Your 2008-2009 Cougar Basketball Schedule

Tentatively: (Source: Pac-10 website)

Sat., Nov. 15 Legends Classic (1)
Tues., Nov. 18 Legends Classic (1)

Fri., Nov. 21 Sacramento State
Sun., Nov. 23 Mississippi Valley State

Fri., Nov. 28 at Legends Classic (2)
Sat., Nov. 29 at Legends Classic (2)
Tues., Dec. 2 Idaho State
Sat., Dec. 6 Baylor (3)
Wed., Dec. 10 Gonzaga
Sat., Dec. 13 vs. Montana State (4)
Sat., Dec. 20 at Idaho
Sat., Dec. 27 at LSU
Sat., Jan. 3 Washington
Thurs., Jan. 8 California
Sat., Jan. 10 Stanford

Thurs., Jan. 15 at Oregon State
Sat., Jan. 17 at Oregon
Thurs., Jan. 22 UCLA
Sat., Jan. 24 USC

Thurs., Jan. 29 at Arizona State
Sat., Jan. 31 at Arizona
Thurs., Feb. 5 at Stanford
Sun., Feb. 7 at California
Thurs., Feb. 12 Oregon
Sat., Feb. 14 Oregon State

Thurs., Feb. 19 at USC
Sat., Feb. 21 at UCLA
Thurs., Feb. 26 Arizona
Sat., Feb. 28 Arizona State
Sat., Mar. 8 at Washington
Mar. 11-14 at Pac-10 Tournament (5)
(1) Legends Classic, Pullman, Wash.
(2) Legends Classic, Newark, N.J.
(3) Big 12/Pac-10 Hardwood Series
(4) Seattle, Wash. (KeyArena)
(5) Los Angeles, Calif. (Staples Center)

Home games in bold.

Alright, let’s talk about this. After the jump.

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Here’s One Reason to Get Excited About Craig Robinson

Well, for us, anyway. Not sure if it applies to Beaver fans.

“At the strong urging of his father, he resisted overtures from major conference teams like the University of Washington and Purdue University to attend Princeton.”

Link to article

In regards to the Obama connection (he’s Barack’s brother-in-law), I was wondering whether that would be a positive or negative in Corvallis. Turns out its probably neither (among students, anyway) On Facebook 43% of the OSU network have no political affiliation listed. Next on the list are moderate (16%), liberal (15%), and conservative (14%). I would make a joke about OSU and their apathy, but those are very similar stats to WSU (43% unlisted, 16% liberal, 16% moderate, 13% conservative).

Facebook in no way is meant to be used as a scientific tool. Scary stat of the day: Grey’s Anatomy, a “medical” drama, is the #2 TV show among Cougar facebookers. Family Guy is #1.

The Strange Situation at Oregon State

Reports are surfacing that the Oregon State job has been offered to none other than Craig Robinson, head coach of Brown University.

The moves OSU have been making are just mind-boggling when it comes to basketball. First, they retain Jay John for this last season despite the fact that their best player (Sasa Cuic) chose playing in Europe over finishing his college career. Then, midway through the season they decide that now is the time to fire John, replacing him with Kevin Mouton on an interim basis. The Beavers finished 0-18 in the Pac-10, the first team to do so in conference history.

But hope was on the way! San Diego head coach and former Gonzaga assistant Bill Greer was showing interest. Maybe they could go after St. Mary’s coach Randy Bennett. Hey, if push came to shove, they could always go right up I-5 and nab up-and-coming coach Ken Bone of Portland State.

But now this? I don’t mean any disrespect to Mr. Robinson, who I’m sure is a fine coach, but why OSU thinks two years of Ivy League experience makes someone a good Pac-10 candidate is beyond me. Isn’t part of the problem that they can’t recruit the west coast well enough? Robinson’s name being linked to the Providence job makes a lot more sense for both parties involved.

Who knows? Maybe (Edit: it’s official, he’s the next Beaver coach) he’ll bring back the Beavs to the Ralph Miller glory days. But I don’t see why he would, when there’s a perfectly good coach waiting in Portland with NCAA tournament experience and recruiting ties that aren’t 2,000 miles away.

Sometimes you have to wonder if OSU isn’t punting the basketball program in favor of football and baseball. Jay John was the lowest paid coach in the conference last year – and thanks in part to Tony’s raise it wasn’t even close.

Top 10 Cougar Plays: #8

January 26: Kyle Weaver snuffs out James Harden’s attempt at a game winning drive to the basket.

Game Recap

It was deja vu all over again.

Game Recap – February 3, 2007

Without a doubt, the two most excruciating wins of the past two years have both been by 1 point at Arizona State. In 2007, the Cougs scored a total of 12 points in the second half; nearly blowing a halftime advantage of the same amount. A failed inbounds pass gave ASU a wide open look for three at the end of the game. They missed, and the Cougs survived.

One year later, the Cougars failed to score anything in the final 3:11 of the game, nearly blowing a 10 point lead with just over 8 minutes remaining. James Harden drove to the basket with 42 seconds left. Kyle Weaver, in an eerily similar way to how he defended Brandon Roy in the final seconds at Hec Ed in 2006, took the charge. After a missed shot by Rochestie, Harden drove to the rim one more time. He may have been fouled. He probably was fouled. But Weaver stopped him from getting to the hoop. The shot never fell, and the Cougs survived.

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So Long, Brothers Lopez

Stanford’s Robin and Brook Lopez are headed to the NBA. They will sign with agents.

In related news, the Pac-10 has just rescinded four foul calls that they were going to preemptively call against Aron Baynes next season in the Cougars’ home and home series with the Cardinal. Pac-10 commisioner Tom Hansen said that the number would have only dropped to two had just Brook declared for the draft.

Third Time, Still a Charm

The Cougs have won their third straight over Oregon, 75-70.

I thought WSU had a very good chance to win this game, but I’m surprised at how they did it. If you had told me Wednesday night that UO would shoot over 50%, I would’ve almost guaranteed a Cougar loss. But the offense prevailed by opening a 20-point first half lead that was just enough to stave off a furious Duck comeback in the closing minutes.

There’s something about the Ducks that brings out the best in Derrick Low; last night he was phenomenal again with 18 points on 7 of 13 shooting. He was one of four Cougar starters to score in double-figures.

WSU now faces Stanford for a chance to advance to their first-ever Pac-10 championship game. I would make a pregame post, but you know the story here: Lopez twins vs. Baynes/Cowgill, a chance to avenge two tough regular season losses, and a very realistic opportunity to improve seeding going into the Big Dance. The selection committee has said they plan to put greater emphasis on conference tournaments this year; let’s hope it works out in the Cougs’ favor.

Also, a bit of women’s basketball news to pass along: Katelan Redmon will be leaving the University of Washington. Redmon was the young woman who had originally asked to be released from her LOI after Washington fired June Daughery last spring. However, Todd Turner denied the request, and Redmon played for the Huskies, earning a spot this year on the conference all-freshmen team. The only question remaining now is whether or not she will rejoin Daugherty and become a Coug. I certainly hope so.

Yesterday I had a chance to visit the Roman Art collection sent over from the Louvre at the Seattle Art Museum. But I know what you’re all thinking: what does Tyrone Willingham think of modern-day football armor versus Roman gladiatorial armor?

Well, worry no longer! Thanks to the SAM’s free audio tour of the exhibit you can hear Willingham and Governor Christine Gregoire share their thoughts on completely random parts of the gallery. I’m not making this up.

Unfortunately, Coach Willingham does not share his thoughts on why modern football gear fails to protect his Husky defense from an Alex Brink 36-yard touchdown pass.

Finally, about that ‘Scholarship Chart’ link that you see now at the top of the page and along the sidebar. This was a project of mine to help me sort out the basketball team’s scholarship information over the next few years, as it currently stands. Thanks to some help from the Cougfan Forums it is now finished to the best of my knowledge. However, feel free to pass along any information or suggestions that you may have regarding the chart in the comments section.

Stadium Way’s Pac-10 Awards

Congratulations to Derrick Low and Kyle Weaver, who were both named to the All-Pac 10 teams announced today. Weaver makes an appearance on both the all-defensive team and 2nd team all-conference. Low was third team all-conference. Robbie Cowgill was honorable mention all-defensive team and Aron Baynes was honorable mention all-conference.

While I respect the decision of the ten voting coaches, my opinion of the best in the Pac-10 is different. Here now, are my awards for the conference season:

Player of the Year: Ryan Anderson, Cal. Kevin Love was the selection of the coaches, using the time-honored formula of [best team + best player = MVP]. Yet Anderson averaged 4.1 PPG more than Love while only averaging 1 less rebound per game (9.9). Anderson was also second in FT% and shot 41% from behind the arc. You also can’t put all the fault on Ryan for a 6-12 finish in a loaded conference. And even if you consider the W-L record a factor in POY, you have to remember that Love has much better talent around him. Ultimately, POY is an individual award, and Anderson was the best individual player.

SW All Pac-10 Team:

G Kyle Weaver, WSU
F Ryan Anderson, Cal
F Brook Lopez, Stanford
C Kevin Love, UCLA
F Jon Brockman, Washington

I really disagree with the selection of O.J. Mayo by the coaches. He has NBA talent, yes, but he was second in scoring and didn’t do a whole lot else despite leading the conference in minutes played per game. It was more difficult for me to leave Harden off the team with his defensive ability (the league leader in steals).

SW All-Freshmen Team

G O.J. Mayo, USC
G Jerryd Bayless, Arizona
G James Harden, ASU
F Davon Jefferson, USC
C Kevin Love, UCLA

Easy. I agree with the coaches wholeheartedly on this one.

Freshman of the Year – Kevin Love, UCLA

Defensive Player of the Year – Kyle Weaver, WSU

Coach of the Year – Herb Sendek, ASU

Trent Johnson?? Seriously?? All he had to do was sit back and watch Brook Lopez and the rest of Stanford’s talent go to work. If you could make the case that any other coach in the conference would have the same success with the same players, that coach shouldn’t be coach of the year. Also, explain to me the idea of honoring the first coach that I have ever seen that allows his players to yell during other team’s free-throw shots. Shouldn’t class be a consideration?

But I digress – Sendek took an ASU program in shambles and made it competitive last year and a bubble team this year. He never deserved to be fired from NC State.

Stadium Way’s Unconventional Awards

Underrated Player of the Year – Maarty Leunen, Oregon

Overrated Player of the Year – O.J. Mayo, USC – I like O.J. Mayo, to be perfectly honest. He’s a great talent. What I don’t like is the buildup he got from ESPN while guys like Weaver and Anderson fly under the radar. He is not the next LeBron; just a very talented freshman who has a chance to be a great player.

Most Likable Player – Kyle Weaver, WSU

Most Hateable Player – Brook Lopez, Stanford – Chest-thumped his way over the clear preseason favorite for this award, Ryan Appleby. If you listen closely, you can still hear him yelling at an opposing crowd for no apparent reason.

Most Likable Coach – Tony Bennett, WSU

Most Hateable Coach – Tie: Kevin O’Neill, Arizona; Trent Johnson, Stanford

Best Player in a Supporting Role – Tie: Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, UCLA; Robbie Cowgill, WSU

Selflessness Award – Taylor Rochestie, WSU. He led the conference with a 2.90 assist/turnover ratio. At one point, the ratio was as high as 5.

Lemming Award – Oregon State. 0-18. Will there be chants of 1-18 radiating from the Beaver State with a win in the conference tourney?