Friday, April 23, 2010

Cougar Baseball Drops from Rankings

There are six Pac-10 teams ranked in the top 30 and Washington State is not among them.

The Cougars, two weekends ago ranked 28th, fell from the national polls at the claws of No. 17 Arizona, which swept the Cougars last weekend in Pullman.

No. 22 Oregon State rolls into town today for a three-game series.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Baseball Performs Mom's Weekend Miracle

Mom's Weekend, more commonly associated with unscrupulous moms rampaging through Pullman, this year brought another surprise as Cougar baseball defeated the No. 1 team in the nation.

This is the first time in school history the Cougars have won a series against the Sun Devils.

Winning two of three games against ASU, WSU advanced to 3-3 in conference play and into a three-way tie for third place, hopefully not earning the players too much affection from visiting moms.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cougars Drop the Ball and Pac-10 Opener

With one out to go for victory, Washington State dropped the ball, literally.

The Cougs dropped their Pac-10 opener last night to the University of Washington in Seattle on a freak two-out error to end the game.

The Cougars, who led 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth inning, did everything they could to give this one away.

Needing just one out to end the game, WSU pitcher Adam Conley hit a Husky batter, advancing him to base.

The Huskies gained another base runner when catcher Jay Ponciano committed defensive interference, preventing the next batter from hitting a pitch.

Left fielder Brett Jacobs then dropped one of only three Husky hits the entire game, a fly ball, bringing the two Husky base runners home. UW won, 3-2.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Coach Donnie Marbut on the 2010 Cougars

After a successful 2009 campaign, Washington State head baseball coach Donnie Marbut sat down with Wazzu Sports to talk about the 2010 season.

He shared his expectations and anxiety over the new clubhouse culture that's developed after the Cougars' NCAA tournament appearance last season.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Expectations Fall for Pac-10 Tournament

On a three game losing streak, the WSU men's basketball squad, 16-14, enters the Pac-10 tournament seeded last, a less than satisfying finish to a season in which some prognosticators from ESPN picked the Cougs to finish first.

It was a trying season, filled with highs (Klay Thompson's temporary reign as the country's leading scorer) and lows (Thompson's subsequent slump).

On the women's side, WSU, 8-21, squares-off against last-place Arizona, which bested the Lady Cougars in both their meetings this season, in another play-in game.

The Cougar men play at 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Staples Center on FSN, while the women's game, which is not televised, is at 6 p.m. the next day at USC.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Women's Basketball Makes History

The Washington State women found themselves down 15 points early against Oregon, but thanks to an 18-6 run to end the first half and a 13-2 run to open the second half, the Cougars downed the Ducks 67-53, marking the third largest comeback in WSU history.

The WSU defense was a major factor in Friday’s win. The Cougars held the Ducks to 15 second-half points. Oregon averages more than 80 points per game.

"We’ve been denied a lot this year, but they showed they are champions," WSU head coach June Daugherty said of her players.

The Ducks had no answer for the Cougars' back-door attack. Washington State scored 26 of its 67 points inside the paint.

The Cougars improved to 8-20 overall. Washington State, 3-14 in conference, hosts Oregon State in its final home game 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Moos Hire Restores Optimism

WSU has named former Oregon athletic director Bill Moos the new AD.

Moss will earn $455,000 annually, which is more than the school president makes.

WSU President Dr. Elson Floyd justified such a high salary saying "it's over the average. I want it to be over the average. We are not an average institution so we don't pay at that level."

"I will never look at the program I'm responsible for as underdogs; we're not underdogs," said Moos at his introductory press conference, echoing Floyd's words. "We're not going to use the term 'Couging it.' We're going to set forth a path that leads to championships."

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Koprivica Looks to Cement Legacy

It wasn't long ago that senior Nikola Koprivica couldn't even get into a game without being booed by fans. But under Ken Bone's coaching, Koprivica has blossomed. He leads the Pac-10 in three-point percentage, is fourth on the Cougars in scoring and second in rebounds.

A win tonight would cement Koprivica's legacy. A victory, over the Huskies on senior night, would be Nik's eighty-sixth as a Cougar, tying him with George Hamilton as the winningest WSU basketball player of all time.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Halve-Nots: Cougars Struggle in Second Halves

The Cougar men’s basketball team outscored opponents in the first half this weekend 78-52, yet managed to come home winless. The Cougars were leading Stanford by 15 and Pac-10 leader Cal by 11 at the half, but couldn’t hold on in either game to seal a victory. Both games were close late; Stanford’s Jeremy Green hit a game-winner with 4.6 seconds left to clinch a 60-58 Cardinal victory. Then on Saturday, Cal scored the final 15 points of the game, turning a one-point lead into an 86-70 rout with four minutes remaining.

Dropping both road games was crippling for the Cougars, who now sit 5-8 in conference play. This means Washington State is four games behind conference-leading Cal and in eighth place. With only five league games remaining, it appears the Cougars will need to start playing all 40 minutes, and enter the Pac-10 tournament hot in order to earn an automatic bid, likely their only ticket to the Big Dance.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lady Cougars Host National Power

On Saturday the Lady Cougars will have their hands full with the No. 2 ranked Stanford Cardinal. Stanford, 21-1, routed the Cougars 80-43 in January. Game time is set for noon.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Door Open for Pac-10 Title Push

The men's basketball team, coming off an impressive blowout win Saturday, is seventh in the conference, and trailing five schools, all 6-5 and tied for second place.

Washington State, 5-5, visits last-place Stanford Thursday.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Cook'n Up Something Special

Watching April Cook play basketball is like walking down the Mall on an icy morning, and almost falling. You know the feeling? Cook is the future of Cougar women's basketball, and the Pac-10 recognized this when they named her the Pac-10 Player of the Week after her 33-point performance against Arizona.

Cook is only the second Lady Cougar to receive this award in more than a decade. Check out her Pac-10 Player of the Week highlight video on YouTube.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Recruit Promises Hurtlocker for Jake

"I came here for one reason: to knock Jake Locker on his ass." -Wazzu recruit & JC All-American Brandon Rankin

Lady Cougars Complete Comeback

The Lady Cougars secured their first Pac-10 win of the season on the road, 66-62, over Arizona State on Saturday.

Sophomore April Cook (left) led the Cougs with 33 points, and Washington State made major strides on defense, forcing 19 turnovers and holding the Sun Devils to 33-percent shooting.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Four Star Recruit Commits to Cougs

The biggest surprise in the 2010 signing class was linebacker C.J. Mizell, a four-star linebacker who'd originally committed to Florida.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Cougars Stumble into Midseason

Washington State won 10 of its first 12 games this season, but concluded the first half of its conference schedule with a near 30-point defeat to sit at 14-7 overall. For WSU, Saturday's 92-64 loss at the University of Washington played out like a microcosm of the season.

Washington State started out hot against the Huskies, taking a 14-3 lead early and led 40-36 at halftime. But just as it has in nearly all of its Pac-10 games -- WSU is 4-5 in conference -- the Cougs faltered in the second half.

Klay Thompson struggled to find his rhythm and contributed just 7 points, going 2-15 from the field, and 1-6 beyond the arc.

In the second half, the Cougs fell apart, missing their first 13 shots as the Huskies routed the Cougs, outscoring them 56-24.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Wulff Lands 22nd Recruit

According to CougFan, Paul Wulff and his coaching staff have landed defensive end Kalafitoni Pole from James Logan High School in Union City, California.

Pole has yet to be rated by Following his senior season in 2009, Pole was named Defensive Player of the Year in the Mission Valley Athletic League.

Check out this video of Pole. Check back later for an updated list of Paul Wulff's 2010 recruiting class. Letter of Intent Day is just two weeks away.

Women's Basketball Has a Bright Future

Selling the rural campus of Washington State University could be considered by some a challenging task, but women’s assistant basketball coach and recruiting coordinator Brian Holsinger views Pullman's “unique location” as a boon.

“We have something that is very different here,” Holsinger told Wazzu Sports. “It’s not Los Angeles, it’s not Phoenix and it’s not Seattle... We sell the college town big time.”

Other Pac-10 schools, such as the University of Washington, reside in the heart of major cities, which makes them appealing to many collegiate athletes. But Katie Madison, a junior on the Cougar women's team, sees Washington State's isolation as an advantage.

“[Pullman] is such a strong community, and the focus is on the university and its athletics," she said. "There’s no other distractions like a pro team, and there is so much pride in an area like this. I love it."

According to Holsinger, the coaching staff works "really hard at finding those kinds of kids and families that love [the family environment], and when they come here, they feel at home."

The biggest challenge, he said, is getting a recruit to visit.

In her first season as WSU head coach, June Daugherty assembled the nation's sixteenth best recruiting class, and the second best incoming crew out of the Pac-10, according to Blue Star Basketball.

“Every player from our first recruiting class talked to Tony Bennett and the players [of the men‘s basketball team],” Holsinger said. “We told our recruits that if you want to come here and make this your own, and be the ones who [build a winning program]... then this is it.”

Daugherty coached the University of Washington for 11 seasons, taking the Huskies to six NCAA tournaments, including an Elite Eight appearance in 2001.

“We have highlighted June’s success as a main factor in recruiting,” Holsinger said.

For Holsinger, Daugherty, and the rest of the Coug coaches, success will be gauged by wins on the court, something the Cougs have been sorely lacking. In Daugherty's first three seasons, the Cougs have won just 24 games.

"Losing is hard," Holsinger admitted. "But we are starting to turn a corner."

Pac-10 Race Remains Wide Open

After splitting road games last weekend in southern California, the Cougar men's basketball team finds itself ranked seventh in the Pac-10. There is still a lot to be optimistic about early in the season, though. Here are just a few reasons I predict the Cougs will finish the season seeded no lower than third.

  • Washington State’s overall record is 14-6; this matches Arizona State, the second place team in the Pac-10, and is the best winning percentage in the league.
  • Four of the Cougs' six losses this season have been on the road. Two of their road games were against top 20 opponents, and the other two road losses were against Pac-10 schools. This leaves the Cougs with only two home losses, with one of them being the highly controversial Oregon game. Anyway, the point I'm attempting to articulate is that the Cougs are difficult to beat at home. In a conference race this close, with only one win separating the Cougs from first-place Cal, winning home games and splitting road trips may be just the recipe for the Cougs to win the conference and extend their season into March.