If chasing a little white ball around is your idea of fun, you are in luck around here
A GRIP ON SPORTS • You interested in golf? Then today is your day. Read on.
No one is more than mostly dead in the NBA playoffs just yet
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Do you watch “Game of Thrones?” If you do, then you know that no one, it seems, is ever completely dead. And most everyone’s name has a magical feel. There are some parallels to sports right about now too, and we’re not talking about the length of the NBA playoffs. Read on.
WSU releases 2016-17 nonconference men's basketball schedule
Washington State's nonconference schedule in men's basketball for the 2016-17 season features some new tests for the Cougars, who will play just one repeat opponent from last season.
Of course that opponent, Palouse rival Idaho, has beaten WSU in each of the last two seasons and will be one of the favorites in the Big Sky conference next year.
The schedule is highlighted by a Dec. 10 trip to the Sprint Center in Kansas City to face Kansas State in the first game of a home-and-home series, in which neither program will actually play at home. Next year the Wildcats will make a return trip to the Spokane Arena.
A three-game trip to the Virgin Island that begins with a Nov. 18 matchup against Creighton will also provide quality opponents for the Cougars, who will again play the bulk of their nonconference schedule at home, against mid-major opponents.
After opening the season on Nov. 11 against Montana State, the Cougars will travel to Kennewick to face Division II Central Washington. The last time the Cougars played in the Tri-Cities was 2013, and current WSU coach Ernie Kent was on the call for the Pac-12 Networks as a color analyst.
"Every year we try to put together the best nonconference scheduled to prepare us for a competitive Pac-12 season and help build excitement amongst our fans and supporters,” Kent said. “I think we did a good job of that this season, getting some home games during football weekends and playing Central Washington in the Tri-Cities, where we have a huge Cougar contingency."
Every other nonconference game will be played in Beasley Coliseum, including a four-game home stretch leading up to the Kansas trip that will see WSU play San Jose State, Utah Valley State, New Orleans and the Vandals. After facing the Wildcats, the Cougars will return home to wrap up their nonconference schedule against Santa Clara and Sacramento State.
Clifford, Hawkinson and Iroegbu will return to WSU
Conor Clifford, Ike Iroegbu and Josh Hawkinson have withdrawn their names from the NBA draft and will return to Washington State for their senior seasons.
The trio took advantage of new rules that make it easier for college players to test the draft waters, but none of the Cougars was invited to the predraft combine or showed up in mock drafts. Because they did not hire agents, they still have their college eligibility.
In a press release, WSU coach Ernie Kent said, "I’m happy that Josh, Ike and Conor all had the opportunity to explore the NBA and the draft process,” WSU head coach Ernie Kent said. “I think it’s going to not only give them, but also their teammate, Charles Callison, an excellent feel for what they need to do during the off-season and this upcoming basketball season, that’ll put them in the best position to play at the next level.”
Hawkinson was an All-Pac-12 Honorable Mention selection the last two years, and collected 20 double-doubles in both of those seasons. Last year he led the team in scoring and his 11.1 rebounds per game ranked No. 11 nationally.
Iroegbu was the only Cougar to start all 31 games and scored 20 or more points five times. Clifford shot 64 percent from the field and 82.5 percent from the free throw line in his first year with the Cougars. He should have an even bigger role now that starting center Valentine Izundu has transferred to San Diego State.
The Cougars only return seven letterwinners from last year's team, but they do get back 67 percent of their scoring.
Big news on a big man, a big win, a big loss and a little change
A GRIP ON SPORTS • One news cycle. That’s all it took to change our perspective on the week. Yes, yesterday was that big. Read on.
Pac-12 to reduce late football starts
The Pac-12 announced a number of reforms on Tuesday, including attempts to reduce the number of 7 p.m. or later kickoffs.
The presidents and chancellors of Pac-12 member schools agreed with a recommendation made by the Pac-12 Council to adjust its agreements with national broadcast networks ESPN and FOX so that fewer games will kick off at or after 7 p.m.
Pac-12 Networks games will kick off at 2:30 p.m. or 6 p.m., and overlap with the ESPN and Fox exclusive TV windows. The Pac-12 claims this could eliminate up to four night games per year (maybe even a WSU one!).
Other proposals that passed this week are fines for court storming and the beginning of eSports competitions (video games) on the Pac-12 Networks. The gaming will commence in 2016-17, and institutions can expect a $25,000 fine when fans storm the court. The fine doubles for the second and third offense.
Furthermore, the conference came up with a list of ways to reduce time demands on athletes and to help them better manage their work/life balance and pledges to think about implementing some of them.
At least Sean Miller is happy.
From errant throws to errant kicks, we cover the wide world of sports today
A GRIP ON SPORTS • When in doubt, it’s always best to include a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Read on.
WSU basketball announces two-year series with Kansas State
Washington State and Kansas State will play a home-and-home series beginning next year.
The Wildcats will host the first game, to be played on Dec. 10, 2016 at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. KSU will then make a return trip, playing the Cougars at the Spokane Arena in Spokane on Dec. 20, 2017.
“We’re excited about the two-year series with Kansas State because it gives us a great opportunity to play a well-coached, high-caliber team early in the season,” WSU coach ErnieKent said in a press release. “Coming off the Paradise Jam in late November and playing K-State at Kansas City in December will be a great test and will help us see where we’re at as we prepare for Pac-12 play.”
ESPN.com's John Gasaway projects KSU to finish in the bottom half of the Big 12 next season. The Wildcats struggled to take care of the ball last season, and were not a good 3-point shooting team (30.4 percent).
KSU holds a 4-2 edge all-time against the Cougars, who have faced a Big 12 opponent in each of the last nine seasons. WSU has played in the Sprint Center before, falling to Kansas and Texas A&M during the 2012 College Basketball Experience Classic.
While the full nonconference schedule has yet to be announced, we do know that the Cougars will play in the Paradise Jam, taking on Creighton in the first round on Friday, Nov. 18.
We've asked this question before ...
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Is it time to hitch a ride on the Mariners’ bandwagon? Read on.
Sunday seems to be a good day to reflect on the week that was
A GRIP ON SPORTS • Why does this have to happen? It’s the weekend, the time when most people are off work. The two out of seven days when the job doesn’t dominate life. And it’s raining. Hard. Oh well, it makes a good excuse to sit and watch the M’s. Or golf. Or read this blog, which is debuting a new feature today. Read on.