Washington State bused across the state, over the pass and into Seattle yesterday in advance of Thursday's Cougar Hardwood Classic at Key Arena. The term classic immediately brings to mind a comment from former Cougar coach George Raveling, whose definition of a classic was when "a coach invites three teams he can beat." Read on.
• Washington State: The Cougars only have one opponent, Pepperdine, but the Waves certainly fit Raveling's definition. They are 6-4 for first-year coach Marty Wilson and are expected to finish down the pack in the WCC. According to an email I received this morning, some higher-end tickets are still available through Ticketmaster or at the Key Arena box office. The 10,000 or so who show up will be able to see football coach Mike Leach, who will be introduced to the crowd at halftime. ... We'll have more this evening on the Waves and the Cougars, though we'll probably post the link sometime during tonight's Seattle University game against Virginia. We're here to watch Tony Bennett's nationally ranked team as they take a 9-1 record into tonight's Key Arena matchup. ... Speaking of Leach, his coaching progeny seem to be doing pretty well.
• Around the Pac-12: If you are in the ever-growing-but-all-ready-large camp of people who believed the conference's football officials are flag happy, Ted Miller has some ammunition for you on ESPN.com ... The Ducks are headed to the Rose Bowl again – this time with a familiar name in the middle of the offensive line – an occurrence that seems to be getting to be old hat. ... Is Matt Barkley the best Trojan quarterback ever? Is USC's punishment by the NCAA the biggest hose job of the past few years? ... Todd Graham's contract has to be approved by the state's Board of Regents. Has any body like that ever rejected one? ... UCLA's players go over the wall, a tradition that doesn't sit will with some players and coaches. ... Cal wants a two-sport star. ... On the basketball courts, we start with UCLA's tremendous win over the plucky Anteaters of UC Irvine, 89-60. ... Arizona jumps on Oakland early and posts an 85-73 victory. ... Oregon struggled but got past North Carolina Central, 58-45. If you said "who?," you were not alone. ... Oregon State has a chance to have its best nonconference start in decades. ... Washington is getting its big man back just in time for conference play. ... Speaking of conference play, is anyone any good this season?
• That's it for this morning. We'll be back sometime later in the day. Until then ...