Latest from The Spokesman-Review
Video courtesy of WSU Athletics
From Pullman — Washington State's win over UCLA last night was more than just an uplifting couple hours at the end of a dreary season. The game leapfrogged WSU over USC in the standings, keeping WSU out of last place in the conference. That means that 11th-seeded WSU will take on sixth-seed Stanford on Wednesday in Las Vegas' MGM Grand in the first round of the Pac-12 tournament. The game is slated for 8:36 p.m., an oddly specific time considering that it almost assuredly won't start until after 9.
The Cougars will need to pull off another upset to advance. Stanford went 2-0 against WSU this season and the Cougars have never beaten the Cardinal in postseason play. In 2008 the Cougars lost to Stanford 75-68 before both teams would advance to the NCAA Tournament's “Sweet 16.”
The winner will have a date with No. 3 seed Arizona State.
Follow the jump for a transcription of coach Ken Bone following WSU's win over UCLA.
Mike Leach addresses state Senate.
OLYMPIA — The Washington Senate elevated the 1915 Cougar football team to the status of National Champion today, honoring the team that went undefeated and won the 1916 Rose Bowl.
With current WSU Coach Mike Leach at the rostrum, the Senate passed a resolution honoring the 1915 team as the first West Coast team to win a Rose Bowl, beating Brown University 14-0. That victory “helped restore the nation's faith in college football and put an end to the practice of celebrating the Pasadena Tournament of Roses with events such as ostrich races, polo matches and chariot races, beginning the annual tradition of the Rose Bowl Football Championship”, the resolution said.
Technically, Cornell University was the national champion in 1915 — at least according to CollegeFootballPoll.com, which lists champions recognized by the NCAA. That team went 9-0, but didn't play in a bowl.
Sen. Mike Baumgartner, R-Spokane, acknowledged that the practice of naming a national champion didn't take hold for decades after the 1916 game, but for much of the last half century, any team that went undefeated AND won the Rose Bowl would have been declared the national champion.
Leach started his remarks by saying he watched “Mr. Smith Goes to Washington” in preparation for his visit to the Senate chamber. “So I stay up here and talk until I collapse,” he said.
But he didn't. Leach thanked legislators for everything they do to support higher education and said he hoped “to put a team out that everybody can be proud of” in the fall.
From Pullman — For the first time in school history Washington State had two players earn All-Conference honors in women's hoops. Tia Presley and Lia Galdeira were both named to the All-Pac-12 team as voted by Pac-12 coaches. Fifteen players were named to the team. Galdeira was named All-Defensive team honorable mention for the second consecutive season.
Each are the school's first All-Conference player since Tricia Lamb in 1989-99.
Last year the duo were each named All-Pac-12 honorable mention. Presley led the Cougars in scoring this season and was sixth in the Pac-12 with 18.9 points per game. The Spokane high school star was second in the conference with 212 free throw attempts and third with 151 makes. After having her first two years cut short by injuries the leading scorer in Greater Spokane League history put up the third-highest single season total at WSU with 568 points.
Galdeira was second on the Cougars and ninth in the conference with 17.7 points per game. She was second in the Pac-12 with 73 steals including a league-leading 47 in conference play.
Video courtesy of Ben Love.
Deone Bucannon is in Indianapolis preparing to participate in the NFL Combine. Because Bucannon is a defensive back, he won't workout until Tuesday. So while you will see 40-times and bench press numbers start to come in today, you won't find Bucannon's name anywhere on the lists.
But Bucannon can still talk to general managers, scouts and, of course, the media. Bucannon measured in at 6'1, 211-pounds, four pounds lighter than his listed weight this past season. That may indicate that Bucannon is trying to get faster. Bucannon's strengths lie in defending the run and in using his size to punish smaller offensive players, but he may need to reassure scouts of coverage abilities.
In the above video he talks about his love for the game, how former WSU football players Jason David, and the Abdullah brothers are helping him prepare for the NFL, and how players like him and Kam Chancellor still have a place in the NFL.
From Pullman — Spokane's own Tia Presley was named the Pac-12 Women's Basketball Player of the Week for the week of Feb. 10-17. Presley earned her first such honor of the season by averaging 32.0 point and shooting 50 percent from the floor in Washington State's sweep of Colorado and Utah, the team's first road sweep of the season.
She scored 32 points in both victories. It was the first time a WSU women's basketball player had scored 30 points in consecutive efforts since Jenni Ruff in 1995-96. She scored 16 points from the free throw line alone against Utah, making 16 of 21 in WSU's 83-73 win. She scored 22 points in the first half of WSU's 80-77 win over Colorado.
WSU is now 14-12 and 8-6 in conference play. The Cougars have won more games overall and in conference than any WSU team since 1995-96. That was also the last year WSU had a 500-point scorer until Presley did it this season.
From Pullman – Sophomore running back Jeremiah Laufasa's father, John Laufasa, confirmed that he will transfer to the University of Texas at El Paso as first reported by Cougfan.com. His brother, Darrin Laufasa, was a freshman running back for the Miners this past season.
Because Laufasa, a walk-on, has already redshirted, he will petition the NCAA for a waiver that would allow him to play immediately next season. He will attend UTEP on a football scholarship.
The above video comes courtesy of Foster and Easley Sports Management, a sports agency representing former Washington State safety Deone Bucannon as he prepares for the upcoming NFL draft. In the video Bucannon talks about his time at WSU and how it influenced him and helped him grow into an AP All-American.
The agency is no stranger to WSU, and has represented former players such as Jeff Tuel, Marquess Wilson and Kenny Alfred as well as Eastern Washington's Matt Johnson.
From Pullman — The Washington State football players are spending their evenings pushing planks, pounding on dummies and running sprints as part of their late-night winter conditioning workouts known as Midnight Maneuvers. By practicing late at night the Cougars are able to accustom their bodies to the night games that have become seemingly the norm for WSU.
WSU Athletics put together a video featuring highlights from the workouts, which are closed to the media, as well as an interview with head strength and conditioning coach Jason Loscalzo.
Yesterday we reported that WSU wide receiver Gabe Marks had been arrested and cited with four misdemeanors: 4th degree assault, 2nd degree criminal trespass, being a minor intoxicated in public and frequenting a tavern as a minor. Today Sgt. Dan Dornes of the Pullman Police Department provided more details on the arrest.
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.
From Pullman — The 2014 WSU football class is almost if not entirely signed and it's drawn good reviews from its architect … We've got a list of the signees, along with coach Mike Leach's evaluations of each, right here … The men's basketball team fell just short on the road despite a career night from DaVonte Lacy … Stanford avenged its earlier loss to Cal … Washington finished with a respectable class on a tight deadline … But a pair of Huskies might be in trouble … USC finished with a bang on signing day, showing that the new staff will be able to at least recruit well … And recruits are still impressed by all that is Oregon … Stanford also brought in a good class.
From Pullman — Washington State announced on Thursday that Steve Nugent will take over as the Cougars new head coach, following the departure of Keidane McAlpine in December. Nugent becomes the sixth head coach in the program's history and has spent the last three seasons at UNC Greensboro. In 2012 he led UNCG to the Southern Conference regular season title.
Nugent will have big footsteps to fill; under McAlpine's stewardship the Cougars finished second in the Pac-12 conference last season. WSU has made the NCAA Championship tournament in five of the last six seasons.
“I was looking forward to the prospect of being the next head coach at Washington State and learning more about what it means to be a Cougar from those with whom I met to put it over the top,” Nugent said in a release. “Everyone has made me feel right at home. I am extremely happy to be coming to Pullman and I am very excited to build on the success the program has established in recent years.”
Courtesy of WSU Athletics.
From Pullman — We now live in a world in which the Cougars have a winning streak over the Huskies in women's basketball. For perspective, I was turning five the last time that happened, and Grippi was turning 25. The Cougars ended WSU's 36-game winning streak in the series with last night's 82-80 win. We've got post game video and a blog post.
The men have a chance for a big win today against No. 15 Colorado, here's our advance. Take Note: The game is being played in Spokane, which is likely more convenient for you. Unless you live in Pullman. Then, it's probably a pain. On the other side of the state the Huskies have a game against Utah, and they hope to continue to show off their new, not awful defense.
Bonus Link: Uh, oh. College football players are disappearing.
From Pullman — Coach June Daugherty and players Lia Galdiera, Tia Presley and Shalie Dheensaw spoke to the media after Washington State's 82-80 victory over Washington in women's basketball. The video of coach Daugherty is below and the players are after the jump.
From Pullman — All things, good and bad, come to and end. Except The Simpsons. UW's dominance over WSU in women's basketball came to an end today as the Cougars won, 82-80, for the first time since 1996. Our story, after the jump.
From Pullman — Chalk up another award for Washington State safety Deone Bucannon. Today, the Associated Press announced their All-American teams and the WSU senior made First-Team. He becomes the first Cougar to earn AP First-Team All-American honors since running back Jerome Harrison in 2005, and just the second safety to do so (Lamont Thompson also did it in 2001).
Bucannon and the Cougars are on their way to Albuquerque for the Gildan New Mexico Bowl after finishing up a brief practice this morning.
Read about WSU's short morning practice after the jump.
Video courtesy of wazzulibrary on YouTube.
After a 50-year bowl drought, the Cougars returned to postseason play with the 1981 Holiday Bowl played against BYU. Coach Jim Walden led Washington State to an 8-2-1 record, and the Cougars were ranked No. 20 by the Associated Press. BYU, coached by the legendary LaVell Edwards, was ranked No. 14 in the country following a 10-2 season.
The Cougars nearly staged one of the biggest comebacks in school history. But which Cougars? Find out, after the jump.
From Pullman — The Washington State football team extolls the virtue of limiting its focus to one game, series and even snap at a time. As such they've been reticent to discuss the possibility of playing in a bowl now that they're one game away from bowl eligibility. We, however, aren't taking the field on Saturday and as such don't have to limit ourselves. Because WSU (5-5, 3-4 Pac-12) is favored against Utah at home this weekend it seems appropriate to take a look at the Cougars' bowl situation. After all, a postseason bid could have big benefits for the Cougars. Here's what coach Mike Leach had to say about the extra practices granted bowl teams.
No question. I think you get more than 15 … I think it's 22 but anyways you get quite a few. But yeah that's huge, I think it's incredibly helpful. We went to 10 straight bowls and I thought in the middle of 10 straight bowls that everybody should have the practice opportunities because it's a definite advantage. And then your young guys, you know, you can work them and the young guys will have improved a lot since camp.
More on bowl possibilites after the jump.
OLYMPIA– A legislator who accepts an invitation to a Husky or Cougar football game to sit in the university president's box with all the complimentary food and drinks isn’t breaking any ethics rules.
A legislator who takes a couple of free tickets to take a friend or family member to a game and sit in the stands with the rest of the fans is breaking those rules, even if buying his or her own hot dogs, soda and kettle corn.
With college football season just starting up, the attorney for the Legislative Ethics Committee reiterated these long-standing rules Thursday at the panel’s monthly meeting after staff received several inquiries from new legislators about what's OK and not OK. . .
To read the rest of this item, or to comment, continue inside the blog.
Gonzaga's Elias Harris and Washington State's Brock Motum are on the Wooden Award Preseason Top 50. More here.
More below on Harris.
John Blanchette's funny column re: WSU football coach Mike Leach's ban on Twitter:
John Blanchette @JPBlanchette
Coach Mike Leach has banned Washington State’s football players from Twitter. #ProblemsBabeHollingbery Didn’tHave
Generation Z @GenZCoug Who’s Babe Hollingbery?
Double Down @DoubleDownCoug
Does that change the point spread this weekend?
Cyber Stalker @CyberStalkingFan
My buds think the personal flotsam I find following players on Twitter means I hang with them. There goes my cachet. #40YearOldsWithNoLife
Cougar Crazy @CougarCrazy
Where will I go now to read crude, misogynistic hip-hop lyrics?
Two Washington State football players were arrested in separate incidents over the weekend, marking the third and fourth projected defensive starters to be arrested this offseason. Defensive end/ outside linebacker Travis Long was arrested Friday for suspicion of minor in possession of alcohol by the Pullman Police Department. According to Pullman Police logs, Long's date of birth is listed as July 24, 1991, meaning he turned 21 on Tuesday. Defensive tackle Anthony Laurenzi was arrested two days later on suspicion of third-degree theft at 1690 S.E. Harvest Dr., the address of the Walmart shopping center in Pullman. Long and Laurenzi mark the third and fourth starters on the front seven to be arrested since head coach Mike Leach was hired in December/Andrew Nemec, Moscow-Pullman Daily News. More here. (Dean Hare Daily News photo of Travis Long)
Question: Ah, is there a problem here?
FROM PULLMAN — Stop me if you've heard this before: there's not much news out there for you. But read on anyway, because we do have a few links after the jump.
What a week for area Division I women's basketball teams. Read below for a roundup of the week's action.
Washington State guard Faisal Aden (11) drives the baseline for a layup against Stanford forward Josh Huestis (24) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Thursday in Pullman. (AP Photo/Dean Hare)
Few spectators braved the elements to watch Washington State host Stanford at Beasley Coliseum on Thursday – just 3,119 of them, to be exact. Faisal Aden showed up, though. The senior guard scored a career-high 33 points – 23 of them during a second-half onslaught that allowed the Cougars to overcome a 13-point deficit – to lead WSU to its first Pac-12 win since Dec. 29, an 81-69 upset over the conference-leading Cardinal. “That’s what we saw when we recruited him,” coach Ken Bone said/SR. More here. And: boxscore here.
June Daugherty summed it up quite simply.
“We have to be able to rebound,” the Washington State women’s basketball coach said in a press conference Tuesday afternoon.
Daughtery was speaking literally, of course, about rebounding in order to get more looks at second and third shots in an effort to jumpstart the Cougars’offense – which has been out of sync and is still adjusting after losing guard Ireti Amojo, a key component to WSU’s offense.
It’s not just the Cougars that need to rebound, however. After last week, all area Division I women’s basketball teams are looking to bounce back from losses – some more surprising than others. Read on for the rest of my unedited area college women's basketball notebook, which will run in tomorrow's paper.
It’s not a surprise that the Oregon Ducks have ended up on a new list of the best and worst football uniforms. With multiple styles and colors of helmets, jerseys and pants, the Ducks’ fashion sense has been the talk of college football for a few years now, whether you like them or not. What may be surprising to some is the Washington State Cougars uniforms were named one of the nation’s worst by an expert panel put together by the Wall Street Journal. The main reason the Cougs' uniforms made the list was because of the font used for their numbers. “It's strange because the uniform has a classic design, but the font is trying to be modern,” said graphic artist Josh Vanover “It clashes”/AP via KREM. More here. (SR file photo: Marquess Wilson tries to outleap UW's Desmond Trufant in the 2011 Apple Cup but is unable to stop an interception.)
Question: Which athletic team (any sport) has the worst uniforms?