New Sheriff in Town

 

“Go ahead, skin that smoke-wagon and lets see what happens.”

There’s a new sheriff in town, folks, and his name is Mike Leach. Coach Leach laid down the law this weekend and kicked TJ Poloai off the team for what is rumored to be a violation of the team’s substance abuse policy. Leach has been very outspoken in his lack of tolerance for his athletes using recreational drugs and this is an example of those words being put into action. Let’s hope the rest of the team got the message. This also makes me wonder if this is something that is going to cause some friction throughout the athletic department where multiple teams have dealt with similar issues recently and not always applied the same disciplinary measures. I guess we’ll see.

Fortunately that ain’t all that’s goin down in Pullman these days, so you know what to do:

 

Besides laying down the law, Coach Leach has also been busting his tail on the recruiting front and his work is paying some huge dividends already with high hopes that the momentum continues right up to signing day. This last weekend there were at least 11 players visiting, some lugging around truck loads of BCS offers and it appears 4 star WR/CB Gabriel Marks has already committed. Transitional recruiting classes are notoriously difficult, but it appears Coach Leach and his staff were more than ready for it. They have a done a masterful job of building on the pieces left in place by the previous staff, while capitalizing on the publicity surrounding their hiring to find some very exciting upgrades late in the recruiting cycle. There will be very few high school players across the entire country who won’t be aware of who the coach at Wazzu is and that is a game changer for us. Think this recruiting cycle has been fun to follow? Just wait til the next one.

I know football is where all the fun is right now folks, but Im sorry, we gotta talk about basketball. I know, I don’t want to either, but we must.

Last night the Cougs teased us with an OK defensive effort for ¾’s of a basketball game before Lorenzo Romar’s technical foul magically turned Terence Ross into the reincarnation of Anderson Hunt. Even before Ross’s 3 point eruption, observant Coug fans noticed something that was keeping the game closer than it should have been and likely going to cost us the game whether Ross was suited up or not… we can’t rebound. The Huskies were having one of those shooting nights when no team stays within 20 points of anybody, yet there they were lingering between 6-8 points back despite shooting somewhere down around the Mariner’s batting average. Of course, as we all saw, they were getting so many offensive rebounds that any effort the Cougs made on defense were just wasted. We were not getting the ball back until the Dawgs put it through the hoop no matter how much they struggled to do that. It was so bad that Amieable and I were reduced to laughter any time a shot went off the rim on the defensive end. It was simply amazing.

This guy does NOT play for the Cougs.

So what do we do? I’ll tell you what we do… Youth Movement! Look at our schedule folks and tell me where do you see any more wins coming from? They are going to be few and far between, or in other words… this season is over. Buh bye. So I think its time to do the only thing we have left to do, play for tomorrow. And that means sit the seniors down and lets give the youngsters the experience they’ll need to drag us out of the sorry quagmire we’re currently bogged down in. The following swaps will do nicely:

  • Simon for Lodwick – Can Simon really score, rebound or defend LESS than Abe? Not possible.
  • Kernich-Drew for Capers – Is there anything that Kernich-Drew doesn’t already do better than Capers? Hell, even Amieable is a more dangerous scorer than Capers and I think we can safely retire the “lockdown defender” title.
  • Ladd/Diiorio for Aden – To make up for all the holes in his game, Aden would have to shoot over 60% and score 28 points a game. He doesn’t, so this is an easy swap. Not sure how serious Ladd’s injury is so DiIorio will have to fill in for now.
  • Shelton for Enquist – Shelton is raw, but his potential as a rebounder and defender make him a thousand times more interesting than the senior former walk-on who spent the past 3 seasons falling bass ackwards into a scholarship and playing time.

Ok, so this won’t change our fortunes in the W/L column, but I can tolerate losing with a lineup of guys with potential who are gaining valuable experience. I cannot follow a bunch of seniors who have more than proven they are not up to the task of winning Pac-12 basketball games. Next week we go on the road to Stanford and Cal, so that should be fun. Lets hope some teams start overlooking us!

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