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Cameron Ward set to announce destination on Monday night

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Where will the transfer QB land?

Washington State v Washington Photo by Steph Chambers/Getty Images

As the great Tom Petty once sang, the waiting is the hardest part. If you’re a fan of Washington State Cougars football, you’re definitely learning that now. First, the waiting involved quarterback Jayden de Laura’s seemingly inevitable announcement that he was departing WSU for another school. Now, it’s waiting on highly touted and coveted transfer quarterback Cameron Ward to announce his intended destination. After taking some visits, Ward tweeted his announcement timeline on Saturday.

At first glance, that is an, uh, eclectic group of schools. For what it’s worth, recruiting site 247 seems to think Ward will land at WSU and reunite with his UIW coach, and newly-minted Cougar offensive coordinator Eric Morris.

Let’s hope the internet is prescient!

And by the way, if you’re one of the people in Ward’s replies...

No question, the addition of Ward will help WSU’s offense immensely, because WSU’s current talent level and experience at quarterback is frighteningly thin.

Basketball

Cougs Win!

What seemed like an eon between Cougar Basketball victories came to an end Saturday, in unique fashion. And yes, while “unique” is one of our language’s most misapplied words, it is applicable here, as WSU won a conference game at Utah for the first time ever. The Cougs really needed it, and even though they looked shaky once again after building a big lead, Saturday proved different as Kyle Smith’s team didn’t let Utah get within two possessions down the stretch.

These blurbs from the Spokesman Review’s recap stuck out to me:

“Coach mentioned at halftime that we’re probably one of the best first-half teams in the country,” forward Andrej Jakimovski said of WSU, which has led at the half in 14 of its 15 games this season. “We made some mistakes, but we were focused on what we had to do.

Six losses after all those halftime leads? Sheesh.

(Noah) Williams – who missed the CU game and has only practiced once over the past two weeks because of COVID-19 protocols – scored 11 points to go with six rebounds and three assists.

One practice in two weeks would not seem to portend a lot of production out of the gate, but Noah managed to make a pretty darn good contribution.

The Cougars are off until Thursday, when they face the Stanford Cardinal in what Dave Niehaus would call a “business man’s special” at 2 p.m. Due to some COVID-induced scheduling, Stanford will have played just two days prior against the conference-leading USC Trojans. If you’re a WSU student, I hereby permit you to cut class in order to turn out at Beasley and support your fellow classmates. If your teacher has a problem with that, tell him or her to contact me. Go Cougs

'They stayed the course': Washington State preserves second-half lead against Utah to pick up needed win | The Spokesman-Review
Washington State snapped a 13-game losing streak against Utah and finally scored a victory in Salt Lake City.

Utah Utes basketball falls to Washington State as offense stays silent
The Utes entered Saturday afternoon’s game against Washington State ranked 182nd nationally in scoring offense at 72.4 points per game, and 235th nationally in field goal percentage at 43% per game. They hit neither of those numbers against the Cougars in falling, 77-61, at the Huntsman Center.

Pro Cougars

First, the good great outstanding news.

For the first time since nobody knew what COVID was (h/t SportsCenter), Klay Thompson will suit up and play in an NBA regular season game. It’s been a really tough slog for Thompson, who has had to watch his teammates from the bench while rehabbing a torn ACL and torn achilles tendon. Sunday, that wait is over. Let’s have a little refresher of “Klay Thompson is awesome.”

Things weren’t so great for the NFL Cougs on Saturday, unfortunately. With a playoff spot sewn up, the Philadelphia Eagles elected to sit starting quarterback Jalen Hurts against the Dallas Cowboys, which meant that Gardner Minshew got his second start of the season. It did not go as well as the first one. Additionally, the Eagles gave Andre Dillard an extended look at left tackle, as they try to determine Dillard’s place in their future plans.

While I’m no expert on NFL offensive line play, Dillard did not appear to do much that would merit more time on the field. He drew a holding penalty late in the second quarter, and was beaten soundly on a few other pass rush situations. It doesn’t do the Eagles any good to cut Dillard who, as a first round NFL Draft pick, has his 2022 salary guaranteed at just under $4 million. However, it’s a near certainty that they will not pick up Dillard’s fifth year option, so I’d guess that Philly will be looking to deal Dillard for a low round pick either before or during the draft. Hopefully Andre can rediscover what made him a WSU standout in a new setting.

For his part, Minshew’s performance was decidedly “meh.” Granted, he was playing with a lot of fellow backups, but Gardner’s stat line of 19/33 for 186 yards, with two touchdowns and one interception didn’t seem to move the needle much. I’m often puzzled at the lack of downfield passing in Minshew’s throws. It seems like nearly every pass is a checkdown or quick read within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage. Despite that, I’ve got no doubt that he’s better than a handful of current NFL starters, and I’m confident that he will wind up with a chance to start somewhere in 2022. If not, Minshew will definitely be secure in one of the greatest jobs on earth: backup NFL quarterback.

This Week in Parenting

Miracle of miracles, the boys survived their first week back in school after what felt like a 6-month Christmas break. Luckily school is still actually open, and our fingers are crossed that it stays that way. In another promising development, the 10 year-old’s basketball season may actually happen, as we got the coach’s email this week. This would be welcome news since all air base sports have been canceled since mid-March, 2020.

One thing we do every now and then during dinner preparation is watch Family Feud. If you watch, you know that some of the questions trend toward more adult themes. Well, the episode we caught this week was no different, but it made for some funny moments. First up, there was this: “Name the part of a man that a wife might shave the hair off of while he’s asleep.” [Buzzer rings] “His balls!” Steve Harvey was perplexed, and the boys howled.

The next round brought this: “Name a place where you feel comfortable using a curse word.” Without hesitation, the 10 year-old shouted, “In front of your kids!” This was a clear shot at Mrs. Kendall, because yours truly wouldn’t even think about sullying the ears of his young children with such cross language. Finally, Steve asked the contestants, “Name something in your house that makes a groaning or creaking sound.” The 13 year-old immediately said, “the bed!” tl;dr we’re never watching Family Feud ever again.

Lifelong Dortmund Fan

The Black and Yellow, currently sitting in second place of the Bundesliga standings, took to the field after the holiday break and...immediately fell behind 2-0. Super duper. Since Mrs. Kendall’s alma mater, the Dayton Flyers, were also playing, I turned Dortmund off and focused on Dayton. Apparently I should never watch BVB again, because it scored three times in the second half, including the tying goal in minute 87 and the eventual winner in minute 89 to rip Frankfurt’s soul out. Had ‘er all the way!

You may notice that there were precisely zero fans in the seats, because Germany has once again lost its mind.

Non-Sports

Alan Sepinwall: How Betty White Conquered TV Over Six Decades - Rolling Stone
To call White a fundamental part of the very fabric of American television would almost undersell how ubiquitous and likable she was. She was everywhere throughout TV history, doing a little bit of everything.

How Disgust Explains Everything - The New York Times
For psychologists who study it, disgust is one of the primal emotions that define — and explain — humanity.