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Another Nevada defender is headed to Pullman

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WSU snagged its second Wolfpack transfer.

Nevada v Kansas State Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

While the results on the field were rather disappointing this week, the Washington State Cougars continue to garner bits and pieces of good news in terms of 2022. After receiving commitments from a defensive lineman - Virginia’s Nusi Malani - and a linebacker - Nevada’s Daiyan Henley - Jake Dickert’s defense addressed the third level when Wolf Pack safety Jordan Lee committed on Saturday.

Lee’s name wasn’t in the transfer portal for long, as Matt Zenitz of On3 reported his name appearing on 28 December. Given that WSU loses a litany of experience at safety, this is a rather significant addition. Lee was named Honorable Mention all-conference in 2021, and led Nevada’s defensive backs with 85 total tackles (5 TFL). He also defended four passes, forced three fumbles and recovered five, which suggests that he has quite a nose for the ball.

The explosion in transfers, coupled with WSU’s rather light (by comparison) group of December signees suggests that Dickert and Co. aren’t done trying to lure guys who can come in and presumably contribute immediately. Nevada in particular has been hit hard by transfers in the wake of Jay Norvell’s departure for Fort Collins, with a total of 17 players entering the portal, beginning just two days after Norvell took the CSU job. The latest entry is Lee’s teammate and fellow safety JoJo Claiborne, who declared his transfer intentions a day after Lee.

As Colton Clark reports, the only non-senior in WSU’s two-deep at safety was Halid Djibril, who suffered a serious injury early in the season and never returned. Unfortunately for WSU, Djibril also intends to transfer, having entered his name into the big spreadsheet shortly before the Apple Cup in which WSU pasted the Washington Huskies, 40-13. As always (but as is atypical) Entering one’s name into the portal does not necessarily guarantee departure, as some players have remained with their original teams after getting no offers re-thinking things.

If you are interested in following this circus more closely, there are actual twitter accounts dedicated to the transfer portal, including @rivalsportal and @247SportsPortal. Hopefully we see WSU’s logo in there a few times over the coming weeks, with the words “offensive tackle” and “commit” affixed to the graphic. In terms of the traditional roster additions, the next iteration of National Signing Day takes place on Wednesday, 2 February. Go Cougs

Football

Nevada transfer safety Jordan Lee commits to Washington State | The Spokesman-Review
Veteran strong safety Jordan Lee announced over Twitter on Saturday afternoon that he plans to transfer to the Pullman school as a graduate student.

Basketball

If it feels like the men haven’t played in forever, it’s because they haven’t! The last time Kyle Smith’s team took the court was on 22 December, and due to antiquated virus protocols, WSU won’t play again until at least Thursday when it heads to the mountains to face the Colorado Buffaloes. (fingers crossed)

The Cougar women haven’t had to deal with such things of late, as they easily won their Pac-12 opener over Cal, 69-42. Speaking of the number 69, that’s the number of times WSU has faced the Stanford Cardinal in women’s basketball. 69 is also the number of times WSU has lost to the Stanford Cardinal in women’s basketball. The Cougar women get another shot on Sunday at noon in Beasley Coliseum.

If you’d like to watch the game on Pac-12 Networks, I’ve got good news and bad news. The good news is that Dan Dickau won’t be in the analyst seat. The bad news is that his usual play-by-play partner will be on the call.

Women's Basketball Opens 2022 with the National Champs - Washington State University Athletics
Washington State comes into Sunday's matchup against the Cardinal fresh-off a 69-42 win over California on Friday. The Cougar's defense was on fire on a cold night in Pullman, as the 42 points were the fewest points scored against WSU in a Pac-12 contest since Dec. 21, 2006.

Palouse Beauty

I mean...

Rose Bowl

I know it isn’t specific to WSU, but man, that Rose Bowl was awesome. Every time I watch that game, I tell myself that I’m taking my kids there, sooner rather than later. I’m certain that we’ll have a better time than we did in 2003, when my family and I watched WSU sleepwalk to a non-competitive loss. If you didn’t see Saturday’s classic, here are some highlights.

Two things:

  • That clip should have started with the B-2 flyover
  • Ohio State’s talent at receiver just ain’t fair. Alabama’s best receiver was in Columbus last year, and two other Buckeyes skipped the game. So all the Buckeyes did was plug in another cyborg, in the form of 19 year-old Jaxon Smith-Njigba, who caught 15 passes (on 16 targets) for an all-time bowl record 347 yards, along with three touchdowns. Again, it just ain’t fair.

This Week in Parenting

Watching bowls with the boys has been rather entertaining this week. We have an exercise bike near the TV, and the 10 year-old likes to ride on it while watching games. While I have largely avoided indoctrinating the boys into the world of WSU fandom, he’s definitely on board with one other aspect of football. Every time there’s a bad call, he yells, “Pac-12 refs!” And when he learned that officials are pretty well-compensated, he wondered aloud, “You get paid 1000s of dollars to be a ref? Even though they’re blind?” Yes, son, you do. Even the officials involved in spotting Nakia Watson’s 4th down run.

Elsewhere, seeing as how the boys were out of school and there wasn’t much to do following Christmas, it was up to us to find things to do that (hopefully) didn’t include venturing out into the cold and rain. Enter bowling and go-karts. The boys and I quite enjoy both activities, but there was a definite feast/famine situation this time. At the lanes, old dad somehow managed to put together a 184, easily the greatest game I’ve ever bowled in my life. The boys did pretty well, too, as both nearly broke 100. The go-kart part? Let’s just say one of the people in our group slammed into a wall so hard that he’s pretty sure a couple of his ribs broke. Hint: wasn’t either of the kids! Fun times.

But now, winter is again coming, as school starts Monday. Thankfully for the kids, they have to suffer through just one five-day week before another four-day weekend arrives. Well thank god. For a minute there, I thought the school schedule was becoming too arduous.

Non-Sports

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