Roundup: Washington volleyball primed for NCAA semis
The NCAA women’s volleyball semifinals get under way tonight, and our Sarah Kezele gives us a preview of No. 3 Washington’s match with No. 2 Penn State. Also, check out this video and text explaining how Washington coach Jim McLaughlin and Penn State coach Russ Rose are putting their friendship on hold for the semifinal match. Wisconsin and Texas on the other side of the bracket.
Huge, huge victory for Stanford men’s hoops over UCONN last night, beating the No. 10 Huskies 53-51 in their own Hartford house. The Farm Boys have come so close to notching high-quality, non-conference wins away from Maples under Johnny Dawkins (Kentucky 2009-10, Syracuse 2011-12 anyone?), but now you can finally say, “Signature win? Check.” That’s from Brian Risso (Stanford SID extraordinaire), and this is from Yahoo!’s Jeff Eisenberg: Johnny Dawkins and Stanford got the marquee win they needed at UCONN.
Congrats to Will Sutton for becoming the eighth repeat winner of the prestigious Morris Trophy, given to the top offensive and defensive lineman in the conference and voted on by opposing Pac-12 linemen. UCLA’s Xavier Su’a-Filo won the award for the offensive side of things. Kudos to both.
Need something to watch tonight? Then you should really consider checking out UCLA facing No. 8 Duke at Madison Square Garden (4:30 p.m. PT, ESPN). Game notes are linked.
And now, I feel compelled to let you know that Jack Follman thinks Washington State’s defense will be key against Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl.
Whoa… did you see that Marcus Mariota has a beard now? He also talks about prepping for Texas and his decision to return to school (it recently came out that he requested an NFL Draft grade, but he has reaffirmed his commitment to Oregon), but yo, he’s got a beard. Don’t expect Mama Mariota to let it fly for the bowl game, though. And hey, a bonus link, because it’s not every day that you get to see 5-foot-8 guard Johnathan Loyd battle 7-foot-6 center Mamadou Ndiaye in the post (from Oregon's 91-63 win over UC Irvine earlier this week).
So Sonny Dykes already got five student-athletes to join Cal football in 2014, and now Dykes is predicting a strong recruiting class. But for now, let’s welcome Devante Downs, Sam Atoe, David Davis, Jonathan Johnson and Trevor Kelly to Strawberry Canyon.
Well it was nice to see the Beavs get a little get-back on Towson last night, beating the Tigers 76-67 and overcoming Roberto Nelson’s ejection to nab a memorable win. Angus Brandt notched a career-high 27 points to help make up for Nelson leaving the game in the first half after it was ruled that he attempted to punch a Towson player.
A lot of people questioned André Roberson’s decision to turn pro last spring, but after being selected in the first round and becoming a defensive and rebounding specialist off the bench for the OKC Thunder, Roberson has resisted the urge to say “I told you so.”
While the Cats do have a bowl date with Boston College to worry about, it’s good to know that Anu Solomon has beefed up and is ready to compete for next year’s QB job.
Women’s gymnastics is huge in Salt Lake City, and a big year is expected from the Red Rocks in 2014: Utah is picked to finish second in the Pac-12 preseason poll, one point behind UCLA for the top preseason honor. Here is the full Pac-12 women’s gymnastics preseason coaches poll.
Hey, what do ya say we hear from Keidane McAlpine on being the new USC women’s soccer coach?