Welcome from the Spokane Arena, home of the Inland Northwest Hall of Fame and now the second home of the Washington State Cougars. Like any second home, it's a bit different. Rather it will be as crowded as the lake place on the 15th of July, who knows. Read on.
• A couple of football notes to pass along. Former Washington State linebackers coach Chris Tormey found work as the defensive coordinator at Wyoming. And it looks as if Mike Levenseller is getting closer to finding work, which we'll pass along when it's official. ... Now back to basketball. The Pac-12 opener for the Cougars. A conference race that seems to be wide open. A crucial game for WSU. How will the Cougars respond? If they don't play well, I would be surprised. The Ducks have put together a good nonconference record, but they seem to be a team WSU matches up with well. The Ducks have size but they're not overly powerful inside, especially with 6-foot-8, 220-pound Tyrone Nared out. The Ducks have some solid guards, most notably Garrett Sim, who always seems to play well against WSU, and 6-4 Minnesota transfer Devoe Joseph. But they aren't out of the world good. What Oregon does, and does well, is play hard. Effort is not a problem with these Ducks and to win the Cougars will have to match it. ... The other aspect of tonight that bears watching is the noise level. Whether Spokane's basketball fans turn out and support the Cougars with the same fervor as they support that Catholic school in town. ... One last link. Jeff Nusser has a textbook-length post on CougCenter concerning Faisal Aden and his use by Ken Bone.
• That's it for now. We'll return after the game with a post linking our game story. And we'll be on Twitter as usual. Until then ...