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

PRO COUGS TRACKER: Watson wins back-to-back Super Bowls, Minshew makes Pro Bowl

Pro Cougs Tracker: Feb. 21, 2024
University+of+Southern+California+wide+reciever+Drake+London+%2815%29+catches+a+pass+while+Washington+State+University+defensive+back+Jaylen+Watson+%280%29+attempts+to+tackle+him+during+the+second+half+of+a+college+football+game%2C+Saturday%2C+Sept.+18%2C+2021%2C+in+Pullman%2C+WA.
COLE QUINN
University of Southern California wide reciever Drake London (15) catches a pass while Washington State University defensive back Jaylen Watson (0) attempts to tackle him during the second half of a college football game, Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Pullman, WA.

Jaylen Watson is a back-to-back Super Bowl Champion, Gardner Minshew II rocked out in his first Pro Bowl and multiple Pro Cougs have put themselves on the map in the first two months of 2024.

Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Jaylen Watson played a crucial role in Super Bowl LVIII. Watson recovered a fumble during a 49ers muffed punt in the third quarter, turning the tide for the Chiefs in their 25-22 (OT) Super Bowl victory.

In preparation for the Chiefs Super Bowl parade, Watson subtweeted Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes’ parade announcement with an upside-down smiley face. Mahomes responded, “You gonna make it this year, bro?”

Watson had to be put in a wheelchair during the Chiefs’ previous Super Bowl celebration.

Watson played as a special teams/role player in 2023. He came up huge in the Super Bowl with his fumble recovery.

The 2021 Cougar football senior finished the 2023 NFL regular season with 33 tackles (28 solo) and two sacks. Throughout the Chiefs’ four-game championship run, Watson made seven solo tackles, including two in the Super Bowl and made the most impactful play of his young career with his lone fumble recovery.

Gardner Minshew II captured the hearts of NFL fans by stepping into the starting QB role for the Indianapolis Colts after Anthony Richardson saw his season prematurely end because of injury.

Minshew completed 305/490 passes for 3,305 yards and earned a Pro Bowl alternate nod. He replaced Super Bowl MVP Mahomes in Orlando.

Minshew took full advantage of the moment, talking to Peyton Manning, former Colts QB and NFL Hall of Famer. Cougar fans can only hope that Minshew Mania gets picked up by Omoha Productions someday.

Minshew placed third in the QB accuracy contest with 20 makes.

In response to questions about his future, Minshew gave an answer that only Minshew could.

“Ain’t no tellin’. That’s something they gotta tell me,” Minshew said on NFL.com.

Quiet start for Klay

Klay Thompson has had a quiet start to the season, relative to his career norms. The 13th-year NBA veteran, playing his 11th season, is averaging 17.3 points per game. It would be his lowest scoring average since his 2011–12 rookie season in which he averaged 12.5 points per game.

Thompson’s efficiency has dipped to a career-worst 42.1 % from the floor and 37.3% from beyond the arc.

The 34-year-old shooting guard is not without his marquee games. Thompson has scored 30 or more points in three games, including a season-best 35-point game evening his season-best of seven 3-pointers Feb. 13 vs the Utah Jazz.

Thompson’s former team is ranked for the first time since the final week of the 2007–08 season when Thompson was a high school senior.

Thompson’s three years at the Palouse were significant, including two NIT appearances.

Thompson told the Cougs during their Bay Area trip last season that they were “Wheatfield Underdogs.” The Cougs have embraced that mantra as they reached the AP Top 25 for the first time in 302 weeks.

At 27-26, the Golden State Warriors sit in 10th place in the Western Conference at the All-Star Break. A postseason trip is not out of the question, with Klay’s slight regressions factoring into the Warriors’ setting dynasty-expanding opportunity.

Tall Ferns fall short of Olympics

Charlisse Leger-Walker’s ACL injury was not just tragic for the Cougs, but for the entire nation of New Zealand. With Charlisse at the top of her game, she was set to be a crucial part of the Tall Ferns, the New Zealand women’s basketball national team. The Ferns failed to finish at least third versus China, France and Puerto Rico in mid Febuary, failing to qualify for the 2024 Olympics.

Mouhamed Gueye takes notice of contending Cougs

After logging three minutes in his NBA debut, Oct. 29 in Milwaukee and one minute Oct. 30 in Atlanta versus the Timberwolves, Atlanta Hawks rookie Mouhamed Gueye has been out because of a stress fracture in his lower back. The Hawks have not shared when they expect to have him back on the court. 

Gueye is a proud Pro Coug, retweeting WSU men’s basketball’s congratulations post about head coach Kyle Smith’s 250 wins and subtweeting the Cougars’ victory tweet about WSU’s seventh straight win with a simple comment.

“Ballin”

Magda Jehlářová debuts in the Pro Volleyball Federation

Magda Jehlářová, the Pac-12 and NCAA (rally-era) all-time block leader, is part of history once again as a founding member of the Pro Volleyball Federation.

Off the bench for Atlanta Vibe, Jehlářová has scored two points through two matches.

A Cougs won the Super Bowl, went to the Pro Bowl and scored 35 points in an NBA game among other things. What a time to be a Pro Coug.

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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.
COLE QUINN, Evergreen Sports Photographer
Cole Quinn is a photographer and columnist for the Daily Evergreen. Cole primarily shoots sports for the Daily Evergreen and writes album reviews in his spare time. Cole is a junior broadcast production major and sports communication minor from Snoqualmie, Washington. Cole started working for the Evergreen in the fall of 2020 as a photographer. Cole was the Photo Editor during his sophomore year and Deputy Photo Editor for the fall 2022 semester.