Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Planning out the rest of the year

What exactly do I have planned for the Blog the rest of the year?

February 7th is signing day, and we will have some good stuff coming out as we analyze the 2007 recruiting class, and what the team looks like headed into Spring. I have been preparing some articles, and stuff for about a month, so it should read well. We also are going to try to take a close look at the other classes in the conference.

The Basketball team hopefully will rebound and be playing all the way through March. We will have the usual previews, and game day coverage when time permits. I think Romar turns it around and this team is in it at Pac Ten tournament time.

In April we will have Spring Football, and Spring Sports to follow through May. Yes, I am a big time Husky Crew fan. What is not to like about Crew?

June, and July are usually pretty dead, and we will combat that by breaking down an upcoming opponent each week. We will continue to peruse the other blog's each week for information on what is going around in the Pac Ten. We will also have the Weekly Edition of the Monday Morning Wash. Early recruits will start to verbal, expect a few in state guys to do that to get the class on a roll. We will comment on it after it happens. Every once in awhile their may be some down time for vacation.

In August things get exciting as the hits fall camp at Montlake. I would like to get out and see a practice this year. I predict that we win as many as nine games this year.

Last year I couldn't see any games in person. It was the first time since I was a kid that I didn't go to at least one Husky game. I am going to make up for it this year by watching road games at Syracuse, Arizona St, and UCLA. We of course will be in Husky Stadium when the Dawg's break their losing streak against the Duck's.

Now Hawaii is an interesting option too. It isn't an easy trip from Chicago, but I wouldn't have too much trouble getting Kate to buy into that. I have to think about that one.

As far as bowls go I really don't go unless it is Holiday, Rose, or BCS. I can't miss a Rose Bowl, and the Holiday works fine, but El Paso is a hard sell. If it is warm, my wife will go.


Hair passes on a great site about Americans' playing Rugby in Europe. I used to play Rugby when I lived in Seattle, and I had a lot of fun.

Pac Ten Alley

We are back again with the best of the Pac Ten Blogs after a week off because of some techinical problems. We also have added some new blogs for Stanford, Arizona, and Arizona State because the old one's weren't being updated enough.

I also added blogs from our upcoming out of conference opponents in 2007. They really add some good stuff as we get to know our opponents. Shoud be fun to watch when Spring practice begins.

Around the Pac Ten Blogs

At USC they have had quite the five year run in football. It is hard to believe that they could actually have been champions four times in a row if a few breaks went there way.

Since 2002, USC has finished in the top 4 in every final AP poll. No other school has finished in the top 12 every year. In fact, USC, Ohio St., Oklahoma and Texas are the only schools to end each of the last five seasons in the top 25.

California is going to have major legal problems getting new facilities built in the near future and even has people sitting in the tree's protesting. While Teford just signed a new contract it won't keep him there if the upgrades don't happen.

The non-students living in the trees on the Cal campus have a website…, where they ask that messages be sent to the tree sitters at Feel free to send your thoughts!

Oregon State is waiting for baseball season as the basketball team stumbles through the last nine games of a dissapointing season.

Nine basketball games left for Oregon State. The good news? It's a new month. The bad news? We're still the same team. You've seen those guys play, so have I. Can it get better from here?

Down in Eugene they are coming off a loss on the road to you know who, but they can rebound with a big win in Pauley on Thursday.

Coupled with Oregon's OT win on Saturday over Wazoo and UCLA's loss yesterday to Stanford, the Ducks moved into a tie for first place in the Pac-10 with UCLA.

UCLA isn't overlooking the Quackers who handed them their first loss of the season a few weeks ago.

The Ducks are 4-0 against ranked teams, having knocked off No.18 Georgetown, No.1 UCLA, No.10 Arizona and No.20 Washington State. Oregon also is deeper than it was when it beat the Bruins at home. Forward Malik Hairston, the Ducks' leading scorer last season, did not play in that game because of a right heel injury. He has played in the past six and is averaging 12.7 points and 6.0 rebounds. Malik as our friends over at Addicted to Quack points out has been playing really well as he has been feeding off the confidence and aggressiveness of Aaron Brooks.

USC stealing 2 star recruits from WSU? I happen to think that Henderson is a player that will blossom and was surprised UW didn't offer. Pete Carroll obviously thinks so too.

Henderson looked like a real sleeper "get", good size and quickness off the edge, the typical 2-star recruit that they bring in, add some weight and suddenly he becomes a top-flight pass rushing d-tackle or something along those lines. But man, it's SC! Could the Cougars be losing him to USC?

Arizona is planning some lineup changes for this weeks Washington series.

I wouldn't be surprised if there is a starting lineup change Thursday for the Arizona men's basketball team. There's no word from the Arizona coaches, but it would not be a surprise. It could breathe new life into the Wildcats.

The Stanford Basketball team had a surprising first half as it looks like their program is back on track to climb the polls.

Stanford: Not in the top-20, not in the top-25, not even in the top-30 … Are you serious? Maybe the coaches missed the victory over No. 3 UCLA. Perhaps they don’t realize that Stanford has beaten three tournament-bound teams in the past three weeks.

Arizona State is not a basketball school. But we did find a blog on the Devils that is actually putting out new stuff every week.

I can't believe ASU basketball is so bad that I'm relegated to rooting for U of A's opponents. Someone should be making fun of me for this one.

Upcoming Opponent Blogs

This is an excellent blog on Hawaii football. When I was in the Islands this fall interest in the team had really fallen, but last years team seems to have ignited it again.

Hawaii's Colt Brennan isn't going to be playing for the Detroit Lions this year, or the Houston Texans, or the Oakland Raiders, or any other NFL team. He's going to be a Heisman front-runner and should assault the record books with his top three wide receivers returning. Davone Bess, Jason Rivers, and Ryan Grice-Mullen might be the nation's best trio and should go ballistic. Seven players are back on the defensive back eight.

The Northwest's only entrant in the BCS is still getting used to that lofty perch. This is an excellent blog on Boise State football. By the way the Bronco's are getting ready to expand their stadium.

I have to admit, it’s been pretty cool to hear how much respect and praise guys like Jim Rome and Colin Cowherd have thrown toward the Broncos. My favorite line was hearing John Madden during the Seahawks-Cowboys playoff game talk about how the Dallas needed to “pull a Boise State,” to have any chance at success.

Syracuse is all about basketball this time of year, but we found a well rounded blog that also gives info on their football program. Cjeck out the cool countdown clock to the Washington game.

I should have known better. No less then three of my friends asked me before this weekend, “Hey do you think Syracuse win on Saturday?” I replied with my usual honesty that yes, I thought we had a good chance of winning. Louisville was looking like they were on a down swing, and I really thought we had the chance to bounce back from St. John’s, all while being motivated by Boeheim’s 1,000th game. I hate being wrong to my friends.

Ohio State's basketball team is on the same level as the football team. That's right they could match Florida in the quest to win titles in both sports one of these days.
Ohio State never takes a day off rom football, but the basketball team has the ability to compete for a national title.

I tried to tell you. Those Spartans are good and not many people are talking about it. The ending was about the kind of game I expected. What I didn't expect was our total domination in the first half. In building the twenty point lead, we meshed an excelling Greg Oden with superb perimeter shooting for perhaps the first time all year. It was easy and the Spartans were reeling.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A new look for the blog

We have introduced a new look for the blog which should make it read much easier. I will be playing around with it over the next few days, and yes we will have a counter on here as soon as I can figure out how to add it. If you have any suggestions on the new look, or useabilty please let me know.

The new format will allow to do quite a bit such as adding spreadsheets to the posts. This is a Beta format so we will be bringing out new stuff as it becomes available.

Once again thank you so much for visiting, and supporting the blog since I started it last summer. It has been fun, and I haven't got burned out doing it as of yet which is a good thing. I hope I have been able to give you something that you aren't getting in other area's.

Monday, January 29, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

The Husky basketball team came back from the dead after an impressive sweep of the Oregon school's at home. The games were must win's and they keep UW on the cusp for qualifying for the tournament. 3-6 is a record nobody expected from the Dawg's during the first half of the conference season. UW needs to reverse that record to 7-2 in the second half, and have a strong showing at the conference tournament to get over the hump. Just one note, no team has ever made the dance from the Pac Ten by finishing .500 or less in conference play. 7-2 is going to be a tall order for this team, but the cause will be helped by a strong home schedule the second time around.

The Huskies play the Oregon, and Arizona schools on the road in the second half. The Huskies need to split on the road, and win out at home. Don't forget the late season road game at Pitt where a win could be pretty helpful.

Spencer Hawes is going to continue coming off the bench rather than starting until he is back to 100%. Spencer had an impressive second half against the Beaver's. How much has Spencer's injuries and illness slowed down this team in the first half? He was just a hmmer in the second half against OSU. Dentmon had his second straight good game leading the Huskies from the outside, and he needs to continue doing that for the Huskies to have a shot. Seriously I think he has broken through and will continue to play well. The return of Joel Smith this week for the Arizona series is going to change the Husky dynamic on defense. He is going to bring a lot of what Bobby Jones did to the team over the past four years to the remainder of the season if he can stay healthy. The Huskies have fallen prey to hot shooting from the outside because they lack a perimeter hammer on defense. Smith will fill that role. Added to that he is a slasher on offense that compliments Dentomn well. Jon Brockman was just superb this past week. He had 25 points against the Beavers who had no answer for his muscle. Artem Wallace is starting to play well too. You can see the light bulb going on for the young sophomore.

Football Recruiting

The Huskies received a couple of commitments this weekend from DT Tyrone Duncan, and LB Cort Dennison. Duncan is a guy that has been waiting for a UW offer since Christmas, and Dennison is a plan B guy who they offered after Amjoyi picked Stanford. The Huskies have 3-4 more guys left to close before signing day. Look for them to try to close an OL, DE, and a couple of DB's to round out the class. The Huskies are definitely in Plan B mode at this time, but it is typical for this time of year. The bulk of UW's recruiting classes historically are in the bag before Christmas. UW also had a defection as Colorado DB Jared Campbell switched allegiance to go to Miami to join his older brother. WR Anthony Boyles on the other hand reafirmed his committment to UW.

UW is going to bring in a class that will rank in the top 25, respectively 3 or 4 in the conference. This is a huge class of close to 30 athletes who will form the backbone of Ty's program over the next five years. The last watermark class like this was brought in by Neuheisel and was ranked in the top ten. Using hindsight I think this class is much better, and more balanced than that one. Neu's watermark class produced the fewest victories of any large class at UW since the late 1960's....ouch! How did such a highly rated class perform so poorly? First of all they weren't surrounded by other top classes. Secondly they had three different coaching staff's. Finally, how many of those guys ever hit the field, or performed up to expectations? The key is how the players are developed. If Ty is going to have success he needs to show he can develop players. I think he and his staff will get the job done.

Odd's and Ends

The platform we publish on is undergoing some changes so I was unable to get out blog update out last week due to technical problems. Our readers will see some visual changes coming to the blog in the not too distant future.

Todd Turner says that revenues are up sharply for the athletic program as a whole. The increase came from a succesful men's basketball team, higher than anticipated Tyee renewals, and more games overall being televised. Turner is reversing the malaise he inheirited from Hapless Hedges. The UW also plans to break ground soon on the new football center which will be a big help in recruiting.

Speaking of recruiting the University of Oregon is having it's best recruiting season ever, and you could attribute it to winning on the field, but more importantly chalk it up to having the best facilities in the league, and a lot of continuity on the coaching staff. Let's face it, last years edition of the Duck's were not very good, and the glue that was holding the team together disintegrated as the season went on. The bowl loss to BYU was a travesty. Despite that the Duck's have put together a solid top ten recruiting class. The difference is the facilites, and continuity, Oregon has invested wisely.

Washington on the other hand has a lot of work to do over the next few years to catch up. People criticize Turner, but they don't understand how far this program has to go, and how far it has come in a short time under his leadership. UW is on the right track, but we are paying for 13 years of ignoring the engine that runs the machine, and that is the football team.

The new master facility plan shows what can be done. A fund raising plan should be in place by before the start of the season. If Turner can get this built during his tenure UW will have facilites second to nobody West of the Mississippi. It is going to be a challenge to raise close to 250 million dollars and get the facilites built while 520, and the bus tunnel are also under construction.

Long Beach Telgram Best in the West

The Long Beach papers Best in the West poll came out yesterday. It is now picked by 7 California recruiting gurus rather than PAC-10 coaches. Only one player from Washington made the first team, Chris Izbicki. UW picked up 6 players from the list this year, Mike Izbicki was the lone first teamer. Also mentioned are Curtis Shaw, Brandon Johnson, Willie Griffin, Imeka Iweka, and Anthony Boyles. Pou Palelei who is also on the list is choosing between UW, and ASU.

This list used to be based on who was recruiting who. The highest score for a player was ten. So if all ten teams in the league were recruiting you you got the highest score. Obviously it was pretty biased toward the California kids, and still is. The change to recruiting experts is ok, but you are just getting a rehash of the ratings from Scout, and Rivals rather than a new perspective.

The Northwest Nuggets

The Northwest Nugget's also came out this weekend. As you can see if you read the article it was a weaker unbalanced year in the Pacific Northwest for talent at the top level. This years class was dominated by QB's. Did UW put up a fence around the state? Paulson, and Killsgaard would have definitely looked good in purple.

There were not any Jake Locker's, Steve Schilling's, Taylor Mayes's, and Paul Arnold's in this class. Next years class will have some Topp 100 type kids that will be must gets for Willingham.

Chris Izbicki Washington...Committed early in the process

Will Darkins Oregon St....the Huskies never really recruited this kid.

Jake Gelakoska Oregon St....the Huskies went to California for a QB this year where they haven't heard of Jake Locker.

Brandon Jackson Kentucky....he ignored UO, reneged at Cal, and his heading East. Not a loss for UW since we signed three very highly rated TB's.

Imeka Iweka Washington....The earliest commitmment in UW history.

Kellen Kiilsgaard....Stanford was tough on UW this year. UW went 0-5 against the Tree in recruiting this year. Kellen was a local kid they wanted a lot.

David Paulson Oregon....I don't think he wanted to be second banana to Izbicki. You still aren't supposed to lose Puget Sound area guys to Oregon.

Myles Wade Oregon....This Portland area native was a lock for Oregon. UW didn't put much effort into him.

Nate Williams Washington....UW offered in the Fall and Williams didn't wait long till accepting.

Whats up this week?

Two big games on the road in Arizona for the basketball team. The Huskies could really use a payback win in Tucson, but that is a tall order for this team. I don't think they will have much problem with ASU.

In recruiting we are down to the final weekend before signing day. The Huskies aren't expected to bring in more visitors to Montlake so I imagine the coaches will be out on the road finishing everything up.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Dawgs take apart Oregon St in the second half

Washington and Oregon State are playing a pretty even first half at Hec Ed this afternoon. It's knotted at 33 with around 3 minutes left in the first half. Spencer Hawes has only played 3 minutes in the first half as his virus, and ankle could be bothering him. Look for more of him in the second half when the Huskies need to put this one away. Washington goes on a 8-1 run to jump out to a 39-34 lead with about a minute left, but the Beavers go on a little run of their own to keep it close. Huskies lead 41-38 at the break. Dentmon leads the Dawg's with 14, followed by Brockman with 12, and Nelson at 10.

16:06 left in the second half, and the Huskies have a 54-43 lead. Spencer Hawes has returned to the game as the Dawg's would like to put it away early. Pondexter is warming up after a cool first half. Brockman leads all scorers with 19. 58-45 Washington with 14:40 left. Hawes came in and made a three point play. UW is going to stretch it out now. Too much muscle in their for the Beaver's. 8:14 left in the game and Washington leads 79-54. Brockman has 25 points so far on the night. Pretty complete game for the sophmore from Snohomish.

The Huskies are up to 87-65 with 2:48 and this one has evolved into garbage time for the Dawg's. Artem Wallace has played well tonight flanked by Brockman. Those two give the Huskies a couple of bruisers inside. The story continue's to be the improved play of Dentmon.

Nice, and needed sweep for the Huskies who head back out on the road against the Arizona schools this coming week. The Huskies need at least a split next week, but a win over the Wildcats on the road would be something and would be payback for the loss at home earlier this season. Hawes, and Joel Smith should be back in the lineup, and that should help quite a bit. Smith will really help out with perimeter defense.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Taking a good look at Spencer Hawes

Spencer Hawes is one of the most talented freshman to ever ply his talents on the hardwood at Hec Edmundson. He came to UW with the label that he was ready for the NBA out of HS, and the only thing that kept him from going pro were the new rules.

I have watched Spencer in almost every game this year, and no way is he ready to do anything in the NBA but sit at the end of the bench, and collect a big check. Simply put he isn't physically mature enough for the upper echeleon yet. Spencer has put on some meat, but he needs quite a bit more before he can be a force in the Pac Ten, let alone the NBA.

Take a good look at his low rebound totals, the way he gets muscled out of the key by older more experienced players. Watch how UW uses him in the high post and puts Brockman down low. He simply hasn't evolved into a complete player playing 15 feet away from the hoop. Watch him get trapped and collapsed upon on offense because of poor positioning. Nothing wrong with any of that for a true frosh, but it shows he needs more time.

What Spencer Hawes needs is a couple more years in school to develop his game, and more importantly his body. That being said if he goes out next year he is a likely top five pick, and that means a lot of money in the bank for a 19 year old kid...pretty tough to pass up.

Spencer needs to choose between immediate money, or the potential of having an All Star pro career, and a great college experience to remember. The fact is underclassmen don't belong in the NBA. They don't develop well, they don't mature mentally as well, and it drags the entire NBA down. The main problem the NBA has is a lack of maturity and discipline. Waving millions at 17 year olds does nothing to correct the problem, and that is why they have the new rules.

Spencer has a pretty good head on his shoulders, his uncle had a long NBA career, and his dad was an excellent player at UW. You think they should all see what most of us are seeing.

Spencer needs to stay at UW for two more years to develop.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Huskies Upset 7th Ranked Duck's

It's 51-40 UW at halftime as the Huskies have hit 19-36 shots and have just four turnovers. Dentmon is having one of his best games and Appleby is hitting from the outside. The Huskies only had 4 turnovers in the first half. UW is also outrebounding Oregon 19-13 and has forced the Ducks into nine turnovers. Dentmon, getting his first start since the UCLA game, leads all scorers with 15 points and has hit all seven of his free throws, with his aggression earning him consistent trips to the line. Dentmon has been the difference in the game so far for the Dawg's.

Oregon roared back early in the second half, but the Huskies hold a tenuous 75-69 lead with 6:00 left in the second half. the game has become a defensive struggle as both teams have cooled down from the field and have been turning it over quite a bit. Oregon has four players in foul trouble and that could come into play as we head into cruch time.

Four minutes to go and the Huskies are starting to stretch it out again getting back to a 11 point lead of 81-71. Oregon answers but Dentmon makes a nice basket for his 23rd point of the evening. Justin has stepped up tonight.

Three minutes left on the Huskies still hold an 1o point lead. Huskies are working the clock now and have taken it under two minutes. Hawes picks up an offensive rebound, is fouled, and heads to the line and hits 1-2. Oregon answers quickly and trails by nine with 1:44 left. Appleby hits a couple at the line, and Brockman picks up a lay in after an Oregon turnover to take it to 88-73 and this one is about over.

All Oregon can do is foul and try to hit some three's. Dentmon returns to the line and hits two for a 24 point night. This one is over and Washington wins a very big one 89-77.

This was a very big back up against the wall win for Washington. They move to 2-6 in conference with OSU up next on Saturday. Finishing the first half 3-6 is no cause for celebration if it happens, but the Huskies have an easier road the rest of the way getting UCLA, USC, WSU, Cal, and Stanford at home during the second half. We have ASU, UA, Oregon, and OSU on the road. The Huskies need to finish 7-2 not including a non conference game with Pitt to have a chance for the tourney. win out and slit on the road, have a good showing at the Pac Ten tourney, and they can crawl back into this.

I watched Spencer Hawes quite a bit tonight and he just doesn't seem reasy for prome time to me. Now I know the NBA doesn't care, but this guy could use another year or two to polish his game and add some strength.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Charlie Baggett?

I am going to be moving Around the Pac Ten Blogs to Thursday rather than Wednesday until spring football starts. It makes more sense to do that during basketball season.

As recruiting winds down we are going to be covering that till signing day. Immediately after that we will do a pre Spring Preview on the state of the team going into next year. Soon after that we will be reviewing the recruiting classes of the rest of the league.

Bob Condotta in his blog thinks there is a pretty good chance that Charlie Baggett former WR coach of the Miami Dolphins will be Washington's new wide receivers coach. Condotta goes on to say it makes a lot of sense since both Ty, and him grew up in North Carolina, and attended Michigan State at the same time. Charlie was a QB at North Carolina.

This is an article detailing their friendship from 2002 when Ty was at Notre Dame.

Here is the Miami bio on Charlie.....pretty impressive if you ask me. Should be a big upgrade on the field over Yarber. He also has 14 years experience as a college coach so he knows how to recruit. Nothing against Yarber, he did a great job while he was here, but he was never Willinghams guy. This move if it happens improves the coaching staff. Baggett has plenty of time in the NFL so returning a couple to get his pension is not a concern because he is already vested. Keith Gilbertson was always a lock to return to the NFL in some capacity at some time so he could vest his pension. That is exactly why he is currently with the Seahawks. A shout out to Mike Holmgren for making that happen.

Back to Charlie Baggett. The Miami job was his second stint working under Saban, as he was the wide receivers/associate head coach on Saban's Michigan State staff from 1995-98. He also worked on the same staff as Saban at Michigan State from 1983-87.

In Baggett's first year with the Dolphins, Chris Chambers turned in the most productive season of his five-year NFL career with 82 receptions for 1,118 yards and 11 touchdowns, as Chambers became the first Dolphins wide receiver to be named to the Pro Bowl since Irving Fryar in 1994. It marked the ninth time in Baggett’s nine seasons as an NFL assistant that a receiver put forth a 1,000-yard effort (Minnesota 6, Green Bay 2, Miami 1).

Prior to joining the Dolphins, Baggett spent the previous five seasons as wide receivers coach in Minnesota. With the Vikings, Baggett oversaw the development of All-Pro wide receiver Randy Moss. Under the first four years of Baggett’s tutelage (2000-03), Moss caught 376 passes for 5,649 yards and 49 touchdowns, all of which ranked in the top three in the NFL over this four-year stretch. Overall in Baggett’s five seasons with the Vikings, two different receivers made a total of four Pro Bowl appearances (Cris Carter – 2000; Randy Moss – 2000, 2002-03). In 2004, Nate Burleson, a 2003 third-round draft choice, broke through with 68 receptions for 1,006 yards and nine touchdowns.

Baggett joined the Vikings following a one-year stint in the same position with the Green Bay Packers in 1999. In his lone year there, two different Packers surpassed the 1,000-yard plateau, including Antonio Freeman (74-1,074) and Bill Schroeder (74-1,051).

Prior to that, he served as wide receivers/associate head coach under Saban at Michigan State for four years (1995-98), his second stint with the Spartans, having also coached at the East Lansing school from 1983-92, during which time he tutored both the wide receivers and running backs under former Pittsburgh Steelers assistant coach George Perles.

Overall, in his 14 seasons at MSU, Baggett coached such future NFL stars as Daryl Turner, Mark Ingram, Andre Rison, Lorenzo White, Plaxico Burress, Muhsin Muhammad, Derrick Mason and Courtney Hawkins. In between stints at Michigan State was Baggett’s first stop as an NFL assistant, when he coached the Houston Oilers wide receivers from 1993-94. In his first season with the team, Haywood Jeffires, Webster Slaughter and Ernest Givins all ranked among the top 12 in the AFC in receiving, while Jeffires and Slaughter were selected to the AFC Pro Bowl squad.

After beginning his collegiate playing career at the University of North Carolina in 1971, Baggett transferred to Michigan State, where he played his final three seasons (1973-75). He started all three years at quarterback for the Spartans, and had his best year as a junior in 1974 when he posted 1,713 total yards and 21 touchdowns, and was named the Big 10 Conference’s MVP by the Chicago Tribune. He had a brief stint with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League before beginning his collegiate coaching career, tutoring the wide receivers and running backs at Bowling Green in 1977 under former Michigan State head coach Denny Stolz. He served the next four years in that position before moving on to the University of Minnesota as wide receivers coach in 1981. A two-year stay with the Golden Gophers preceded his first stop at Michigan State.

That my friends is what I call a great resume.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Puppy Chow

We have two more weeks to go until signing day and a lot of questions should be answered during this week, and the coming weekend. The Huskies have 4-6 more spots to fill depending on who you ask, and how you count them. The pickup of a decent walkon at QB last weekend can't be underestimated. Clemmons was a three star last year who decided to play baseball. This year he decided to drop baseball and get back to football. Suddenly the Huskies have four QB's going into the Fall.

The news hasn't been that good over the last couple of weeks as top prospects have opted to head elsewhere. This does happen every year as UW always finishes second to Stanford when top prospects are involved in the last couple of weeks. LB Chike Amajoyi is still on the board, but he is likely to join DT Masifilo on the farm.

Top guys left on the board

DB Bolden.......Should nail him down this weekend on his visit.
LB Amajoyi.....Down to Stanford and UW.
LB Dennison...Waiting for UW to offer if amajoyi goes to Stanford
DT Duncan......Commited to Fresno but a Husky offer could change that.
DE Owusu.......Cal probably dropped him. Vandy, The Farm or UW?
OT Palelei.......UW is in the lead at last report.
C Nisby...........Should be room for him.
S Dawson.......Hasn't been metioned in three weeks but if he can get in for Spring UW has room.

These are just the guys we have heard of. UW is probably in on some guys none of us have heard about. Ty hasn't shown his cards much in January, and the services usually find out who is visiting while they are on campus. The staff pulled a couple of surprises last year at the close, and I expect the same will happen this year.


Spencer Hawes should be back in the lineup for the Oregon series. As we have witnessed the Dawg's are a completely different team at home this season. This is a team with a lot of holes to go with the talent right now. Joel Smith could be back this weekend and that will help considerably on defense. As far as playmaking goes wait till next year since the only pint on the team Dentmon isn't a point. the Huskie showever score enough to win, defense is where they are lacking right now. For most of the players on the team this is their first experience with losing, and it is a tough lesson to learn.

A few years back Washington started the conference season terribly and rebounded to becaome a darling in March led by a kid named Nate Robinson. UW doesn't have a potential sparkplug like that on the squad right now, but I wouldn't write them completely off at this point even though the WSU loss was a dissapointing shellacking. The only way Washington has a chance to salavage this season is to sweep this week. The backs are now officially against the wall. May the spirit of Nate somehow climb into our lineup.

Todd Turner has been busy

Todd Turner has the latest edition of his blog out there. As you can see he has been busy working on getting the Huskies a much needed bye in what will be a record 13 game regular season schedule.

Those that made Saturday's women's basketball game with Washington State were treated to the latest addition to venerable Hec. Ed. Pavilion/Bank of America Arena. The new video board is a much anticipated and fan friendly addition to the facility. It looks great. We are just learning how to make full use of it, so as we grow more accustomed to its features, we should be able to produce replays and other features that will add to your enjoyment of the game.

Hawaii Series Scheduled

The UW says it has tentatively agreed to conclude its regular season on Dec. 1 at the University of Hawaii. The addition of the game, which will be played at Aloha Stadium, will give Washington an NCAA-allowable 13 regular-season contests. The exact details of the contract are pending and are subject to the scheduling of a return game at the UW at a future date. The Cal game would move to 11/17 giving UW a much needed bye after USC game on 9/29.

For the first time since 1978, the Apple Cup traditional football game between Washington, and Washington State will be moved to Thanksgiving weekend this year, creating a much-sought bye in the regular-season schedules for both schools.

The Huskies are scheduled to open the season Sept. 1 at Syracuse. There is still discussion of moving the game to Friday, Aug. 31 for TV purposes. There is no longer talk of moving the game to Thursday, so it will either be Friday night, or Saturday.

The 1973 Hawaii Debacle

In 1973 the Huskies opened the season against Division II Hawaii and lost 10-7. The game was marred by poor officiating, and sloppy offensive play by the Huskies who just couldn't get points on the board and fumbled all opportunites away. As often happens when you leave the underdog in the game too long the Huskies ended up losing this one. The game was among the biggest wins in Rainbow Warrior history and was intrumental in getting the Bow's moved up to Div One in 1976 after Aloha Stadium was built.

University of Puget Sound

The University of Puget Sound had a very strong Divison II program at the time and was actually mulling a step up to Div 1. They beat that same Hawaii team later in the year and was decreed the best college football team in Washington in 1973 much to the chagrin of the Cougars, and Huskies. Puget Sound's dreams of grandeur were extinguished only a couple years later when the school had a financial crisis that almost shut their doors. UPS actually ended up selling it's Law School to Seattle U to help balance the books. Football is still around at UPS, but is just a shadow of what it was in the 60's, and 70's when the Loggers traveled around the country playing schools such as Holy Cross.

Could University of Puget Sound been the Gonzaga of it's era?

They actually were on the verge in football, and basketball during this time period. They had some nice momentum going with Div II Championships in basketball, and playoff runs in football. They were actually on the brink of breaking through. Private colleges in the state however started really looking for ways to survive during that time period of decreasing enrollments, and rising costs. UPS was likely headed for a league like the Big Sky if their had been more time, and money. The Tacoma Dome which came around in the 80's would have made an excellent home for a Div I-AA team.

The Stadium High School Bowl

If you ever have a chance you need to visit Stadium HS, and the Stadium Bowl in Tacoma, do it. The Stadium was one of the largest on the West Coast when built and had a sweeping view of Tacoma's Commencement Bay.

Dedication ceremonies for the new stadium on June 10-11, 1910 were extravagant: as many as 50,000 people from all over the state attended the festivities.

Unfortunately, drainage problems plagued the Bowl from day one. The first football games played in September 1910 rendered the rain-soaked field a "mudhole," so the remaining games that season had to be played elsewhere. There was much public criticism of the contractor, who had originally promised to complete the stadium by August 1909, but whose work had remained unfinished even at the time of the dedication ceremonies in 1910. The school board was also lambasted for its weak monitoring of the contractor. But when a group of Stadium seniors confronted the board with a petition complaining about delays in fixing the field, the board chairman retorted that they "ought to be spanked." Construction of the Bowl's concrete stands and repair of its drainage system finally ended in April 1911, at a total cost of approximately $160,000

The bowl hosted many football games, including the first lighted night football game on the West Coast when the University of Washington played the University of Puget Sound in 1929. WSU/Penn State game was played there in 1948 and drew a reported 50,000 fans. The Stadium still survives even though unstable soils have cut away part of the original stadium. They still can get around 17,000 in there today.

Funny to think that there was a big Stadium in the area ten years before venerable Husky Stadium was built on the Montlake Cut. Better engineering could have drastically changed Tacoma's sports "Destiny".

The Tacoma 500?

Tacoma was once home of a Speedway which rivaleled the old brickyard in Indianapolis. In fact during its run it was listed with Indy as one of the two top speedways in the country.

During its years of operation between 1912 and 1922, the Tacoma Speedway, located in Lakewood a suburb of Tacoma, hosted some of the big names of racing, rivaling the best in the world. The "Who’s Who" of races, "Terrible" Teddy Tetzlaff, Earl Cooper, Barney Oldfield, Eddie Rickenbauer, among others left plenty of rubber on that track.

The stands burned down in 1920. The fire was ruled an arson. The track had no insurance. It was the only Class A track besides the one in Indianapolis, and its grandstands were now cinders. The new grandstands partially covered the seats following a $100,000 fundraiser, but the track was still losing money. The facility closed in 1922 due to losing money and was converted into an airstrip. It is now the site of Clover Park Technical College.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Prospect Insider

IF you are a Mariner's fan you should check out the Prospect Insider Blog. Jason Churchill does a great job covering the Mariner's and their farm system. He is truly the Diamond Genius. This is a reprint of his latest post. Hopefully we have an eight year old out there that is reading us too, but ignoring the spelling.

One afternoon at a minor league ballpark I saw a kid, maybe eight or nine years old, sitting by himself watching batting practice as he leaned eagerly on the seat in front of him. A slugger in the cage was hitting screamers off the wall and over the fence into the parkling lot. I sat down a few rows ahead of him and started making notes and such, scribbling on the media notes I’d just picked up from the press box.

After about 10 minutes, the kid asked me if I knew who the specific player was that was putting on the show in the cage every few minutes. I did, and I told him, and he then asked, “when did he get here, he’s raking?” Taken aback that a grade-schooler just described what he just saw as “raking,” I filled him on the acquisition history of the player in question.

He then sat there in silence for another 10, 15 minutes until the player ran out onto the field to shag fly balls while they rotated groups for BP. I was about to get up and go sit on the bench so I could strike a conversation with a player or two as BP ended when the kid sprouted up again and asked if that player was going to be in the majors soon.

So here I am, talking prospects with an eight-year-old who keeps using words like “raking” and “range” and “mechanics.” I told myself while he was talking that I had to ask what this kid’s name was before I went down to the field, but then he said the damndest thing to me.
Looking straight at me for the first time, “Jake” said to me: “Hey, have you ever read that web site,”

I started to laugh, almost uncontrollably, and told him “yeah, I’ve read that site from time to time… why?” He responded, “well, that’s where I go to read about minor league guys and stuff. My dad goes there everyday, and he saved it on my favorites for me. I used to have trouble reading, but my dad thought If i was reading something I liked to read about, that I wouldn’t be so bad at it.”

So when people ask me why I do this, I now have this story to tell. Jake gets a little better at reading because he reads about baseball, and he even visits Prospect Insider sometimes. When I asked him if it was working and if he was getting better at reading, he said this: “Heck yeah, I am here with my school today because I read more books than anybody else in my grade. Last year I read one book. This year, I read like… sooo many, like 20 or 30.”

Okay, so Jake isn’t THE reason I started writing about prospects and minor leaguers, but he’s certainly one of the reasons I enjoy it as much as I do. Oh, and the player he was in awe over was none other than Adam Jones.

The Monday Morning Wash

We have a late edition of the Monday Morning Wash today because I was out of internet range out of town this weekend. Not much to report about since once again the Husky basketball team went down to defeat, this time on the road against Washington State. The window of opportunity is closing on this edition's of Lorenzo Romar's squad after they were throttled in Pullman this weekend. The Huskies face Oregon, and Oregon St at home this weekend to finish out the first half of the conference season before a game with Pitt.

This has to to be LORO'S biggest challenge since he arrived because of the heady expectations for this squad coming into the season. If you watch this team you realize they aren't bad, they just lack experience, depth, and ballhandling in a very tough league.

I know I am not suppose to say nice thing's about WSU, but the Bennett's deserve a tip of the hat for the way they have turned that moribund program around.

In football recruiting the Huskies picked up a very good walkon QB in Chandler Clemmons who will be with the team this Spring. Tune into Dawgman for more information on the pickup. This is a big pickup which really will fill a need. DT Matt Masifilo surprised nobody by picking Stanford over UW. Expect Tyrone Duncan to get his long awaited offer. OT Darrion Weems committed to Oregon after being dropped by Florida. Of course on the boards people are pulling their hair out but I never figured we much of a chance with either of them. We still have some athletes left out their for the final spots and I think we finish with a strong top 25 class.

I will catch up more tomorrow. We were in Naples Florida golfing this weekend, and as I said earlier, the internet just wasn't working where we were at. My drives weren't either for the most part, but it was good to get out there after a three month layoff.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Around the Pac Ten Blogs

Here we are in mid January, and there still seems to be a lot going on around the league as we start to get into the crunch time of recruiting season. Recruiting changes on an hourly basis so make sure you stay tuned to Dawgman for all the latest news.

Bob Condotta of the Times has an excellent series on what to expect next year going on in his blog. He starts off with an interview concerning QB's with Tim Lappano.

"I'm starting it off with offensive coordinator Tim Lappano breaking down, as you might expect, the offense. We'll begin today with his thoughts on the quarterback position (if some of this looks familiar it should as some of this was included in stories that ran in our paper last week, as well)."

Oregon offensive coordinator Gary Crowton is leaving the school after two seasons to take the same job at LSU. Crowton said he accepted his new position Monday and expects to be in Louisiana on Tuesday night. He replaces Jimbo Fisher, who left LSU to become the offensive coordinator at Florida State. I don't think Oregon fans are sad to see him go.

Oregon State athletic director Bob De Carolis said Monday the school's football program is "positioned to take the next step" if the Beavers' marketing department can capitalize on the 10-4 season of 2006. Part of that "next step" involves reaching agreement with coach Mike Riley on a contract extension. "We're moving in the right direction," De Carolis said in a wide-ranging interview with The Oregonian, "and I would hope we can get it done soon." Mike Riley should stick it to these jerks who wanted to run him out on a rail at mid season. Like the song say's, "You sometime's don't know what you got till its gone, they paved paradise and put up Potato Salad Stadium."

California coach Jeff Tedford has agreed to a four-year contract extension that will keep the two-time Pac-10 coach of the year with the Golden Bears through 2013. The UC Board of Regents was scheduled to discuss the deal at a closed meeting today, and athletic department spokesman John Sudsbury said approval is expected Thursday. Tedford is 43-20 in five seasons, leading the Bears' longest sustained period of excellence in a half-century. He led Cal to a 10-3 record, a Pac-10 co-championship and a victory over Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl in the just completed season. I don't expect Tedford to last at Cal for the remainder of the contract.

Former kicker Michael Braunstein has committed to finish his college career at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, he said Monday after visiting the campus over the weekend. Braunstein was one of four players not invited to return to the Huskies program despite having a fifth year of eligibility left. Braunstein said he will spend two years at Ohio U getting both an MBA and a master's in sports administration. The road to the Lou Groza award is never easy.

A team spokesman said the status of running back Michael Houston remains unchanged. Houston was suspended indefinitely in October after being arrested for allegedly stealing a taxi. I guess we wait till Spring to find out what is going to happen on that one. One thing for sure we will have more bodies at RB.

The football future of Washington Huskies quarterback Isaiah Stanback was uncertain three months ago after he sprained his foot, ending his college career. The PI say's he is ahead of schedule, and throwing with a boot on. He should be ready to go without the boot before the combine. Scouts are saying that teams are looking at him as a wide receiver, or running back. IS still wants to play QB, we will see.

Senior quarterback Carl Bonnell had surgery on his left (non-throwing) shoulder and will need approximately eight weeks to heal. That will likely limit him for spring football and push sophomore-to-be Jake Locker to the top of the depth chart. True frosh Ronnie Fouch will be in for Spring practice and will see plenty of time.

Pac Ten Alley

Okay, let's take a walk down Pac Ten Alley and see what our neighbors down the coast are bloffing about this week.

At Washington State they think Mixon makes up for the loss of Davenport.

Gain some, lose some, typical for this time of year. AND YES, reportedly the 5-star JC safety has committed in Mixon, but, we've still got a lot of time left for him to keep shopping around. I may sound negative, but I'm in "see-it-to-believe-it" mode right about now.

The Oregon basketball team continues to climb in the polls and have climbed inside the Top Ten.

The Ducks moved from number 15 to number 9 in the AP Polls after their successful outing in Arizona this last week.

At California it is four more years of Jeff Tedford

Jeff Tedford and the University of California have reached an agreement on a contract extension that will keep the Cal football coach in Berkeley through 2013, pending approval by the UC Board of Regents.

At Stanford basketball is back which is good because football is not.

The Stanford men's basketball team will not win the Pacific-10 Conference title this season. But Stanford is going to make trouble. A whole heap of trouble.

At USC the Trojan nations gathers for a sad and solemn occasion.

Mario Danelo was remembered Friday as an upbeat person who enjoyed life to the fullest and left an indelible impression on those around him. An estimated 2,000 mourners gathered at Mary Star of the Sea Catholic Church in suburban San Pedro to remember the Southern California kicker, whose body was found last weekend about 120 feet down a rocky cliff not far from his family's home.

At UCLA they speculate that Dorrell was Shanahans yes man while with the Bronco's.

Dorrell really didn't have a strength, that I saw, as someone in a leadership position. It wasn't like the Broncos were rolling out Pro Bowlers under Dorrell, and as a matter of fact, every receiver the team acquired or drafted during his time there is no longer with the team. Sure, Rod Smith and Ed McCaffrey are solid, but both were good players before and after Dorrell. It's a well known fact in Bronco Nation that Shanny has a tendancy to hire "yes" men as assistants, made obvious by the fact that there isn't a "coaching tree" to speak of. Karl Dorrell is among that group, and not someone I saw then, or now, as a coach with a bright head coaching future. Some guys are just better suited to be part of a team, not in charge of it, and Dorrell wasn't even a great assistant.

At Oregon State the Beavers are wondering why nobody is hyping the 2007 team.

Now, for Oregon State. I wouldn't classify OSU as a team that gets a lot of attention, especially in the offseason. Usually it takes a few games for the nation to catch on to what's happening in Corvallis, and that is the point where the Beavers might be placed into a poll. Obviously, they lose Matt Moore and Sabby Piscitelli, which will hurt both sides of the ball. The good news is I'm sure we can all agree that Canfield will fill the shoes of Moore nicely, and Payton and Drayton will make a nice combo in the defensive secondary, along with hard hitting ball-puncher (foot-balls) Al Afalava.

At Arizona it is basketball time.

Yes, the same Mustafa Shakur that has been the subject of much criticism and verbal venom from radio show callers and bloggers alike. He came to Arizona as a highly touted point guard that had not lived up to the unbelievable expectations placed on him by fans and college basketball "experts".

At Arizona St they don't enjoy life at the bottom of the Pac Ten after a loss to Oregon State.

There are no exits on Arizona State's learning curve. There are only lessons, losses and now no company at the bottom of the Pac-10's men's basketball standings.Oregon State left ASU alone and with no immediate way out Saturday after a 67-59 victory over the Sun Devils at Wells Fargo Arena.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Puppy Chow

It was an interesting recruiting weekend. Usually we would report on it Monday but not enough rumor, and inuendo had shaken out enough to do that. As usual our policy is to comment on recruiting once it is in the general media such as the Seattle Times.

The Huskies stole Byron Davenport a CB who attended UCLA for two years before sitting out last season to attend a Junior College. He has two years to play and will be here for spring practice. He was originally verbaled to WSU but changed his mind and is headed to the west side of the state. We heard about this early in the weekend, and one site released before it was confirmed. Davenport has a relationship with Coach Williams from when he was originally recruited by Cal. Byron will compete for the starting job beside Lewis. Suddenly depth at CB looks pretty good with the added bonus of Davenport counting against the 2006 class.

Don't feel sorry for the Cougars because they got a commitment from five star JC safety Terry Mixon. Mixon is a guy the Huskies would also love to have but he will count against the 2007 class, and like Ashlee Palmer would have a problem getting into to UW.

Pou Palelei was the only other A lister to vist this past weekend and still has UW in the lead after the visit. He still wants to trip Texas A&M, and Arizona State. UW will probably keep bringing people in until the last week as they try to sew up the final spots.

Nevada CB Eddie Wide has decided to commit to Utah. Mike Tomczyck visited Louisville and is considered a Cardinal lean. DT Matt Masifilio will decide between UW, Stanford, and Cal this week. He has a final meeting scheduled with each of the schools coaches in home. Chike Amajoyi is down to UW, and Stanford after visiting the Tree's this past weekend.

Rounding out the Class

The names in bold are A guys who we think have the best chance to commit, and fill out the class. The (B) means they are more of a plan "B" choice, but also consider that Nisby, and Duncan were rated three stars by Scout. If S Hilton Dawson is offered and able to get in that would leave another spot open for a HS player.

OL Paleile, Tomczyk, Weems, Nisby (B)
DT Masifilo, Duncan (B)
DE Smith, Owusu, Knapp (B)
LB Amajoyi, Dennison (B)
DB Dawson (JC), Bolden, Horton

This has been one of the more challenging classes to predict as we go down to the wire because Ty is playing his cards very close to the vest. Most of the services are surprised each week about who is visiting. Expect more surprises over the next two weeks as we are three weeks to signing day. I think we have an excellent class right now, and based by what we have remaining on the board it looks like we will close well.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Let's open with the basketball team that lost two very close games on the road in the Bay Area. What can you say, the team plays hard, they make freshmen mistakes, they don't have a true point guard, and they have lost more than their share of close one's in their first trip through the Pac Ten. WSU in Pullman is up next and the Cougars are looking like a team that can do some damage this March. Hard to believe the reversal of fortune this year as the WSU program is finally back afte taking around twenty years off.

What can Romar do to turn this all around?

I think they need to keep taking their lumps and wait for a true point guard to enroll. I like Pondexter as the small forward, and he has looked impressive, but the loss of Brandon Roy who could run the team from any spot on the floor is one they won't over come. I have been harping about the loss of Joel Smith to injury this season and if he can come back for the second half this will be a different team.

Let's face it, they aren't terrible, just not good enough to win against quality Pac Ten opponents since the conference season started. There is still hope if they can get on a run.

Pac Ten Power Ratings

1. Oregon
2. Arizona
4. Stanford
5. WSU
6. USC
7. California
8. Washington
9. Oregon State
10. Arizona State

Oregon beats Arizona

Aaron Brooks banked a shot over two defenders with 2 seconds left to give Oregon a 79-77 victory over Arizona on Sunday night. Brooks finished with 21 points to lead the Ducks (16-1, 4-1 Pac-10) to their second victory over a Top 10 team in eight days. Oregon beat then-No. 1 UCLA on Jan. 6. Oregon is hot, red hot, and while this team is ayear or two late from arriving they have finally put it together and are the best team in the Pac Ten so far this year. Beating a very good Wildcat team on the road was a statement maker for the Ducks's. It looks like Ernie Kent who was on the hotseat to begin the year won't be going anywhere soon.

Thoughts from the Weekend

Did anyone watch the Seahawk's lose to the Bear's on Sunday? Talk about grasping defeat from victory. To bad for this current team because in the Not For Long League their core players are starting to move past their primes. This was a crippled team that got farther than most expected this year. The rash of injuries really kept them from their potential this year, still they made it interesting taking the superior Bear's to the last tick.

Site Changes

We have switched to the new version of Blogger so when you post you can use your old blogger account name, or select a new Google account name. the new blogger will allow me to run the site better and also improve on the graphics quite a bit. You will see some changes over the next couple of weeks when I have time to spruce it up. Once again thanks to all our daily readers who have been increasing through basketball season. Take the time to post to make the blog better!

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Huskies Fall To Bears

It's beginning to look pretty obvious that despite the overall talent on the team this edition of the Huskies are probably going to be home in March. The Huskies simply have not put together a complete game since LSU visited last month. Simply put the Huskies are losing because they are sloppy, and Romar has not been able to find an answer to it.

Ayinde Ubaka scored six of his 13 points in overtime and Ryan Anderson added 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead California to a 77-69 victory over Washington on Saturday. The Golden Bears pulled away in the extra session after Washington's Justin Dentmon could only make one of two free throws with 0.2 seconds left in regulation with a chance to give the Huskies their first road win of the season.

Ubaka hit a jumper on the first possession of overtime and then scored off a perfect backdoor pass from Omar Wilkes to make it 71-67. Washington (11-6, 1-5) turned the ball over on its first three possessions of the extra session and never threatened after that.

Ryan Anderson extended the lead to six when he rebounded an airball by Theo Robertson and hit a jumper as the shot clock was winding down. After another Huskies miss, Ubaka hit one of two free throws to make it 74-67 with 57.7 seconds left.

Spencer Hawes ended Washington's overtime drought with a hook shot with 47.6 seconds remaining, but the Bears iced it at the foul line and the Huskies didn't score again.
Hawes led the Huskies with 13 points, Dentmon added 12 and Jon Brockman and Ryan Appleby had 11 apiece. After starting the season 10-1, Washington has struggled in Pac-10 play. The Huskies were swept in the Bay Area by Cal and Stanford after opening the conference season with losses in Los Angeles to USC, and UCLA.

Crunch time is crunched time for 2006-2007 Husky Squad. They have great talent, but when is Romar going to be able to extract some poise? This team lacks poise, and concentration in the lat two minutes ,and it has cost them three games in the last two weeks.

Other Pac Ten Action

Arron Afflalo got UCLA's last shot. And with the game in his hands, he came through. Afflalo hit a go-ahead 15-foot jumper with 4 seconds left, Darren Collison scored a career-high 17 points and UCLA rallied in the final 4½ minutes to beat crosstown rival Southern California 65-64 Saturday.

Oregon State cruised by ASU 67-59. Both teams desperately wanted this game. They came in as the only remaining winless Pac-10 teams. Now only the Sun Devils (6-11, 0-6) can claim that distinction.

Washington State had its defense aligned the way it wanted. Stanford had the ball in the hands of its hottest shooter. Anthony Goods hit a long 3-pointer with 3.3 seconds left and matched his career high with 30 points, lifting Stanford to a thrilling 71-68 overtime victory over Washington State on Saturday.

Oregon plays Arizona on Sunday in the conference showcase game of the week.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Huskies cut down by Tree's

We have a close first half that picked up it's pace over the last few minutes. Washington is hanging in their by dominating on the offensive boards despite the fact they are only shooting 48% to Stanford's sizzling 60% from the field. Stanford holds a 38-36 lead at the half. Washington's key going into the second half is to play better defense and cool Stanford who is led by Anthony Good's 13 points. Goods came out and lit UW up bu hitting his first five shots. Washington is led by Brockman who has 10. Hawes doesn't often face someone his own size and so far, Robin Lopez is getting the better of him this evening. UW needs to find a way to turn Hawes around. This is a winnable game and UW needs to find a way to win it.

Stanford started the half out hot, but Washington led by Brockman's inside game, and Oliver's hot shooting have taken a 60-55 lead with 11 minutes remaining in the first half. Huskies are still clinging to a 4 point lead with 8:33 left 66-62. Brockman is playing like a man possessed tonigh and has 21 for the game so far. This one is going to be a barn burner over the last five minutes. The Huskies have 22 points from the bench so far tonight. Spencer just drew two quick fouls, and is going to have to sit for a bit with 4 with five minutes left in the game.

2:45 to go and UW leads 71-70, Stanford has been upping the pressure in the last minute and UW has been turning it over and not rotating the ball around the perimeter. Romar has called a timeout to calm his team down, and keep the wheels on. By the way Washington has lost 13 straight at Maples, tough place to get a win.

2:30 left and Stanford has taken the lead 72-71. Hawes is fouled qith 1:35 left and heads to the line and bricks both of them, an ugly stretch for the Dawgs. Dentmon goes coast to coast, is fouled, and hits the FT to put UW ahead 74-72 with 1:15 left. Stanford scores a two to score, Hawes is called for the foul, and leaves the game. Stanford takes a 75-74 lead. Tough play, UW had the rebound, but Brockman was stripped and the scramble ensued.

37.2 seconds left in the game and Washington has the ball. Pondexter drives and draws a foul with 29.6 left. He hits one and it is 75-75. Appleby fouls immediately for no apparent reason, and Stanford goes to the line, dumb play. Stanford converts, and leads 77-75 with 24.2 seconds left. UW throws the ball away and Stanford wins 78-77.

Tough loss and you can chalk it up to getting sloppy on the outside. Great game, tough loss, and now the Huskies are in 1-4 hole that is going to be really tough to climb out of.

Spencer Hawes was dominated tonight, the frosh still has some lessons to learn.

Other Pac Ten Action

Arizona forward Marcus Williams shrugged off his contribution after scoring a career-high 27 points in the 10th-ranked Wildcats' 83-72 victory over Oregon State on Thursday night.

Aaron Brooks finished with 16 for the Duck's who topped ASU 60-55.

WSU easily handled California 73-56. Kyle Weaver had 14 points, a career-high 10 assists and six rebounds, and No. 22 Washington State won playing as a ranked team for the first time in nearly 24 years, beating California 73-56 on Thursday night.

Coming up this weekend

Arizona and Oregon face off in the league's premier game of the week.

UCLA takes on USC at their new home arena. This should be their first sellout.

The formerly ranked Huskies take on California.

Ranked WSU takes on Stanford

Arizona State battles Oregon St in a battle of the basement.

Huskies take on the Tree

We are only four games into the conferece season but 1-3 Washington is feeling the pinch as they head on to the road to face Stanford, and California this weekend. The Huskies have the ability to sweep this road trip against what is considered more bottom of the conference teams, but Cal, and Stanford have proven theya re going to be competing for a spot to the big dance this year. Only Oregon State, and ASU seem to be out of it from a talent standpoint.

This is a big trip for UW which has suffered on the road so far this season. The Huskies need to sweep if they want to keep themselves in contention for a conference title. The team that wins this conference is likely to have as many as 4-5 defeats, so Washington is running out of slack in the very early going. UW needs a sweep here, a win at WSU, and then they need to beat the Oregon schools at home like they are supposed to. That would give the Huskies a 6-3 record heading into the second half of the season, and a fighting chance for the title. To win the title you need to split on the road, and win at home. Since the Huskies were swept by the LA schools they need to pick up some immediate traction on the road to make up for it.

Does this team have what it takes?

I would say right now, no. I don't see how they are going to develop markedly better play around the perimeter and overall team defense. This team lacks a true point guard and some defensive muscle. How the Huskies do in the next three games will give us a serious indication of where they are going to end up this season.

Picking up the Final Pieces in Recruiting

Washington has given out 23 scholarships and has five to six left to go as we near the end of recruiting season. This is the time that drives most recruiting followers crazy because there are still some big time decision makers left on the board that can up the ante in the class. UW can only take five more September enrollees. If we go over 28 in this class it will be because we close a Spring eligible JC or prep school guy who would count towards 2006. Tongues is a possibility, as is Dawson.

Historically Washington doesn't close, or finish very well in January. The bulk, and quality of the class is usually determined a week before Christmas. Usually the guys we end up with in January are the types of guys who fill out the class like OL Mark Armelin who committed last night. He was way off the radar like Mike Sedillo was last year. Armelin, and Sedillo were obvious plan B guys. When Pou Palelei possibly dropped Washington on Friday UW moved into sign Armelin.

DT....Matt Masifilo, Tyrone Duncan (Duncan hasn't been offered yet, but he is the back up to Masifilo. Tyrone is probably the best bet if Matt chooses Stanford, or Cal and they take another DL. Duncan could also play offense if needed and his chances of being offered go up if UW doesn't get another OL . Masifilo hasn't announced a favorite, but is waiting to meet the new Stanford coaches. Ty of course will be in Hawaii to visit him next week.)

OL....Pou Palelei, Darrion Weems, Mike Tomczyk (UW would love to take one of these guys, but if all three decide to go elsewhere they will just wait for next year. Weems is most likely to head to Florida, while Tomczyk leans more toward Louisville. The Huskies haven't given up on Palelei either who was recently attracted to Texas A&M, and Arizona St. Washington is working these guys hard.)

DE....Scott Smith, Useka Uweka, Dan Knapp (Smith who surprised us last week is reportedly on the verge of committing.)

LB....Chike Amajoyi (He is choosing between UW and Stanford. The Huskies really don't need another LB but he is an athlete worth having, and he really likes UW. He would be hard to pass up on.)

CB....Eddie Wide, Omar Bolden (Wide seems to be the Huskies first choice, and they could take Bolden if they think he can play Safety.)

S.....Hilton Dawson, Shane Horton (Neither have written offers yet but UW needs a Safety or two. Dawson is a JC so they are being careful to make sure he can get in by Spring.)

WR....Reggie Dunn, (The Huskies surprised folks with the late pickup of Aaron Goodwin. "The Flea" turned out to be a good January pick up. Logan could always move to Safety so why not take another receiver? Reggie Dunn is a big talent with grade problems, he is scheduled to visit this weekend. We will see if it happens. I wouldn't be surprised for something to pop in late depending on how the chips fall. Remember Anthony Boyles isn't a sure thing.)

Now back to our most recent verbal Mark Armelin. Not much is known about the kid from Mission Hills other than he has the right size, quick feet, and needs to spend a lot of time in the weight room by his own admission. Mike didn't have an offer from any other Pac Ten team, but Pat Hill from Fresno thought enough about him to offer at Fresno State. It will be interesting what the DM staff thinks of his film. I know one thing, and that is Ty, and Tormey are good at finding diamonds in the rough. A team filled up with those rough diamonds finished #5 in the country this year and beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

How is Washington currently doing? We were making a drive for second in the Pac Ten but right now we are around #25 in the country and falling toward the middle of the Pac Ten, but not out of the top 30 nationally.

In the best case scenario UW would finish like this. This would be an exceptionally strong finish that would likely vault UW into the #2-3 spot in recruiting, and perhaps even inside the top 20. A finish like this would fill a lot of future holes with some highly rated talent.

DT Masifilo
DE Smith
LB Amajoyi
CB Wide or Bolden
S Dawson *
OL Tomczyk *
OL Palelei

*Spring Enrollee

I think Washington ends up with something closer to this. Yep, you are looking at it right I don't think we pick up another OL unless they have another plan B guy out there that we don't know about. This isn't a bad way to finish, and will yield a strong class, but you have to like the top option.

DT Duncan
DE Smith
LB Amajoyi
S Dawson*
S Norton
CB Wide or Bolden

* Spring Enrollee

Locker #1 Going into Spring

According to Bob Condotta Jake Locker will be #1 going into Spring because Carl Bonnell has to undergo shoulder surgery that could force him to miss some time to start the session. Good bet that Carl will wear a red jersey throughout most of Spring practice allowing Locker to get most of the work. UW might have a tough time putting any type of a Spring game together with only one active QB on the roster if Carl takes awhile healing.

Keauntea Bankhead

How about a blast from the past. I read an interesting on the former Ballard All Stater that he wanted to enroll at WSU this Fall but still had some work to do academically, and what from I hear physically since he is pretty out of shape at last report. I guess he has put his rap career on hold for now. If he can't get into WSU this Fall he will play at a JC somewhere and open up recruiting again next Winter.

The Lopez Twins

We have to go way back to the days of Bob Bender if you want to research this story. Fortunately Bob Condotta does it in his blog. The Stanford Lopez twins have Washington connections.

In case you've forgotten, Alex Lopez played for the Huskies in the 1994-95 season and into January of the 1995-96 season before transferring due to a lack of playing time. He finished his career at Santa Clara. What I hadn't known was that the entire Lopez family moved to Seattle when Alex first became a Husky, including little brothers Brook and Robin.

Huskies and Cougars both in the top 25 at the same time.

The new rankings are out and the big news locally is that Washington State is in the rankings for the first time since 1983, when it was actually still just the top 20 and George Raveling was the coach and Craig Ehlo a player. Gonzaga has fallen out of the top 25 and hasn't received a single vote. Looks like a lower seed for the Zag's when they hit the tournament. The other Division One team in the state, Eastern Washingon is 8-8 and not likely to make the big dance.

Look for Seattle U to make an announcement this spring that they are headed back to the big time, and will apply for entrance in the WCC. Being a big Chieftain fan since I was a kid, I look forward to their move back to Div One. The scuttling of the SU basketball program was pretty stupid. I went to HS with Clint Richardson, and saw every game he played as a Chieftain. I am sure such former Chief's such as Elgin Baylor, the O'Brien twins, John Tresvant, Eddie Miles, Tom Workman, and Stu Jackson are excited about the return of SU Baketball. Over at gonzaga they have to be uncomfortably nervous even though it will take awhile to build the program. Here is an interesting article on the glory days of Seattle U basketball in the late 60's when they beat UTEP.

A Couple of Site Changes

If you look over in the side column we have added links to Boise St, Ohio St, and Syracuse football blogs. Those are the out of conference opponents for Washington next year. I think I just might take in the Syracuse game next year since it is on this side of the country.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Around the Pac Ten Blogs

We only have 5-6 spots to fill in football recruiting, and I will have some analysis on that before the weekend. Some pretty interesting stuff going on every day so tune into Dawgman for the latest in recruiting news.

The Pac Ten is probably the best conference basketball wise in the country this year so we will be paying special basketball all the way to the Final Four in March. This past weekend was pretty exciting and Washington needs to really step it up on this upcoming road trip to the Bay Area.

It's time to take a stroll down Pac Ten Alley as we start the New Year, and switch gears to basketball.

At USC they are celebrating a win over Michigan, trying to keep their head coach, and realizing just how close they were to winning the last two national championships.

"Though coach Pete Carroll says he's committed to staying at Southern California, he seems intrigued by the ideas of Miami Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga.Carroll said Tuesday that he had a compelling, four-hour meeting with Huizenga in Costa Rica over the weekend"

At UCLA they are getting over there first loss of the year in basketball to the Oregon Duck's.

Also Frank Burlison has a good column in the Daily News today, which goes over some of the errors that cost the Bruins last Saturday's game. Although I somewhat disagree in the generalization that Bruins didn't defend Oregon well. As I mentioned before I think Bruins defense was fine, especially in the second half. We have to give Oregon credit for being on fire and being a step faster in first half.

At Arizona they talk about the need for a playoff in football.

You hear it all the time, “I oppose a playoff because our kids will miss too much time in class.” In the 51 days Ohio St. had off, fall semester ended, winter break began, winter break ended and school started again. Both Ohio St. and Florida RE-STARTED school BEFORE the national championship game!

Arizona St is losing Zach Miller early to the NFL.

Todd Heap never played for Dirk Koetter. Now Dennis Erickson will start his Arizona State coaching career without Zach Miller.Six years almost to the day that All-America tight end Heap announced he was leaving ASU early for the NFL, Miller did the same. Both announcements coincided with coaching changes, although Miller said he would have been glad to play for new tight ends coach Dan Cozzetto, whose daughter is a former soccer teammate of Miller's sister at Desert Vista High.

In Oregon they celebrate knocking off #1.

This game had it all for the Ducks. Fantastic offensive plays followed by tenacious defense and the game wasn't as close as the final score would indicate.

At Oregon St they celebrate the arrival of CJ Giles and a victory in the Sun Bowl.

Said Giles: "The main thing I want to do here at Oregon State is graduate, and the second thing I want to do is help change the program and get it winning like the old days. When I visited OSU, from the players to coaches to the students, it felt like home. They greeted me with open arms. I'm very thankful for this opportunity. I was young and immature at Kansas. Now I'm here and I'm going to grow up. People grow from their mistakes. I have learned to look at the big picture and I'm going to do all the little things to succeed. The things that got me into trouble in Lawrence, I've learned from that and I know what I need to change."

At California they are savoring the Holiday Bowl win and laughing at Al Davis.

Cal scored on seven of 10 possessions en route to an easy 45-10 win. The Aggies forced a punt and had one interception off Nate Longshore, but Cal's other seven possessions were automatic scores. The stats aren't pretty, either. Cal ran 56 plays on offense and picked up 476 total yards, good for 8.5 yards per play. Longshore completed just under 80% of his 24 attempts. Marshawn Lynch ran for 111 yards, and his backup, Justin Forsett, even ran for 124 yards.

Stanford gets a big win over Virginia

Leave it to the Stanford men's basketball team to spoil things for Virginia.
The Cardinal ousted the Cavaliers from the National Invitation Tournament in March, routing them in an opening-round game at Maples Pavilion. On Sunday, some 2,900 miles from home, Stanford handed Virginia its first loss at the new John Paul Jones Arena, 76-75. And this one came on a last-second shot in a tense, back-and-forth contest.

In football they are keeping a couple of key players.

New Stanford Coach Jim Harbaugh got the most important commitments of his first recruiting season: receivers Evan Moore and Mark Bradford have agreed to return in ‘07, the school announced Wednesday.

The Cougars at Washington St are excited about a big win over Arizona and a pretty clear path already paved to the big dance.

And, a funny thing happened to #7 Arizona on the way to their 3-0 start in Pac-10 play. Yes, WSU won this one, and whaddaya know, the Cougs are 14-2?? Amazing, amazing OT win for them, as this season is really starting to set up as something to remember.

Monday, January 08, 2007

Florida off to an early big lead

Looks like this one is not going to be a defensive struggle. Florida raced off to a 21-7 in the first half but Ohio State has countered closing the gap to 21-14. The underdog always need to spring out to have a chance in one of these contests, but Ohio State is hanging in there so far. Ted Ginn Jr. returned the opening kickoff 93 yards for a TD. It's a prelude of things to come in the BCS title game, as Florida responds with TDs on its first three drives and Ohio State answers (again) to trail 21-14. This one is going to be a knockdown drag out fight. Nice to see another contest worthy of being fought for the national championship.

Florida just kicked a FG with 6:00 to go in the second half and has taken a 24-14 lead over Ohio State. Ohio State just gave up the ball on downs on their own 30 yard line after going for it on 4th down deep in their own territory with 3 minutes to go in the second half. Florida is rolling for another score before the half which will really put OSU behind the eight ball going into the second half. Ohio State is beginning to look like a beaten team. Kind of out of character for Tressel to do that, and he is going to criticized for it tomorrow. Florida kicks another FG and goes up 27-14 with 1:53 left in thr second half.

Florida picks up turnover on the first play of the next Ohio State possession inside the OSU twenty. Florida is in great shape to pick up another score before the half. This is self destruction at it's finest. Tebow throws a short pass for the TD and Florida goes up 34-14 going into the half.
Wow, what a complete collapse by Ohio State. It isn't like Florida is that good, Ohio State is handing them the game on a silver platter.

The third quarter has been boring in comparison to the rest of the game. Ohio State's offense can't get anything going and Florida is just trying to keep the clock moving.

41-14 Florida with around ten minutes left in the game. This was a real butt kicking for Ohio State and the Big Ten.

The Monday Morning Wash

BCS Championship Game

Tonight Ohio State, and Florida play for all the marbles in the BCS Championship game in the first year of the four plus one concept which added an additional game so the bowls played a week before could go with more traditional matchups.

This year Phoenix gets the extra game in the series and it should provide quite a few occupied hotel rooms in that area after the third bowl game the area has hosted over the past few weeks. While Phoenix is a Pac Ten city, and has been since the 1970's, the Pac Ten still does not have a presence in the area.

Picking Ohio State, and Florida has provided little controversy this year as USC, and Michigan eliminated themselves the last week of the season. Boise State may say they deserve to be here too, but I truly believe we have the right two teams playing for the title.

Both Ohio State's and Florida's rosters are chock-full of premier athletes, and senior quarterbacks who have experience in big games. Ohio State has the advantage in this matchup because its running game is much better than Florida's. Antonio Pittman has gained 1,171 yards and 13 touchdowns on the ground. The Buckeyes' backs will attempt to take some of the pressure off quarterback Troy Smith. That may be easier said than done; Florida boasts the nation's sixth-best rushing defense, holding opponents to less than 75 yards per game on average. Smith's mobility will help against Florida's pass-rush, which has been good all year. Smith should also look to put the ball in the air against Florida's weak secondary. Defensively, Ohio State has not faced the type of spread offense that Florida runs. The Buckeyes will have to work hard in space and cover the Gators' speedy receivers. Ohio State's defense has been stout all season and the offense continually steps up in big games.

A couple of things to look for

Ohio State shocked the Michigan defense by aligning in a no-back, five-wide receiver empty set. It was in this formation 24 snaps in the game on Nov. 18 in Columbus. The Buckeyes ended up having 503 total yards of offense on 70 plays. Florida will not be surprised by the five-wide receiver set as Michigan was, but how the Gators defend it will be a key in the national championship game.

Urban Meyer always has done a great job setting up reverse-action plays and gimmicks particularly against fast, aggressive defenses such as Ohio State's. Florida always will have a game-plan with a couple of "deceptives," or special plays, off of its most frequently run offensive plays. For example, the Gators always have run a lot of speed or down the line option so the reverse off of the option often has been a weapon.

Weekend Recruiting Update

The Huskies changed things up over the holidays opting to bring 9-10 players this week, and 8-9 next week rather than doing it all in one weekend. Folk, and Johnson previously committed, and most say that with Yarber leaving that Johnson needed some maintenance. UW always puts on great trips, and Ty is a guy who impresses the players, and their parents so I think his commitment is safe with all the playing time available.

Owuzu, and Tomzyk are the guys from the Hun School in New Jersey. Neither are locks to attend UW, but Ty got their attention when he went back to visit Sylvester. Tapping the East Coast Prep school is something Ty picked up when he was at Notre Dame. Both had a good time on their visit but will continue to check out other schools before they make a decision. Petrino leaving Louisville to coach the Atlanta Falcons may open the door to us signing these two players.

Darrion Weems is a big target for the offensive line and made his visit a week earlier than expected. By all accounts he had a good trip, and Washington will be one of his finalists. Weems would be a very big get for the Huskies, but Oregon, and Florida are his other final two choices.

The 6'5 235 lb Knapp is a sleeper from Nevada who has some good offers. Not sure if he will be a TE, or DE. I would bet more on DE. He doesn't have an offer yet but had a great trip, and Washington is at the top of his list.

Horton is a kid who came up before Christmas who can play DB, and QB. Not sure on the status of whether ha has an offer or not.

Amajoyi is a kid who is down between UW, and Stanford. Stanford says he can play wherever he wants, and Washington likes him at LB. I am not sure how serious Washington is about this kid since they are pretty full at both LB, and RB. He is the kind of athlete though that you make room for, but I think he is headed to Stanford.

Texas DB Victor Aiyewa showed up for a suprise visit. The Huskies haven't offered him yet so he is probably a fall back guy at this point. Not much info coming out on this guy other than he visited.

The 6'7 235 lb Smith is a guy is a new guy on the Husky radar. He would be a nice bookend to his fellow Islander Aldrich. He might visit Oregon next week, but almost committed to UW over the weekend which was a surprise because he didn't have UW listed very high before his visit. Willingham will visit him at home on the 15th to seal the deal.

DE Owuzu.....................Hun School
OT Tomczyk.................Hun School
DB Aiyewa.....................Texas
TE Knapp......................Nevada
S Horton........................California
DE Smith.......................Hawaii
OT Weems....................California
RB Amajoyi...................California
RB Johnson (Verbal)...California
K Folk (Verbal)............California

There was a rumor that Nevada OL Pou Palelei was going to commit over the weekend during the Army Alll Star game but those rumors turned out to be false. He will decide between UW, and ASU. He hasn't made any visits yet as he continues to get his academics in order. CB Eddie Wide is still on the board and will decide between UW, and Utah. Nobody committed this weekend, but a few of these guys are close and could pull the trigger in the coming week.

Pac Ten Weekend Basketball Roundup

Oregon vs UCLA

Oregon narrowly defeated UCLA to give them their first loss of the season on Saturday.
In 1974, Ernie Kent played for an Oregon team that upset No. 1 UCLA. Thirty-three years later, Kent sobbed when his Ducks again knocked off the top-ranked Bruins. "This is a together basketball team," the Oregon coach said after the 16th-ranked Ducks handed UCLA its first loss of the season, 68-66 on Saturday. "Their spirit is unbelievable." Aaron Brooks scored 25 points, including the game-winning jumper with 13 seconds left for Oregon (14-1, 2-1 Pac-10). That was the Ducks' only field goal over the final 7 minutes.

USC vs Oregon St

USC just took apart Oregon State, this one wasn't pretty. The Trojans are a tourney team. Lodrick Stewart had a career-high 28 points including 20 in the first half to lead Southern California to a 91-46 Pacific-10 Conference win Saturday over Oregon State.
Taj Gibson added 20 points and five rebounds for the Trojans (13-4, 3-1 Pac-10), who completed a Beaver State sweep that started with an 84-82 victory at No. 16 Oregon on Thursday. Angelo Tsagarakis had 10 points to lead Oregon State (8-8, 0-3), which opened the conference schedule with three straight home games.

UW vs Arizona St

UW snuck by Arizona St moving to 1-3 on the young season in a lethargic showing against ASU. UW still hasn't solved any problems despite getting by the lowly the lowly Devils. We have a recap in a previous post this weekend. Appleby was the hero in this one as everyone in the conference is now sagging in around Hawes.

WSU vs Arizona

WSU is one of the more interesting teams in the conference because there style of play gives them a chance to beat anyone on any given night. Daven Harmeling scored a career high 28 points to help Washington State beat No. 7 Arizona 77-73 in overtime on Saturday. Arizona (12-2, 3-1 Pac-10) tied the score at 67 to force overtime, but was outscored 10-6 in the extra period to see its 12-game winning streak snapped. Washington State (14-2, 3-1) had not beaten such a highly ranked opponent at home since topping No. 6 UCLA in 1983. The Cougars have now topped 13 wins for the first time since 1995-96. Harmeling sank 9-of-15 shots, including 7-of-11 3-pointers. Kyle Weaver added 15 and Robbie Cowgill 13 for the Cougars. Mustafa Shakur scored 19 points and Marcus Williams added 18 for Arizona, which came in averaging 87 points per game.

Stanford Vs Virginia

Lawrence Hill made a driving floater with nine-tenths of a second to play Sunday night, producing the 14th lead change in a game that was close throughout and giving Stanford a 76-75 victory against Virginia. The Cardinal (9-4) trailed 75-74 after Virginia's J.R. Reynolds made one of two free throws with 9.4 seconds left. But they inbounded the ball, got it to Hill in the corner and he drove, making a short jumper that sat on the front of the rim and fell.

Pac Ten Basketball Power Ratings

These are our first basketball power ratings of the year and it is obviously pretty inconclusive at this point after the upsets this week. The Pac Ten is very tight this year and whoever wins the conference will be battle scarred by the end of the season. You have eight teams that could make the dance, but six will likely be picked when it is all said, and done.

1. Oregon..................Playing their best ball in years.
2. UCLA....................Bruin's fall to Duck's
3. Arizona.................Probably the best team in the league, but they fell in Pullman.
4. USC.......................This team is on the rise playing good ball.
5. Washington St.....This years sleeper got a big win this weekend.
6. Washington..........This is a team just getting by looking for an identity.
7. Stanford................Nice win over Virginia
8. California..............The Bear's are on the fringe.
9. Oregon St.............Going nowhere after blowout loss to USC.
10. Arizona St..........Gave UW a game.

Saban takes Alabama job

Nick Saban, lured to Tuscaloosa by an eight-year package worth a guaranteed $32 million (plus an additional $700,000 to $800,000 annually in bowl-game bonuses), said "my heart was to go back to college" but felt he left the Miami Dolphins in better shape than he found them two years ago despite a 15-17 record. "What I realized in the last two years is that we love college coaching because of the ability that it gives you to affect people, young people," he said, with wife Terry and daughter Kristen looking on. "If I knew that my heart was someplace else in what I wanted to do, I don't think it would be fair to the organization if I stayed." The well-traveled Saban said his next stop would not be another school but retirement to Lake Burton in north Georgia, where he has a home.

Petrino Leaves Louisville for the Atlanta Falcons

Louisville coach Bobby Petrino has accepted a five-year, $24 million offer from the Atlanta Falcons to become their new coach. Petrino met with his Louisville players Sunday night to let them know he was going to Atlanta. Before the season, Petrino signed a 10-year, $25 million contract. Petrino had previously interviewed with Auburn, LSU, Notre Dame and the Oakland Raiders for other jobs, but announced in August that he would be at Louisville for the long haul.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

UW gets in the win column against ASU.

Ryan Appleby made six 3-pointers and finished with 20 points to lead Washington (No. 20 ESPN/USA Today, No. 24 AP) past Arizona State 64-53 on Saturday night.

Washington (11-4, 1-3), a preseason contender for the Pac-10 title, was one of three teams without a win in the league entering the game. The Huskies lost their first three Pac-10 games to Southern California, UCLA and Arizona, getting outscored by 12.7 points per game and allowing their opponents to shoot 56 percent.

Jeff Pendergraph scored 18 points and freshman guard Derek Glasser had 13 for the Sun Devils (6-9, 0-4), who shot just 34.7 percent. Arizona State (6-8, 0-4) has lost five straight.

Appleby made two 3's in the final 5 minutes to help hold off the Sun Devils. Jon Brockman added 16 points for the Huskies.

Spencer Hawes, Washington's 7-foot freshman center, was held to just nine points. He was averaging a team-leading 16.5 points.

Pendergraph had 12 points in the first half but Appleby hit three 3-pointers to help Washington take a 31-28 lead at the break.

The Huskies led 50-44 with just under 5 minutes left when Appleby connected from behind the arc to extend the lead to nine. He hit another big 3 exactly 2 minutes later for a 56-46 lead with 2:36 remaining.

The Huskies, the second-highest scoring team in the conference at 86.3 points per game, were held to a season low in points. They shot just 42.6 percent from the floor.