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A vital week for WSU?


How important is this week to WSU’s postseason chances? Is crucial a good enough word? Is make-or-break a big enough phrase? Probably neither truly apply, but they sure caught your interest, didn’t they? Anyhow, we’ll explain why these games are important on the link, with those thoughts being joined by our spin around the conference this morning. Read on.

WSU’s win over UA, the day after


It’s hard to say how much of Saturday night’s win over Arizona was a result of better WSU play and how much of it can be attributed to the basketball truism that matchups are crucial. Make no mistake. The Cougars played one of their most complete games of the season. But they also seem to have Arizona’s number, with their defense strengths taking away or severely limiting UA’s best offensive weapons and the WSU offense a tough stop for Arizona’s man defense. Read on for more.

Focused WSU hammers Arizona


It might have been WSU’s most complete effort of the season. It certainly was the Cougars best defensive effort. And it gave glimpses of the potential of this team. Heck, Ken Bone even sounded a bit like the last coach, talking about valuing each possession, which was a oft-used statement by the previous guy. The Cougars did that tonight, especially on the defensive end, where they used a mixture of man (most of the night) and zone (at key moments) to disrupt UA’s flow. As Bone said, they were locked in almost every possession. Play like that the final seven Pac-10 games and anything is possible. OK, let’s move on to our game story, the unedited version of which is on the link. Read on …

WSU gets past Arizona, 78-60


If Washington State has played a better defensive game this year, I didn’t see it. That, combined with another outstanding effort on the glass against UA and more bench contributions than usual - a lot more - lifted the Cougars past the Wildcats at Beasley Coliseum. The number of players who had a hand in WSU’s fifth Pac-10 win can’t be counted, well, on one hand. We’ll be back in about two hours with more. Untill then …

WSU leads 32-26 at half


Bad blood? Pride? Whatever it is, DeAngelo Casto has played his best three halves of Pac-10 basketball against Arizona and freshman post Derrick Williams. The third one came here today, as Casto reached double figures in the first half, the first time he’s been in doubles since the last Arizona game. With his 10 points, six rebounds and two blocks, he’s dominated inside. … The Cougars aren’t shooting well (12 of 30, including 1 of 7 beyond the arc) but they are getting it done on the offensive glass, with seven rebounds. Those extra possessions have really helped. … There’s been a Brock Motum sighting, with the freshman from Australia playing nearly 10 minutes and scoring four points. … The Wildcats’ Josh Fogg and Jamelle Horne each have six points. We’ll be back at the end. Until then …

Arizona invades WSU


Before we get into our thoughts about the Arizona game, we wanted to pass on the news WSU’s women’s team won its first Pac-10 game of the season today, defeating ASU 66-62 behind April Cook’s career-high 33 points. You can read more here. Now back to our regularly scheduled blog post. Both teams are on Friel Court getting some shooting in. And we’ve got some thoughts, so read on.

WSU faces an Arizona team that is tough on weekends


There have been five previous Saturday (or Sunday) games in the Pac-10. In those, the University of Arizona is 5-0 (the Wildcats are 1-4 on Thursdays or Fridays). Which means UA does a great job of handling the quick turnaround. A couple things in Arizona’s favor: No one plays defense exactly like ASU in the conference and the two schools’ offenses don’t look anything alike either. WSU will try to make the quick changeover this evening, knowing that it has figured out how to limit the Wildcats in the past. Read on for more on tonight’s games throughout the Pac-10.

WSU will try to be wise about its defense


OK, we’re back once again. How has your last hour been? Anyhow, while I was away, I’ve put together a short story on tomorrow’s game with Arizona. The Cougars will be trying to chase down the blur that is known as Nic Wise. They did a good job of it in Arizona, now they have to repeat the task if they want to sweep the season series with the Cats. Read on for that and a short note on WSU’s honoree in the Pac-10’s hall of honor.

WSU’s loss to ASU, the day after


Four teams tied at the top at 6-4. Nine teams within two games of first. All 10 within two games in the loss column. The Pac-10 is an enigma wrapped in a riddle this season. The new motto: Get hot, win a regular season title. For no one is that more true right now than Washington State. This is a team that has morphed into one that depends on its shooting to win. Thursday night that formula failed. We have thoughts, notes, links and quotes if you want to read on.

Shots don’t fall, WSU does


The shooting stats from beyond the arc tell the tale. Klay Thompson, 2-10. Nik Koprivica, 1-6. Reggie Moore 0-1 (only one?). And Derek Glasser, 3-3. The Cougars, at home, couldn’t find the bottom of the net. ASU’s Glasser, on the road, could, and that was a big part of the difference. Read on for the unedited version of my S-R story.

WSU falls to Arizona State, 81-70


Washington State is a team that may have to play near perfect basketball if it wants to be successful in the Pac-10 season. There is more margin of error, of course, at home because the tangible elements that come with playing in front of its fans can help a team overcome mistakes. Well the Cougars made too many to overcome even at home Thursday night. They made them early and dug a hole that reached 14 in the first half. They made them early in the second half and saw the lead grow to 19. Then they did whatever they could to come back, clawing within four a couple times in the final 10 minutes. But when they needed to make stops, they couldn’t, with Derek Glasser hitting a 25-foot 3-pointer from behind big Eric Boateng the final time WSU got within four (59-55, which should have been three but Reggie Moore missed a free throw). That triggered a deciding 10-3 run. We’ll be back in about 90 minutes with our game story.

WSU trails 40-26 at half


In a nutshell, it was a half of runs with Arizona State having more. Simple, but not really. WSU contributed mightily to ASU’s runs – a 12-0 one that built a 30-17 lead, then an 8-0 one to end the half – by missing seven of 10 free throws, turning the ball over five times and shooting 35.5 percent from the floor. Klay Thompson contributed to the latter, hitting 2 of 10 shots, missing all six of his 3-pointers, many wide open. … The Sun Devils are shooting 62.5 percent, with many of their shots as open as the ones Thompson is getting. The difference is their shots are going in. … I usually don’t say much about this, but we’ll discuss the officiating in our post-game blog tonight. … We’ll be back at the end of the game.

WSU about ready for ASU


We’re a little behind due to the football news (see below). But we’re scrambling to catch up. We’ve got some news and notes prior to the non-televised ASU game. Read on.

OK, football is over … back to WSU hoop


Talk about a time-eating process this morning. Between football items and basketball stories, I’ve been chewing through websites like a termite in Tahiti. But we’ve gotten to the core of the information now. Which brings a question. How to present it? We’ve figured out a way. Read on to discover our choice.

WSU’s big day arrives


This morning’s post has to serve two purposes: Catch you up with basketball news – this weekend does kick off the Pac-10’s second half – and kick off the letter-of-intent coverage. We try on the link, so read on.

• UPDATE: There is always one who gets away. Tight end Asante Cleveland, who committed to WSU in September and seemed to fit in perfectly with WSU’s schemes, signed with the University of Miami this morning.

Notes from WSU’s Tuesday


A little different late Tuesday post for us – and for you. We put together a notebook for tomorrow’s S-R from Ken Bone’s press conference and some conversations after practice. That’s available on the link. Read on.

A nice mix of WSU, Pac-10 tunes


An eclectic group of items from around the Pac-10. Nothing too important, but a lot of interesting reads. Today is basketball media day at WSU, plus Pac-10 coaches get on the phone with the media. Tomorrow is, of course, football’s Christmas Day, or as it is officially known, letter-of-intent day. Read on.

WSU faces Arizona invasion


Despite there being only one Pac-10 game – it was a pretty fun game to watch, don’t you think? – on FSN yesterday, there is a decent amount of news available. We’ve got a few links available, so read on.

WSU loss at UW, the next day


Before the game, I turned to Howie Stalwick and pointed to my note pad. On it was something I rarely, if ever do: a prediction of the final score. I had UW winning by 15. Boy was I ever wrong. The 92-64 shellacking (gotta love that word) by the Dawgs was hard to envision before the game and even harder to see at halftime. But it happened. We have some thoughts about how it came about along with links to chronicles of what occurred. Read on.

WSU done in by second half


Headed to Sea-Tac to catch my flight home. On the link you’ll find my unedited game story, which probably has more in common with the way WSU played in the second half than the first. Read on.

UW routs WSU, 92-64


If you watched, you saw what happened. The Cougars combined their worst defensive half of the season with an offense that became more and more selfish as the clock ran down. The result was a blowout, to say the least. UW outscored WSU 56-24 in the last 20 minutes. Quincy Pondexter, attacking from the high post against the Cougars’ 2-3 zone, led everyone with 29 points. But he wasn’t alone. Isaiah Thomas started stroking it from the outside in the second half and finished with 19. The Huskies got their fast break going – fueled by WSU missing consecutive shots to open the second half along with a handful of turnovers – and just kept pulling away. WSU went almost 7 minutes without a basket to open the half and trailed 55-42 (a 19-2 UW run) before DeAngelo Casto scored on a post move. Nik Koprivica had 13 points and 11 rebounds in his last Hec Ed appearance while Xavier Thames had a career-high 14 in his first. We’ll be back in a couple hours.

WSU leads 40-36 at half


The first half was basically split in half. The Cougars, taking advantage of UW’s aggressiveness on defense, scored three times on back cuts. That made UW basket aware and led to wide-open looks from 3. Nik Koprivica, making his first start of the season, took advantage, hitting three 3-pointers. On the other end, WSU’s 2-3 zone slowed the Huskies to a crawl, with UW unable to hit from the outside. Read on for more.

Game time approaches for WSU


Student sections pride themselves on being able to get into the head of the opponents. The UW group is no different. Marcus Capers told me some of the antics the group did last season and how it made him laugh. But one of the pranks this year wasn’t funny. Read on for that and our look at the game.

• UPDATE: Klay Thompson won’t be starting today. He was late for a team activity yesterday and will be benched as per team rules. Xavier Thames will replace the Pac-10’s leading scorer in the lineup. Nik Koprivica is also replacing Abe Lodwick, though that is a coaching decision, not due to discipline.

WSU hopes to rain on UW’s home streak


Two things you can count on in Seattle this time of year: It will be raining (it is) and the Huskies will play tough at home (they are). It’s game day, so let’s get to it. Read on.

WSU ready for the road


The Huskies may be well down the Pac-10 standings, but, other than an inexplicable loss to Oregon, have been a force to reckon with at home. That’s the subject of our advance for tomorrow’s S-R. The unedited version is on the link, so read on.

A Pac-10 Thursday without WSU


A busy night, and a rare one, in the Pac-10 last evening. The busy part comes from the four games. The rare part comes from both Oregon teams winning on the same night. Hasn’t happened much recently (once last year, once in 2007). The atypical occurrence has scrambled the Pac-10 standings once again, though Cal is two games up on the main pack. The only team within one, Arizona, will host the Bears on Saturday. Enough rambling. Let’s get right to it.

A Thursday without a WSU game


Everyone in the Pac-10 has a game tonight, everyone except WSU and Washington, of course. Which means there are a lot of stories about everyone in the Pac-10, everyone except WSU and Washington, of course. Read on.

WSU’s Moore ready for Huskies


One game this week. In Seattle. Against UW. A place Reggie Moore would have been happy to attend coming out of Rainier Beach High, when he didn’t feel he wanted to leave home. But he had already committed to Fresno State, was stuck and went to a prep school in New Hampshire. Now he’s in Pullman. We talked with Moore this week and we have a piece for tomorrow’s paper. Read on for the story.

This and that from WSU


It’s kind of funny, isn’t it? We’re still seven months from a football game, but there’s only a week until most fans think the season – or seasons – will be a success or not. Yes, a week from today those all-important football letters of intent will start flooding in and “experts” will be all over the airwaves telling us who signed the best players. Then three years from now someone we never heard of on LOI day will win the Outland Trophy. But that’s for next week. Today, we have some basketball items. Read on.

Bone talks about his WSU team


Washington State took the day off practice today, but that doesn’t mean it was an empty few hours. Coach Ken Bone held his two teleconferences this morning, and we have a summary on the link. Read on.