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Here's your Morning Paper for this afternoon's tilt with Oregon State, your place to get fired up and discuss today's keys to the game:

For WSU ...

  • The official gameday release from WSU.
  • Vince Grippi checks in with his game preview for the Spokesman-Review, focusing on just how the Beavers have improved so much.

    (Grippi gets a point knocked off his usually excellent coverage, though, for mentioning Barack Obama in the second paragraph. Seriously -- will the novelty wear off before he's out of office? I say no.)

  • Freelancer Howie Stalwick checks in with his game preview for The (Tacoma) News Tribune, The Olympian and the Seattle P-I, rehashing the Cougs' postseason chances.

By the way, there's just something I have to get off my chest about Howie. He's a nice guy. I've met him. But sometimes he's the laziest freaking writer around, and it's immensely irritating. Example from his story today:

WSU’s top-ranked defense likely will have to carry the Cougars if they are to advance to the postseason for a school-record third straight year, however the offense has shown rare signs of life the past two games.

First of all, the Cougars don't have the "top-ranked defense" in the Pac-10 -- even though they're first in points allowed (which is a stupid measure of defensive effectiveness), they're third in defensive efficiency in conference games. Second, "rare signs of life" is a stupid statement. The Cougs' offensive efficiency has exceeded 104 six times in their past nine games and exceeded 111 five times. The offense has not been the problem, you dolt.

I wish I could get paid to travel to Cougar basketball games and suck as a writer. That would be sweet

OK, now that I've got that off my chest. For OSU ...

  • The official gameday release from OSU.
  • Paul Buker of The Oregonian checks in with this notebook, including the interesting revelation that Klay Thompson really wanted to be ... a Duck. Or a Beaver. "Klay's friends from Lake Oswego were (at Oregon),'' said Mychal Thompson. "He liked the whole Oregon scene, but he never got the call.''

    Don't worry Coug fans -- he's plenty happy now. "It was Klay's dream to play in the Pac-10, and he couldn't be happier that he's (at WSU). ... great program, great coaching staff. ... he loves it here.''
  • The Corvallis Gazette Times has this capsule preview.

That's all for now. See you in a little bit.