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: Manzardo’s debut, roast of Tom Brady

Wells and Jones’ NBA chances grow
Then-freshman infielder Kyle Manzardo waits for an incoming pitch, March 28, 2019.

Kyle Manzardo made his MLB debut, Jaylen Wells was finally invited to the NBA Combine, Isaac Jones knocked the sign off of a hoop at the NBA G League camp and former Patriots and Cougar quarterback Drew Bledsoe made quite the impression in the roast of his New England successor Tom Brady.

Manzardo, one of the finest hitters to come through the WSU baseball program in recent history, made his Major League Debut May 6 in Detroit. The Coeur d’Alene, Idaho native destroyed the Triple-A level in the first month of the season, slashing .303. / .375 / .642 through 29 games.

Manzardo struck out three times during his debut versus Detroit. The rookie is expected to be in the majors for at least as long as Steven Kwan recovers from injury, but could stick around if his offensive numbers quickly resemble, or trend in the direction of his Triple-A production.

He recorded his first career major league hit in his third game May 8 vs. the Tigers.

Through six games, Manzardo is 3-for-17 with one double.

The Phoenix Mercury waived a slew of young talent, including Bella Murekatete and both of their 2024 draft picks. The five-year WSU starter signed a training camp contract with the Phoenix Mercury and played an exhibition game in Seattle against the Storm. The Mercury drafted Charisma Osborne out of UCLA and waived her too.

WSU forward Jaylen Wells, the man responsible for the four-point play that boosted the then-No. 23 Cougs over the then-No. 7 Arizona Wildcats in Tuscon, along with a myriad of outstanding performances, has finally earned an invite to the NBA Combine.

After beginning the season injured and on the bench, Wells earned his way into the starting lineup where he posted 12.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.2 assists per game.

Coug fans were initially outraged when Bronny James, fresh off a lackluster freshman year at USC, earned an invite to the combine, while talented emerging stars such as Wells were not invited. Wells has recently appeared in some projections for the second round (which means very little in the grand scheme of things but means a lot in terms of the optics surrounding Wells’ chances and fan engagement).

At NBA G League Camp,  Isaac Jones, WSU alumnus and 2023–24 leading scorer impressed. 

Jones’ story as a short kid who quit basketball after high school, experienced a massive growth spurt, went from a job loading trucks to walking onto Wenatchee Valley’s roster, earning a scholarship at Idaho and then transferring to WSU has caught people’s attention.

And…he backed it up with a highlight-reel tap-in dunk that knocked the sign off the hoop.

“Seen that before,” Wells tweeted.

Jones’ dunk was the No. 1 play on SportsCenter that night and his heroics earned him a promotion to the NBA Draft Combine.

With Wells and Jones getting looks, the chances of two more Cougs making the NBA grow by the day. The NBA Draft occurs June 26–27.

Netflix’s Roast of Tom Brady involved a slew of characters, including former teammates, comedians and former Patriots coach Bill Bellechek.

But one of the finer jokes of the night came from legendary Cougar quarterback and Super Bowl Champion Drew Bledsoe early in the special. Bledsoe said his wife helped him write that joke and that he had a much harsher one initially in mind.

“You know, you have more rings than I do. But I’ve experienced a couple of things that you will never experience. The feeling of being the No. 1 overall draft pick in the NFL and a 28th wedding anniversary. It was yesterday,” Bledsoe said.

The crowd loved it and it was one of several jokes that highlighted the night. Go Cougs!

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About the Contributor
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.