COUGARS • UPDATED: 10:25 A.M., 1:30 P.M.
What a way to burst a bubble. After the crucial win over USC on Thursday night, not only had Washington State ensured a bye in the first round of the Pac-10 tournament but it also made Saturday's game with UCLA a bigger deal. But Reggie Moore sprained his ankle, which put a damper on the postgame. And then Klay Thompson was pulled over by the Pullman police. We have more on all this, so read on.
• Washington State: The big news this morning, of course, is Thompson's marijuana bust last night. You seemingly can't go to a website in America – including the Huffington Post – and not find something. The facts are in this story the S-R put up this morning. So how will this affect WSU the next week or so? Well, Thompson has been suspended for Saturday's game, so the Cougars will have to face UCLA without their shooting guard and point guard. Remember, a win and WSU has a chance to be seeded as high as fourth in the Pac-10 tournament. A loss and it is ensured of finishing sixth and opening with the third seed, which would be Washington. ... Am I surprised by the Thompson news? In a way, yes, and in a way, no. No, because it never surprises me when a college student is alleged to be smoking. Even athletes. Never. There is no way to figure out who is smoking and who isn't. Suspicions, sure, but that's it. Even with this, I can't tell you for sure Thompson does or doesn't smoke. And I'm not surprised he was pulled over for a burned out headlight. From personal experience, I know this happens in Pullman. But I am surprised it was Thompson being pulled over and cited, just because he seemed to understand his place in the spotlight and how easy it is to become a headline. He seemed smart enough to avoid situations that would lead to these types of stories. ... Bud Withers talked with Mychal this morning and has this story. ... You can read more on Thompson with a national perspective from Andy Katz, a quick blog post from the LA Times and the Associated Press story. ... OK, back to the on-court stuff. We had our game story and late blog post last night on the 85-77 victory over the Trojans in Beasley. The loss of Moore to the ankle sprain – he's getting treatment today and his status will be evaluated throughout the next few days – put a damper on the enthusiasm surrounding the win. ... You know times are tough in the journalism business when the Los Angeles Times, one of the biggest newspapers in America, doesn't send someone on the road with a USC team fighting for an NCAA at-large berth. The paper ran the AP story. ...
• Around the Pac-10: Washington bounced back from the WSU loss in fine style, riding C.J. Wilcox's 24 second-half points to a 70-63 win over UCLA. The Bruins feel like they had a win in their grasp and let it slip away. ... Arizona moved a game up on UCLA with an easy win over Oregon State, 70-59, and only need to defeat Oregon on Saturday to win the conference title. ... The Ducks became the first Pac-10 team to be blown out by Arizona State, losing 73-53 in Tempe. But that wasn't the worst news the university received Thursday. Here comes the NCAA. ... Speaking of the Ducks, basketball coach Dana Altman has signed his seven-year contract.
• That's all for this morning. We're going to play it by ear today, what with Paul Wulff talking spring football this afternoon and the Thompson news still on-going. We'll be back later, I think. Until then ...