The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

The student voice of Washington State University since 1895

The Daily Evergreen

Wazzu Weekly: Men’s basketball ranked for first time since 2008, baseball opens season with series win

Wazzu Weekly: Feb. 21, 2024
Forward+Isaac+Jones+screams+in+celebration+after+scoring+during+an+NCAA+mens+basketball+game+against+Cal%2C+Feb.+15%2C+2024%2C+in+Pullman%2C+Wash.+
EMMA DECASA
Forward Isaac Jones screams in celebration after scoring during an NCAA men’s basketball game against Cal, Feb. 15, 2024, in Pullman, Wash.

The Cougs are ranked!

For the first time in over 300 weeks, WSU men’s basketball earned a spot in the AP Top 25 poll. 

Freshman guard Myles Rice earned his fourth consecutive and seventh total Pac-12 Freshman of the Week Award and senior forward Isaac Jones earned Pac-12 Player of the Week after scoring his 1,000th career point.

The Cougs won their seventh consecutive game and are in the midst of a slew of historic streaks. Wazzu has won 10 of its last 11 games, its best run of Conference success since 1944.

The Cougs are clicking at precisely the right time and will challenge No. 4 Arizona at 8 p.m. Thursday with first place in the Pac-12 hanging in the balance. WSU beat Arizona 73-70 Jan. 13 in Pullman for its second in an active seven-game win streak.

Rice and Jones win awards as Cougars reach top-25

Cougs beat Stanford to sweep season series
WSU MBB ‘obsessed with winning now’
Cougs get revenge on Golden Bears
Through the Lens(es): WSU takes down Cal to boost record

Featured stories:

The making of a legend: Tara VanDerveer’s Idaho origins

Tara VanDerveer coached Idaho women’s basketball from 1978–79. Courtesy University of Idaho

You probably know that Stanford head coach Tara VanDerveer is the winningest coach in college basketball history.  

You might not know that VanDerveer’s first win happened right here on the Palouse, when VanDerveer guided Idaho women’s basketball to 42 wins over two seasons.

Our Daily Evergreen reporter Kedzie Moe had the chance to sit down with the coaching GOAT after Stanford beat WSU, Feb. 11.

‘They get hype, I get hype,’ How WSU students are changing the culture around WSU basketball

SAM TAYLOR
Rueben Chinyelu high-fives a WSU student after WSU men’s basketball’s 78-69 win over Colorado, Jan. 27 in Pullman, Wash.

WSU men’s basketball is playing its best basketball in 16 years. Despite historic success, Cougar faithful failed to top 4,000 at a game until Saturday when  5,671 packed Beasley Coliseum to see the Cougs clinch their 20th win of the season.

Alumni have been quick to criticize ZZU CRU, WSU’s official student section for lackluster showings at the Cougars’ home games. I sat down with ZZU CRU’s president and a passionate Cougar fan to find out what WSU students are doing to change the narrative and show up for the Cougs.

‘Physically, mentally grueling but the absolute best’

WSU women’s wrestling has enjoyed remarkable success in recent years. The Cougs do not expect that to change in March as they compete for a spot in Nationals.

Wazzu great Henry Rono dies at 72

Henry Rono died in his home country of Kenya. In 1978, Rono set four world records in 81 days.

WSU baseball wins 3 out of four to jump-start Nathan Choate-era

First-year head coach Nathan Choate’s new-look Cougars began their 2024 season with a 3-out-of-4 series win in St. George, Utah against Utah Tech.

Choate is a pitcher’s coach and senior Connor Wilford put Wazzu’s new approach on display. Wilford recorded a single-game career-high 6.0 scoreless innings to secure the Cougars’ 8-6 win, Saturday.

Alan Shibley hit zero home runs in 2023. He hit two home runs in as many games Saturday and filed a double and a triple in game four.

Shibley leads the Cougars in OPS, hits, slugging, extra-base hits and total bases while adding three walks.

WSU baseball notable performances – Utah Tech
Duke Brotherton shoves as Cougs win first series
Wilford wows as Cougars split Saturday doubleheader with Utah Tech
Cougs pull away to start season 1-0

Wazzu wins without Leger-Walker for first time behind Wallack’s career day

WSU women’s basketball (16-11, 5-9 Pac-12) beat Arizona State 73-46, Sunday in Tempe. It was the Cougars’ first win without Leger-Walker on the floor since the three-time All-American joined the team. With five straight losses since the Cougars’ program-shifting upset of No. 2 UCLA Jan. 28 in Pauley Pavillon and loss of Leger-Walker to a season-ending ACL injury, WSU is now 1-9 the last two years without Leger-Walker in the lineup.

Tara Wallack turned in a career-best 23-point performance to beat ASU and freshman Eleonora Villa recorded her 11th-straight double-digit performance.

WSU celebrates a notable 2024 senior class which includes center Bella Murekatete, WSU’s all-time leader in blocks, rebounds, games played and games started, over the weekend with a 7 p.m. meeting with No. 6 Oregon State and a noon Sunday date with last-place Oregon at Beasley Coliseum.

WSU hits rock bottom, begins to climb out of canyon in Grand Canyon state

Pullman loses District Title game 

Pullman High School lost the Greater Spokane League title to Rogers High School (Spokane) Saturday night. The Greyhounds begin the 2A WIAA State Tournament against Enumclaw High School at 6 p.m. Friday at Cheney High School. The winner advances to the quarterfinals of the state tournament in the Yakima Sundome, the loser ends their 2024 season.

Pullman clinches a spot in State

Pullman girls dominate in all phases, earning a district semifinal berth

Pullman girls basketball advanced to the district semifinals, but lost to West Valley (Spokane) 59-50, Thursday.

Around the Wazzu world

WSU men’s golf prepares for season opener in Hawaii

Cheptoo sets school record, shot put sweeps in split T&F weekend

How the Chiefs Won the Super Bowl and became back-to-back Champions

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About the Contributors
SAM TAYLOR, Evergreen sports co-editor
Sam is a senior multimedia journalism major from Lacey, Washington and the sports editor for spring 2024. He was the sports editor for the 2022-23 school year and managing editor for the summer and fall 2023. He plays the trumpet in the Cougar Marching Band, loves sports and has worked at the Evergreen since fall 2021.
EMMA DECASA, Evergreen photographer
Emma Decasa is a photographer for the Daily Evergreen. Originally from Issaquah, Washington, she is a junior majoring in Advertising, with a minor in Sports Communication. Emma started working for the Daily Evergreen in the fall of 2023.