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Cougar Basketball maintains lead atop time thievery standings

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They’re really good at it!

NCAA Basketball: Washington at Washington State James Snook-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. If you thought I was negative last week, you can settle in and eat a bag of...bratwursts. I was in Spokane this weekend, and was dumb enough to watch my first (and certainly last) WSU basketball game of the season. When I knew which weekend I’d be in town, I noticed the Cougs were playing Cal, and I dared to think that the one game I’d see would be a win. Cue audible laughter.

It was apparent that WSU was either not willing or not capable of winning this game early on. When you allow a 7’3” center to drill multiple three-pointers in the first half, the die is pretty much cast. Since this was the first time I’d seen WSU play all season, it was my first chance to watch their zone “defense” in action. My one and only inference is that Ernie Kent has gone full-on Paul Westhead and is focused on allowing the opponent to score as quickly as possible so he can get the ball back to his offense.

Ahh, but therein lies another rub. You see, a complete lack of effort on defense can be, if not overcome, at least mitigated by competent offense. But this is WSU, so such a thing is but a mere pipe dream. WSU’s plan appeared to be “We’ll play terrible defense, but we’ll make up for it by giving the ball away as much as possible.” In that case, mission accomplished! Orange slices for all of my friends!

And to think I had the gall idiocy to believe that WSU might actually win this game. The saddest/most hilarious part? WSU lost to the worst Power Six team in the land, and it wasn’t even close! Pick any among a litany of embarrassing statistics, and it won’t take long to figure out how WSU lost. Among them:

  • WSU turned the ball over 20 times to Cal’s 11, and Cal scored 30 (!!!) points off of those WSU giveaways. And make no mistake, hardly any of those WSU turnovers were a result of good defense.
  • Cal led for 39 of 40 minutes. The game was tied for the other minute. In other words, WSU never led. I’ll just remind you that they were playing Cal.
  • WSU wasn’t closer than six points over the game’s final 24 minutes. Did you know that they were playing Cal?
  • Cal made four more free throws (16) than WSU attempted (12).
  • Robert Franks and C.J. Elleby scored 38 points combined. The other six guys who logged minutes scored 31.
  • Only one player, somebody named Davante Cooper who is apparently a senior and whose named I never recall seeing or hearing, didn’t turn the ball over. Also he only played eight minutes.

So anyway WSU still sucks, and the one person responsible for WSU’s suckitude needs to be fired. I don’t care what the buyout is. This travshamockery that has been the Ernie Kent era has to end. WSU is already in the red, so what’s wrong with some more deficit spending? Hell, just hire a high school coach.

It couldn’t get any worse, and WSU fans can’t be more apathetic, so pay off the head salesman of snake oil, and pray that you hit the low-paid assistant lottery. Ernie Kent will never make WSU a Pac-12 competitor, regardless of whatever fraudulent scheme he continues to peddle, and regardless of how horrifyingly bad the rest of the conference is. He is nothing more than a grifting carnival barker, and he has to go. Of this I am positively certain.

Basketball

Cal capitalizes on 20 Washington State turnovers in 76-69 win at Haas Pavilion | The Spokesman-Review
The Golden Bears entered the game with a NET ranking that was 62 spots lower than the next-best Power Five team and a KenPom ranking that was 56 spots lower than WSU’s.

Football

Pac-12 Future Win Total Lines: 2019 Spring Projections
Underestimate the Cougars at your own peril.

NFL Combine

Quarterback Gardner Minshew Readying For NFL After “Incredible Year” At Washington State
At this time last year, Gardner Minshew thought he was going to start preparing for an eventual career in coaching, not a possible career as an NFL quarterback.

2019 NFL Scouting Combine A “Pretty Crazy” Experience For Washington State Offensive Tackle Andre Dillard
The key to that weight gain, Dillard said, was a “lot of eating in the middle of the night. Sometimes I’d set an alarm for two in the morning and drink a shake then go back to sleep.

This Week in Parenting

I made a jaunt to Spokane on Thursday, which meant I missed the boys at the regional finals for the Pinewood Derby. The seven year-old managed to take 2nd place in his division, while the 10 year-old came in third in his. I’m pretty proud of them, and my wife and I are both elated that they did well, but not well enough to qualify for another round. Win-win!

The more bizarre part came when they got home. One night a week (normally Friday but Saturday this week) they get to watch a movie of their choosing and eat takeout. It’s usually the typical fare, like burgers or pizza. So I asked my wife what they decided on last night, and I am still trying to figure out whether she was screwing with me.

Now, I’m not surprised that the 10 year-old liked it because he will eat whatever you put in front of him. The seven year-old? His entering argument for every meal is “I’m going to assume whatever you’re trying to feed me is terrible and the burden is on you to convince me otherwise.” In other words, he’s your stereotypical second child. We’re talking about someone who doesn’t care for things like soda pop and bacon. Yet he’s eating quiche? Just when you think you know the little bastards...

Beer

Best beer I had this week: I think I’ve mentioned previously that I belonged to a beer club while I was in Tampa, called the El Catador Club. They release seven barrel-aged bottles per session, and most are outstanding. When I found out I was moving, I figured that was it for my membership. However, I was able to wrangle in a co-worker/fellow beer nerd to my scheme, which called for him to pick up the beers for me and ship them. In exchange, he got to keep a couple of the bottles.

Since shipping beer via USPS overseas is fraught with obstacles - broken bottles chief among them - I’m having him send them to my folks. This edition was really cool because each bottle is a collaboration. This weekend was my first crack at them, and there was much rejoicing. My first two selections were Special Socks (Angry Chair Collaboration) and Snack Attack (Funky Buddha). Both were outstanding, but Special Socks takes the top spot. Just don’t tell that to my brother’s new dog, who preferred Snack Attack.

Why MillerCoors Pulled Out of Big Beer Alliance - Bud Light Corn Syrup Feud Explained
Remember that Bud Light Super Bowl commercial? It's blowing up the beer world.

Non-Sports

The secret lives of Facebook moderators in America - The Verge
It’s a place where employees can be fired for making just a few errors a week — and where those who remain live in fear of the former colleagues who return seeking vengeance.