Monday, February 19, 2007

The Monday Morning Wash

Tough week if you are a Husky basketball fan after two very close losses to two top ten teams. UW should have won both games, but handling the ball, and getting shots to drop in the last few minutes of the game have been the problem for the Dawg's.

Despite the two tough losses the team is actually getting better, and could cause some problems in the Pac Ten tournament because they can beat anyone on a given night. What's up next is a series on the road in Oregon, followed by USC, and UCLA at home. Even if UW wins out it is becoming very doubtful that they will get an invitation to the big dance unless they win the tournament.

Washington is really only a player, or two away right now from becoming what they were supposed to be, and that is a top ten team that can contend for all the marbles. I like Appleby, but he is a real defensive liability who is one dimensional on offense, and Dentmon while showing some flashes, isn't a point guard, he is more suited to the two spot. The loss of Joel Smith has really hurt this team, but even if they had him they still needed someone to run the point.

Next year's recruiting class while impressive does not include immediate help at point guard because Isaiah Thomas is going to have to do another year in prep school to get eligible. You have to wonder if Romar tries to bring in some JC help to solve the problem for next years team.

Marv Harshman's last Washington teams had similar problem's, great front court including the amazing versatility of Detlef Schrempf, but the lack of a true point guard kept that team from going to the Final Four.

I have to agree with Romar...the team is making progress, and is a lot better despite the losses then they were a month ago. It wasn't that long ago that a possible 18-20 win BB season was out of reach, now it seems to be a disappointment. It will be an interesting final three week's, and I am not ready to count these kid's out yet even though they are basically on life support.

Oregon State, and Oregon up Next

The Huskies play on Thursday in Corvallis against the meager Beaver's, and then head down the road to Eugene to play the Duck's on Saturday. I think UW comes out, and sweeps this series to keep a glimmer of hope going concerning the tournament. The Duck's earlier this year were one of the hottest teams in the country, but after being swept on their Washington trip they have been decidedly slumping. The PIT of course is one of the toughest places to play in the country, but I think we are due for a road win over a quality team.

Weekly Husky Poll

We asked the question who will lead the Huskies in rushing on 2007, and the readers winner is Louis Rankin.

Michael Houston was the early leader but since there is a pretty good chance he won't be with us next year, the readers reversed, and went with the senior, Louis Rankin. Still no official word from a credible source concerning Houston's future which makes me think that he still has a chance to stick around.

I like some of the skill set that Louis Rankin brings to the table, but he just hasn't proven to be an every down back, and he has worn down significantly by mid season every year since he has been on the squad.

I have seen Hasty play in HS, and he can be a player, but I think it is going to be difficult for him to regain the momentum he had on the scout team when he arrived. Did James lose speed during his layoff when he couldn't afford to lose any? Hasty will be an interesting player to watch this Spring.

Hasty is a kid that could end up at Safety if enough of the frosh beat him out. Curtis Williams, who started his career off at UW as a highly touted RB ended up as a Safety. Curtis had some personal obstacles to overcome before he hit the lineup just like JR.

So that all being said I have to go with one of the Frosh, and I am picking Curtis Shaw who seems to have the most complete skill set of the incoming frosh....just a wild guess, but I really like all five of the kids they brought in this year at RB, and Shaw just comes to mind first.

Spring Sports get off to early start

The Husky Baseball, and Softball seasons started with games in California this week. It is mid February, which isn't exactly Spring at all. The Northern teams tend to head to California to get an early start and try to stay competitive with their Southern cousins.

Junior Caitlin Noble tossed a one-hitter vs. Florida A&M and sophomore Danielle Lawrie struck out a UW record 20 batters vs. USF Sunday as Washington picked up a pair of wins at the USF Wilson Invitational.

Cal Poly scored three runs in the bottom of the ninth to complete a series sweep of the Washington baseball team with a 5-4 win Sunday at Baggett Stadium.

The Husky baseball team's May 4 game against Oregon State has been moved to Safeco Field. If I was in Seattle I would try to take that one in as the Huskies play the defending national champions. I think OSU winning the national championship in baseball, with basically a locally recruited team was one of the stories of the year.

Oregon Hires Booster as AD

The University of Oregon has turned to prominent booster Pat Kilkenny to serve as athletic director for the next two years. One of his priorities will be getting a new basketball arena back on track. Kilkenny, who spent 22 years transforming a small San Diego insurance firm into a $1 billion business, was named Wednesday as the UO's new athletic director, succeeding Bill Moos.

Since 1998, Kilkenny has given $1 million for the construction of the Moshofsky Center practice facility, $1 million for the expansion of Autzen Stadium and $1.5 million for architect's plans for a basketball arena.

Hiring a major booster with no experience to run a college athletic program? We will watch this closely to see hot it plays out. Here is a humorous articles on the subject from The Register Guard.

I have to think this is a solid step towards sanctions at Oregon, and you have to wonder if the President of the University has the ball's to stand up to the booster's since they basically just took control of the entire sports program.

Boise State giving Petersen a Raise

If Boise State football coach Chris Petersen manages to guide the Broncos to another season like last year, his salary will climb above the $1 million mark. But the contract he has agreed to first has to be approved by the state Board of Education, which meets Thursday. Details of the five-year, $4.25 million contract were posted on the board's Web site. It calls for Petersen to receive $850,000 a year. If the Broncos win 12 games, he will receive an additional $161,500. Another $100,000 will be added if the team wins another Bowl Championship Series game like it did at the end of last season.

Boise is expanding their stadium in phases similar to OSU, and moving there coach up to the major league's salary wise. Most observers don't think this school will ever get invited to play in the Pac Ten, but they are building a successful program brick, by brick in this mid sized, and growing Idaho city.

It is all about TV when it come to expansion.

The biggest problem the Bronco's have concerning the Pac Ten is their TV market which is rated only 119th in the country. Reno is #110, Las Vegas #48, Salt Lake is #36, Portland is #23, Denver is #18, while Seattle has climbed to #14.

Omaha of course isn't a huge metropolis, Nebraska has been a national program for over 50 years...they are however only the 75th largest TV market in the country....Spokane, just for comparison is # 77.

At #119 Boise has some work to do, but it will grow a lot quicker in the future than Omaha, or Spokane, but I don't know if Idaho will ever have enough TV sets to be take seriously by the Pac Ten. Still what the Bronco's are doing is pretty remarkable since the school only moved to Division One in the early 90's.

Arkansas AD Frank Broyles to Retire

Frank Broyles announced his retirement Saturday. In 50 years as Arkansas' football coach and athletic director, Broyles built a program with high-profile coaches and top-notch facilities. He told the university's board of trustees Saturday he will retire at the end of the year, ending days of intense speculation about his future. Broyles, a Georgia native, is a member of the College Football Hall of Fame. He was a three-sport star at Georgia Tech and compiled a 144-58-5 record as a head football coach. His most memorable season was probably 1964, when the Razorbacks went 11-0 and were named national champions by The Football Writers Association of America.

Broyles is 82 years old, which is 574 in dog years...he probably was good for another couple of years if the sailing was smooth, but the latest recruiting scandals associated with the football team was probably the determining factor in making him decide to hang them up.

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