual WSU post. We have a few story links for you on this Sunday morning. One little note: Tonight’s game at UI will be the first time this season the Cougars wear their red road uniforms. Their 7-3 record has been built at home or on neutral sites where their wore their whites. This is the most games in the program’s history before the school played a true road game.
Let’s have a vote. How many of you think I’m going to make it from Spokane to Pullman today? I’ll give you a hint: I’m not sure I can make it out of the neighborhood, because the snow in the street is, in spots, taller than my Honda. Here’s another hint: The DOT camera in Spangle isn’t working and the one in north Colfax is just a blur. But I’m game. If it stops snowing, I’m heading back down for a week of interviews, games and shoveling. Read on.
Not much going on in Pullman this week except some last-minute cramming for finals – if you have a good story along those lines, don’t be afraid to share – and football recruiting.