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Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The Cougars won't be in pads when they take the field today for their final tune-up before Saturday's spring game at 1 p.m. in Spokane's Joe Albi Stadium. The Tuesday practice following that scrimmage will officially mark the end of spring football and will mean our Cougars coverage is going to really start winding down, sans the occasional baseball story.

But the Washington State football team is still making news, such as yesterday's announcement of a 2018 game against Eastern Washington. In case you missed it we have a profile of Mitch Peterson, a former walk-on safety turned scholarship linebacker. When I was in Spokane for the NCAA tournament I met ESPN's newest contributor to the Pac-12 blog, Chantel Jennings and she has her first WSU story up, a look at Vince Mayle.

That old so-and-so Christian Caple takes a look at where Washington is with spring practice in the books … The Pac-12's new coaches have been the story of spring … In its spring game Oregon will finally have to try and stop itself … The Beavers are seeing some movement in the running back depth.

WSU to host Eastern in 2018

From Pullman — Washington State announced on Wednesday that the school will host the Eastern Washington football team for a game on Sept. 15, 2018. The release from the school is below.

Tuesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — It's Spokane Week for the Washington State athletic department and here in Pullman the Cougars have just one week left of spring football. We began the week yesterday with a lunchtime chat. We also had a blog post on Gabe Marks' successful surgery as well as an off day Five Questions segment with Toni Pole. Cougar fans seemed pretty happy yesterday with the news that Bill Moos is no longer looking to make games in Seattle a priority. Last night the news came out that men's basketball coach Ernie Kent landed his first recruit at WSU.

Oregon still doesn't know who its backup quarterback will be … Arizona recruit Stanley Johnson was named California's Mr. Basketball … It was a Bruin who won the Boston Marathon … Cal's new coach has named two assistants.

WSU Receiver tweets surgery successful

Washington State receiver Gabe Marks has been limited this spring with a groin injury and has only participated in a few receiving drills. Yesterday, Marks indicated on Twitter that he had undergone surgery. 

Marks was WSU's most productive receiver last year, leading the team with 74 receptions for 807 yards and seven touchdowns. His receptions total is the second most in WSU single-season history. Marks achieved those impressive totals despite totaling only six catches in WSU's final three regular season games. 

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Happy Easter, everybody. I hope you're enjoying your chocolate goodies. We've got some links for you to peruse while the children tear up your neighborhood in the relentless pursuit of multicolored eggs.

Washington State had its first official football scrimmage of spring. Here's our report from WSU's 11th practice and our story from the scrimmage

The Huskies finished off the year with a Spring Game that wasn't … Ted Miller gives his thoughts on Washington's legal troubles and more in his mailbag (sorry Vince) … USC's Spring Game was a cautious affair … The Bruins are ready to feast, with the NCAA's blessing.

Spring Practice Report: Day 11

From Pullman — Washington State held the first of its three official “scrimmages” on Saturday, running 115 plays at full speed. Each school is allowed 12 contact practices, eight of which may involve tackling. No more than three of those eight tackling sessions can devote more than 50 percent of the practice time to 11-on-11 scrimmages, including the spring game.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Friday morning Pac-12 links

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.

Live WSU Chat

 

Try Relay: the free SMS and picture text app for iPhone.

 

Wednesday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Today got a lot more interesting with the news yesterday that a pair of players will transfer from the Washington State men's basketball program. Their open scholarships, along with that of signee Jermaine Morgan who will be released from his National Letter of Intent, mean that WSU could sign as many as four players in the late signing period, which runs from today until May 21.

The football team practiced yesterday and we have a practice report and a story on Sebastian LaRue's transition to cornerback. We also put up a Q&A with strength coach Jason Loscalzo this weekend. The baseball team beat Gonzaga in Spokane and Chris Derrick was on hand to write the recap … Cal has found its new men's basketball coach … The NCAA has agreed to let athletes have unlimited meals … The Ducks have been moving at an unusually slow pace.

Join us at 11 a.m. for a live WSU chat.

Roster turnover at WSU

From Pullman — Royce Woolridge and James Hunter will transfer from the Washington State University basketball program, the school announced on Tuesday. Additionally, signee Jermaine Morgan has been released from his National Letter of Intent and will not enroll at WSU.

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

Sebastian LaRue's athleticism has been apparent throughout the spring as the Texas A&M transfer made an immediate mark as a returner candidate on special teams while showing off his quickness and agility as a receiver on the scout team. With a crowded receiver corps and a wide open secondary the Cougars coaches  are willing to see if that playmaking ability might best be used on the defensive side of the ball. Our practice report touches on LaRue's switch to a white uniform and we have a story on Vince Mayle, who has risen to the top of that deep receiving unit.

On Friday WSU defeated No. 5 Oregon State and the Pac-12's best pitcher but Saturday saw the Beavers get some revenge.

A trio of Pac-12 squads held their spring games on Saturday. Arizona's offense was its usual flashy self, Colorado's young receivers shined and Stanford's defense appears to be overcoming its offseason losses. Cal's coaching search continues, without Chris Mack and Eric Musselman.

Spring Practice Report: Day 8

From Pullman — There was no “scrimmage” but Washington State's football practice on Saturday had live tackling, fights, guests, a potential position switch and a lot of moms.

Our practice report is after the jump.

Five Questions with Cole Madison and Kristoff Williams

Two more Cougars joined us this week for our Five Questions segment. This time it's wide receiver Kristoff Williams and offensive lineman Cole Madison.

Those videos are after the jump.

Friday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The Cougars donned all of their pads yesterday and the result was a physical practice, complete with live tackling. Here is our story and practice report. Yesterday we also posted a video tour of the new Football Operations Building, guided by linebacker Darryl Monroe. Don't forget to change your calendars to reflect the new Nevada game date … WSU's Jason Monda has been drafted twice and decided that he won't go for a third.

Washington dismissed a defensive back, likely because of an altercation with a teammate … Oregon's best receiver is now a spring casualty … Oregon State's new offensive coordinator is becoming more comfortable in Corvallis.

Don't forget to join us at 11 a.m. for a live chat.

Spring Practice Report: Day 7

From Pullman — Washington State finally put on full pads on Thursday. The coaches put on headsets and officials were in uniform. The reason for the extra accoutrements? The Cougars had their first live-tackling session of spring. More on that after the jump.

A tour of the FOB with Darryl Monroe

From Pullman — The Football Operations Building won't open for about five more weeks but linebacker Darryl Monroe starred in a video that shows how much has been done, and how much remains to be done before it's christening on May 19.

 

 

WSU game at Nevada schedule change

From Pullman—There has been a schedule change for the Washington State football team, with its game at Nevada being moved up to 7:30 p.m. on Friday. More on that after the jump.

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

The Cougars didn't scrimmage on Saturday, but still had a spirited practice to close out the first third of spring. Here's our practice report and a story on Washington State's young defense. In case you missed it we had a noter 5 Questions video, this time with special teams coordinator Eric Russell. There was some blue news for the Cougars yesterday when Spokane prep quarterback Brett Rypien, nephew of Mark, decided to take his prodigious talents to Boise State. But the baseball team just keeps on winning.

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott talked about the unionization movement in college football … Here's a look at what Oregon is up to this spring … Why, even the Huskies are practicing … Cal had a big day from a little guy … USC is waltzing through spring.

Spring Practice Report: Day 5

From Pullman — A third of the way through spring practices, on Saturday it was finally the Washington State defense's turn to watch the offense do up downs at the end of practice. After allowing themselves to be outperformed early in the spring, the Cougars defenders outmuscled their offensive counterparts and took care of business in the passing game to win the fifth day of spring practice at WSU.

Thursday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — Lot of news following a lengthy introductory press conference for new Washington State men's basketball coach Ernie Kent.

  • Here's our story on WSU's buzzy hire.
  • We've got some reaction from WSU signee Tramaine Isabell.
  • Here's some video, notes and quotes from the press conference.
  • Here's Bud Withers' on the column from the presser.
  • And here is one from SportsPressNW's Howie Stalwick.
  • And in football news here are five questions with Sebastian LaRue.

Monday morning Pac-12 links

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.

Sunday morning Pac-12 links

From Pullman — The NCAA tournament's first weekend is almost over and just a handful of the once-pround field of 68 remain. During the finals games at Spokane Arena we caught up with former Washington State athletic director Jim Sterk and asked him about the recent dismissal of Ken Bone, a Sterk hire.

UCLA ended WSU baseball's five-game win streak and evened the series while the track team bested the Bruins.

Former WSU guard Xavier Thames put on a show in SDSU's victory yesterday, scoring or assisting on 45 points, enough to beat North Dakota State all by himself.

Oregon's season ended against Wisconsin yesterday … Stanford will try to knock off Kansas in just a few hours … UCLA will try to avoid becoming another 12 seed victim against Stephen F. Austin … Gonzaga stands in the way of Arizona's path to the Final Four, John Blanchette has a column about the Wildcats' opponent.

Impact of WSU’s win over UCLA

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.

Ken Bone Postgame

Follow the jump for a transcription of coach Ken Bone following WSU's win over UCLA.

…while Cougs’ Leach is in Senate

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.

Galdeira, Presley earn All-Conference honors

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.  

Deone Bucannon speaks at the NFL Combine

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.

Tia Presley voted Pac-12 Player of the Week

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.

WSU running back transfers to UTEP

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.

 

Video: Deone Bucannon’s road to the NFL

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.