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Archive for December 4th, 2007

Visit from Cougs bringing out the best in Zag fans

Posted by Jeff Nusser on December 4, 2007

In advance of tomorrow’s big game against Gonzaga, a couple of interesting stories of note out of Spokane.

First, as if there was any doubt about just how much the Zags want this game, check out this report by KXLY on the GU students who have camped out for the past week — not for the right to be one of the 1,500 students in the 6,000-seat Kennel on Wednesday night (they already have tickets), but to get one of the best seats. Here’s a print story if you have trouble with video.

Think those spoiled weenies in Durham, N.C., are sleeping in standing water? Krzyzewskiville has nothing on these guys.

Additionally, here’s Jim Meehan’s game advance on the Spokesman-Review’s SportsLink blog. It’s virtually entirely from a Gonzaga perspective, including this awesome nugget from Micah Downs:

“I could see WSU becoming our arch rival. It kind of was UW in the past. We played them here, there, here, there and we were winning most of those games. WSU is the second best team in the State of Washington, in my opinion, right now. So they’re kind of our rival now.”

Keep talking like that, and it will be a rivalry. No doubt.

Here’s a more balanced preview of the game from the AP. I’ll have my own thoughts on the game tomorrow.


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Cougs down to No. 7 on my BlogPoll ballot

Posted by Jeff Nusser on December 4, 2007

If you’ve been around here for any length of time, you know I participate in the NCAA Top 25 BlogPoll, voted on by 15 bloggers around the country. Last week, I moved the Cougs up to No. 5 on my ballot, feeling they were as strong as any team in the country outside of the big four of North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis and Kansas.

But after yet another questionable start against Baylor — and the unbelievable rise of Texas — I felt I had no choice but to move the Cougs down to No. 7 this week.

Both Texas (No. 3 on my ballot) and Duke (No. 6) passed WSU. While I’ll acknowledge the victory over Baylor to be a good win — coming from behind, hostile environment, underrated opponent, etc. — it still doesn’t mask the larger issue for me.

The Cougs still aren’t playing great defense. The average NCAA team scores about a point per possession, and the Cougs have allowed four of their opponents to approach or exceed that mark. WSU needs to be around .9 points per possession to be effective. To translate, that’s a six-point difference in a 60 possession game — a pretty sizable amount.

And that’s what’s got me finally having to come to terms with moving them down. I hope like heck they give me a great reason to move them back up after Wednesday night.

See below for my full ballot. The full poll results will be released tonight. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cougs steady at No. 6 in coaches poll, drop in AP Top 25

Posted by Jeff Nusser on December 4, 2007

Sorry I’m about a day late on this, but in case you didn’t see it, the Cougs hung tough at No. 6 in the coaches poll, but dropped to No. 8 in the AP poll.

I’m not at all surprised by the drop in the AP poll. The writers who have been paying attention — and they tend to be more savvy than their coach counterparts — will note the struggles the Cougs have had against Boise State, Air Force and Baylor. Plus I think Duke has looked especially impressive with a lot of TV games. The Cougs have had no such luxury, with its one national TV game taking place on the accursed ESPNU.

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