THE COUGAR BLOG archive: May 8-June 15 2014

A RUNNING LIST of news, notes, quips and quotes from in and around the Cougar Nation.

For the most recent blog entries, CLICK HERE

MAY 8 - JUNE 15 ENTRIES:
June 15 3:54 PM
  • CATCHING UP WITH ROCHESTIE AND ROMBERG
Former Washington State basketball star Taylor Rochestie played a major role in leading Nizhny Novgorod to the championship finals of Russia's VTB League. Rochestie led Nizhny Novgorad in league play with 14.9 points and 3.9 assists per game, and with shooting percentages of 47.4 percent on 3-pointers and 88.7 percent on free throws. The veteran point guard scored 12 points Friday, but CSKA Moscow completed a three-game sweep of Nizhny Novgorad with an 82-66 victory.

Meanwhile, Sage Romberg, who played in a school-record 129 women's basketball games at Washington State, is not ready to hang up her high tops. Romberg, who completed her college career last season, has signed with Hola Madrid in Spain's Division II women's pro league. Four of Romberg's former WSU teammates played pro ball in Europe last year: Carly Noyes and Ireti Amojo in Germany, Jazmine Perkins in Poland and Rosie Adzasu in Finland.

Romberg played multiple positions for the Cougars, and averaged 9.1 points and 5.9 rebounds this past season. She ranks fourth in school history with 141 career 3-pointers and 36.7 percent shooting on 3's in her career. Her 1,033 career points rank 14th.


June 14 7:14 PM
  • RON CEY NAMED GREATEST SPOKANE INDIAN OF ALL TIME
Thousands of votes were cast and former WSU great and Dodgers All-Star Ron Cey has been named SWX's Greatest Spokane Indian of All Time after defeating fellow finalist Carlos Beltran by taking an unexpected 80 percent of the votes in the final round. Cey also "upset" former Spokane Indians and Los Angeles Dodgers legends Tommy Lasorda and Steve Garvey in the first two rounds, according to SWX. How so? CLICK HERE for the full story.


FORMER WSU BASEBALL STAR ADAM CONLEY, widely regarded as the top major league prospect among former Cougars, has been sidelined since May 2 with tendinitis in his left (pitching) elbow. Conley has a 2-2 record with a 4.76 earned run average for New Orleans, the Triple-A Pacific Coast League farm club of the Miami Marlins.
June 12 9:20 AM
  • DO SOME CAMPS ACT AS SHUTTLE SERVICES FOR RECRUITS?
The problem is this, coaches say in a CBS Sports article: Whether oblivious, implicit or blatant, schools are paying for influence, which is difficult to regulate in a recruiting world that's all about relationships.

A shuttle service is "exactly what it is," said Arizona's Rich Rodriguez, who last year used guest coaches on a volunteer basis. Click here for the full article.


June 11 10:20 PM
  • COUGS SIGN COLORADO SHORTSTOP TO LETTER OF INTENT
Washington State has signed Colorado prep shortstop Jack Strunc to a National Letter of Intent for baseball, the school announced in a release.

"Not only has Jack excelled as a player and a student, but he has the X factor," WSU skipper Donnie Marbut said. "He is driven to be successful every day."

Strunc played three varsity seasons at Mountain Vista High in Highlands Ranch, Colo., where he was an All-Continental League selection each season, including a first team honoree in 2014. Strunc is a member of DECA and the National Honor Society. He garnered first team all-academic accolades twice and posted a 4.06 GPA.

The regular signing period for baseball runs from April 16 - Aug. 1. The early signing period was held Nov. 13 - 20.


June 11 10:20 PM
  • HAMILTON NAMED FRESHMAN-ALL-AMERICAN -- AGAIN!
Record-setting WSU closer Ian Hamilton today was named to his second Freshman All-American team in as many weeks. Hamilton was one of 32 picked today by the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association, making the second team. A week ago he was selected to Collegiate Baseball's Louisville Slugger Freshman All-American team. Hamilton posted 15 saves this season, a WSU record and tops in the Pac-12.


THIS FRIDAY IS JUSTIN FELKER'S last at WSU. For the last decade he's been an uber-fundraiser for the university, primarily in athletics. He recently joined Elson Floyd's fundraising team after a great run in athletics, but then Kelly-Bradley Advertising, the Spokane-based firm with national clout in the collegiate world, came calling with an offer he couldn't refuse. His loss will be felt in a major way by WSU.
June 6 3:55 PM
  • THREE COUGS ON PHIL STEELE'S ALL-PAC-12 TEAMS
Darryl Monroe, Gabe Marks and Xavier Cooper are listed on Phil Steele's All-Pac-12 third team released today. No other Cougars made Steele's first-, second- or fourth teams.


June 5 3:59 PM
  • DEONE BUCANNON SIGNS $7.7 MILLION, FOUR-YEAR CONTRACT WITH CARDS
Cougar first-round draft pick Deone Bucannon on Thursday signed a four-year deal worth $7,709,200 with $6,237,946 guaranteed, Fox Sports reported, citing a source with knowledge of the situation. CBS Sports said the team holds a fifth-year option and the contract includes a $3.93 million signing bonus.

Bucannon was selected with the No. 27 pick by Arizona, and is slotted as the starter at strong safety, said the article. Bucannon was an Associated Press first-team All-America selection in 2013 after posting a team-best 114 tackles and a Pac-12 best six interceptions.


June 4 9:45 PM
  • JALEN CANTY SAYS NOT COMING TO WSU
Defensive end Jalen Canty of Vallejo, Calif., who signed a letter of intent with WSU this past February, tweeted moments ago that he will not be coming to WSU. "I'm sorry you guys but I will not be attending Washington State next year ..."

Two minutes later he tweeted, "Sometimes I wish I wasn't jalen Canty," and also responded to a follower that "I won't be playing football again." In addition, Canty also replied to a follower saying that he is headed to Casper College (Wyoming) to play basketball instead. Earlier in the evening he said he was about to make a decision that would upset a lot of people

Asked by CF.C for an interview, Canty responded via Twitter that it wasn't a good time for questions.

As a standout in basketball, Canty was planning to walk on to the Cougar hoops team -- something he reconfirmed via Twitter shortly after Ernie Kent was hired -- in addition to playing football.

This past football season -- his first playing high school ball -- he was named Tri-County League Lineman of the Year and all-league first team after recording 76 tackles including a state-leading 22 sacks. He was rated three stars by Scout.com and ranked the No. 44 overall prospect in California by ESPN.com.


June 3 12:54 PM
  • DUNBAR SIGNS FINANCIAL AID AGREEMENT WITH WSU
Guard Trevor Dunbar (5-10, 170) out of San Francisco's St. Ignatius College Preparatory has signed a Financial Aid Agreement (FAA) to play for Washington State, Ernie Kent announced Tuesday in a release from the school.

"Trevor is an outstanding young man that has spent an enormous amount of time refining his game, which will show in his ability to handle the basketball and see and make difficult plays," Kent said. "He has a certain style and flare to his game that will quickly unite and excite our student body when it has the opportunity to see him play. I look forward to coaching Trevor."

A three-year starter at St. Ignatius, Dunbar served as team captain as a senior, averaging 22 points, 6 assists, 5 rebounds and 3 steals a game. He's a three-time first team All-WCAL (West Catholic League) selection and was named MVP of the league in 2014.

Dunbar joins a signing class that includes fellow incoming freshmen Jackie Davis (6-3, 195, G, Long Beach, Calif./Rolling Hills Prep School) and Nyaires (Ny-air-ees) ‘Ny' Redding (6-2, 180, Guard, Solon, Ohio/Westwind Prep-Ariz.), as well as junior college-transfer Aaron Cheatum (6-7, 240, F, Moreno Valley, Calif./East Los Angeles College). The Cougars have one scholarship spot open for the 2014-15 class.


June 3 12:25 PM
  • PROSECUTOR'S OFFICE DECLINES TO PRESS CHARGES ON COUGAR RB
The Whitman County Prosecutor's Office has declined to pursue a case against Cougar running back Teondray Caldwell according to KQQQ Radio for an incident that occurred in April, 2013. Caldwell was arrested by Pullman Police on on suspicion of assault and burglary over a year ago after WSU football players were allegedly denied entry to a party. Shortly after the incident came to light, Caldwell posted on his Twitter page: "All these allegations but none of it is true! Don't believe the media. I'm in good hands."


June 3 9:35 AM
  • OH CANADA!
Former Washington State offensive tackle Rico Forbes has signed with the British Columbia Lions of the Canadian Football League.

Forbes, who finished up at WSU last season, went to rookie camp with the Green Bay Packers. The Lions open the season June 28. Former WSU linebacker Alex Hoffman-Ellis is also on British Columbia's roster.


June 3 7:59 AM
  • MARBUT'S EXTENSION
Washington State announced Monday that a contract extension for baseball coach Donnie Marbut has been finalized. Marbut's contract now runs through 2017, with a conditional rollover option. His contract had been set to expire after the 2015 season.

Marbut has compiled a 285-277 (.507) record in 10 seasons as head coach. He quickly revived a struggling program, posting five straight winning seasons after going 21-37 (1-23 Pac-10) in his first season of 2005.

Marbut guided the Cougars to the NCAA tournament in 2009 and 2010. Four straight non-winning seasons have followed (including 28-28 in 2012). The Cougars finished 24-30 this season and came in seventh in the Pac-12 at 14-16.


June 2 3:57 PM
  • EARLY PRESEASON MAGS PICK COUGS 4th-5th IN PAC-12 NORTH
Lindy, Athlon, Sporting News and USA Today project WSU to finish in the bottom half of the Pac-12 North Division this season. Lindy, Athlon and USA Today slot WSU in fifth place, above only Cal in the six-team division. Sporting News picks WSU fourth, ahead of Oregon State and Cal.

All four picked Oregon to win the Pac-12 North and Stanford to place second. UW is the consensus third place team, followed by Oregon State. In the Pac-12 South, the consensus is for UCLA to finish first in the division, followed by USC, ASU, Arizona, Utah and Colorado.


June 2 10:37 AM
  • THE PUSH IS ON FOR MORE RECRUITING RULES CHANGES
More than one paid official visit to a school? Pay expenses for parents or family members to come along? That's part of what Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby wants to see happen for the Big 5 schools.

"We haven't looked at the recruiting model in its entirety for a very long time," Bowlsby said in an Associated Press story on the Big 12 spring meetings. Among the other recruiting rules changes he said should be looked at were to allow Skype or FaceTime for initial recruiting interviews.

"It's just one example of an area where the world has changed and the architecture around college athletics hasn't changed with it," he said.


June 1 9:30 AM
  • FUTURE COUG QB SHINES AMONG THE STARS
The California seven-on-seven passing season kicked off in spectacular form on Saturday with the Air Strike Elite Passing Tournament at Dana Hills, and future Washington State QB Tyler Hilinski had a whale of a day against touted competition.

Besides Hilinski, who is the No. 42-rated 2015 QB in the nation, the tourney included two of the nation's most highly touted prep QB prospects: No. 6-rated Travis Waller of Servite/Anaheim and No. 7 Blake Barnett of Santiago/Corona. Barnett is verbally committed to Notre Dame and Waller has close to a dozen offers but appears to be waiting on Oregon, Stanford, Ohio State and USC.

Hilinksi guided his Upland High team to the championship game, where they went down in overtime to Junipero Serra.


May 30 7:51 PM
  • AUSTIN JOYNER TAKES STATE 3A LONG JUMP TITLE, BUT ...
Cougar football commit Austin Joyner of Marysville today captured the Washington state Class 3A title in the long jump with a leap of 25 feet, 5.5 inches on his final attempt to defeat , runner-up Budda Baker of Bellevue. "I felt explosive, Joyner told the Seattle Times. Unfortunately, Joyner pulled a hamstring in the 200 meters a few minutes after the long jumpr, the Times reported. The injury is likely to keep Joyner out of the 100 meter final this weekend. In qualifying action, he posted the fastest time in the 100.

Joyner is a 4-star cornerback prospect rated No. 32 in the nation by Scout.com at that position for the 2015 recruiting class. Also a standout at running back, he has rushed for 43 TDs and more than 3,500 yards over the last two seasons.

MEANWHILE, ON THE GIRLS' SIDE of the state Class 2A championships, incoming WSU women's basketball player Nike McClure of W.F. West High in Chehalis captured the title in the shot put with a heave of 43 feet 10 inches. Her basketball team also won the state title this year.
May 30 6:00PM
  • FORMER COUGAR WALK ONS LAND SCHOLIES
Cougar guard Ike Iroegbu's older brother Chuks, whose college hoops career started as a WSU walk on, this month signed a letter of intent to play at Northern Illinois. Chuks played the past two seasons at City College of San Francisco.

Another former Cougar walk on, Bryce Leavitt, also signed this month after detouring to the JC ranks. He's headed to Seattle Pacific following a year at North Idaho College. In 2013 he saw action in 20 games for the Cougs.

In addition, former Cougar walk on and one-time Oregon Duck Brett Kingma will be suiting up at Western Washington this season. .
May 29 4:07 PM
  • FORMER WSU COACH & PLAYER GEORGE YARNO DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER
George Yarno, who coached the WSU o-line from 2003-07 and from 1991-94, has been diagnosed with cancer according to ESPN. Jaguars coach Gus Bradley is quoted as saying Yarno, Jacksonville's o-line coach, will continue to work while he receives treatment. Bradley said the team isn't releasing details of the cancer or treatment out of respect for the privacy of Yarno and his family, but noted that Yarno recently received some good news regarding his prognosis.

"He's received some positive news on his treatment options and how we're going to go about attacking it," Bradley said. "He's confident in the treatment plan, felt really good at the initial part of it, and the plan that the doctors have. He's actually excited about it, about getting after this battle."

Bradley said Yarno will work as much as possible and that when he is receiving treatment assistant offensive line coach Luke Butkus will handle his duties. The 56-year-old Yarno is in his 24th year as an assistant coach (17 in college, seven in the NFL). Yarno as a Cougar player starred on the d-line for WSU from 1975-78.


May 28 7:56 PM
  • COUGS LOOKING AT 8-WIN SEASON?
In his Pac-12 North schedule analysis, ESPN's Ted Miller says of the Cougars: "Missing UCLA is good; missing Colorado probably isn't. Can the Cougs go 2-2 in conference play on the road? That might be the key to the season. That and beating the hated Huskies at home to conclude the campaign. It's not too much of a stretch to see eight wins on this schedule."


May 28 3:44 PM
  • BRUGGMAN, KENT EMBRACE TWITTER
There must be something in the air. In the span of the last 24 hours, two well-known Cougs – basketball coach Ernie Kent and quarterback Tyler Bruggman -- returned to Twitter after long absences.

Until last night, @TylerBruggman11 had a career tweet total of one and it came 11 months ago. But he didn't exactly jump back in with fanfare, writing: "Guess I'll try this twitter thing now..." He subsequently gave a shout out to the Oklahoma City Thunder, which quickly drew admonition from CouGal point guard (and, presumably, jilted Sonics fan) Tia Presley. We were so surprised to see Tyler's name in our feed that, to commemorate the development, we posted a photo of him taken by Greg Davis at the spring game and were delighted to discover today that the photo is now Tyler's Twitter cover pic.

Meanwhile, @CoachKentWSU -- following a several-months Twitter absence -- returned to the fray late this morning with a brand new handle. He wrote: "Just got back to the twitter world! Now I need some Cougs to follow! #GoCougs" Cougs, give your new hoops coach a follow!" As of press time, that one tweet was retweeted 89 times and favorited 119 times.

HATS OFF TO 4 COUGAR BASEBALL players who today were honored by the Pac-12. Freshman closer Ian Hamilton of Vancouver and sophomore third baseman Nick Tanielu of Federal Way were named to the all-conference team while junior pitcher Joe Pistorese of Kalispell and junior outfielder Yale Rosen of Oak Harbor were picked honorable mention.

SPEAKING OF COUGAR BASEBALL, WSU Hall of Famer and 1981 World Series MVP Ron Cey has advanced to the Elite Eight of the Spokane Indians' quest to pick the greatest player in the 112 years pro ball has been played in the Lilac City. To get to the top, though, he'll need the help of the Cougar Nation. To cast your vote for Ron in his current bracket battle with Tom Lasorda, CLICK HERE. If Cey wins this one, he'll advance to the semis next week against likely foe Steve Garvey.

In 1971, when the Indians were the AAA affiliate of the Dodgers, Cey turned in a season for the ages, hitting .328 with 32 homers and 112 RBI. He of course went on to become a perennial All-Star with the Dodgers.


May 27 8:40 PM
  • CHAUCA TO ANNOUNCE COUGS OR CAL FRIDAY
Guard Brandon Chauca said on Twitter this evening that he'll be "Announcing my college decision this Friday around 7 p.m at Stonewall Jackson High, where y'all think I'm goin?" Beneath the tweet were two photos -- one of Chauca and his parents in Cougar jerseys, one in Cal jerseys.

As a prep senior this past season he averaged 23.1 points, 7.4 assists, 3.1 rebounds, and 3.7 steals per game. Before a late-season bout with mono he a shot 90 percent from the free throw line, 64 percent from the field and 49 percent from 3-point range.
May 27 5:27 PM
  • DEONE HAS TURF TOE, AND CONTRACT ALL BUT SIGNED
Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians told reporters today that first-round draft pick Deone Bucannon didn't participate in today's OTA workout due to a mild case of turf toe suffered a week ago during the team's rookie mini camp.

Meanwhile, a number of published reports out of Phoenix say that Bucannon and his agent have agreed in principal with the Cards on a contract. Under the league's CAB, Bucannon is likely in line for a 4-year contract of about $7.6 million, with $3.9 million of it up front.


May 27 2:08 PM
  • MONDA, McGRATH MAKE PAC-12'S TOP 12 DEFENSIVE PLAYS
The Pac-12 is out with a video compilation of the league's top 12 baseball plays of the year and a pair of Cougars -- sophomore first baseman Patrick McGrath of Woodinville and senior pitcher Jason Monda of Olympia -- come in at No. 9 for their dynamic teamwork in a home game against Utah.


May 27 12:08 PM
  • MOOS FINDS NEW TRACK COACH ACROSS BORDER

Bill Moos has hired Wayne Phipps as the director of cross country and track & field at Washington State, WSU announced. The hire takes effect July 1. Phipps takes over for Rick Sloan who announced his retirement from WSU last fall and is slated to complete his coaching duties at the end of the current track season.

Phipps, 45, has been Idaho's head coach the past four seasons and has been with the Vandals for the past 19 years. He served as co-head coach from 2000-09, after serving as an assistant coach from 1995-99. In his time at Idaho, he has been honored 14 times as a conference coach of the year and has helped lead the Vandals to a record 16 total conference titles.

Since 2000, the Vandals have produced five Olympians, two World Track and Field Championship finalists, and one World Cross Country Championship participant.

A native of Prince George, British Columbia, Canada, Phipps competed for Montana and the University of British Columbia, where he graduated with a degree in exercise science in 1991. He earned his masters of science in 1994 from Oregon in exercise and movement science, with a sports medicine major and in biomechanics and exercise physiology minors.


May 27 11:36 AM
  • WOULD LEACH COACH A GAME IN A FUR COAT?

You never quite know what you're going to get in a Mike Leach interview. The WSU head man is just as likely to talk about fur coats as he is the precision cuts of a slot receiver. Asked if he would consider coaching a game in a fur coat as an homage to friend Barry Switzer, who showed up in a fur coat at this year's Super Bowl, Leach didn't discount the possibility.

"Without taking any particular side, and to extend this hypothetical, if I wear the fur coat on the sidelines what are the chances that nude girls are going to come up and throw paint on me? ...If I was guaranteed that, I probably would," said Leach."

For the full audio interview, CLICK HERE


May 27 9:40 AM
  • ESPN.COM TABS COUGS 8TH IN PAC, BUT DUBS 'EM TRUE DARK HORSE
Ted Miller, who covers the Conference of Champions for ESPN.com, is out this morning with his Summer Pac-12 Power Rankings and has the Cougars pegged at No. 8 in the conference, sandwiched between Oregon State and Arizona. He writes of WSU, "If you are looking for a true conference dark horse, it's the Cougars. There are questions on the O-line and on defense, but the passing game should be outstanding with third-year starter Connor Halliday and a deep, talented crew of receivers. Put it this way: What does this team look like if it improves as much in Mike Leach's third year as it did in Year 2?."

Miller picks Oregon first and gives UCLA a slight edge over Stanford for second. He says if USC can stay healthy the Trojans could be in the hunt too.

Speaking of ESPN.com and the Cougs, last week the site ran a story called 100 numbers to know a 100 days out (from the start of the season). And penned in at No. 81 on the list was this little nugget: Connor Halliday accounted for 81 percent of the Cougars' offense last season, marking the highest percentage by any one player in the nation.

Last season Halliday passed for 4,597 yards -- third-most in the nation behind Derek Carr of Fresno State and Sean Mannion of Oregon State. His average completions per game, 34.54, was second behind Carr, and his 34 passing TDs was seventh in the nation.


May 26 11:59 AM
  • OLD COUG KELATI ON NATIONAL TEAM
Former Washington State basketball star Thomas Kelati was named to the Polish national team today. Kelati was one of 25 players selected. Several players will be cut before the most important games of the summer. Kelati, 31, has previous experience with the Polish national team. The Walla Walla native, who has played professionally in Europe since finishing his college career at WSU in 2005, obtained dual citizenship when he married a Polish woman in 2010. A 6-foot-5 swingman, Kelati averaged 8.1 points with two teams in Spain's top league this season.


May 25 3:53 PM
  • VEGAS SITE FORECASTS COUGS' WIN TOTAL

Betting site 5Dimes has released its early win total betting line projections for 2014 for 35 teams. WSU is one of them and they set the Cougs' wins line at 5.5. You can find the complete list here.


May 25 2:45 PM
  • DEONE OVERTHINKING, NOT REACTING

CouGreat and first-round draft pick Deone Bucannon said in an NFL.com story today that it's going to take time to adjust to the NFL but it will come. He has been running with the second unit at the Cardinals' OTAs. Head coach Bruce Arians said the big hitter is high-centered with "paralysis by analysis." CLICK HERE for the full story.

Speaking of Deone, a look at which first-round draft picks have signed contracts and which haven't, the two closest picks to Deone who have signed -- the 23rd and 30th -- each inked four-year deals, the 23rd at $8.16 million and the 30th at $7.1 million. That may put Deone on a glide path to four years and $7.6 million.


May 25 10:00 AM
  • GESSER DONE WITH COACHING?

In the span of 10 days this month, former Idaho offensive coordinator and interim head coach, and former Wyoming quarterbacks coach Jason Gesser landed two jobs in Cougarville: assistant director of development for WSU athletics and color analyst on Cougar radio broadcasts. For a guy who several years ago said his career goal was to be head coach of his alma mater by age 45, the moves look to be a detour.

But there's more to the story than that. Gesser told Bud Withers of the Seattle Times the other day that he'd get back into coaching if it were an ideal situation, but said "it's not a great profession if you have three kids (including a newborn)."

In the same story, WSU AD Bill Moos said he signed off on the ouster of Shawn McWashington as WSU's game-day radio analyst in favor of Gesser. Previously, WSU said the move was made solely by IMG, the sports marketing firm that owns the broadcast rights. Moos said the change was not a "slam" on McWashington but an effort by IMG to make the broadcasts more "polished."


May 24 12:04 PM
  • WALL STREET JOURNAL BOOK REVIEW OF MIKE LEACH'S GERONIMO

All the news that's fit to print says this about the book WSU's football coach just published: "Mr. Leach couldn't have chosen a better brand than the Apache chief," says the Wall Street Journal in its review of his tome on Geronimo.

"When soldiers, paintballers and boys who are allowed to play with toy guns (the few who are left) leap into battle, they do not cry Napoleon! Hannibal! or Nathan Bedford Forrest! When Navy SEALs set off to lower the boom on Osama bin Laden, they do not name their mission for Omar Bradley. In such circumstances, no other name than Geronimo will do."

For the complete review, click here


May 22 12:12 PM
  • WSU QB VERBAL HILINSKI TO CAL: THANKS BUT NO THANKS

Cougar verbal and three-star Upland, Calif., QB Tyler Hiliniski was offered by Cal this week. As flattering as it is for an in-state Pac-12 school to put a scholie on the table, Hilinski says he's made his choice.

"Cal offer doesn't change anything. As committed as it gets to Washington St and the staff,: Hilinski texted Cougfan.com's Braulio Perez a few moments ago.

Hilinski verbally committed to Mike Leach and the Cougs in April.


May 22 10:49 AM
  • WSU SKIPPER DONNIE MARBUT AGREES TO EXTENSION

WSU announced Thursday that baseball coach Donnie Marbut has agreed to a contract extension. The news was first reported on Pullman radio station KQQQ. Details of the extension will not be announced until terms are finalized after the season ends Sunday, a WSU spokesperson said.

Marbut has compiled a 284-275 (.508) record in 10 seasons as head coach. In 2009 and 2010, Marbut guided the Cougars to the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1990. He ranks third in WSU baseball history in games won and coached behind legendary coaches Bobo Brayton and Buck Bailey.

The Cougars (23-28, 13-14 Pac-12) finish the 2014 season this weekend against visiting Arizona State. WSU will post its fourth straight non-winning season, counting a 28-28 record in 2012.


May 22 10:46 AM
  • TACOMA'S RORIE CHOOSES DUCKS

Tacoma guard Ahmaad Rorie, a four-star prospect who recently asked for and received a release from his letter of intent to Cal, announced Thursday morning he will play for Oregon over WSU, UW and other suitors. The Ducks were his final visit. He was in Eugene earlier this week.

Rorie went on a whirlwind of Pac-12 official visits in a short time frame to Oregon, Washington and Washington State. He is a three-time News Tribune All-Area pick and averaged 16.7 and 18 points, respectively, in two seasons at Clover Park High, and 21 points a year ago at Lincoln.


May 21 2:35 PM
  • WSU'S ELSON FLOYD, OTHER PAC-12 PRESIDENTS ADVOCATE STIPENDS FOR PLAYERS
The Pac-12 presidents have outlined a 10-point plan for NCAA reform that they have sent to the other presidents in the Big 5 conferences. The list of proposals included in the letter are:

Permit institutions to make scholarship awards up to the full cost of attendance. Provide reasonable ongoing medical or insurance assistance for student-athletes who suffer an incapacitating injury in competition or practice. Continue efforts to reduce the incidence of disabling injury. Guarantee scholarships for enough time to complete a bachelor's degree, provided that the student remains in good academic standing. Decrease the demands placed on the athlete in-season.

Similarly decrease time demands out of season. Further strengthen the Academic Progress Rate requirements for postseason play. Address the "one and done" phenomenon in men's basketball, including consideration of restoring the freshman ineligibility rule in men's basketball. Provide student-athletes a meaningful role in governance at the conference and NCAA levels. Adjust existing restrictions so student-athletes preparing for the next stage of their careers are not unnecessarily deprived of the advice and counsel of agents and other competent professionals, but without professionalizing intercollegiate athletics. Liberalize current rules limiting the ability of student-athletes to transfer between institutions.

The Pac-12 presidents are asking for an expedited response to the proposed reforms, by June 4. The plan comes after Northwestern football players cast secret ballots April 25 on whether to form the nation's first union for college athletes. The results of the vote are still not known and will not be known for some time.


May 21 9:45 AM
  • COUGS BEAT SEAHAWKS TO WHITE HOUSE BY 80+ YEARS

The Super Bowl champion Seahawks will be saluted at the White House today, but they are not the first team from the state to be so honored for their excellence. On December 1, 1930, the kings of West Coast football -- Babe Bollingbery's Washington State Cougars -- were invited to the White House and feted by President Hoover. A month later they took on Alabama in the Rose Bowl.

Three members of that Cougar team -- Hollingbery and linemen Turk Edwards and Mel Hein -- are in the College Football Hall of Fame. And Hein and Edwards also are in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


May 21 8:35 AM
  • ESPN OUT WITH PRESEASON POWER INDEX

ESPN came out this week with it's computer-based 2014 preseason football power index and the Cougars were ranked No. 49 in the nation. The index breaks down each team by offense, defense and special teams to come up with a final ranking. Oregon was the highest-ranked Pac-12 team, at No. 2 behind Florida State. The rest of the Pac stacked up this way: UCLA No. 5, Stanford 8, USC 13, Arizona State 16, UW 27, Oregon State 28, Arizona 32, Utah 40, Cal 63 and Colorado 66.CLICK HERE for the full story and list. A year ago, in a similar through not identical preseason power index rating, ESPN had the Cougs at No. 46.


May 20 12:35 PM
  • SPORTS ILLUSTRATED ON THE INIMITABLE MIKE LEACH

In Sports Illustrated's list of 100 things they're most excited for in the 2014 college football season, Mike Leach comes in at No. 74

"74. The inimitable Mike Leach. Leach is the most interesting man in college football. He's an offensive mastermind. He's a pirate aficionado. He recently co-authored the book Geronimo: Leadership Strategies of an American Warrior. On the field, expect Leach to keep airing it out. Cougars quarterback Connor Halliday attempted an FBS-high 714 passes last season. Only two others (Fresno State's Derek Carr and Oregon State's Sean Mannion) attempted more than 600.


May 20 12:18 PM
  • BOWL GAME, PAC-12 TITLE GAME AT LEVI'S

The bowl game featuring the No. 4 Pac-12 team will be held at Levi's Stadium (68,500) in Santa Clara, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers, on Dec. 30. Levi's is also where the Pac-12 title game moves to beginning this season on Dec. 5. The first three Pac-12 title games were previously held at the North or South division winner with the best conference record.

As for the bowl game, the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl has entered into a new six-year agreement to feature the No. 4 Pac-12 team vs. a Big Ten team. The Big Ten assigns its bowl participants differently than does the Pac-12 and does not specify which place team will be selected for the bowl, noting instead that at least five different Big Ten institutions will play in the bowl game between now and the conclusion of the 2019 season.


May 19 9:11 PM
  • ARON BAYNES COMES UP BIG FOR SPURS

The man Dick Bennett once described as "a big bear with a sore ass," turned in seven minutes of ferocious play tonight to help the San Antonio Spurs to victory in game one of their NBA semi-final playoff battle with Oklahoma City. With the Spurs trailing late in the third quarter, old Cougar Aron Baynes came off the bench to spell Tim Duncan and proceeded to show Kevin Durant who owns the paint. With the big man patrolling the key like a mama grizzly, Durant dared to drive and was whistled for an offensive foul.

Baynes' play ignited something of a Twitter sensation, with conjecture by partisans that he changed the momentum of the game. By the time he left early in the fourth quarter the Spurs were ahead and he had canned a reverse layup and pulled down one defensive rebound. OK, in the name of full disclosure he also had two TOs, but they were beside the point. The Spurs won 122-105.

By the way, ESPN will be featuring Baynes in its Aussies Abroad series Tuesday night.


May 19 10:40 AM
  • ERNIE KENT TALKS RECRUITING

New men's WSU basketball coach Ernie Kent said Monday morning on Cougar Calls with Bill Moos he anticipated using at least one of his two remaining open scholarship spots before the signing period ends on Wednesday. He said the last spot might not be used until sometime later in the year before the season, such as in the summer. The Cougs are looking at filling the two spots with guards, Kent said, with the focus shifting to the bigs for the next recruiting class (early signing period in November).


May 18 10:00 PM
  • CATCHING UP WITH 3 OLD COUGS

Among the former Cougar track and field athletes on hand for coach Rick Sloan's retirement gathering this weekend was world-renowned distance runner Bernard Lagat. The two-time Olympic medalist and U.S. record-holder in five distances, was a three-time NCAA champion at WSU under Sloan in the 1990s.

"I am so happy that I get to be here because I had to see him, give him that hug and say thank you from the bottom of my heart," Lagat said in this article at Pac-12.com. "Without him, I wouldn't have had this experience of coming to America (from Kenya) , getting full scholarship to come here to study and get my degree so I owe him so much, he's the greatest man."

Lagat, by the way, is still going strong at age 39. Earlier this year he took silver in the 3,000 meters in the IAAF World Indoor Championships.



Not that records are kept for such things, but we're going to go out on a limb and say former Cougar receiver and one-time defensive coordinator Jody Sears has set a record for being named interim head coach of most college football teams in the shortest period of time. On April 25, just three weeks after he started work as defensive coordinator at Sacramento State he was named interim head coach of the Hornets. He will lead them through the 2014 season following the out-of-the-blue resignation of Marshall Sperbeck. Sperbeck stepped down as a result of an internal investigation of possible NCAA violations, according to the Sacramento Bee. In 2012, when John L. Smith bolted for Arkansas before even coaching one game for Weber State, Sears was named interim head coach of the Wildcats. He stayed on through 2013 but then let go.

Faisal Aden, the former Cougar shooting guard whose crimson career was really starting to take off a few years back when he went down with a knee injury, has put himself in the international record books. FIBA, the international basketball federation, recently said that the 59 points Aden scored for the Somali national team against Rwanda in late January is believed to be the most ever by one player in a national team game. At the very least, it's the most since international hoops legend Oscar Schmidt put up 55 for Brazil against Spain in the 1988 Olympics.


May 18 11:05 AM
  • COUG COMMIT HILINSKI GOING HIGHER?

Future Cougar QB Tyler Hilinski is ranked three-stars by Scout.com and the No. 42 prospect nationally. Back when he was a sophomore, he was at one time listed as a four-star prospect by Scout.com - might he rise up to that level again?

"Joining a Mike Leach offense is never a bad idea for a quarterback, but Hilinski could see his stock rise further during his senior season as the quarterback dominoes continue to fall," writes ESPN's Eric McKinney. ESPN also rates Hilinski a three-star prospect, and the No. 25 pocket-passer nationally.

He's been a spring standout in each of the last two off seasons and jumped on an offer from Washington State.


May 16 1:05 PM
  • WAZZU AND MIZZOU SUDDENLY FACE-TO-FACE

Other than Elson Floyd and Warren Powers, the paths of Wazzu and Mizzou haven't crossed a whole lot over the years. But the last couple of weeks it seems the Cougars and Tigers are walking the same path down the basketball recruiting trail. Ahmad Rorie, the touted guard from Tacoma who tripped to WSU last weekend, tweeted that he has received an offer from Missouri. Same for Brandon Chauca, a guard from South Carolina, who will be tripping to WSU this weekend. And Ny Redding, a California guard who signed with the Cougs earlier this week, had narrowed his list to WSU and Missouri.

This unusual battle of Zu and Zou stems from the fact both schools made coaching changes at the top and have a number of scholarship slots to fill in a short period of time. With most of the bona fide forwards and centers off the table at this stage, but some very intriguing front-court talent still on the market, it's no surprise the two schools would be traveling in the same recruiting circles right now.


May 16 12:15 PM
  • RICO FORBES GETS PACKERS INVITE

The Green Bay Packers have invited their second undrafted Cougar offensive lineman Rico Forbes to this week's mini camp. Forbes, who appeared in all 13 games for the Cougs last season and started five, is following in John Fullington's path to the Badger State. Big John agreed to a free agent deal with a $5,000 signing bonus with the Pack minutes after the draft concluded this past Saturday.

"I see it as a blessing and right now I am just eager to go out there and make the best of my opportunity," Forbes told the Bahamas Tribune. "It is what I always envisioned when I first came to the U.S. to play football ... It is what I have been working towards seeing for years and now there is a chance to make it happen."

Forbes came to WSU from the junior college ranks but subsequently missed his 2012 junior season with a leg injury suffered during fall camp.


May 16 8:30 AM
  • 3 COUGS HEAD TO STATE HALL OF FAME

We tweeted this a while back but were remiss in getting it on the website until now: Three highly regarded old Cougs recently were elected to the state of Washington's sports hall of fame: football legend Jack Thompson, broadcasting icon Keith Jackson, and hydroplane champion Chip Hanauer. The three will be saluted at the WSU-Rutgers game at CenturyLink Field on August 28.

In case you missed it, we recently caught up with Jackson for a wide-ranging talk about WSU, his career, and life growing up in rural Georgia. Here's the link: The wit and wisdom of Keith Jackson.


May 14 3:10 PM
  • SOURCES HINT AT KENT'S REASON FOR MOVING ON FROM ISABELL

Multiple sources close to the basketball program at Garfield High School in Seattle tell CF.C that off-court concerns prompted Washington State head basketball coach Ernie Kent to release star GHS guard Tramaine Isabell from his letter of intent with the Cougars today. The sources didn't go into specifics but suggested concerns about academic diligence were among the issues that moved Kent to act. For their parts, both Kent and Isabell were gracious in the parting of the ways.

Isabell tweeted that he had been granted his release and offered the "best of luck to coach kent & the team!"

Kent, in a press release, said, "We wish Tramaine the very best," and added, "The future of Cougar basketball is bright. I like the group of young men we have in place now, as well as what we will add in the near future with our available scholarships."

One upshot from the move is that it may enhance WSU's chances of landing standout Tacoma guard Ahmaad Rorie, who recently asked for and received a release from his LOI with Cal. He tripped to WSU this past weekend and said he will make his college choice this weekend. He also recently tripped to Washington, and last week (per the Seattle Times) picked up an offer from Wichita State.

The Cougars have three signed members in their 2014 recruiting class: guards Jackie Davis and Ny Redding and forward Aaron Cheatum. With Isabell's departure, the Cougars have two scholarship slots left.

In addition to Rorie, guard Brandon Chauca out of South Carolina is believed to have an offer from the Cougars, and is expected to trip to Pullman this weekend.
May 14 2:00 PM
  • ISABELL TWEETS RELEASE

In an unexpected reversal, Seattle standout Tramaine Isabell tweeted that he's received a release from the letter of intent he signed with WSU in November.

"I have been granted my release from Washington State University. Best of luck to coach kent & the team!" the Garfield guard tweeted.

Isabell said on April 24 he had decided to honor his signed LOI to WSU through the coaching change. "I've decided to stick with it and play for Coach Kent," Isabell told CF.C. .

Isabell, who visited WSU earlier in April to meet with Kent face-to-face and had an in-home with Kent and assistant coach Curtis Allen prior to reaffirming with WSU, was tabbed Seattle Times' first-team all-classifications All-State team as a senior. He averaged nearly 24 points per game this season as he led Garfield to a 24-1 record and its first state title since 1998. He was named the 4A tournament MVP.


May 13 5:45 PM
  • IT'S OFFICIAL: KENT ANNOUNCES REDDING'S LOI

Nyaires "Ny" Redding, a 6-2, 180-pound guard from the same prep school -- Westwind Academy in Phoenix -- that produced Que Johnson, officially is in the house. WSU announced late today that hiss signed letter of intent is in.

"Our system requires us to have very heady guard play and we are continuing to put together a group that we think is going to be outstanding for the future of Washington State basketball," Kent said. "In Ny we have a player that is not only smart, but also is very skilled on both ends of the floor."

Redding, who hails from Solon, Ohio, joins a class that features fellow guards Jackie Davis and Tramaine Isabell and JC forward Aaron Cheatum. The Cougars have one scholarship left to use in this recruiting cycle.

As a senior this past season, Redding averaged 29.8 points, 2.1 steals and 8.7 assists per game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free throw line. He was named first team all-State, tournament MVP and defensive player of the year, as well as the team's captain. Redding compiled five 40-point games in his year at Westwind Prep, breaking former Westwind standout and current Cougar, Que Johnson's record of 40-point games.


May 13 11:15 AM
  • IMPORTANT REMINDER ABOUT CF.C'S NEW LAYOUT

Our most recent stories will "carousel" across the top of the page, left to right, while the rest of our stories will be down the center of the page, scrollable up and down.

The reason we point this out if that if you come to the site, see the lead story and then start scrolling down you'll miss the four other most recent stories that are in the carousel across the top.

Also, some readers have asked where the photo galleries for each player have gone. They're still here. But the button to access them has moved from the top of each player's bio page down the right side a bit, just above where the Twitter feed is located.


May 13 12:01 AM
  • 4-STAR TACOMA GUARD TO MAKE DECISION THIS WEEKEND

Just a few hours after Ernie Kent received a verbal commitment from Phoenix guard Ny Redding, who chose WSU over Missouri and Boston College, 4-star Tacoma guard and former Cal commit Ahmaad Rorie tweeted that he would be making his college choice this weekend.

Rorie and Redding both took official visits to WSU this past weekend. While Rorie is rated by Scout.com as the No. 19 point guard prospect in the nation, he's a scorer first and could slide into the off-guard role. Since receiving his release from the LOI he signed with Cal in November he has tripped to WSU and UW and canceled a visit to Oregon. Unless there's another trip in the offing this week, it looks to be a Cougar vs. Huskies battle.

The Cougars have one of their five open scholarships left to fill now that Redding has verbally committed. The other three in the fold are Jackie Davis, Aaron Cheatum and Tramaine Isabell.


May 12 5:45 PM
  • ERNIE KENT SAYS DAVIS A PERFECT FIT

WSU just made it official: 6-3, 195-pound combo guard Jackie Davis' letter of intent is signed, sealed and delivered.

"Jackie Davis is a very versatile basketball player that can play multiple positions," head coach Ernie Kent said in a press release. "He fits perfectly in our system because of his skill set, his ability to pass, dribble and shoot the basketball, and play the game in the open court. He is a very gifted athlete and I'm sure Cougar fans will come to enjoy his athleticism and his ability to play the game."

Davis played one season at Rolling Hills Prep in San Pedro, Calif., after attending Allen High School in Allen, Texas. As a senior at Rolling Hills, Davis averaged 23.6 points, 3.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as the Huskies went 13-13 overall and 11-1 in conference play during the 2013-14 season. He was named team MVP, as well as co-MVP of the Coastal League. Davis also earned All-CIF and Cal-Hi Sports All-State honors.


May 12 2:20 PM
  • TUEL FINISHING UP; BILLS STAYING STATUS QUO AT QB

Bill Moos said on his radio show this morning that former Cougar quarterback Jeff Tuel has been back on campus this semester wrapping up his degree. Tuel, who made the Bills last year as a free agent signee and wound up making a regular-season start, doesn't figure to have any greater competition for the roster today than he did before last week's draft. The Bills didn't use any picks on quarterbacks and as of yesterday hadn't signed any free agent QBs. So as it stands right now, the Bills will have four QBs vying for three positions. E.J. Manuel will be the undisputed starter, with Tuel, Thad Lewis and former Oregon standout Dennis Dixon battling it out behind him.

Regardless who is behind center, he'll know the Bills are serious about improving the offense. Their first pick in the draft was touted wideout Sammy Watkins and three others were offensive linemen.


May 11 6:00 PM
  • 4-STAR LB CALLS WSU FACILITIES 'AWESOME'

Doug Kimmel, the new "Mountain Region" recruiting analyst for Scout.com, has been making fast tracks. In one of his latest missives he reports that touted linebacker Paul Gustin of Salem, Utah, was on the last leg -- Pullman -- of a whirlwind weekend in which he also visited Oregon State, Oregon and Washington. Gustin told Kimmel on Saturday that "Coach Leach was awesome and their new facilities are amazing. I think I can speak for our whole group in saying that their overall facilities greatly exceeded our expectations. The Cougars have some bright days ahead of them."

Meanwhile, CF.C's Braulio Perez reports that the Cougs recently made scholarship offers to Folsom, Calif., offensive lineman Jonah Williams; San Jose cornerback Dakari Monroe; Carmichael, Calif., defensive end Kori Collins; and Washington, DC, cornerback Marcus Lewis. Lewis verbally committed to Florida about 10 days ago.


May 11 2:00 PM
  • JACKIE DAVIS JR. SIGNS LOI WITH WSU

Guard Jackie Davis, who committed verbally to Ernie Kent two weeks ago, made it official today when he signed his letter of intent with WSU and tweeted a photo of himself holding the signed LOI. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound combo guard from Rolling Hills Prep in Palos Verdes, Calif., chose WSU over offers from Penn State, Tulsa and UC Irvine.

Dubbed "a late bloomer" by Scout.com analyst Josh Gershon, Davis bring a nice stroke to the Cougs and can score at the rim, from mid-range and downtown. He's also a capable ball handler that ran point guard for Rolling Hills this past season. He joins a Cougar recruiting class that already included Tramaine Isabell of Seattle and JC transfer Aaron Cheatum of East Los Angeles College. Could the class grow by another two in the next day or so? Ny Redding of Phoenix and Ahmaad Rorie of Tacoma were believed to be in Pullman on official visits this weekend.


May 10 11:30 PM
  • DOES FURNEY TO SEAHAWKS MAKE SENSE?

Record-setting Cougar kicker Andrew Furney tweeted that he has accepted a mini-camp invitation by the Seattle Seahawks. Unlike the undrafted free agent contract John Fullington signed with the Packers immediately after the NFL draft concluded, a mini-camp invitation is effectively a brief walk-on tryout. So the question begs: Why hook up with the Seahawks when they just re-signed all-world kicker Steven Hauschka to a three-year contract?

The answer, simply, is because it offers a foot (pardon the pun) into the door of the NFL. Barring injury, Furney isn't going to supplant Hauschka. The aim is to show enough that 1) the Hawks keep him around for awhile and perhaps even find a spot on the practice squad; or 2) get noticed by another NFL team and sign with them. Hauschka's career path pretty much started the same way. He hung around the fringes of the NFL before finally securing a rock-solid spot.


May 9 6:30 PM
  • BUCANNON REALLY CAPTURED CARDS' ATTENTION

The Arizona Cardinals' official website ran an interesting story today about Cougar Deone Bucannon, whom they took in the first round of the NFL draft.

Cards' defensive backs coach Nick Rapone said Bucannon turned his head at the NFL Combine and then in talking with Buc was struck by his discipline and humility.

"I came away and wrote on my notes, 'This kid's actions will speak so loud he'll never have to say a word'," said Rapone. Meanwhile, in the same story at azcardinals.com, Arizona GM Steve Keim said that over a steak dinner when they brought Bucannon in for a pre-draft visit it became very clear that "what you saw on tape is also what you see in person."


May 8 10:30 PM
  • DEONE BUCANNON NOTABLE NOTES

The hard-hitting Cougar safety is the 13th first-round NFL draft pick from WSU since the league began the draft in 1936. And he is the first Cougar first-rounder since Marcus Trufant went to Seattle with the 11th pick in 2003.

Bucannon continues a procession of Cougars playing defensive back in the NFL over the last dozen years. Besides Trufant, there's been Eric Frampton, Husain Abdullah, Erik Coleman, Karl Paymah, Jason David, Hamza Abdullah, Steve Gleason, Tyron Brackenridge, Wale Dada and Lamont Thompson. Husain Abdullah, by the way, signed a two-year extension with the Chiefs this off-season.

Deone is not the first Cougar to go to the Cards in the first round. In 1978, they nabbed WSU DB Ken Greene with the No. 19 pick and in 1989's supplemental draft they took QB Timm Rosenbach with the No. 2 pick."

A shout out to Rob Rang of NFLdraftscout.com and CBSsports.com. He was the only mainstream media pundit who predicted that Deone would be drafted in the first round.

Cougfan Top Stories



\r\n\r\n\r\nNot that records are kept for such things, but we're going to go out on a limb and say former Cougar receiver and one-time defensive coordinator Jody Sears has set a record for being named interim head coach of most college football teams in the shortest period of time. On April 25, just three weeks after he started work as defensive coordinator at Sacramento State he was named interim head coach of the Hornets. He will lead them through the 2014 season following the out-of-the-blue resignation of Marshall Sperbeck. Sperbeck stepped down as a result of an internal investigation of possible NCAA violations, according to the Sacramento Bee. In 2012, when John L. Smith bolted for Arkansas before even coaching one game for Weber State, Sears was named interim head coach of the Wildcats. He stayed on through 2013 but then let go.

\r\n\r\nFaisal Aden, the former Cougar shooting guard whose crimson career was really starting to take off a few years back when he went down with a knee injury, has put himself in the international record books. FIBA, the international basketball federation, recently said that the 59 points Aden scored for the Somali national team against Rwanda in late January is believed to be the most ever by one player in a national team game. At the very least, it's the most since international hoops legend Oscar Schmidt put up 55 for Brazil against Spain in the 1988 Olympics.

\r\n\r\n
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\r\n\tMay 18\r\n\r\n\t11:05 AM\r\n
\r\n\t

Future Cougar QB Tyler Hilinski is ranked three-stars by Scout.com and the No. 42 prospect nationally. Back when he was a sophomore, he was at one time listed as a four-star prospect by Scout.com - might he rise up to that level again?

\r\n\r\n\r\n

\"Joining a Mike Leach offense is never a bad idea for a quarterback, but Hilinski could see his stock rise further during his senior season as the quarterback dominoes continue to fall,\" writes ESPN's Eric McKinney. ESPN also rates Hilinski a three-star prospect, and the No. 25 pocket-passer nationally.

\r\n\r\n\r\nHe's been a spring standout in each of the last two off seasons and jumped on an offer from Washington State.

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\r\n\tMay 16\r\n\r\n\t1:05 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

Other than Elson Floyd and Warren Powers, the paths of Wazzu and Mizzou haven't crossed a whole lot over the years. But the last couple of weeks it seems the Cougars and Tigers are walking the same path down the basketball recruiting trail. Ahmad Rorie, the touted guard from Tacoma who tripped to WSU last weekend, tweeted that he has received an offer from Missouri. Same for Brandon Chauca, a guard from South Carolina, who will be tripping to WSU this weekend. And Ny Redding, a California guard who signed with the Cougs earlier this week, had narrowed his list to WSU and Missouri.

\r\n\r\n

This unusual battle of Zu and Zou stems from the fact both schools made coaching changes at the top and have a number of scholarship slots to fill in a short period of time. With most of the bona fide forwards and centers off the table at this stage, but some very intriguing front-court talent still on the market, it's no surprise the two schools would be traveling in the same recruiting circles right now.

\r\n\r\n
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\r\n\tMay 16\r\n\r\n\t12:15 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

The Green Bay Packers have invited their second undrafted Cougar offensive lineman Rico Forbes to this week's mini camp. Forbes, who appeared in all 13 games for the Cougs last season and started five, is following in John Fullington's path to the Badger State. Big John agreed to a free agent deal with a $5,000 signing bonus with the Pack minutes after the draft concluded this past Saturday.

\r\n\r\n

\"I see it as a blessing and right now I am just eager to go out there and make the best of my opportunity,\" Forbes told the Bahamas Tribune. \"It is what I always envisioned when I first came to the U.S. to play football ... It is what I have been working towards seeing for years and now there is a chance to make it happen.\"

\r\n\r\nForbes came to WSU from the junior college ranks but subsequently missed his 2012 junior season with a leg injury suffered during fall camp.

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\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 16\r\n\r\n\t8:30 AM\r\n
\r\n\t

We tweeted this a while back but were remiss in getting it on the website until now: Three highly regarded old Cougs recently were elected to the state of Washington's sports hall of fame: football legend Jack Thompson, broadcasting icon Keith Jackson, and hydroplane champion Chip Hanauer. The three will be saluted at the WSU-Rutgers game at CenturyLink Field on August 28.

\r\n\r\nIn case you missed it, we recently caught up with Jackson for a wide-ranging talk about WSU, his career, and life growing up in rural Georgia. Here's the link: The wit and wisdom of Keith Jackson.

\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 14\r\n\r\n\t3:10 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

Multiple sources close to the basketball program at Garfield High School in Seattle tell CF.C that off-court concerns prompted Washington State head basketball coach Ernie Kent to release star GHS guard Tramaine Isabell from his letter of intent with the Cougars today. The sources didn't go into specifics but suggested concerns about academic diligence were among the issues that moved Kent to act. For their parts, both Kent and Isabell were gracious in the parting of the ways.

\r\n\r\nIsabell tweeted that he had been granted his release and offered the \"best of luck to coach kent & the team!\"

\r\n\r\nKent, in a press release, said, \"We wish Tramaine the very best,\" and added, \"The future of Cougar basketball is bright. I like the group of young men we have in place now, as well as what we will add in the near future with our available scholarships.\"

\r\n\r\nOne upshot from the move is that it may enhance WSU's chances of landing standout Tacoma guard Ahmaad Rorie, who recently asked for and received a release from his LOI with Cal. He tripped to WSU this past weekend and said he will make his college choice this weekend. He also recently tripped to Washington, and last week (per the Seattle Times) picked up an offer from Wichita State.

\r\n\r\nThe Cougars have three signed members in their 2014 recruiting class: guards Jackie Davis and Ny Redding and forward Aaron Cheatum. With Isabell's departure, the Cougars have two scholarship slots left.

\r\n\r\nIn addition to Rorie, guard Brandon Chauca out of South Carolina is believed to have an offer from the Cougars, and is expected to trip to Pullman this weekend.\r\n\r\n
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\r\n\tMay 14\r\n\r\n\t2:00 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

In an unexpected reversal, Seattle standout Tramaine Isabell tweeted that he's received a release from the letter of intent he signed with WSU in November.

\r\n\r\n\"I have been granted my release from Washington State University. Best of luck to coach kent & the team!\" the Garfield guard tweeted.

\r\n\r\nIsabell said on April 24 he had decided to honor his signed LOI to WSU through the coaching change. \"I've decided to stick with it and play for Coach Kent,\" Isabell told CF.C. .

\r\n\r\nIsabell, who visited WSU earlier in April to meet with Kent face-to-face and had an in-home with Kent and assistant coach Curtis Allen prior to reaffirming with WSU, was tabbed Seattle Times' first-team all-classifications All-State team as a senior. He averaged nearly 24 points per game this season as he led Garfield to a 24-1 record and its first state title since 1998. He was named the 4A tournament MVP.\r\n

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\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 13\r\n\r\n\t5:45 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

Nyaires \"Ny\" Redding, a 6-2, 180-pound guard from the same prep school -- Westwind Academy in Phoenix -- that produced Que Johnson, officially is in the house. WSU announced late today that hiss signed letter of intent is in.

\r\n\r\n\"Our system requires us to have very heady guard play and we are continuing to put together a group that we think is going to be outstanding for the future of Washington State basketball,\" Kent said. \"In Ny we have a player that is not only smart, but also is very skilled on both ends of the floor.\"

\r\n\r\nRedding, who hails from Solon, Ohio, joins a class that features fellow guards Jackie Davis and Tramaine Isabell and JC forward Aaron Cheatum. The Cougars have one scholarship left to use in this recruiting cycle.

\r\n\r\nAs a senior this past season, Redding averaged 29.8 points, 2.1 steals and 8.7 assists per game, while shooting 53 percent from the field and 89 percent from the free throw line. He was named first team all-State, tournament MVP and defensive player of the year, as well as the team's captain. Redding compiled five 40-point games in his year at Westwind Prep, breaking former Westwind standout and current Cougar, Que Johnson's record of 40-point games.\r\n

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\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 13\r\n\r\n\t11:15 AM\r\n
\r\n\t

Our most recent stories will \"carousel\" across the top of the page, left to right, while the rest of our stories will be down the center of the page, scrollable up and down.

\r\n\r\nThe reason we point this out if that if you come to the site, see the lead story and then start scrolling down you'll miss the four other most recent stories that are in the carousel across the top.

\r\n\r\nAlso, some readers have asked where the photo galleries for each player have gone. They're still here. But the button to access them has moved from the top of each player's bio page down the right side a bit, just above where the Twitter feed is located.

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\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 13\r\n\r\n\t12:01 AM\r\n
\r\n\t

Just a few hours after Ernie Kent received a verbal commitment from Phoenix guard Ny Redding, who chose WSU over Missouri and Boston College, 4-star Tacoma guard and former Cal commit Ahmaad Rorie tweeted that he would be making his college choice this weekend. \r\n

\r\n\r\nRorie and Redding both took official visits to WSU this past weekend. While Rorie is rated by Scout.com as the No. 19 point guard prospect in the nation, he's a scorer first and could slide into the off-guard role. Since receiving his release from the LOI he signed with Cal in November he has tripped to WSU and UW and canceled a visit to Oregon. Unless there's another trip in the offing this week, it looks to be a Cougar vs. Huskies battle.\r\n

\r\n \r\nThe Cougars have one of their five open scholarships left to fill now that Redding has verbally committed. The other three in the fold are Jackie Davis, Aaron Cheatum and Tramaine Isabell.

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\r\n\tMay 12\r\n\r\n\t5:45 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

WSU just made it official: 6-3, 195-pound combo guard Jackie Davis' letter of intent is signed, sealed and delivered. \r\n

\r\n\r\n\"Jackie Davis is a very versatile basketball player that can play multiple positions,\" head coach Ernie Kent said in a press release. \"He fits perfectly in our system because of his skill set, his ability to pass, dribble and shoot the basketball, and play the game in the open court. He is a very gifted athlete and I'm sure Cougar fans will come to enjoy his athleticism and his ability to play the game.\"

\r\n \r\nDavis played one season at Rolling Hills Prep in San Pedro, Calif., after attending Allen High School in Allen, Texas. As a senior at Rolling Hills, Davis averaged 23.6 points, 3.6 assists, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 steals per game as the Huskies went 13-13 overall and 11-1 in conference play during the 2013-14 season. He was named team MVP, as well as co-MVP of the Coastal League. Davis also earned All-CIF and Cal-Hi Sports All-State honors.

\r\n\r\n
\r\n\r\n \r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 12\r\n\r\n\t2:20 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

Bill Moos said on his radio show this morning that former Cougar quarterback Jeff Tuel has been back on campus this semester wrapping up his degree. Tuel, who made the Bills last year as a free agent signee and wound up making a regular-season start, doesn't figure to have any greater competition for the roster today than he did before last week's draft. The Bills didn't use any picks on quarterbacks and as of yesterday hadn't signed any free agent QBs. So as it stands right now, the Bills will have four QBs vying for three positions. E.J. Manuel will be the undisputed starter, with Tuel, Thad Lewis and former Oregon standout Dennis Dixon battling it out behind him.\r\n\r\n

\r\n\r\nRegardless who is behind center, he'll know the Bills are serious about improving the offense. Their first pick in the draft was touted wideout Sammy Watkins and three others were offensive linemen.

\r\n
\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 11\r\n\r\n\t6:00 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

Doug Kimmel, the new \"Mountain Region\" recruiting analyst for Scout.com, has been making fast tracks. In one of his latest missives he reports that touted linebacker Paul Gustin of Salem, Utah, was on the last leg -- Pullman -- of a whirlwind weekend in which he also visited Oregon State, Oregon and Washington. \r\nGustin told Kimmel on Saturday that \"Coach Leach was awesome and their new facilities are amazing. I think I can speak for our whole group in saying that their overall facilities greatly exceeded our expectations. The Cougars have some bright days ahead of them.\"\r\n\r\n

\r\n\t

Meanwhile, CF.C's Braulio Perez reports that the Cougs recently made scholarship offers to Folsom, Calif., offensive lineman Jonah Williams; San Jose cornerback Dakari Monroe; Carmichael, Calif., defensive end Kori Collins; and Washington, DC, cornerback Marcus Lewis. Lewis verbally committed to Florida about 10 days ago.\r\n\r\n

\r\n
\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 11\r\n\r\n\t2:00 PM\r\n
\r\n\t

Guard Jackie Davis, who committed verbally to Ernie Kent two weeks ago, made it official today when he signed his letter of intent with WSU and tweeted a photo of himself holding the signed LOI. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound combo guard from Rolling Hills Prep in Palos Verdes, Calif., chose WSU over offers from Penn State, Tulsa and UC Irvine.\r\n\r\n

\r\n\t

Dubbed \"a late bloomer\" by Scout.com analyst Josh Gershon, Davis bring a nice stroke to the Cougs and can score at the rim, from mid-range and downtown. He's also a capable ball handler that ran point guard for Rolling Hills this past season. He joins a Cougar recruiting class that already included Tramaine Isabell of Seattle and JC transfer Aaron Cheatum of East Los Angeles College. Could the class grow by another two in the next day or so? Ny Redding of Phoenix and Ahmaad Rorie of Tacoma were believed to be in Pullman on official visits this weekend.\r\n\r\n

\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 10\r\n\r\n\t11:30 PM\r\n
\r\n

Record-setting Cougar kicker Andrew Furney tweeted that he has accepted a mini-camp invitation by the Seattle Seahawks. Unlike the undrafted free agent contract John Fullington signed with the Packers immediately after the NFL draft concluded, a mini-camp invitation is effectively a brief walk-on tryout. So the question begs: Why hook up with the Seahawks when they just re-signed all-world kicker Steven Hauschka to a three-year contract?

\r\n

The answer, simply, is because it offers a foot (pardon the pun) into the door of the NFL. Barring injury, Furney isn't going to supplant Hauschka. The aim is to show enough that 1) the Hawks keep him around for awhile and perhaps even find a spot on the practice squad; or 2) get noticed by another NFL team and sign with them. Hauschka's career path pretty much started the same way. He hung around the fringes of the NFL before finally securing a rock-solid spot.

\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 9\r\n\r\n\t6:30 PM\r\n
\r\n

The Arizona Cardinals' official website ran an interesting story today about Cougar Deone Bucannon, whom they took in the first round of the NFL draft.

\r\n

Cards' defensive backs coach Nick Rapone said Bucannon turned his head at the NFL Combine and then in talking with Buc was struck by his discipline and humility.

\r\n\"I came away and wrote on my notes, 'This kid's actions will speak so loud he'll never have to say a word',\" said Rapone. Meanwhile, in the same story at azcardinals.com, Arizona GM Steve Keim said that over a steak dinner when they brought Bucannon in for a pre-draft visit it became very clear that \"what you saw on tape is also what you see in person.\"

\r\n
\r\n\r\n\r\n
\r\n\tMay 8\r\n\r\n\t10:30 PM\r\n
\r\n

The hard-hitting Cougar safety is the 13th first-round NFL draft pick from WSU since the league began the draft in 1936. And he is the first Cougar first-rounder since Marcus Trufant went to Seattle with the 11th pick in 2003.

\r\n\r\nBucannon continues a procession of Cougars playing defensive back in the NFL over the last dozen years. Besides Trufant, there's been Eric Frampton, Husain Abdullah, Erik Coleman, Karl Paymah, Jason David, Hamza Abdullah, Steve Gleason, Tyron Brackenridge, Wale Dada and Lamont Thompson. Husain Abdullah, by the way, signed a two-year extension with the Chiefs this off-season.

\r\n

Deone is not the first Cougar to go to the Cards in the first round. In 1978, they nabbed WSU DB Ken Greene with the No. 19 pick and in 1989's supplemental draft they took QB Timm Rosenbach with the No. 2 pick.\"

\r\nA shout out to Rob Rang of NFLdraftscout.com and CBSsports.com. He was the only mainstream media pundit who predicted that Deone would be drafted in the first round.\r\n
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