Latest from The Spokesman-Review
From Pullman — Some good news for the Washington State football team came down last night when Austin Joyner announced his intentions to play for the Cougars. Joyner is listed as a four-star running back but it appears he'll play cornerback at WSU. Yesterday we also posted some notes following an interview with athletic director Bill Moos.
In other Pac-12 news Washington unveiled its new football uniforms and they sure are uniforms … An Arizona basketball recruit's prep career is ending with a bang … A departing Oregon assistant is going to get a quarter million dollars every year from the public employee pension fund … Gonzaga added a head-to-head series against UCLA.
UPDATE: Somehow I missed John Blanchette's column on the Gonzaga series. Forgive me.
From Pullman — One of the true position battles this spring has taken place at center, where Riley Sorenson and Sam Flor are seeing equal time with the first string. Our story from yesterday's practice takes a look at that particular competition and we've got a recap of the team's 10th practice. We also reported the news yesterday that Washington State will play Gonzaga in Spokane again next season.
A Washington running back has overcome three ACL tears to get back on the football field … Here is a Q&A with Utah's defensive coordinator … Jordan Adams will put off the NBA draft another year … USC could start a true freshman on the offensive line.
From Pullman — There weren't any signing day surprises for Washington State basketball fans on Wednesday, but new coach Ernie Kent still has more than a month left to fill out his four remaining roster spots. It was a somewhat slow day for WSU news but we held another live chat and put up our Five Questions blog post with defensive lineman Xavier Cooper. CougCenter has a good look at WSU scholarship situation. We're getting closer to the NFL Draft and Deone Bucannon is visiting teams.
Sports Illustrated's Zac Ellis gives his take on Cal's coaching hire … A pair of Bruins make their decision to go pro official … As did Arizona State's Jahii Carson … Washington receiver Damore'ea Stringfellow received his sentence yesterday.
Bonus Link: This story on Yasiel Puig's defection from Cuba is great.
From Pullman — If you can make it out to Martin Stadium today you'll have a chance to watch Washington State's first football scrimmage of the spring. More on that here. The team got a new addition yesterday when former Boise State running back Aaron Baltazar announced he was transferring to WSU.
Washington's freshman point guard is seriously considering whether or not to turn pro … Arizona State is trying to put a positive spin on a new fee for students … UCLA's record number of basketball championships could be in jeopardy.
Also, Todd, the winner of our tournament challenge, has made his email on Yahoo! private. Please contact me Todd so we can get you your prize or we'll have to move to the next highest scorer.
From Pullman — I have some work-related errands to run up in Spokane today so unfortunately we won't be able to have our typical off-day chat. I know it's hard. But just thing how much we'll have to talk about on Friday.
If you're in Spokane today you can meet WSU's new men's basketball coach, Ernie Kent … Washington State's young secondary had some growing pains yesterday … Here's our story on WSU's running backs and returning leader Marcus Mason … June Daugherty's contract was extended after the WSU women made the NIT … Yale Rosen was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week in baseball after batting 7 for 10 in the Cougars sweep of California.
ESPN's Kevin Gemmell unloads in his Pac-12 mailbag … Could Washington's most important new coach be the guy in the weight room? … Marcus Mariota seems to thinks he's well-compensated for his exploits on the football field … Four positions wasn't enough for one Wildcat.
From Pullman — Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Wisconsin. The Final Four is set and that means the college basketball season is almost over. It also likely signals the coming end of the Washington State coaching search as athletic director Bill Moos plainly said he hoped to have the hire in place before the NCAA tournament was over. The hire could be announced today or it could be announced a week from today. Likely, it will happen sometime in between.
On Sunday we put up some notes and quotes from Saturday's practice and we had a live chat as well … With Marquise Lee entering the draft USC has already found his replacement … the Stanford women advanced to the Elite Eight … One Oregon unit isn't looking exactly championship caliber yet.
Shortly after the news came down that Washington State had apparently offered the men's basketball coaching position to somebody, we confirmed that Boise State's Leon Rice interviewed with the Cougars. But apparently has decided to stay in Boise.
You're not going to believe this, but it looks like that 7th grader who committed to USC once upon a time may not actually end up a Trojan … Oregon is reloading in the secondary … Washington's Desmond Simmons will transfer.
From Pullman — Football as back and that can only mean one thing: more links. The Cougars had their first practice of the spring yesterday and we've got a practice report as well as a story on WSU's developing quarterbacks. Yesterday, baseball coach Donnie Marbut was in an automobile accident but thankfully he's already out of the hospital. We've also got a blog post about New Mexico State coach Marvin Menzies, who denied interest in the open WSU baseball coaching position, for now.
Don't forget, at noon tomorrow we'll be hosting a live chat to talk about spring practices and the basketball coaching search. We'll continue having a noon chat on the day following practices throughout the spring.
From Pullman — Things are starting to pick up in Pullman. Tomorrow will be the first day of Washington State's spring football practices, and on Friday we'll have a live chat at noon. In today's paper we take a look at five important position battles to watch this spring, and we also had a blog post on the topic. Cougcenter has a breakdown of WSU's football scholarships by class. The Daily Evergreen has a preview as well.
UCLA hasn't played Florida, yet, but they've played Arizona … spring practices are underway at USC under new coach Steve Sarkisian … ESPN's Kevin Gemmell says the Cougars have the fourth best “three-headed monster” in the Pac-12 North next season.
From Pullman — Spring practice is just days away for the Washington State football team and the Cougars are already getting ready. And so is the media. WSU released its Spring roster on Monday and we've got a post detailing the differences we could find between the roster now and at the end of the 2013 season. Coaches Mike Leach and Mike Breske also appeared on Cougar Calls with Bill Moos yesterday to talk about the team. We've got some highlights from that discussion here. Moos also touched on the ongoing coaching search, something that we have a story on here. Speaking of coaches, former WSU coach Kelvin Sampson has emerged as a leading candidate for the Houston job.
From Pullman — The weekend passed and the Washington State men's basketball team remains without a long-term coach. While former Ken Bone assistant Curtis Allen has been placed in charge to oversee the day-to-day operations of the team we still don't know who the next Cougars coach will be. Former Oregon coach Ernie Kent's name has often been linked to the vacancy due to his close ties with WSU athletic director Bill Moos. Word out of San Diego last week was that Kent is very much interested. Another coach to keep an eye on is Marvin Menzies out of New Mexico State. Menzies coached the Aggies in Spokane last Thursday when they nearly-upset San Diego State. Menzies has made hay on the recruiting trail, particularly in Toronto. Could a move north make sense for the former assistant to Rick Pitino and Steve Fisher?
The WSU baseball team fell in extra-innings to No. 14 UCLA … Stanford knocked Kansas out of the NCAA tournament yesterday … Arizona beat up Gonzaga pretty bad yesterday. Jim Meehan has the game story from San Diego and John Blanchette has a column … UCLA took some heat off coach Steve Alford by advancing to the Sweet 16.
From Pullman — That 36-game losing streak to Washington? It wasn't even the longest drought the Washington State women ended this season. No, yesterday's invitation to the WNIT means WSU will be making its first postseason trip in women's basketball in 23 years. The Cougars will head all the way to Montana for their matchup against … Montana. While they're there maybe they can beat the Huskies again. A little late but here's a good piece illustrating just how good DaVonte Lacy was for the men this season.
From Pullman — It's St. Patrick's Day and you know what that means? This year it means March Madness is officially upon us. The NCAA tournament bracket has officially been set and followers of our Washington State and Pac-12 coverage can compete with other readers in our NCAA Tournament Challenge. Gonzaga will head to San Diego for a rematch with Oklahoma State. John Blanchette has a column on GU's seeding.
Six Pac-12 schools made the cut and Cal — which started conference play 5-0 and knocked off Arizona — will head to the NIT to face the Utah Valley team that Idaho just beat … Oregon State will play in the CBI … Arizona nabbed a No. 1 seed but still has some land mines to navigate … UCLA's loss to WSU just over a week ago didn't appear to register much with the selection committee, which granted the Bruins a 4 seed … Losing Spencer Dinwiddie didn't end Colorado's season and the Buffaloes are going dancing … Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins appears to have saved his job by guiding the Cardinal to the tournament … Oregon's late-season resurgence was enough to get the Ducks into March Madness … Arizona State will open up against Texas.
Having trouble coping with all the Madness? Jim Allen has some advice.
From Pullman — The Washington State men's basketball team is hitting the road a little early, leaving Pullman today and heading to Las Vegas for the Pac-12 tournament. Their opponent will be Stanford. We touch on that and have some highlights in a blog post today … Bud Withers put out his Pac-12 All-Conference team … As did Percy Allen … Chris Foster says UCLA hasn't improved since sacking Ben Howland, but that's no reason to think they won't.
From Pullman — The Washington State seniors went out in style last night, upending UCLA in the regular season finale. We've also got video and quotes from the win. However, the laws of the universe required that the WSU women fall in the Pac-12 tournament semifinals to balance out the men's good fortune.
The day's biggest upset however was Oregon's win over No. 3 Arizona, which likely assures Oregon of an NCAA tournament berth … Stanford scraped out a much-needed win over Utah … Arizona State, California and Washington also came away with narrow victories.
From Pullman — Washington State knocked off No. 20 California last night to return to the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament semifinals for the second time in three years. Thomas Clouse watched watched Lia Galdeira scored 28 points to lead the Cougars in their 91-83 win and has a game story from Seattle. The baseball team also won on Friday, taking a series opener from Texas State. Suiting up as Cougars for the final time in Pullman will be D.J. Shelton and Will DiIorio. A football player whose time at WSU has passed is getting ready for the NFL draft. Yesterday the State Senate passed a resolution honoring WSU's 1915 Rose Bowl team.
ESPN's Pac-12 blog takes a look at each team's safety depth … Washington's Spring practices may not be pretty … The Huskies are also getting ready to say goodbye to their seniors … The Ducks have one more chance to show they're legit, against No. 3 Arizona … Utah looks to cap an impressive late-season run against Stanford … The Beavers hope everything comes together against Arizona State … Cal and Colorado will have a lot of chips on the table in today's game.
From Pullman — For awhile it seemed that the USC game could very well be Washington State's last win of the season. Then last night they lost it thanks to a brutal second half. Here's our game story from the loss. Before the game former WSU safety Deone Bucannon met with the media to talk about his preparations for the upcoming NFL draft. We've got video of the All-American, as well as post game videos of a couple players and coach Ken Bone. We also had a blog post on former WSU RB/DB Clarence Williams who is on the College Football Hall of Fame ballot.
On the women's side the Cougars hit the century mark, again, in a win over Oregon to start of Pac-12 tournament play.
In the day's other game Washington fell to UCLA at home.
From Pullman — The vocal majority that despises a proposed NCAA football rule change that would give defenses 10 seconds to substitute got welcome news yesterday. The proposal has been tabled, effectively cast off into a sea of bureaucracy and red tape from which it will never emerge … Today the Washington State basketball team will do battle with USC in a titanic matchup (“Titanic” referring to the ship, not the forebears of the Greek Pantheon). We've got our Four Corners preview of the game and a local college basketball notebook … Former WSU football player Steve Broussard has been hired at SMU.
From Pullman — Just one more day until the Cougars take on Oregon in the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament. Thomas Clouse will be covering the team, and he's got a story on the matchup. Washington State will have a pair of All-Conference players taking the court. Mr. Clouse has a story on Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira, and we've got a blog post as well … In our baseball notebook the Cougars respond to the NCAA inquiry into a player's eligibility .
Check out John Blanchette's movie reviews … Ted Miller breaks down the Pac-12 defensive ends … Washington had its first practice under new coach Chris Petersen … But a longtime captain is in trouble with the law … Oregon now has a winning record with yesterday's win over Arizona State … Stanford is hoping to help its tournament resume with a win over Colorado today … Arizona needs to avoid a letdown in the home stretch … Utah has one more shot to prove it can win on the road.
Deone Bucannon became an All-American at Washington State and there was little doubt that the safety would have a chance to show his stuff in the NFL. Because of his eye-popping combine numbers Bucannon could be picked pretty early in May's NFL draft. The experts seem to think Bucannon will go in the second or third round. A Cougar hasn't been drafted in the third round since Jason Hill in 2007 and if Bucannon can edge his way up to the second round he'll be the earliest Cougar picked since Marcus Trufant went No. 11 overall in 2003. In 2002 both Raonall Smith and Lamont Thompson were drafted in the second round out of WSU.
The Huskies have started Spring football and here are some notes from the first day … Stanford is also practicing and once again trying to replace some irreplaceable players … Arizona owes much of its success this season to a phenomenal freshman … The Pac-12 Women's Basketball Tournament field has been set, Thomas Clouse will be covering the action for the S-R.
Show me the money? Show him the diploma. Jason Monda's decision to turn his nose at a $200,000 signing bonus is the basis of our college baseball preview. The team split its double-header with Cal State Northridge yesterday.
The Pac-12 media was proven to be composed of geniuses once again when preseason favorite Arizona clinched the Pac-12 on Sunday, defeating Stanford to make it official … It wasn't easy but UCLA got by Oregon State at home … Their season is far from over so Arizona State fans will have time to brace themselves for life without Jahii Carson, who will enter the NBA draft …
The regular season is over for the WSU women's basketball team, which fell to No. 5 Stanford on Saturday. The Cougars will head to next week's Pac-12 tournament in Seattle as the No. 7 seed, and will play Oregon in the first round. WSU will need a very good showing to have a chance to make it to the Big Dance. ESPN's Charlie Creme projects just four Pac-12 teams to the NCAA tournament and WSU is not among them. Washington may have a chance, however, after upsetting No. 18 Cal on the road. The Huskies were led by freshman Kelsey Plum, yet again.
Former WSU pitcher Adam Conley is one of the Miami Marlins' best prospects. Conley picked up a Spring Training win yesterday.
From Seattle — The Washington Huskies left no doubt they were the better team on Friday night, teasing the Cougars with their sharp shooting and clamping down on the Washington State offense. The Huskies made of half their shots and the Cougars barely broke 30 percent. D.J. Shelton had a remarkably unique game, collecting 15 rebounds but going 0 for 10 on 3-pointers.
We’ve got a game story on WSU’s 72-49 loss and the box score. Adam Lewis places the fault at the failure to establish Shelton inside the paint and here is a game story from the UW perspective. Kevin Dowd says that rumors of Lorenzo Romar's demise are premature.
Today the Washington State Cougars will attempt to win their first Pac-12 road game since a 71-68 victory at Oregon State on Jan. 26, 2013. It was their only conference road win that season. They'll also hope to make it a sweep against rival Washington this season. We previewed that game in our Four Corners on Thursday … WSU's first win over UW was a season-changer for the Huskies … The Cougars sure could use a big performance from Que Johnson, who has been quiet of late … The women's team nearly pulled off a critical upset at No. 18 California but fell in overtime … The Bruins battled without two key players but Oregon's double-overtime win puts the NCAA tournament within the Ducks' crosshairs … The one they call “Zeus” is still climbing his Mt. Olympus … USC lost again. This time to USC.
The above video is pretty awesome. For starters, it's an awesome shot. Another thing is that it was a game winner that allowed Western Washington University to beat rival Central Washington University. But the most awesome thing is that the shooter, Richard Woodworth, is a senior who hit that shot on Senior Night.
On Friday WSU will take on Washington. WSU coach Ken Bone used to be on Lorenzo Romar's staff at UW. Romar is standing by his old assistant … We've also got our Four Corners preview of that game … Bud Withers assesses the state of the Pac-12 … Former UW quarterback Keith Price is keeping a draft diary for USA Today … Arizona had no trouble with Cal on Wednesday … While Arizona State sent Stanford packing … Today USC will hope to get its second conference win … And Oregon's postseason hopes could depend on beating UCLA today.
From Pullman — Deone Bucannon made the most of his opportunities at the NFL Combine yesterday, putting up good numbers across the board … Gonzaga and Washington State's baseball teams have the same problem right now: pitching … Don't expect to see any more tweets from the Iowa basketball team … The Apple Cup of basketball is on Friday and no one seems to care … Arizona has a chance to avenge its departed shot at an undefeated season … It's already football time again in Palo Alto … Catching up with Oregon State football … UCLA's Tony Parker has been playing well lately.
When Tia Presley scores 32 points the WSU women's basketball team just can't lose. That's not a statement that's particularly packed with meaning — most teams win when a player is that successful. But Presley has put up 32 points in three of WSU's last four games, all of which came against Pac-12 competition. We've got a story on how Presley is leading the Cougars' late-season run … Bud Withers has a column on Ken Bone's trials and tribulations at WSU.
Spring is officially in the air and Stanford will begin football practices this week … Ted Miller breaks down each Pac-12 school's QB situation … Former Spokane prep running back Bishop Sankey had a pretty good day at the NFL combine.
From Eugene — The Cougars led, for a half, then Mike Moser happened. If only he'd stayed at UNLV. It's tough to beat a team when their 6-foot-8 power forward hits a three from the top of the key, and then hits another. And another. The Ducks stormed back, the Cougars lost and we've got a blog post, story and videos of Ken Bone and the players afterward. We've also passed along some video of Deone Bucannon at the NFL Combine.
But the WSU women beat Oregon … I didn't see this before but Bud Withers has a story about the struggles experienced by Oregon State's Craig Robinson … The contest between Cal and USC was pretty similar to the WSU game … Utah creamed Arizona State.
There used to be a certain emptiness on Sundays following the Super Bowl. A new work week was about to begin, Saturday's revelry was firmly in the rearview mirror and there weren't any games to watch. People took up odious pastimes like jogging and reading. But no longer. The Pac-12 has your back. Now Sunday is simply another day for college basketball, like a Thursday or a Saturday. Or a Wednesday.
Today the Cougars will take on Oregon in Matthew Knight Arena, envy of the Portland Trail Blazers … In our Blog Matters section of today's paper we revisit some comments Bill Moos made about basketball facilities at WSU … We've also got the musings of Vincent “Vince” Grippi and his thoughts on the future of WSU basketball … David Murphy gives his thoughts on the Phillies treatment of WSU's Jason Monda … The WSU Open is underway and the Cougars are impressing at home … Much like Washington's first Pac-12 road game, it's last was a surprisingly lopsided win … Stanford took care of No. 23 UCLA at home … Freshman Aaron Gordon led the Wildcats past Colorado in a decisive win …
A relatively quiet day yesterday, but the Pac-12 announced the 2014 inductions into the Men's Basketball Hall of Honor. We've got a blog post on WSU's inductee, Ed Gayda. Deone Bucannon will arrive in Indianapolis today for the NFL Combine. Here's a nice story on Bucannon by ESPN's Kyle Bonagura and a draft profile on the former WSU safety.
Bucannon isn't the only Pac-12 star prepping for the NFL Draft. Stanford's David Shaw has taken another step toward finally becoming an amorphous blob of coaching energy. UCLA is on a roll and Travis Wear is a big part of the Bruins' newfound success.
See Vince's links to make your way to Ted Miller's Mailbag. We wouldn't sully ourselves with it.