Game of the Week: No. 6 Washington State at No. 24 Arizona State (Saturday, 7:00 PM, Regional TV)
Well the most brutal road trip of the year is in the books for the Cougs and what transpired was pretty much two by the book affairs. First USC...although the Trojans were a slight favorite at home, anyone who really knows the Cougs is not surprised by the way they handled USC. The Trojans feature one mega talented superstar (how appropriate for tinsel town) and a slew of young, athletic side-kicks. WSU features a TEAM of experience, battle hardened and defensive minded individuals who know how to handle pressure and create pressure. A Coug blowout was not hard to see.
After spending most of the last 10 years in the Midwest or on the East Coast, I haven’t gotten many opportunities to watch basketball west of the Rockies. But a rare trip to California afforded me a chance to finally see a game at Pauley Pavilion, UCLA’s storied arena. This alone would have been cause for excitement, but the fact I got to watch the #5 Bruins (16-1) take on #4 Washington State (14-1) in one of the biggest Pac-10 games of the year gave it the potential to be a memorable experience.
A new series of articles I'll be writing daily, the Daily Report Card tells you all you need to know about the day in college hoops. From good to bad and bad to worse, I'll be laying down the law.
Game of the Week: No. 4 Washington State at No. 5 UCLA (Saturday, 2:30 PM, FSN)
Week one is in the books for the Pac-10. So how will the Cougs do?
Well the pre-conference schedule is over for the WSU Cougars and they are undefeated and ranked #4 in the country. First, let's reflect on how unbelievable that sentance is. WSU has flirted with success in basketball in the past, with teams that have been #2 to UCLA in the Pac-10. But never, repeat NEVER have the Cougs been expected to excel at a national level until 2007-08. So is the non-conference schedule any clue as to how they will handle expectations? Well yes. And the answer is, this team is OK with winning.
Pullman, WA - Junior center Aron Baynes led the eighth-ranked Washington State Cougars to a 72-60 win over Portland State on Sunday night at Friel Court. Baynes hit 9-9 shots from the field and 5-6 at the line for a game-high 23 points.
That was part of a brilliant overall shooting performance by the Cougars that the Vikings could not match. Washington State hit 26 of 40 shots for a .650 mark on the game. WSU went into the game as one of the top three defensive teams in the nation, allowing just 51.5 points per game. PSU hit 22-54 shots (.407), but put up 60 points in the game.