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Cougar Calls highlights

From Pullman — Bill Moos joined Cougar Calls with Bud Nameck on Monday for his weekly radio appearance. You can listen to the podcast when it's put up here, and we've put together some highlights after the jump.

Spring practice report: day 2

From Pullman — Forgive me if today's practice report isn't as meaty as Thursday's and ones to follow. During practice some basketball news was happening that proved to be more than a little distracting. Still, I think we got most of it. There were a couple new faces running with the ones today and a new quarterback got some significant reps.

Read on, after the jump.

 

 

Another predator tangles with Shelby

Last year we brought you the story of Shelby, the dog who showed up at a Senate hearing in support of a bill to make it easier for landowners to fight off wolves attacking their livestock and pets. 

The six-year-old Siberian Husky mix didn't speak, of course, but she did show off the wounds from his encounter with a wolf on her owner's ranch outside of Twisp. Shelby was definitely Spin Control's favorite hearing witness of the entire session, and the bill eventually passed.

Now comes word from the Wenatchee World, via colleague Rich Landers Outdoors blog, that Shelby is back on the mend after another tussle. This time it was a cougar.

She's expected to recover. A depredation permit has been issued for the cougar.

Mike Leach discusses proposed rule changes

From Pullman — 

Earlier this week WSU coach Mike Leach spoke to ESPN’s Ted Miller about a proposed NCAA rule change that would prevent offense from snapping the ball during the play clock’s first 11 seconds to allow defenses an opportunity to substitute player.

On Thursday he joined Matt and Scott on WJOX 94.5 FM in Birmingham, Ala. to further explain why he would be, “prepared to debate anybody on the subject because it’s so ridiculous on its face.”

More after the jump.

Quarterback to leave Washington State football team

UPDATE (8:11 p.m.) — Apodaca confirmed that he has left the program, more from the quarterback after the jump.

Independent sources have told the Spokesman-Review that quarterback Austin Apodaca is no longer a member of the Washington State football program. No reason for Apodaca's departure was given.

A spokesperson for WSU said that the team does not comment on internal matters.

Apodaca, a redshirt freshman this past season, completed 21 of 42 passes for 187 yards and two touchdowns as Connor Halliday's primary backup. He originally was recruited by former WSU head coach Paul Wulff and but became the first quarterback recruited by current coach Mike Leach at WSU. A product of Silver Creek High School in Longmont, Colo., Apodaca was named All-Colorado by the Denver Post as a senior after throwing for a state-high 3,849 yards with 44 touchdowns and 10 interceptions.

Far more trips to the line in the Pac-12 this season

From Pullman — In today's Spokesman-Review I had an article about the impact recent NCAA rules changes regarding hand checking and offensive charges have had on undersized posts. Tighter hand-checking rules drive offensive players toward the basket, and the new charge rules make it tougher for a defensive player to get in position. As such, teams are likely to emphasize height even more when recruiting post players because the ability to block or alter shots is more valuable than ever.

Oversized yet under-skilled forwards aren't the only players benefitting from the rule changes however. Players who can attack the basket and get to the foul line are finding that the new rules have made their lives easier. Follow the jump to see just how many more free throws are being attempted this season.

WSU recruiting Q&A part 1

​With signing day fast approaching, college football coaches are scrambling to fill out their 2014 recruiting classes. While these last couple weeks can be a whirlwind of activity, Washington State has received verbal pledges from a number of recruits, and only have a few spots remaining. With that in mind, I invited a couple WSU recruiting experts to come fill us in on how the class is shaping up. Braulio Perez, a Senior Correspondent at Cougfan.com and Britton Ransford, the publisher of WazzuWatch.com, were kind enough to answer some questions about WSU recruiting and the upcoming class. Part 1 of that interview is after the jump.

Lacy on the road to recovery

From Pullman — Washington State men's basketball coach Ken Bone provided an update on injured player DaVonte Lacy during Tuesday's teleconference. Lacy, WSU's leading scorer at 17.7 points per game, has been out since the ASU game with a rib injury. Doctors told him at that time that it would be 4-6 weeks until he return to the team and it sounds like he's right on schedule.

Just last night he went to the doctor's office and he's still at least 2-4 weeks out,” Bone said. “But he's at least going to get in some passing drills today so he'll be on the floor with a practice jersey and will at least be able to jog up and down the court.”

WSU announces new football players

On Monday we reported that the Washington State football team was set to welcome six new student-athletes who enrolled for Spring semester. Today, the school formally announced the new roster additions.

“This is a very good start to our 2014 signing class,” said coach Mike Leach. “We have added some size along with skill positions on both sides of the ball. Having them begin classes and adjust to college life, while also participating in winter conditioning and spring practices, will benefit them going forward.”

Click here to read the school's press release.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Yesterday was the start of called for Spring semester at Washington State and the students were back on campus. That includes six new Cougars who enrolled for Spring quarter (although apparently Calvin Green is arriving today). In the morning, Bud Nameck hosted Cougar Calls, which you can listen to here or read our recap. Bud Withers of the Seattle Times takes a look at the teams to beat in 2014, and the paper also has a piece on former WSU basketball player Patrick Simon. CougCenter's Kyle Sherwood takes a closer look at the shot charts from the Cougars game against Utah.

Follow the jump for links from around the Pac-12.

 

 

WSU football set to add six Spring enrollees

From Pullman — Six new players are expected to join the Washington State football program today, with Markell Sanders, Marcellus Pippins, Dylan Hanser, Nick Begg, Calvin Green and Sean Krepsz all set to become Cougars. Sanders, Hanser, Begg and Krepsz are already listed in the WSU student directory, and all six are on campus according to Britton Ransford of WazzuWatch.com.

We'll have updates with quotes from the WSU coaches once they become available. For now, we've got more on the newcomers, after the jump.

No timetable for Lacy’s return

From Pullman — Apart from a brief appearance against Arizona State, the Washington State men's basketball team has been without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy since the Cougars' loss to UTEP on December 21. During shoot around before their next game against Mississippi Valley State, Lacy felt pain in his torso and was taken to the hospital, where an appendectomy was performed. After missing the Arizona game, Lacy made a brief comeback against the Sun Devils, but left midway through the first half with a separate rib injury and missed the Colorado game.

We've got an update on Lacy's status, after the jump.

 

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Yesterday Bill Moos appeared on Cougar Calls and WSU coach Mike Leach made a guest appearance. We've transcribed some of the highlights. While the call was centered on football, Moos also touched on the men's and women's basketball teams. We've got a blog post recapping the men's weekend in the desert, while the women will take on Washington tomorrow … Moos also reiterated that the Apple Cup won't be on Friday next year … It appears that former WSU football coach Paul Wulff has found gainful employment … The Pac-12 is losing a lot of talent in football this offseason. Both underclassmen and seniors are preparing for the NFL draft … In the true Boulder spirit, Colorado has been climbing the men's basketball polls … Last night was the end of the BCS era, and it went out with a bang.

WSU tries to salvage road swing at Arizona State

From Tempe — Washington State's 60-25 loss at Arizona on Thursday certainly wasn't ideal. But in a conference like the Pac-12, a road split is always a success, no matter how bad the loss was. With a win tomorrow at Arizona State, the Cougars will still come out of the weekend ahead.

ASU has a lot of talent in the likes of Jahii Carson, Shaq McKissic, Jordan Bachynski and others. But the Sun Devils have some weaknesses, too. They're No. 11 in rebounding differential and averaged just 0.1 more rebounds per game through the non conference schedule and their loss to Washington on Thursday.

Conversely, ASU has had a lot of success from behind the arc this season, and leads the Pac-12 with over eight made 3-pointers per game.

Our advance, in it's unedited glory, is after the jump.

WSU falls, hard, to No. 1 Arizona

From Tucson — A perfect storm of injured players, anemic shooting, a hostile crowd and great defense combined as the Cougars had a historically bad offensive night. 25 points. Says it all, really. Still, WSU coach Ken Bone and the players requested by reporters came out to face the media and answered our questions honestly and earnestly. That can't have been fun, and is no guarantee.

But the Cougars will pick themselves up and prepare to take on Arizona State on Sunday. Until then, our story is after the jump.

DaVonte Lacy update

From Pullman — Davonte Lacy is back from the hospital and his coaches say he's in good spirits. He even participated in Monday's practice, albeit as a manager for the WSU men's basketball team.

“As of now he's up and about, he came home from the hospital yesterday,” coach Ken Bone said on Monday. “He was at practice today as a manager. Handed the guys towels and water and did a good job of it.”

More on Lacy, after the jump.

Mike Leach to appear on the Outdoor Channel

Washington State football coach Mike Leach will make a guest appearance on Gridiron Outdoors with Mike Pawlawski on the Outdoor Channel. In the show Pawlawski, a former professional quarterback, and his guests venture into the wild to pursuit wild species. Former guests include Urban Meyer, Gerald Sensabaugh and Joe Staley.

Leach has appeared on the show previously and went hunting in New Zealand. A photo gallery from that excursion can be found here.

The new episode will air on Saturday, January 4th at 5:00 p.m.

Monday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The Pac-12 men's basketball coaches will have their first teleconference of the season tomorrow, and then will host them ever Tuesday thereafter, so look for some news out of that. There was a little news yesterday, as WSU Athletics provided some updated pictures of the Football Operations Building and we put up a blog post on the status of WSU guard DaVonte Lacy, who is out for awhile.

A number of Pac-12 teams had games on Sunday, and all earned victories over small-conference opponents. Oregon continued its hot start with a win over Morgan State … J.T. Terrell showed Trojans fans he's back in USC's win over the Buffalo Bil, er, Howard Bison … Cal Poly was no match for Stanford … In the conference's closest game, Washington pulled out a win over Hartford … Oregon State capped off a good day for the conference with a win of its own.

The Advocare V100 Bowl will feature a pair of feature backs … The Sun Devils are ready for Texas Tech's star tight end.

Washington State Football Operations Building making progress

Photo courtesy of WSU Athletics

 

Pullman — Washington State Athletics has an update today on the status of the Football Operations Building (FOB), which is still under construction next to Martin Stadium. The 84,000 square foot facility will house training rooms, weight rooms, coaches' offices and more.

Schedule to be completed in the Spring of 2014, you can watch a live feed of the construction here. If you watch at night, you'll notice that the building appears to have electricity, a recent development (recent relative to the final bowl practices).

The FOB is part of the Cougar Football Project, a two-part renovation of Martin Stadium. More updates and photos from the Cougar Football Project can be found on its Facebook page.

Cougars likely won’t have DaVonte Lacy for Arizona swing

From Pullman — As we wrote in yesterday's game story, Davonte Lacy went to the hospital following WSU's pre game shoot around to have surgery for appendicitis. There is no firm timeline for Lacy's recovery, but coach Ken Bone says he has been told anywhere from three days to a few weeks.

Losing Lacy is a big blow to the Cougars. The junior was leading the team with 18.9 points per game, and is considered by the players to be the team's vocal leader. In his absence, freshman Que Johnson was the team's go-to scorer on Saturday, taking 17 shots and scoring 19 points. Bone has said this season that he'd like the scoring load to be distributed more evenly than it has been this season, and that'll probably be the case with Lacy out.

It's an inopportune time for WSU to lose its leading scorer. The Cougars begin Pac-12 play next week at No. 1 Arizona. The undefeated Wildcats are No. 8 in the country in field goal percentage defense, meaning that WSU was going to have to work to score the ball even with Lacy. Now, the team is probably relying on a freshman playing in his first truly hostile environment against an excellent defensive team.

That recipe for disaster isn't exactly a family secret.

Johnson will have some help however. In Saturday's game against Mississippi Valley State, Royce Woolridge and D.J. Shelton combined for 30 points on 12 of 15 shooting. Woolridge especially has been coming on lately, and as had a lot of success driving to the basket. The guard transferred from Kansas and has plenty of experience going up against elite athletes. That experience will be valuable Arizona's Nick Johnson and Aaron Gordon, or Jahii Carson and Shaq McKissic of Arizona State.

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The Washington State basketball team didn't learn until a couple hours before the game that they would be without leading scorer DaVonte Lacy, who is in the hospital recovering from appendicitis surgery. Fortunate, then, that the Cougars were playing Mississippi Valley State, who they easily beat … CougCenter's Brian Floyd has a nice profile of WSU defensive line coach Joe Salave'a … 

In other basketball news Shaq McKissic continues to ball for Arizona State … Oh, wow! The Utes made St. Katherine look like some overmatched sacrifice team! … Down two starters, Cal still rolled … The Pac-12 had its way with the SEC, with Colorado dispatching Georgia and UCLA beating Alabama.

The Pac-12 will resume football action when Oregon and Arizona State will play their bowl games tomorrow.

Saturday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Another Pac-12 team played its bowl game, yesterday, with Washington defeating BYU in San Francisco. The Huskies may have won the game, but they lost their star tight end, who will enter the NFL draft … In basketball the Huskies beat Mississippi Valley State, who the Cougars will host tonight.

Links from around the conference after the jump.

Some cougar hunting areas to close

HUNTING —  Cougar hunts in several areas of the state will close at dusk on Dec. 31 as harvest guidelines for the animals have been reached in those areas, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife announced Thursday.

Eight of the 49 cougar hunt areas will close, including Game Management Units (GMUs) 105, 117, 149, 154, 157, 162, 163, 328, 329, 335, 336, 340, 342, 346, 382, 388, 560, 574, and 578.

Those GMUs are in portions of Stevens, Pend Oreille, Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield, Kittitas, Yakima, Klickitat, and Cowlitz counties.

This is the second year the department has managed cougar hunts under a plan approved by the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission in 2012, said Dave Ware, WDFW Game Division manager.

That plan establishes harvest guidelines for specific areas of the state, based on cougar populations in those areas, said Ware. Under the plan, WDFW can close areas where cougar harvest meets or exceeds guidelines, while continuing to allow for hunting opportunities elsewhere.

“The goal is to preserve a variety of cougar age classes in numerous areas throughout the state, particularly older animals which tend to be more effective at maintaining sustainable populations,” Ware said.

Last year, hunters harvested 156 cougars statewide, up from 145 in 2011 and 108 in 2010. Ware said the number of cougars harvested this season is expected to be similar to last year.

Ware reminds hunters that during the late-season cougar hunt – Jan. 1 through March 31 – other areas of the state could close early. Before going afield, hunters should check WDFW’s website or call the cougar hunting hotline (866-364-4868) to check which areas of the state remain open.

Any additional closures will be posted on the website and hotline, both of which will be updated weekly.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

Our photographer, Tyler Tjomsland, and I spent all day yesterday getting back to the Evergreen State from New Mexico. So of course, all heck broke loose. First, Colorado State forcefully massaged assistant coach Greg Lupfer's wrist for his homophobic outburst directed at Connor Halliday on Saturday. Then, we got word that linebacker Feddie Davey may be done at WSU.

As if that weren't enough, it appears that defensive line coach Joe Salave'a may be mulling an offer to join Steve Sarkisian at USC. We'll pass along more info when we can get it.

 

 

We also put our our report card from the New Mexico Bowl. Both Arizona and Oregon State won their basketball games.