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THE MORNING PAPER: Witherill lands with Pennell

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Well, it didn't take long for Nick Witherill to land on his feet. As predicted by Vince Grippi yesterday, the Arizona Republic is reporting that Witherill will, in fact, join his former AAU coach Russ Pennell in his hometown at Grand Canyon University.

"His favorite basketball experience was playing for Russ," said Mike Witherill, Nick’s dad. "He’s a Christian coach. He’ll be with some of his AAU teammates. It was an easy decision for him to come back. He’s excited. … What is happening at Grand Canyon, it’s an exciting thing for Phoenix."

Want to know why everyone's so excited? Because Witherill is one of five Division I players transferring to the Division II school. Wow. (Hat tip to Grippi for the link this morning.)

The news from baseball hasn't stopped yet. Continuing the Cougars' recent string of high-profile successful student athletes, senior catcher Greg Lagreid has been named the Pac-10 Baseball Scholar-Athlete by the conference. He's a finance major with a 3.48 GPA and, oh by the way, batted .332 while leading the team in doubles (13) and RBIs (42).

Lagreid wasn't the only player to pick up an honor yesterday -- outfielder Derek Jones was named to the Louisville Slugger Freshmen All-American Team presented by Collegiate Baseball. Jones is one of the reasons to remain unbelievably optimistic about Cougar baseball -- the 6-foot-1, 205-pound lefty led the team in home runs with 12, the only player to reach double digits this year.

While some people might point to his .232 average and the fact that he strikes out in nearly one out of every four at bats as reasons to knock him, I'll summarily point to his .363 OBP (thanks to his team leading BB%) and .226 ISO (second on the team behind Alex burg) as reasons why he's going to be an all-Pac-10 player next year. He's only going to get better, and I'm going to go ahead and say right now that he'll become the all-time home run leader at WSU -- the record is 40, held by Jeff Hooper -- before he leaves. (He'll be hard pressed to break Casey Kelley's single season mark of 25, though. I watched many of those home runs while I was in school back in 1998, and that is a lot for a college season.)

Last thing. If you still can't get enough of the uniforms, here's some video of the uniforms in action as someone snuck a recording of the new game at a recent conference. (Hat tip to Sedihawk at the WSU Football Blog.)

NCAA Football 10: UW vs WSU (via pastapadre)