Monday, January 31, 2011

Cougars land 3-star Linebacker

Cougfan has announced the Cougars have received a commitment from Darryl Paulo out of Grant Union High School in Sacramento. Paulo is rated as a 3-star prospect. He also held offers from Oregon State, Fresno State, and San Diego State among others. Expect a few more commitments in the next few days with National Signing Day on Wednesday.

Reggie Moore's Dunk

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Can We Get Over .500 Please?

With two wins this weekend, the Cougars will be 5-3 heading into their Dec. 30 showdown against the University of Washington, a game with so much fanfare, rumor has it there will be three Butches!

The biggest news is the anticipated return of Reggie Moore to the lineup tonight against Arizona State. According to Vince Grippi, Moore practiced with the team this week and is expected to get some playing time tonight. No word yet on if he’s starting.

Keys to cooling the Sun Devils include:

1) Recognizing the Zone - Arizona State’s defensive principles differ from most teams in that ASU will start out in a 2-3, switch to a 1-3-1 and even move to a 3-2…and that’s just during one possession.

2) Zoning it up - Arizona State is an extremely streaky shooting team. Force Ty Abbott and Rihards Kuksiks (38-percent beyond the arc) to shoot it outside.

3) Focusing, Focusing, Focusing- If the Cougs can focus on ASU and not look ahead to Arizona on Saturday, Wazzu has a great shot at being 5-3 heading into next week’s showdown against U-Dub.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Reggie Moore Saga

As many of you have heard, Cougar point guard Reggie Moore was cited last month for possession of marijuana. And has been suspended indefinitely by Coach Ken Bone. It wasn’t the amount of Mary Jane that got two Cougar Football players kicked off the team earlier in the year, but Moore's actions demand some reprimand.

Is carrying weed the worst thing a college kid could do? No, it could be much worse. Reggie’s escapades are child’s play (pun intended) compared to what’s going on in Seattle. My beef with the whole situation is how it’s being handled by Coach Ken Bone.

I just don’t understand how this incident occurred in December, was announced last week... Then wasn't dealt with UNTIL several games later.

Maybe this is the kind of situation that will bring the team together. Junior forward Abe Lodwick was quoted at the end of the Stanford game, a game the Cougs won on the road, as saying that this team is bigger than just one person.

We don’t know how long "indefinitely" is going to be, but the Cougs have three tough home games on the horizon against ASU, Arizona and Washington. WSU has shown flashes of potential, and also flashbacks to last season (when it couldn't finish games).

Wazzu might have taken the next step in becoming an NCAA tournament type team with the win over Stanford, but in order for the process to be completed, this team needs Reggie Moore to return and make solid decisions, both on and off the court.

A Look at DaVonte Lacy

Here is a look at future Cougar guard DaVonte Lacy of Curtis High School. Lacy committed to the Cougars during the summer and his stock has gone up to a four star rating after recent evaluations. Here is a video of Lacy taking on Lincoln (San Diego) during the ESPN Holiday Classic at Torrey Pines in San Diego. Lacy is matched up with UCLA commit Norman Powell for a good portion of the game.

Lacy shows good ability to knock down the mid-to-long range jumper as well as finish around the rim. Lacy and Fresno State transfer Michael Ladd could have very important roles next season if Klay Thompson elects to take his talents to the NBA.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Cougs Land Defensive Tackle From California

Coach Paul Wulff has added another commit to the 2011 class as defensive tackle Brandon Tuliaupupu pledged crimson tonight. Tuliaupupu is the fourth defensive tackle from this class that Wulff expects to sign on National Letter of Intent Day (February 2nd).

Tuliaupupu is listed at 6-2, 290 which is great size for an incoming freshman. He has also been used as a linebacker and offensive guard with Claremont HS in California which gives Wulff and staff some flexibility to move him around on both sides of the ball.

Brandon's commit gives the Cougars nine defensive lineman in the class and 24 commits overall. I would expect the Cougars to possibly be on the trail for another running back, especially with Bishop Sankey still deciding between WSU and UW.

Cougs Manage Split in Bay Area

Playing without sophomore Reggie Moore, who has been suspended indefinitely after being cited last month for possession of marijuana, the Cougars managed to overcome a nine point halftime deficit in a 61-58 victory over Stanford.

The Cougars, 13-5, have an important three game homestand against Arizona St, Arizona, and Washington to round out the first half of Pac-10 play.
In those games, I'd like to see Coach Bone insert Brock Motum for more minutes, at least 20 minutes per game. Motum is shooting 67-percent from the field and 46-percent from beyond the arc, but he is averaging only 14 minutes per game during Pac-10 play.
Motum does more than just score points; he spreads the defense with his long range capabilities. The Cougars went to Motum early in the second half against Cal and he provided five quick points, then found himself back on the bench, replaced by Abe Lodwick.
I understand Lodwick is a catalyst for the Cougar defense, but I don't see why both these guys can't be on the floor at the same time!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

California Games

The last time Washington State traveled to California, it didn’t quite work out the way WSU thought it would. Losses to UCLA and USC had the Cougs reeling at 0-2, but a sweep of the Oregon schools last week moved Wazzu into fifth place in the Pac-10, just a game behind second place Arizona.

Tonight, WSU faces a much less explosive Cal, 8-7, than last year’s Jerome Randle led squad (Thank God! By the way). Randle, to me, was Tajuan Porter Jr. -- a guy with Muggsy Bogues size, but Reggie Miller range. EVERY TIME we played him, he seemed to go off. (Luckily for us, he’s gone). (Rant Off).
This year’s Cal collection is led by leftovers Jorge Gutierrez (12.9 ppg) and Harper Kamp (13.1 ppg).

Keys to taming the Bears include:

1) Keeping DeAngelo Casto and Abe Lodwick out of foul trouble to battle Cal's Kamp (6'8" feet) and Sanders-Frison (6'7" feet).

2) Winning the guard battle - In games that Cal has lost this year, Jorge Gutierrez and Allen Crabbe have struggled.

3) Spreading the Wealth Offensively- 99-percent of the time, either Klay or Faisal is going to lead the Cougs in scoring, which is fine.

It’s what the other guys do that will determine Wazzu's success. Whether it be Casto, Moore, Motum (hell, even Enquist), the Cougars must find a third guy to reach double digit scoring every game if they are to be successful.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Cougs Earn First Pac-10 Win of the Season

Washington State, behind a 29-point performance from Klay Thompson, notched its first Pac-10 victory of the season over Oregon State 84-70.

The Cougs, 11-4, now look for revenge Saturday against Oregon (7:30 FSN). Last year on New Year's Eve, the Ducks sent the Cougs spinning into oblivion after a 91-89 double-overtime defeat. The Cougs, 10-2 before the Oregon game, lost ten of their final twelve games.

Oregon not only started Wazzu's tailspin, but ended it . The last two games of the 2010 season were defeats in Eugene, and then the opening round of the Pac-10 tournament, to Oregon.

The Ducks have won three straight against the Cougars. Fourth time's the charm?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Oregon Schools Come to Town

Coach Ken Bone might not want to admit it, but if the Cougars intend to make a run at the NCAA tournament, they must win both games this weekend.

What a difference six days and three lackluster games can make. The Cougs, 10-4, seemed to have all the momentum in the world after advancing to the Diamond Head Classic final with a 77-71 victory over No. 15 Baylor. But the fatigue of six games in 14 days became apparent in the second halves of their three most-recent games against Butler, UCLA and USC. In all three games, the opponents made late scoring runs the Cougars could neither counter nor match.

Now, WSU finds itself desperate for wins against Oregon State and Oregon, needing at least a split this weekend to avoid a disastrous 0-4 conference start that would all but eliminate WSU from NCAA tournament consideration.
Oregon State, 7-6, comes into tonight’s game with a surprising pair of opening weekend victories over Arizona State and Arizona.

Keys to trapping the Beavers in tonight's game include:

1. Getting Klay Thompson involved early – If his first few shots don't go down, he tends to struggle. Thompson’s most efficient games this season have been when he converts easy buckets around the rim to start the game.

2. Getting More Bench scoring – The Cougar bench has been quieter than the patrons of the Owen Science library.

The Cougars need to do a better job of incorporating sophomore forward Brock Motum into the offense. Motum is shooting 65-percent from the field and 50-percent beyond the arc this season but has had limited touches in each of the last three games for the Cougars (perhaps part of the reason they're struggling).

3. Regaining Their Swarming Defense – The fatigue of traveling has undoubtedly taken its toll. The Cougars’ zone defense, a key to their early season success, has not been efficient lately. They are failing to close out on shooters and are often a step slow in their rotations, allowing for lots of open looks.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Since We've Been Gone

Welcome back Wazzu Sports fans! It’s been a long time coming but after much consideration we’ve decided to get this thing going again. Since we’ve been gone a lot, and I do mean A LOT, has happened in the world of Cougar athletics.

The 2010 Cougar Football season came and went, and though the young Cougs struggled to a 2-10 record, Coug Nation saw the signs of progress that Paul Wulff and Co. have been talking about. Sure there was the embarrassment of fumbling the first handoff of the year (shaking head) as well as beating FCS juggernaut Montana State by one (banging head on desk), but the Cougs were competitive in almost every game, and even beat Oregon State!

There is hope for the future, Coug fans. As much as I’ve bashed Paul Wulff, I have to give credit where credit is due. He has this team believing the future is bright. The proof is how his players respond to him, week-in and week-out, with nothing to play for. For those reasons, and our relatively weak OOC schedule, I’m giddy like a school boy for September 3rd, 2011.
The 2010-11 Men’s Basketball season started out with hard fought wins over Gonzaga, Mississippi State and Baylor. Three games later the Cougs came crashing back to Earth when they struggled against Butler, UCLA and USC. Perhaps the Cougs were tired after almost three weeks on the road... Or maybe teams have figured out what it takes to beat WSU... But fear not, Coug fans, for there’s absolutely no way this team will fall like it did last year (at least for my sanity, I sure as hell hope not).Perhaps the biggest story since we last posted (and come to think of it was the last story we actually posted) is the addition of Colorado and Utah to the Pac-10. Aside from a Pac-10 title for the Cougs, this is the best thing that could’ve happened over the course of the year. The influx of cash headed toward the conference will give the WSU athletic department the necessary funds to make potential recruits realize what we as Coug fans already know -- that Pullman is the greatest place on Earth.

With all that said, I’d like to welcome everyone back to the blog. We’re still in the process of getting the band back together, but once we do it should be good times ahead for everyone. Happy New Year, fellow Cougs, and as always, Go Cougs!!