Good morning, Cougar fans. The men's basketball team wraps up the road portion of its schedule Sunday night against UCLA. The Cougars enter the game riding a, gulp, winning streak against the Bruins. I just wanted to say that up front, since there is a high likelihood that Cougar fans won't be able to say it for a long time. The funny part is that some of WSU's best teams couldn't get over the hump against UCLA, yet a couple really bad versions of the Cougs have defeated the Bruins over the last two seasons. WSU currently sits in an 8th place tie with Cal, and faces long odds as a 14.5 point underdog.
UCLA began the season in shaky fashion, losing by 22 points to North Carolina and by 13 points at home to Gonzaga, in a game that wasn't nearly that close. There was also that little hiccup against Kentucky, in which they trailed 41-7 at halftime. Since then, UCLA has righted the ship somewhat, and finds itself alive for an NCAA Tournament bid. I think that speaks more to the weakness of the Pac-12 and the paucity of quality teams near the bottom of the bracket, but a loss to WSU would likely be a mortal blow to their chances. Let's hope it happens.
Back home in Pullman it was Senior Day for the Cougars and they went out winners, defeating USC 68-62. As we know, it's been a star-crossed season for the Cougar women. They've won some big games along the way, but also have a few tantalizing losses that will keep them out of the NCAA Tournament. No doubt the loss of Shalie Dheensaw dealt them a crippling blow, but that didn't matter Saturday. Tia Presley scored 28 points in her final regular season appearance in Beasley Coliseum, wrapping up a stellar Cougar career. WSU enters the Pac-12 Tournament as a likely seventh seed.
On the football side, there were a couple entertaining interviews on Seattle's ESPN radio affiliate, KIRO, featuring Cougars on Friday. Mike Leach joined the Danny, Dave and Moore show and covered a variety of subjects, including the art scene in Scottsdale, SnapChat, breast implants and more. As usual, he had some great stories. Jacob Thorpe wrote up a good summary of the interview. Unfortunately there were no awkward moments between Leach and Jim Moore. The subsequent segment was supposed to center on more questions about the Cougars, but it devolved quickly and never recovered.
Xavier Cooper also joined the show for more than 20 minutes before Leach came on. He covered a wide range of topics as well, but unlike Leach, they were mostly football-related. He talked about the meat market-like atmosphere at the NFL Combine, in which there are a litany of medical exams. Apparently he had a case of turf toe a couple years back, which led to an extensive toe exam by NFL team doctors. In the interview portion, one team showed him a compilation of his worst plays in an effort to see how he would react in front of them. I can't imagine having to go through that cattle call.
Cooper also talked about his long path to WSU, including the fact that he was diagnosed with a learning disability in ninth grade, and how it affected him. That portion alone made the whole interview worth listening to. To top it off, he talked about the time Leach banned Twitter, which began with the coach gathering the team and reading aloud tweets that the players had sent. Most of them were highly inappropriate, and several had NSFW rap lyrics, including Jay-Z. I can just hear Leach standing in front of 100 players, saying things like "H to the Izzo, V to the Izz-A" and "I made the hat more famous than a Yankee can." I would pay good money to have audio of that.
Cougs headed to Bruins’ den - Spokesman.com - March 1, 2015
The Bruins lead the all-time series with WSU 102-16 and are 54-2 at home against the Cougars. But WSU (12-15, 6-9 Pac-12) has won the last two matchups between the schools – both in Pullman – and has been uncommonly good on the road, winning three Pac-12 road games for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Presley’s 28 Points Leads Cougars Past USC on Senior Day - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
The Cougars improved to 16-13 overall and finished with a 7-11 Pac-12 Conference record to enter next week’s Pac-12 Conference Tournament in Seattle as the No. 7 seed and will face No. 10 Oregon in Thursday’s opening round.
Bone chill when it comes to WSU days - Spokesman.com - Feb. 28, 2015
When he was pink-slipped at Wazzu three months earlier, Bone was owed the last two years of his original seven-year contract, and often in the college coaching game that kind of cushion is used to decompress, reinvent and generally get away from the bummer of being fired.
Danny, Dave and Moore - Podcasts - 710 ESPN Seattle
Xavier Cooper would rather sack a quarterback than eat his favorite food.
Danny, Dave and Moore - Podcasts - 710 ESPN Seattle
Mike Leach is afraid that apps like SnapChat can be used as tracking devices, and only uses it to see videos of his granddaughter "raising hell."
Cougars Fall to UC Riverside, 4-1 - Washington State University Official Athletic Site
Jared Morton retired all eight batters he faced to earn his first win of the season as UC Riverside posted a 4-1 victory over Washington State Saturday afternoon at Bailey-Brayton Field.
Among the beers I tried this weekend was Rogue's latest collaboration with Voodoo Doughnuts, Lemon Chiffon Crueller Ale. I've never eaten a Voodoo doughnut, but if they're anything like this beer offering, I'll take a pass. I've also never taken a sip of Pine-Sol, but I have a feeling the taste wouldn't be far off what this beer tasted like.
Budweiser losing the battle with craft beers | New York Post
So it appears that America's counter strategy toward the Chinese buying all of our debt is to inundate them with terrible beer. Brilliant move if you ask me.
Life’s Rich Pageant: Meet a Florida Man
I read this article and didn't think much of it. That's how much seven years in this state has dulled my senses to this sort of thing.
Rest In Peace, Mr. Spock | FiveThirtyEight
There's something called Pensacon going on this weekend in Pensacola. Apparently people who love comic books, science fiction and the like, gather and talk about God-knows-what. The city has gone so far as to rename its airport "Pensacola Intergalactic Airport" for the better part of a month now. Again, I'm in the dark on that one. Anyway, my dad was always a Star Trek fan, watching the TV show and all the movies. Luckily he wasn't such a fan that he tried to talk to my brother and I in Klingon, or make us dress up as Scottie and Bones as kids, but I do have a pretty good familiarity with the characters. I'm sure more than one of whatever beverage Trekkies prefer will be consumed in Mr. Spock's honor down here this weekend. RIP Spock. Set phasers to "mourn."