COUGARS • UPDATED: 8:30 A.M.
This morning's post has to serve two purposes: Catch you up with basketball news – this weekend does kick off the Pac-10's second half – and kick off the letter-of-intent coverage. We try on the link, so read on.
• UPDATE: There is always one who gets away. Tight end Asante Cleveland, who committed to WSU in September and seemed to fit in perfectly with WSU's schemes, signed with the University of Miami this morning.
• Washington State: We'll start with football. Letters of intent have started to arrive, with Wisconsin linebacker/running back Eric Oertel's the first to arrive – he did have a time zone advantage. Lineman John Fullington, who was one of the very early commits, has also sent his in, plus others. You can follow the signings on WSU's official football blog. You can also find a lot of information on the commits at CougCenter. ... One player from last year's class who is finally in school is defensive end Brandon Rankin. Bud Withers had this feature in the Times. ... News here on a couple Sacramento-area players is not-so-good for Cougars fans as it relates to Asante Cleveland and real good as it relates to under-the-radar running back Devontae Butler (both mentions about halfway through the story). ... Now on to basketball. ... We had our notebook in today's paper and here last night. ... Freelancer Howie Stalwick has this notebook in the News Tribune with comments from the players – no, Xavier Hicks isn't playing hoops; it was Xavier Thames – right after the UW game. ... And that's about it for now.
• Around the Pac-10: Lots of items related to the halfway point of the conference season. ... There is no consensus on the player of the year. ... One of the top candidates is Stanford's Landry Fields. ... One thing the Huskies have shown thus far is their ability to win at home. They hope to keep that going this weekend. ... Washington State may have gotten a break in a week that's been very bad for student managers (see below). Though Jamelle McMillan may return to play against the Cougars tomorrow night, it looks as if Derek Glasser will be out after stepping on a manager's foot in practice. ... We mentioned Stan Holt's firing in our notebook, but here's more on USC's manager and his technical. ... That call was just part of an odd half season in the Pac-10. ... The Ducks and Beavers will battle Saturday in Corvallis to kick off the second half. ... Despite being tied with Cal atop the standings, Arizona is not getting too full of itself. ... UCLA has finally gotten its point guard back and it helps.
• That's all for now. We'll be back with football stuff this afternoon. Until then ...