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December 14, 2011
The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - The Ball Is Round And Spins
The transitive property of (insert sport here) is always a dangerous thing to do. Not only is every sport completely different but when looking at each sport, there are variables that make a game impossible to predict based on each team's performance against similar opponents. Perhaps nowhere is that more pronounced than in basketball hen a cold night of shooting for whatever reason, may it be the lights in the arena or a bad chicken salad the team ate before the game, or fatigue or a litany of other reasons can affect a team's play from one game to another.
Case in point: Santa Clara beat New Mexico and Washington State was beaten by New Mexico. So, by the transitive property of basketball, we would assume Santa Clara was likely to beat Washington State. Yet the Cougars went out and smashed Santa Clara by 38 points on Sunday afternoon.
One thing that likely isn't a victim to the transitive property of the roundball is the Cougars' performance without Faisal Aden. He may be the Cougars' leading scorer but I'm of the mindset he may actually do more bad than good for the Cougar basketball team. When Aden is on the floor, he hogs the ball taking more shots than he should - and too many of them are really bad shots.
Ipso facto, the scoring has been spread around to everyone and they're finding open shots. Brock Motum is continuing to have a sensational season and Charlie Enquist is having what some could argue is a Pac-12 Player of the Year type of season. Coming off the over exaggeration ledge a little bit, he's been having the week of his basketball like.
What's working out even more in the Cougars' favor though is just how down the Pac-12 is this year. The conference looks a lot worse than I thought it would be. UCLA is literally falling apart at the seams and Utah looks like they might actually be the worst team in all of Division I basketball. I know a lot of Division II teams that could wipe the floor with them. We all knew this was going to be a down year coming off the loss of Klay Thompson and DeAngelo Casto in the lineup so a weaker conference makes for a better, easier transition year.
Over on the women's side, this seems to finally be the year the team can break through. The women's side of the conference is also going through a down year and with WSU peaking, June Daugherty's rebuild might finally be complete. At the beginning of the season, Daugherty got the contract extension she deserves as the women's program might have been worse than any of us could've expected when she took over. Every day I thank my lucky stars UW was dumb enough to fire her.
This is the base a great team can be built from. Unfortunately for Washington State, they lose Jazmine Perkins and April Cook after this season. Cook has been a steady presence for WSU all four years and although Perkins has gone through her ups and downs, she represents something more important for the Cougs. She went to high school in Berkeley and was looking to go to Cal. But instead she chose to head for the Palouse and play basketball for Daugherty for the Cougs.
Daugherty is going to continue to make this program the premiere one in the Pacific Northwest and although it's hard to pass up the incredible program at Stanford, hopefully one day the Cougs can get close.
Normally, I'd just file this one under the dunderhead file. But the level of idiocy displayed by Ed Cunningham was just disgusting. On a College Football Live of ESPN fame extra on the website, Cunningham said he believed Washington State made the worst hire of the coaching carousel year in Mike Leach. Now I want to preface this by saying Cunningham is a former Husky so when he tears into the Cougars, I take it with a grain of salt.
Cunningham accused Leach of showing up to campus and meetings late during the end of his time at Texas Tech and called the Adam James incident an unresolved issue but that it was still dirty laundry. Forgetting for a second that Adam and his goodie goodie dad Craig's account of the incident was incredibly incorrect, what's more bothersome is Cunningham's assertion that Leach got, for all intents and purposes, lazy near the end of his tenure at Tech. Forgetting of course that TTU owed Leach over three quarters of a million dollars the day after they fired him in a bonus. Better yet, there is not a single report of anything even remotely resembling an accusation like this from any reporter who covers the team regularly or even one who just followed Tech causally during Leach's tenure. Making a baseless accusation against a man who by all accounts is one of the most ethical coaches in the business is dangerous and irresponsible and incorrect. Of course, what else would you expect from a Husky?
Bowl Season: N/A
A New Mexico bowl full of Cowboys and Owls!
Wyoming 17, Temple 14
I just want to make sure we all remember this bowl is called the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl, the worst name in bowl history.
Ohio 24, Utah State 17
I'm absolutely picking Louisiana because of the mascot. GO RAJIN' CAJUNS!
Louisiana Lafayette 28, SDSU 10
Remember when Byron Leftwich was Marshall's quarterback? Good times right?
Florida International 31, Marshall 28
Obscure Pick of the Week: CHAMPIONSHIPS!
Division II Championship: Pittsburg State 24, Wayne State 17
Division III Championship: Mount Union 31, Wisconsin-Whitewater 10
Dunderhead of the Week: You know what, I'm putting Ed Cunningham here too. Idiot.
And, of course, John Buccigross.
+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++
The 2011-12 athletic season is here and you know what that means It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Football, soccer and volleyball, just to name a few, are playing their 2011 seasons. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.