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March 12, 2010

The Pres' Palouse Park Bench - Hoop Season Is Over, Long Live Hoops



I promise you this much: this will be the last time you hear about the men's basketball team in this space. Exceptions: if they actually, by some miracle, make it to a postseason tournament of any kind. But after seeing their performance in their lone tournament game against a team that seems to be the bane of their existence this season, I'm still left looking at the same conclusion: this team and their coach are young.

This team has an awful lot of growing up to do and frankly I'm sick of the people who continue to call for Bone's head on a platter. The fact of the matter is none of these players, save Reggie Moore, are ones he recruited and a complete change of offensive and defensive systems is difficult to adapt to for anyone. Some people would say that there's no excuse for losing as many games in the conference as this team did and to a certain extent, they're correct. But this team is growing along with their coaching staff and they'll get there. To assert that this team would've been better off with Tony Bennett (as some people would suggest) is a wild and inaccurate claim. For one thing, a young team learning a difficult defensive system would've been bad enough. But also remember that without Ken Bone, this team doesn't have Pac-10 All-Freshman Team member Moore and Xavier Thames likely has to start at the point guard position before he is ready.

Should this team have been better? Probably. But a combination of playing in an offense that demands more physically and the complete disappearance of your leading scorer on the stat sheet was a lethal combination for a team with one upperclassman. Next year's Senior Day will be even shorter than this year's largely because the team won't have one. Patience is the key with a roster full of young players who have yet to find themselves and are looking to step into leadership roles for the very first time.


Not only is the Cougar basketball season over, so is election season here at Washington State University as Jake Bredstrand and Josh Meyer grabbed the president and vice-president spots for the next academic year. To a large extent, this doesn't really mean anything for the future of this university mainly because these two are sitting in positions with little to no real decision making power and will instead be sucking valuable funds from the university's wallet. Ultimately in an election where only 12 percent of the electorate chose to vote, it means even less given how little the students here care.

While these new elected leaders are students, they should still be held to a higher ethical and moral standard than the rest of us undergraduates. This means, if they or anyone else involved with ASWSU intends to go out for a night of partying, they better make sure they do it carefully. Because as District 10 Senator and Senate Pro Tempore Riley Myklebust showed, everyone will find out if you didn't tread so softly.

You see Mr. Myklebust was arrested this past weekend for (quotes around the technical police language) "minor in possession and/or having consumed alcohol" and "minor having operated a motor vehicle after consuming alcohol". According to Pullman Police Commander Chris Tennant, Myklebust blew over the under the age of 21 legal limit of .02 blood alcohol level (as it was explained to me, the .02 essentially allows for things like mouthwash) and he went peacefully with the officers and was released of his own recognizance the following morning.

Being the excellent student journalist that I am, I called ASWSU for comment on the matter and they said they wouldn't be talking about the matter. One can only assume as to not tarnish the coming election days. We debated whether to run the story that night on the prestigious Cable 8 News, ultimately deciding to do so because of Myklebust's position within ASWSU. Had he been a normal student, this would've been a non-news event, but because he is the District 10 Senator and Senate Pro Tempore, it was news and I've gotten a lot of inquiry as to why. As far as many students are concerned, he's just another kid who had a few to many.

But in order to give the respect of a normal politician they crave so badly, we have to treat them like a normal politician. When a normal politician drinks and drives and gets caught, it's news. Since those involved with student government profess to care so much about this university that they claim cares so much about them, they should probably be good, public figures and role models for the rest of the student body and the community.

I've never met Riley Myklebust personally, nor is this part of the article intended to be an indictment of his character. I'm sure Myklebust is, to quote a Cougar legend, a fine, young man. But when our "elected officials" behave in such a manner, it's not unreasonable to hold them to a higher ethical standard than the rest of us.


PICKS:

The regular Pac-10 season is over! So were picking the big boy tournament winner!

NCAA Champion: Syracuse Orangemen


Dunderhead of the Week: Whoever though it was a good idea to unload the food truck at Valhalla and completely block an incredibly important intersection at 11 AM for both foot traffic and vehicle traffic. That's just good planning.







+++++++sponsored by Greg Davis Sports Photography+++++++++

The new year is here…and you know what that means…It's time for a whole new season of Cougar Athletics! Men's & women's basketball, baseball, track & field and tennis, just to name a few, are coming up right around the corner. If you need "game action" photographs for your newspaper, magazine, web site, blog, etc., then Greg Davis Sports Photography should be your choice for all things "Cougar" and "Pac-10 Conference"! Coverage for specific athletes or upcoming events is also available. Check out the images from games, practices and events from last season, and be sure to come back often for uploads from all of this season's action.


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