BYU, GU face off in WCC’s newest rivalry
A GRIP ON SPORTS
I'm sorry, but I don't get it. How does dressing up in a dark suit and tie for a basketball game constitute hate? Read on.
• The big game in town tonight is obviously in the Kennel, where Gonzaga (21-5 overall, 11-3 in West Coast Conference play) hosts Brigham Young (23-6, also 11-3 in the WCC) in a contest that will probably decide the second seed in the conference tournament – and may determine the WCC champion. There was a silly move recently to encourage Kennel Club members to dress up like the youthful Mormon missionaries you see on just about every city in America, the black-suited, bicycle-riding kids spending a couple years out spreading their faith. The dress-up movement didn't go anywhere, mainly because it was a stupid idea and it probably wouldn't have served to discombobulate the Cougar players anyway – the goal of the Kennel Club in every case. Heck, it might have made them feel more at home. Stupid, hackneyed, ineffective, sure. But hate? C'mon. Yet some people thought so, and the S-R put their thoughts on the front page of the paper today. Now no one put together a Facebook page and printed up wristbands when a few Kennel Club members were spewing inappropriate comments toward DeAngelo Casto a couple years ago, and those comments, which I heard, were more hateful than donning a clichéd outfit. Oh well.
• By the way, the other day I wrote there was little locally to pass along. Today is certainly not the case. From coverage of the GU/BYU showdown to Shock news to prep playoffs, there are more than a dozen locally written items to pass along.
• Gonzaga: There is no subject that has more to read than tonight's game. We start with Jim Meehan's feature on Elias Harris, the junior forward who is having an outstanding season. Jim delves into Harris' backstory with detail I've never seen before. … Jim also has a look at the weekend ahead for Gonzaga. … This game tonight means more to BYU than Gonzaga – for proof, read this blog post from Jon Wilner on the WCC's NCAA chances – so there is a lot of pressure on the Cougars. And they may have to tote that weight without one of their more experienced players. … No matter what happens tonight in BYU's first visit to the Kennel, Spokane has a special place in coach Dave Rose's heart.
• Washington State: The Huskies come to Pullman this weekend and, as Christian Caple passes along in his morning blog post, that means the crowd should be large and rowdy (but no dressing up in purple dog fur people, that would be too hateful). For the Cougars to win, they have to improve in certain areas over their first meeting with the Huskies, as Christian points out in this piece. … He also has a look ahead and a summary of Ken Bone's press conference, held on Wednesday this week. … Former WSU quarterback and assistant coach Timm Rosenbach returns to college coaching with Montana. Rosey has been working as an outdoor adventure guide the past couple years. Seems to me that shooting rapids and climbing mountains might be safer and less stressful than serving as an offensive coordinator at the collegiate level. … Interested in the spring dates for all the Pac-12 schools? ESPN.com's Ted Miller has everything you could ask for here and here. … Wilner does the same with Pac-12 NCAA chances he did with the WCC, but the outlook isn't nearly as bright. … Mike Leach spent time with Bud Nameck on the coaches' show this week. If you didn't hear it Tuesday night, you can catch up here.
• Idaho: The Vandals have one game this weekend at Utah State.
• Eastern Washington: The Eagles travel to Idaho State and on to Portland State this weekend, hoping to clinch a spot in the Big Sky Conference tourney. Jim Allen has a look at their next three games and a blog post from yesterday. … Idaho State has already clinched a postseason berth and now wants to earn a home game. … Weber State has some work to do before facing Montana.
• Whitworth: Not only are the Pirates ready for the NWC tournament, so are their fans. Jim has this story on the group and its effect on the team.
• Preps: It's Prep Page day and Greg Lee, who asked you the longest poll question in history yesterday, has this feature on U-Hi's Zech Martin. … He also has a story advancing Idaho's state wrestling tournament this weekend. … Not sure exactly where to put this well-worth-reading story from Tacoma's Todd Milles, but the Shelton family has a lot of connections to Spokane sports.
• Shock: We talked with Spokane quarterback Erik Meyer on Tuesday with the radio show and much of the conversation off the air concerned his former college coaches like Paul Wulff, Rosenbach, Travis Niekamp and the like. I was able to catch Meyer up on some of their whereabouts and he passed along some information to me. On the air, the subject of his recent injuries came up and he expressed the hope that was all behind him – and he will think twice before trying to run anyone over or make a tackle. That subject also is a key part of Jess Brown's feature on Meyer that ran in today's S-R. … Jess also checked in with former Shock coach Rob Keefe, now working in Orlando.
• Mariners: Talk about excited. Chone Figgins just can't wait to move back to the leadoff spot. … Franklin Gutierrez can't wait to put the past couple years behind him. … These guys can't wait to play together. … And Forrest Snow can't wait to pull a Barney Stinson and suit up.
• Sounders: Well, playing a preseason match in Mexico may not have been the best idea in the first place. How it turned out – not the score as the Sounders won, but other things – made it even a worse idea.
• Seahawks: Seattle is still in the quarterback business, it seems.
• That's our morning post. Once again we'll be on the radio today. You can listen here if you want. As usual, it starts at 3 p.m. Until later …