A couple of thoughts from the dust bowl

This is probably the driest period between college and WNBA season that I can remember, and today there is absolutely no news posted anywhere. I don’t know when that’s happened before. So here are a couple of random – though unrelated – thoughts:

1. The Washington Huskies – players, especially – feel like the elevation of Mike Neighbors to head coach is momentum maintained for the surging program. (This includes retaining assistant coaches Adia Barnes and Kevin Morrison). I have to agree. They had a great thing going under Kevin McGuff, who fled for Ohio State. With all but one piece still there, and all the recruits still committed, they probably won’t miss a beat.

I’m glad. I’ve enjoyed seeing the Pac 12 come up, and I was worried when McGuff left that the UW would slide backwards. They were one of the fastest-rising conference programs this past season, along with Cal and UCLA. Now, barring major injuries, the Huskies should continue to climb next year. The rest of the conference looks promising, too.

Oregon State is poised to rebound from injury, and Arizona State may also be on the way back under Charli Turner Thorne. Colorado should still be top-notch, and Stanford should pick it up with their incoming freshmen. Utah is committed, but will they have the personnel?

Perhaps most intriguing is what will happen at USC. New coach Cynthia Cooper-Dyke has assembled an all-star coaching staff and has excited players, staff and fans alike with her vision for the program. If she can take all the athletic and coaching talent around her and fully manifest it, watch out.

The only schools in the Pac 12 that aren’t up-and-coming are Oregon, Washington State and Arizona. And in each case, it’s because the schools won’t let go of the coaches there that don’t work. It’s sad.

2. I’m reading it so slowly because I’ve been swamped, but do get Pat Summitt’s autobiography, “Sum it Up.” It’s an amazing history lesson, for one thing. Former Lady Vol Nikki Anosike tweeted the other day that she had no idea the pioneers of women’s basketball had it so rough until she read Summitt’s book. A lot of people would probably feel the same way.

Pick it up today.

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