Cougar Hoops Roundup

WHO WINS TONIGHT in the big game between Washington State and Washington? The L.A. Times and others weigh in. Meanwhile, the Seattle Times takes a stab at picking the 33 best players in the history of the Pac-10 and commits a couple of titanic mistakes in the process.

First, let's look at who is predicting what for the third game of the season between the Cougs and Dawgs, which tips off at 8:30 on FSN, as well as what it might mean.

L.A. Times
The Cougars went 2-0 against the Huskies during the season, and we believe they come away with yet another win in a game that figures to go right down to the wire.

Doug Gottlieb, ESPN
"With three wins over Washington, I believe Washington State would be a lock to be in the NCAA Tournament. That's right, I said "a lock to be in the NCAA Tournament."

Jim Moore, Seattle PI columnist

Marques Johnson, FSN commentator
Picked Washington to win on KJR radio this morning, questioning whether Klay Thompson would come back too tight and believes that the Huskies would be hungrier than WSU.

Fox 21/Colorado Connection

Conquest Chronicles:
Lorenzo Romar's program has had a tough year off the court, and things hit a low point when he suspended Venoy Overton for the Pac-10 tournament after he was charged for providing alcohol to a minor. Now, the Huskies are thin at the guard position and will be missing their most pesky defender. This team has the talent to win the Pac-10, but the off-court issues and injuries are getting in the way. Washington State swept the season series and did so in convincing fashion. The Cougars seem to have the Huskies number this year and Klay Thompson will be chomping at the bit after missing an overtime loss to UCLA for marijuana possession.

THE SEATTLE TIMES CAME OUT today with its list of the 33 best basketballers in the 33 years since the Pac-8 turned into the Pac-10. One Cougar, the legendary Isaac Fontaine, rightly made the list, which was compiled by Percy Allen. Two Cougars were tabbed for honorable mention: Don Collins and Kyle Weaver.

All of which begs two questions: No Mark Hendrickson on the honorable mention list? Are you kidding? The guy was a scoring and rebounding machine who earned first-team all-Pac-10 recognition twice and would later play in the NBA for four years before opting to pitch in the Major Leagues for the last decade.

The other question is this: Don Collins as honorable mention? Anyone -- anyone -- who saw him play at WSU from 1977-80 knew they were watching greatness. Marv Harshman told CF.C a year ago that when he was coaching the Huskies, Collins was as formidable a foe as any he'd ever faced. Collins was Pac-10 Player of the Year in '80 after averaging 23 points, 6 rebounds and 3 steals per game. He was a first-round draft pick of the Atlanta Hawks and played six years in the NBA. Not making him one of the top 33 is just plain wrong.

Speaking of Collins, one of his old batterymates on those exciting WSU teams of the George Raveling Era was in the news recently. Terry Kelly, the sharpshooter with the prettiest stroke this side of Klay Thompson, has a son who takes after dad. Parker Kelly, a senior at Gonzaga Prep, scored 24 points in the state Class 4A title game last weekend to lead the Pups to victory over Curtis. Parker's exploits prompted a discussion among some Cougar faithful the other day about high Terry would be on WSU's career scoring list if there had been a three-point line when he was playing. As it is, he ranks No. 23 on the all-time WSU points list with 1,071 points.

He took 989 shots in his career and from this vantage, at least 35 percent of them were from way downtown.

Raveling told the Seattle Times many years ago that Steve Puidokas' career points total of 1,894 would have been closer to 2,100 if the three-point arc had in effect during the heyday of this Cougar legend.

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