Assistant coach Ben Johnson leaves WSU basketball program

WSU Athletic Communications

Big day for basketball news as a long time assistant coach leaves the program and the TV schedules are released all around the Pac-12. Then - football break over - we look at some game previews for the Cougs and Trojans on Saturday

WSU assistant basketball coach Ben Johnson has left the program. Hired under Dick Bennett in 2004, he remained with the program through the Tony Bennett years and was the only Bennett era assistant coach to be brought over when Ken Bone took over. Under the assistant leadership of Johnson, the Cougars took two trips to the NCAA Tournament, two trips to the NIT and one trip to the CBI tournament (Presented by Zebra Pen).

As usual, the official release is pretty coy about all the particulars. It does, however, contain a quote from Ken Bone that features an exclamation point. So there's that.

However, also as usual, Christian Caple does a great job of diving deeper into the issue.

The guys talked about the news on last night's CougCenter Hour, if you're looking for more discussion. But, doesn't the timing seem a little off. I mean, sure, a coach leaving at the beginning of September is odd, but that's not the big issue. Ben Johnson leaving the WSU basketball program just as the TV schedule for the season is announced. Coincidence?

Yeah. Almost certainly.

That's the perfect segue into the next news: the Pac-12 basketball TV schedule has been released. The rough schedule was released a while ago, but this one nails down exact dates for conference games and tip times for all home games and Pac-12 games. The listing for all the WSU games are here and, if you're interested, the complete conference listings are here. The highlights from the conference include Maryland-Baltimore County traveling to ASU on 11/8 at 5 on the Pac-12 Network and Maryland Eastern Shore visiting Oregon State on 12/15 at 3. Who knew Maryland had so many colleges?!

But really, the news is that, outside of the Old Spice Classic tournament, the Cougs will play on ESPNU three times and will play the regular season finale against UCLA on Fox Sports 1.

Anyway, back to sports currently happening.

There isn't a lot of actual news coming out of the team right now. The ramp up to this Saturday's game at USC is in full bloom. There are plenty of previews from both the WSU side and the USC side in the link post. There's even an article about USC being wary about the Cougar's offense. USC! Wary! About The Cougs!

Then, there's this:

We're doomed guys. We're doomed.

Football:

USC wary of Washington State offense - latimes.com
USC is wary of Washington State's offense, with Trojans Coach Lane Kiffin pointing to the Cougars' passing game and offensive line play against Auburn.

SPOKANE, Wash.: Cougars optimistic for USC game | WSU Cougars | The Bellingham Herald
Washington State's narrow loss at Auburn has given the Cougars confidence they can win their Pac-12 opener on Saturday at No. 25 Southern California.

9-3 Alex Brink
Former WSU QB Alex Brink joins the show to talk some college football with Ian and Puck.

Washington State Cougars vs. USC Trojans - Preview - September 07, 2013 - ESPN
"The biggest thing that plagued us was turnovers," coach Mike Leach said. "I am really proud of our effort, I thought we had great effort. We just need to polish up and be sharper."

WSU football: Cougars turning the corner against Auburn? - Pacific Takes
The Washington State Cougars had stretches of pretty impressive football against the Auburn Tigers, even if they fell short at the end.

USC Football: Fun Factoids About The Cougars - Conquest Chronicles

The Washington State Cougars come into the Los Angeles Coliseum 0-1 following an opening-week loss to Auburn by seven points on the road. For those of us who are history buffs, USC leads its series with Washington State, which dates back to 1921, 57-8-4 (not including one win vacated due to NCAA penalty; original record: 58-8-4) in the all-time series.

USC QB Cody Kessler to start against Washington State

USC’s quarterback rotation against Washington State on Saturday will look similar to last week, with Cody Kessler starting and Max Wittek coming on in relief, although Trojans coach Lane Kiffin still will not actually divulge his plans.

Soccer:

Soccer Travels to Boise - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Washington State soccer (3-0-0) travels to Boise, Idaho to take on Boise State and Weber State. The Cougars battle Broncos (2-2-0), Thursday, Sept. 5 at 5 p.m. Mountain/4 p.m. Pacific. Washington State and Weber State (2-0-1, plays at Boise State, Friday) tangle, Sunday, Sept. 8 at noon Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific.

Cougs in the NFL:

Report: Bills expected to start E.J. Manuel against Patriots | ProFootballTalk
The first quarterback selected in the NFL Draft in April appears set to start the season opener for the Buffalo Bills on Sunday. According to Peter Schrager of FOXSports.com, Bills head coach Doug Marrone is expected to name E.J. Manuel the Bills' Week 1 starter on Wednesday.

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