WSU Notebook: Rankings, hoops, golf & more

DID YOU KNOW the Cougars rank No. 1 in the Pac-10 in school fight songs? And Washington State also just rated No. 1 in the Pac-10, and seventh in the nation among all NCAA Division I schools, in something else..plus WSU hoops, baseball and golf related items, Baynes, whatever happened to Thomas Abercrombie and more.

First, the music. According to Bustersports.com, the Cougars have the best fight song in the Pac-10.

Conference rival Washington has the worst fight song in the conference, according to Buster.

-- Cougs recognized: Washington State ranked seventh in NCAA Division I and first in the Pac-10 in the sixth annual Gender Equity Scorecard, a rating system designed to measure commitment to gender equity in intercollegiate athletics. Results were based on the 2006-07 school year.

WSU was the only Pac-10 school and one of six nationally to earn A's. North Texas received an A-plus grade.

"Our commitment to diversity is a key component in fulfilling our visit to provide one of the best student-athlete experiences in the nation," WSU athletic director Jim Sterk said. "We are gratified to earn an A grade in this study."

Elsewhere, the Huskies earned a C in the Gender Equity Scoreboard, good for fifth in the Pac-10 and 56th nationally out of 115 schools.

-- Moving on: Travis Jewett, whose recruiting efforts played a key role in producing WSU's first NCAA baseball tournament team in 19 years this season, has resigned to become hitting coach at Arizona State.

Jewett, who graduated from WSU in 1993 but did not play baseball for the Cougars, spent the past five years coaching at WSU. Head coach Donnie Marbut frequently praised Jewett's work as WSU's hitting coach and recruiting coordinator.

"I really, really enjoyed my time here in Pullman," Jewett said Wednesday night. "I feel great about the work the entire staff put in...Everyone worked hard for the success we had. I know we have a good (recruiting) class coming in, and they'll keep winning."

The Cougars were the talk of Pac-10 in baseball this season, finishing second to Arizona State, a perennial national powerhouse.

Jewett may be reunited at Arizona State with Ken Knutson, who was fired as Washington's head coach last month. Jewett assisted Knutson at Washington from 2002-04, and Knutson is under consideration for a volunteer coaching job with the Sun Devils. Knutson's fate as Washington's coach may have been sealed when the Cougars swept a three-game series from the Huskies to conclude the regular season.

-- Abercrombie picked: Former Cougar basketball player Thomas Abercrombie was named to the 12-man team that will represent New Zealand on an eight-game, 12-day European tour that starts next week.

Abercrombie was Rookie of the Year in the National Basketball League, the pro league of his native New Zealand. The 6-6 guard never measured up to expectations at WSU and left in May of 2008 to turn pro back home. Abercrombie under former coach Tony Bennett saw only a smattering of PT in 2007-08 as a second-year freshman, with brief action in 12 games after redshirting his first year on the Palouse.

Aron Baynes was on a preliminary roster for players under consideration for the European tour, but ultimately was not invited. Baynes, who was born in New Zealand but raised in Australia, has been playing for the Los Angeles Lakers entry in the NBA Summer League.

-- Former Cougar coaches tabbed: Bustersports.com picked the top 30 Pac-10 football coaches of the "modern era" (since 1959) and former Cougar coaches Dennis Erickson (ninth), Mike Price (17th) and Jim Walden (29th) made the cut. Current USC coach Pete Carroll was No. 1, followed by ex-Trojan coach John McKay and former Washington coach Don James.

-- Hot hitting Cougar: Jay Ponciano's bat is heating up with the weather in Palm Springs, Calif. Despite playing home games in heat that often tops 100 degrees and rarely dips below 90, WSU's junior catcher is second on the Palm Springs Power with a .372 batting average. The Power is 28-7 overall and running away with the Southern California Collegiate Baseball Association title with a 16-2 league record.

-- Frame advances: Incoming Cougar freshman golfer Hank Frame advanced to the second round of match play by winning 4-and-3 Wednesday at the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship in Norman, Okla. Frame had tied for 23rd in the 155-man field that engaged in two rounds of stroke play to determine the 64 qualifiers for match play.

"For an incoming freshman to make match play in the second-biggest amateur event in the country is awesome," WSU coach Walt Williams said. "I'm extremely proud of Hank and for Cougar golf."

Frame starred at University High in Spokane Valley.


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