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HOT COUGAR ACTION: It's Time For Some Basketball!

What's that you say? The Cougs have a football game tomorrow? Pshaw. We've been talking about football for two and a half months now. Surely we can make room for some hoops as they kick off the season with their first "official"* practice tonight? Here are a few things to get you started, since you're pretty much going to be starving for stuff until the first game on Nov. 13. 

*So what if they've been practicing on a limited basis for weeks? It's symbolic, people. SYMBOLISM!

First of all, if you're going to be in Pullman, make sure you take your dad to Midnight Mayhem tonight at Bohler Gym at 8 p.m. Here's the pitch from the players:

Midnight Mayhem (via WSUCougarAthletics)

Basically, you'll see a scrimmage, a 3-point contest and a dunk contest. That last one actually ought to be probably the most entertaining one in WSU history. My money's on Marcus Capers, but that probably doesn't make me very unique. Reggie Moore could pull the upset if Capers bricks a couple, though.

Brian will be there; maybe you can find him. It'll be like Where's Waldo without the goofy shirt and glasses. You can learn more about the event here.

Also, I wrote my WSU basketball preview for SB Nation Seattle last night. Check it out:

WSU Basketball Preview: Can Klay Thompson Lead The Cougars Back To The NCAA Tournament? - SB Nation Seattle
Washington State didn't exactly finish last season on a high note, with the Cougars losing 10 of 12 to close out the year. Can Klay Thompson lead WSU back to the NCAA Tournament? We look at the top five story lines of the 2010-2011 season.

Brian also has you covered for all your preseason news and notes needs on the team with his StoryStream over at SB Nation Seattle. If you use an RSS reader, add that StoryStream's feed to your reader. You'll be glad you did.

Lastly, if you're interested for some reason in checking out the competition, you can read Brian's preview of the Huskies:

UW Basketball Preview: Can The Huskies Surpass Expectations? - SB Nation Seattle
Washington finished last season strong, winning the Pac-10 tournament and making a run to the Sweet Sixteen. As the best team in the Pac-10 on paper this year, will the Huskies rise to the expectations and make a deep run in the NCAA tournament? We preview the 2010 Washington Huskies.

On to the rest of the links! Be sure to click and read Jon Wilner's piece on expansion if you want to be up to date with that stuff. Sounds like we're probably going to get the Bay Area schools in our division. Hooray!

WSU Basketball Reggie Moore: Cougs tougher, more athletic
"I definitely want to win the Pac-10," Moore said. "I definitely want to make it to the (NCAA) tourney, see how far we can go in there as a team."We’ve got some really good players and we’re really starting to click."

WSU Football 

WSU football progresses - - Oct. 14, 2010
The record is the same. The statistical benchmarks are similar. But there’s seems to be something different about this Washington State University football team as it prepares to enter the second half of the season. Maybe it’s because there is hope on offense. Or it just might be the afterglow of the Cougars’ most competitive Pac-10 game in a year. Or it might be something deeper.

WSU going extra mile for UA - SportsLink - - Oct. 14, 2010
The injury list has finally started to fill up for the Cougars. Starters Micah Hannam, who holds the mark for most consecutive starts for a WSU offensive lineman since 1979, Chima Nwachukwu, Mike Ledgerwood, Jeffrey Solomon and Alex Hoffman-Ellis all missed practice due to injury Thursday. Of those, only Hoffman-Ellis has a shot at playing.

Video: Arizona vs. Washington State - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Ted Miller looks at his "not" game of the week.

WSU Football Friday on Thursday - AZ Mildcats Edition
So, the Mildcats of AZ roll into Pullman this Saturday, fresh off their first loss of 2010.  Will they be seething, fired up, pissed off/whatever about losing last week, and open up a can of you-know-what right on the Martin Stadium turf?  Or will they throw a big-time "pity party", feeling sorry for themselves and unable to shake off last week's upset loss to the mighty Beavs?

Other WSU News

Former Cougar men's basketball standout Derrick Low went 5-for-5 from beyond the 3-point to help lead Maccabi Haifa of the Israeli Basketball Super League over Paris Levallois, 89-66, Wednesday, to qualify for the Eurochallenge.

Washington State (6-7-0, 1-1-0 Pacific-10) makes its first Pacific-10 Conference road trip of the season...Cougars will play No. 1 Stanford (11-0-2, 2-0-0 Pac-10) and California (5-3-4, 0-2-0 Pac-10)


Pac-10 News

Pac-10 expansion: USC’s Haden on the division alignment (with details of the ADs vote) | College Hotline
The news: By a vote of 7-5, the athletic directors forwarded a proposal to the CEOs that places Cal and Stanford in the North with the Oregon and Washington schools. Best I can tell, this is the first public confirmation of the alignment — Cal and Stanford in the North — that many expect to ultimately win the day.

Rating the Pac-10 Quarterbacks - WSU Football Blog
Well, today as we officially end the halfway mark of the 2010 football season, we thought it would be interesting to rate the Pac-10 quarterbacks at the season’s midpoint.   To check out where I rank the conference’s signal callers and to provide us with your own takes, then read on.

Pac-10 football picks of the week: Cal covers … Cal wins | College Hotline
ARIZONA (minus-24) at WASHINGTON STATE: Cats are coming off a disappointing home loss, looking to recapture their September momentum. Meanwhile, the Cougars have not looked awful the past two weeks, playing well at UCLA and avoiding embarrassment vs. Oregon. They can’t win without enormous help from the Wildcats (3-4 turnovers, lethargy, etc), but this could be much closer than the line indicates. Pick: Washington State.

What to watch in the Pac-10: Week 7 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Tuel vs. Arizona's pass defense: Washington State quarterback Jeff Tuel has been impressive of late, passing for 556 yards and three TDs in the past two games against solid pass defenses -- UCLA and Oregon. In fact, the Cougars rank fifth in the conference with 252 yards passing per game. Arizona's pass defense was ranked among the nation's best until it was shredded last week by Katz. If the Cougars have any chance for an upset, it will be with Tuel passing the ball to his better-than-you-think corps of receivers. 

Pac-10 predictions: Week 7 - Pac-10 Blog - ESPN
Arizona 38, Washington State 20: It will be another competitive performance by the Cougars until the physical, fast Wildcats assert themselves in the second half.

Action/reaction: Cal vs. USC, BCS standings, James Rodgers, Pac-12 divisions and more | College Hotline

Other Stuff We Like

College Football BlogPoll Rankings, Week 7: Alabama Falls, And All Is Chaos -
In the newest BlogPoll results, Alabama takes a tumble, and Oregon vaults over Ohio State and into the lead.