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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper

The Spokesman-Review Newspaper The Spokesman-Review

Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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WSU, Pan Am a study in contrast


COUGARS

As I write this, the Spokane Arena floor is being overrun by mites. As in mighty mites. It's full of youngsters going through a clinic with the women's basketball team, which will play Gonzaga in the McCarthy Athletic Center tomorrow afternoon. Tonight they are working with boys and girls, turning while coach June Daugherty is talking with their parents. For more on the game that follows the clinic, read on.
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• Our advance in today's paper focused on the improvements the Cougars have made thus far this season and gave the Broncs short-shrift, other than to pass on their record – 3-7 with the only victory over a team you may have heard of 67-53 over Eastern Kentucky. They have some decent defeats, losing to Northwestern by six at home and and to Lamar by three. But their road games have been problematic, with losses by 22, 19 and 13 to Loyola of Chicago, Colorado and Northern Arizona. ... Six-foot former walk-on guard Aaron Urbanus leads TPA in scoring at 14.4 points per game, who has hit half of his 50 3-pointers. ... Perry Petty, a 6-1 transfer from Santa Clara, is averaging 14.3 points and 4.7 rebounds. ... The leading rebounder is 6-6 Matt Mierzycki, a senior who grabs 5.7 per game but only scores 5.6. ... Brandon Provost and Jared Maree, both 6-3, average 10.7 and 8.3 points per game. ... And that rounds out the starting lineup. ... The Broncs are averaging 70.1 points per game and giving up 75. ... They get out-rebounded by three a game, have a negative assist-to-turnover ratio and shoot 42 percent from the floor. ... And that's about it. ... So the question is tonight how motivated are the Cougars? It's a question Ken Bone has, knowing that Wednesday's game was so important to his guys. But the 48 hour turnaround WSU had to prepare for Pan Am is exactly what it will have during the Pac-10 season. So say the Cougars open Pac-10 play with a win at UCLA in Pauley. It would be a pretty big deal, right? But two nights later they are at USC and they'll need to put together a good effort to win. Tonight mirrors that, though this isn't a Pac-10 caliber team. But it would bode well for the rest of the season if WSU comes out tonight focused and energetic. ... By the way, if you want a preview with all those new-fangled stats – and hey, you kids get off my lawn! – then head over to this post on CougCenter. ... One note about the Broncs, assistant coach Nick Bennett is Tony's cousin, son of Dick's brother Jack. One of their other assistants is Roderick Rhodes, a former USC player. ... In football news, former Cougar Michael Bumpus signed with the Spokane Shock today.

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• That's it for now. We'll be back at halftime with a short post. 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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