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After last night's game Ernie Kent said that Arizona's team can be a barometer for where the Cougars hope to be some day.
If the first half was any indication, and of course it's a huge one, Washington State has a long ways to go. The Wildcats started four former five-star players plus T.J. McConnell, who is a pretty dang good point guard. And while UA's starters had one-and-done talent, two of its most best players – Brandon Ashley and Kaleb Tarczewski – are upperclassmen.
So the result, an 86-59 loss, was predictable if not inevitable. But at least now the Cougars know what to shoot for.
We have our usual story from game, plus a column from John Blanchette. Bruce Pascoe has the opposing game story. There is also this gamer written by the Associated Press.
Here are postgame videos of Ernie Kent and some players.
— There is another story on former WSU coach George Raveling's Hall of Fame election.
— The WSU women beat Utah on the road yesterday and gave June Daugherty her 400th career win.
— The WSU baseball team fell to 1-2 on the season with a loss to Missouri State.
— Arizona State picked up its second road win of the season against a Washington team past the brink of total collapse.
— Stanford continued to play itself out of the NCAA tournament with a late loss at Colorado.
— Another Pac-12 home game, another blowout for Utah, which ended California's winning streak.
— A few days ago the Pac-12 Blog tracked the attrition from the football signing class of 2011 and no team was hit harder than the Cougars.
The NCAA is considering a number of rule-change proposals, the most significant of which would alter the way coaches communicate with players on the field.
If the rule is eventually adopted the college game would look more like the NFL, where certain players have wireless devices in their helmets that allow them to communicate with coaches until there are 15 seconds left on the play clock. I was curious what Washington State coach Mike Leach though of the rule change so I asked him, and he told me.
Today the men's basketball team will host the only team to beat Gonzaga, No. 7 Arizona, at 3:30 p.m. There might even be some daylight left for this one.
Here are the links:
— Here are some interesting notes about WSU's opponent today, including the reason why the Wildcats always stay in Spokane.
— Former WSU coach George Raveling was elected to the Basketball Hall of Fame yesterday and John Blanchette does the man justice with a great column. We also have a post on the blog.
— Abby Regan broke the WSU indoor mile record yesterday.
— USC picked up its second Pac-12 win of the season, snapping a nine-game losing streak against Oregon State.
— As if the loss wasn't bad enough, the Beavers had some scorpion issues that delayed their trip home.
— The Ducks stalled against UCLA and Norman Powell.
Dexter Kernich-Drew started for the first time since late November on Sunday and responded with the best game of his career.
He led the Cougars with a career-high 27 points, including a huge 3-pointer that more or less sealed the win. We of course have a story from the game and postgame videos of Ernie Kent and Kernich-Drew and DaVonté Lacy. We also have a couple highlights to pass along, and the final stats. Here is the Associated Press story.
Elsewhere in the Pac-12…
— Here is another story about Graham Harrell becoming WSU's outside receivers coach.
— Arizona romped in a laugher against Washington. But nothing was as funny as Bill Walton's outfit.
— Remember when freshmen couldn't play varsity sports? The Pac-12 is thinking about reinstating that arcane rule.
— Oregon alum Luke Ridnour has scored 7,677 points and never dunked once.
— Utah's Kaelin Clay is able to laugh at himself on Valentine's Day.
— Colorado's football team is laying the groundwork for a potent offense.
Between a three-day-weekend that includes Valentine's Day and an 8 p.m. tipoff I'm not expecting a lot of company at tonight's game.
But price shouldn't be a reason to stay away since Washington State is offering up two tickets for the price of one to both of this weekend's games. So if you're at Beasley Coliseum for tonight's game against Arizona State come say "hi" and maybe share a pull from your coffee thermos.
— The big news out of WSU yesterday is that Graham Harrell has been hired as the team's new outside receivers coach. We've got a story and blog post.
— We spoke with coach Ernie Kent and some players yesterday to preview this weekend's games.
— SportsPressNW has a story on Cougar hooper Klay Thompson's All-Star team selection.
— The NCAA is mulling some changes to the way players and coaches communicate on the football field.
— Here is a profile of one of the players WSU will face tonight.
— Washington dismissed Marcus Peters but he's hoping for a fresh start in the NFL.
— Arizona will face a reeling UW team.
— Once left for dead, California just keeps winning. Meanwhile Colorado can't get a W.
— Joseph Young has been great, but Oregon's coach wants even more from the prolific guard.
— How Wayne Tinkle turned Oregon State around so quickly.
— Utah blew out another conference team at home. This time it was Stanford.
A couple Pac-12 games have already been played this week but the Cougars are dormant until tomorrow.
— In the paper today we have our weekly Four Corners outlook that previews tomorrow's game against Arizona State. We also have a note on WSU's recent shooting woes.
— On the blog yesterday we had a live chat. Here is the full transcript.
— Football Scoop says that former WSU special teams coach Eric Russell will be joining the TCU staff.
— Klay Thompson will be starting for the West in this year's NBA All-Star game.
— The website NFLDraftDiamonds.com has an interview with graduated running back Marcus Mason.
— UCLA cruised to a win over Oregon State yesterday despite a career day from Gary Payton II.
— Oregon faltered early but still managed to beat USC on the road.
— I also want to pass along this John Canzano column remembering Jerry Tarkanian.
Signing Day 2015 is over but, like NFL teams chasing undrafted free agents, the NCAA teams now fight it out for the players that didn't find a team on the big day.
The Cougars, like most schools, are still in the process of filling out their class of preferred walk-ons – players that are not on scholarship but can join the team at the beginning of the season.
These walk-ons have done well under Leach and Luke Falk – a former walk-on – is the favorite to start at quarterback next fall. WSU has already received paperwork from Kemonee Jenkins of Lakes and North Kitsap's Andrew Hecker.
On Tuesday night the Cougars received a commitment from such a player, one who might have a real shot of seeing some live action next year.
Happy to announce that I am committing to play football at Washington State University! #CougNation— Zach Charme (@zachcharme) February 11, 2015
Word is the WSU coaches like Charme's consistency. The kicker from Timberline High in Boise, Idaho stands 6-foot-2 and is said to have a lot of upside. 26 of his 34 punts last year were not returned and his average punt of 41.6 yards was returned an average of just 1.9 yards, so he's probably getting some decent hang time.
We'll talk about WSU's walk-ons and whatever else you want today in our live chat at 11 a.m. For now we have some links.
— The WSU baseball season begins this week.
— Not everyone is happy that Vernon Adams is transferring to Oregon. In fact some people are downright ticked off.
— An interesting look at the state of Washington's basketball program with the team in a free-fall.
— Arizona may be without its backup point guard against the Cougars.
— Do he Wildcats have what it takes to make it to the final weekend of the season?
— One of the country's top basketball recruits has an eye on California.
— Colorado's best player plans to get back on the court in time for Cal.
— Could Oregon State get its own QB transfer?
— Looking back at what went wrong for UCLA in the final sends of its loss to Cal.
Pac-12 fans turned their attention to our side of the Evergreen State on Monday since Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams decided to finish his career at Oregon.
Here's Jim Allen's story on Adams' transfer and a column from John Blanchette. The Oregonian has a story on the guy attempting to replace a Heisman Trophy winner. Altogether, it was a pretty good day for Oregon coach Mark Helfrich, who also got a contract extension.
In WSU news we have a look back at WSU's loss to the Ducks on Sunday.
— Arizona may have missed its chance for a No. 1 seed.
— Cal's athletic director hopes to have his interim tag removed.
— A look at how Stanford develops its football players.
— Utah is bucking the trend of dwindling attendance.
— Pac-12 fans in general are less into the games.
Oregon jumped out to a 12-0 lead against Washington State yesterday and that's more or less how the game continued for 40 minutes.
The Ducks were hot, the Cougars were not, and the result was a 95-72 blowout in Eugene. We've got a story from the game as well as postgame videos of Ernie Kent, a couple players and a box score.
We'll have our day-after post up later today but for now here are the links:
At 4 p.m. Washington State will take on Oregon in Matthew Knight Arena, which somehow still feels new.
Four years after its opening the quarter-of-a-billion-dollar building remains the Pac-12's most dazzling facility and an edifice in which the Cougars have never won. In fact, the last time WSU won in Eugene the Duckers were coached by Ernie Kent.
We wrote earlier this week about Kent's return. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks with JB Long and Mike Montgomery on the call.
— Three Cougars will be on the guest list at the NFL scouting combine.
— Mike Leach spent some time in the Tri-Cities talking about the 2015 recruiting class.
— Arizona lost to its fired-up instate rival.
— Cal won on a buzzer-beater for the third consecutive game.
— Oregon is no longer the only school in the mix for Vernon Adams.
— Here is another preview of Kent's return to Eugene.
— Utah picked up another blowout, this time at Colorado's expense.
— A look at how Washington's season came undone.
Washington State got as close as any team has to beating Oregon State in Corvallis.
But like the 12 teams that tried before them the Cougars eventually fell to the Beavers in Gill Coliseum. We've got a story from the game as well as postgame videos of Ernie Kent, players and a box score.
Now let's get to those links.
— Wednesday may have been signing day but that doesn't mean the Cougars were done with their recruiting class. WSU added another cornerback yesterday.
— Mike Leach discusses the Super Bowl's final play.
— Bud Withers has a story from WSU's signing day.
— Howie Stalwick has a story about how USC's Byron Wesley ended up at Gonzaga.
— UCLA survived Stanford's furious comeback.
— USC fell to California on a last-second shot.
Yesterday was the first day football recruits in the class of 2015 could sign letters of intent.
Washington State signed 23 players in the class and while there could be a couple late additions, there is already plenty to digest.
The basketball team plays tonight at Oregon State at 7 p.m. and I'm just now making the overland trek so let's get to those links.
— WSU signed a very good class but it could have been great if not for some late defections.
— We've compiled profiles of each signee including rankings, video and Mike Leach's assessments.
— Here is our look at WSU's recruiting budget relative to its peers.
— We've got a story on one recruit who should contribute immediately.
— Here is the official release from the school.
— Leach confirmed yesterday that assistant coach Dennis Simmons is headed to Oklahoma.
— We also have a story on basketball coach Ernie Kent's return to Oregon, where he played and coached.
— SportsPressNW takes a look at the Washington schools' respective signing day hauls.
— The Pac-12 Blog grades the recruiting classes.
— The Huskies lost to the Ducks in a game that was close throughout.
— UCLA and USC had the best classes of any Pac-12 schools and the rivalry got a little juicier when Snoop Dogg's son spurned the Trojans for their rival.
Not long after the news that former WSU recruit Dahu Green had flipped to Oklahoma the Cougars secured the commitment of another receiver.
And this one comes from the junior college ranks. Britton Ransford broke the news late Monday evening that 6-foot-6 receiver C. J. Dimry has decided to continue his higher education at Washington State after two years at Saddleback College, where Ransford reports he had 26 catches for 541 yards and six touchdowns last year as a sophomore.
Below we've got video of the receiver, as well as some links.
— Dimry was actually just the second recruit to declare for WSU yesterday.
— But it wasn't all good news for the Cougars, as WSU lost a pair of highly-regarded recruits as well.
— The website FootballBrainiacs.com says that a WSU receivers coach is a candidate at Oklahoma.
— Arizona State landed a highly-regarded safety.
— Oregon's new recruit is extremely athletic, even by Ducks standards.
— Here is a look at the evolution of Stanford's recruiting strategy.
— Coaches, fans and reporters can probably all agree that signing day is getting a little ridiculous.
The NFL season is over and it won't be that long before college teams begin their spring practices.
But the big news for now is that on Wednesday the coaches will sign their 2015 recruits to national letters of intent, binding the prospect and the program.
The players in the 2015 class have been recruited for a year if not longer and as their final deadline approaches the stakes go up for the players and for their future coaches. The pressure to sign players that can deliver wins leads many coaches to skirt some ethical lines or cast other programs in a negative light.
That's the thrust of this article by ESPN's Jeremy Crabtree that is worth a read.
Below we have some links from around the Pac-12.
— Speaking of haywire recruiting, a receiver that committed to play at WSU may or may not be heading to Michigan.
— Washington has a quarterback recruit that put up some eye-popping passing numbers in high school.
— Is Arizona somehow underrated?
— California beat Washington thanks to a late shot from an unlikely hero.
— Colorado can't keep going those long periods without scoring and have type of success.
— Oregon already has enough unique uniform combinations to last for more than 1,000 years.
— Utah's defense was in championship form as it smothered USC on Sunday.
Let's get through these quickly so we can all head to our various Super Bowl events.
— Last night the Cougars upset Stanford. Here is our story from the game.
— Here is a Cal story on the matchup between two prolific scorers.
— We've also got postgame stats and video of Ernie Kent and the players.
— Before the big game today the Huskies will host California.
— Things are looking up for UCLA, which beat Colorado yesterday.
Washington State hosts Stanford at 5:30 p.m. tonight in a game that will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks Washington channel.
— On the blog yesterday we looked back at WSU's loss to California and what it meant for the Cougars.
— Opinions vary on Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams' potential transfer to Oregon.
— Oregon escaped Tempe with a slim overtime win over Arizona State.
— Oregon State's offense scored just 34 points in an ugly loss at Arizona.
— One of the country's best running backs is heading to Stanford.
— UCLA and Colorado will play today.
— Figuring out USC's screwy scholarship situation.
— Washington's once-promising season may already be over.