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WSU basketball to start season with exhbition game Friday

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The men will play host to Lewis and Clark St. in their first game of the season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Cougar men's basketball team tips off their season Friday, Oct. 30 in Beasley Coliseum. The Cougs will play an exhibition game against Lewis and Clark St. at 8 pm in their first action of the 2015-16 season.

Most people are, understandably, caught up in the excitement of football season currently, but this is a cool opportunity to get out and see what the basketball team will look like this season. All of our questions won't be answered by one exhibition game against an NAIA school but it will be fun to watch basketball again.

Some disappointing news came earlier in the week as it was reported that junior center Conor Clifford is injured and will not play in this first exhibition game. Clifford is in his first season at WSU after transferring from Saddleback College, where he was MVP of his conference last season.

Clifford is a player that could see a lot of minutes playing center next to Josh Hawkinson, so it would have been nice to get a glimpse of his improved skill set after spending all summer and fall with the team. Even without Clifford, there will be plenty of new players to check out Friday.

Fellow center Valentine Izundu will be making his WSU debut along with five other players in the exhibition game. Izundu, who sat out last season after transferring from Houston, should see plenty of minutes with Clifford out. A lot of the preseason attention has been directed towards Clifford, but the more athletic Izundu could surprise people this season. Head Coach Ernie Kent has raved about his shot blocking ability since last season, and of the two centers Izundu seems better fit to play at a faster tempo.

Izundu's shot blocking ability is still to be put to the test in real games, but we will get our first glimpse Friday. His offensive game has been a tad less talked about, but a 6' 10" man with a 40" vertical has got to be able to finish opens rolls to the rim with an alley-oop from time to time.

LCSC won't (hopefully at least) be much of a match for the Cougs but exhibition games are great for those that have waited months longing for basketball to be back in their lives. If you can make it out to Beasley Friday at 8, there will be another exhibition against Pacific (Ore.) in Bohler Gym Nov. 6.

*****

Basketball:

Cougars to Hold Halloween-Eve Exhibition Game - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
WSU hosts LCSC at Beasley Coliseum at 8 p.m. Oct. 30.

Football:

Stanford beef gives Cougars a ton of concern - Spokesman.com - Oct. 29, 2015
If only Washington State merely had to worry about quality when assessing the Stanford offensive line, and not quantity, as well.

Thursday Night Football notes | The Spokesman-Review
A 68-yard run and a drive that last 21 plays highlighted Washington State's weekly underclassmen scrimmage.

WSU Cougars links: QB Luke Falk named Maxwell Award Player of the Week; an inside look at Gabe Marks | The Seattle Times
Luke Falk gets another award. Is Gabe Marks going to the NFL after this season?

Falk emerges as a perfect QB match for Leach.
Washington State lost its opener to Portland State, and it looked like the Cougars were heading for another rough season. But behind the stellar play of QB Luke Falk, they've rebounded to 5-2, with Falk emerging as a perfect match for Mike Leach.

With Mangino canned, Paul Rhoads turns to Paul Wulff for offensive help | CollegeFootballTalk
I loathe the smell of coaching desperation in the afternoon. Already on the hot seat entering the 2015 season, Paul Rhoads saw his seat grow warmer as his Iowa State Cyclones stumbled to a 2-5 start to the year.

Pac-12 Week 9 game picks: Stanford Cardinal face tricky proposition - Pac-12 Blog - ESPN
Pullman, Washington, is the site of the Pac-12's most intriguing action, as Washington State plays host to No. 8 Stanford on Halloween night.

Stanford-Washington State is enormous, just as we all predicted in Week 1 (*cough*) - SBNation.com
Both Stanford and Washington State suffered frustrating Week 1 losses. But the two are a combined 8-1 in Pac-12 play, and the winner of Saturday's game will control its destiny in the North division race.

Women's Golf:

Cougars to Compete at Pac-12 Preview - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The University of Hawaii will host the tournament at Nanea Golf Club.

Athletics:

Director of Athletics Bill Moos Podcast - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
During his latest podcast, conducted Thursday morning, Director of Athletics Bill Moos discusses all that's happening at WSU during an eventful Halloween weekend.