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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU at home on the road


COUGARS • UPDATED: 12:30 P.M.

One time this football season, in the course of travel covering Washington State, I ended up sleeping in a different place six consecutive nights. Talk about never feeling at home, even though a couple of those evenings were spent with the family. Why share that? Because that's how the Cougars are going to feel over the next couple weeks. WSU will play their next five home games at different sites, starting with Beasley tonight against Idaho. They then go to Spokane, Kennewick and Seattle before returning to open Pac-10 play in Beasley on Dec. 31. Maybe the Cougars should borrow that RV the NBA uses for its television commercials and just tour Washington in it. Read on.

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• Washington State: We'll start with our WSU basketball notebook, which also serves as an advance for tonight's game with Idaho. ... ESPN.com's Ted Miller offers his season review of the Cougars 1-11 football season. ... Speaking of football, one thing I did during my two furlough days was take in a high school basketball game as a private citizen. It just so happens I watched Shadle Park High, with WSU football commit Jake Rodgers, host Post Falls, though there were other reasons I was in the gym. When I watch football players play basketball, I watch their feet. It goes back to the days when Steve Entman played for Cheney High and a college football coach told me he had the quickest feet for a guy his size he had ever seen predicting that, along with his work ethic, they would help him be damn good in college. He was. As I watched Rodgers move around the court last week – the 6-foot-7 senior blocked, by my count, five shots – I was impressed by how well he kept his balance. It didn't matter whether he was defending the post, running the court or closing out to cover a shooter on a switch, he always seemed to be under control. He doesn't move as quickly as other football recruits I've seen playing hoops – Travis Long comes to mind from last year – but is quick enough. Plus, there's that balance, a crucial skill for someone playing on the front line on the offensive side of the ball. Though I learned long ago not to make judgments based on one time watching an athlete, Rodgers seems to have a lot of skills that translate well to the next level, including long arms and big hands. Just thought I would pass that along.

UPDATE: Just wanted to pass along this story from the Las Vegas Review Journal. It's about the three finalists for the athletic director position at UNLV. All three have Washington State ties. Jim Livengood seems to be the frontrunner, though former Oregon AD (and WSU football player) Bill Moos is in the running as well. The third? Current WSU associate AD John Johnson, who is in the midst of leading the fund-raising effort for Martin Stadium. Interesting that UNLV, one of the most high-wattage schools in America - it's Vegas, baby, after all - is looking at three guys with Eastern Washington ties - one of the most low-wattage places in America - to lead its athletic programs.

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• Around the Pac-10: The biggest question in Seattle right now is not who else the Mariners might sign, but whether UW quarterback Jake Locker will be back for his senior season. Coach Steve Sarkisian is optimistic Locker will return after meeting with him Monday. Sark should know him as well as anyone connected to the program, so Husky fans should be happy. ... Turning to basketball, USC snapped a short losing streak, defeating Sacramento State despite 25 turnovers. As bad as the Hornets are, remember they defeated Oregon State in Corvallis earlier this season. ... Arizona State wasn't as successful, getting hammered by 7-1 BYU on the road.

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• That's all for now. We'll be back as news warrants but for sure before the game tonight. Until then …



Vince Grippi
Vince Grippi is a freelance local sports blogger for spokesman.com. He also contributes to the SportsLink Blog.

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